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Updated On: Saturday, May 27 2017

Security Council Authorizes Year-Long Mandate Extension for United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, Adopting Resolution 2344 (2017)

Content by: UN News Centre

Expressing serious concern over the potential growth of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) — also known as Da’esh — the presence of anti-personnel mines and other explosive remnants of war, and the record number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, the Security Council today adopted a resolution extending the mandate of the United Nations Mission in that country by one year.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2344 (2016), the Council decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) until 17 March 2018.  By other terms of the text, it recognized that the Mission’s renewed mandate supported Afghanistan’s full assumption of leadership and ownership in the areas of security, governance and development, consistent with the Transformation Decade (2015-2024).

The 15-member Council also decided that UNAMA and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative would continue — within their mandate and in a manner consistent with Afghan sovereignty and ownership — to lead and coordinate international civilian efforts, in full cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan.  The tasks covered under that provision included promoting the Government’s reform agenda, mobilizing resources, coordinating international donors and entities, organizing future elections, regional cooperation, building capacity, promoting accountability, and protecting civilians.

By other terms of the text, the Council called on UNAMA and the Special Representative to strive for greater coherence, coordination and efficiency among relevant United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in Afghanistan, based on the “One UN” approach.  It also called upon them to support the Government’s efforts to enhance governance and the rule of law, including in the areas of transitional justice, budget execution, fighting corruption, and in coordinating and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The Council condemned, in the strongest terms, all attacks — including those carried out by use of improvised explosive devices, suicide bombings, assassinations and abductions — targeting civilians, Afghan and international forces, diplomatic and consular officials, as well as other representatives of the international community in Afghanistan.

Strongly condemning the continuing flow of weapons to the Taliban, including the Haqqani network, by Al-Qaida, ISIL affiliates and other terrorist groups, the Council encouraged Member States to share information, establish partnerships, and develop national strategies and capabilities to counter such challenges.  Further, it called upon all States to strengthen security cooperation to enhance border controls, law enforcement and criminal justice to better counter the threat.

Addressing members, Koro Bessho (Japan) said the Council should have more opportunities to understand the situation on the ground, emphasizing that the time was ripe to discuss how it could better support efforts to improve security and development.  He encouraged the Council to consider a new format for future meetings on UNAMA that would offer opportunities for an interactive discussion with the Secretary-General’s Special Representative.

The meeting began at 3:10 p.m. and ended at 3:13 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2344 (2017) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Recalling its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular its resolution 2274 (2016) extending through 17 March 2017 the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA),

“Stressing the important role that the United Nations will continue to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan,

“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan, as well as its continued support for the Government and people of Afghanistan as they rebuild their country and strengthen democratic institutions,

“Stressing the central importance of a comprehensive and inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process to support reconciliation for all those who are prepared to reconcile as laid forth in the Kabul Conference Communiqué and further elaborated in the Bonn Conference Conclusions, aimed at creating a peaceful and prosperous future for all the people of Afghanistan and welcoming efforts to advance the peace process, including via the High Peace Council,

“Welcoming the start of the third year of the National Unity Government and emphasizing the importance of all parties in Afghanistan working within its framework in order to achieve a peaceful and prosperous future for all the people of Afghanistan,

“Emphasizing the vital role of the Kabul Process and welcoming the strategic consensus between the Government of Afghanistan and the international community on the Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework (SMAF),

“Stressing the importance of a comprehensive approach to address the security, economic, governance and development challenges in Afghanistan, which are of an interconnected nature, and recognizing that there is no purely military solution to ensure the stability of Afghanistan,

“Stressing the crucial importance of advancing regional cooperation in the spirit of win-win cooperation as an effective means to promote security, stability and economic and social development in Afghanistan and the region to create a community of shared future for mankind,

“Recognizing in this regard the positive impact and ongoing importance of international commitments made in 2016 in the NATO Warsaw Summit and the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan,

“Welcoming the contribution of the International Contact Group (ICG) to the United Nations efforts in coordinating and broadening international support for Afghanistan,

“Recalling the Government of Afghanistan’s commitments to strengthen and improve Afghanistan’s electoral process, and emphasizing the need for continued support of UNAMA, at the request of the Afghan authorities,

“Underlining the importance of operationally capable, professional, inclusive and sustainable Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) for meeting Afghanistan’s security needs, stressing the commitment of the international community to support their further development, and commending the resiliency and exceptional courage displayed by ANDSF as well as their leading role in securing their country and fighting against international terrorism,

“Noting the ongoing work of the Committee established pursuant to Security Council resolution 1988 (2011) and the continuation of the cooperation of the Afghan Government, the High Peace Council and UNAMA with the Committee, including its Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, and expressing its concern over the increasing cooperation of the Taliban with other organizations involved in criminal activities,

“Recognizing the continuously alarming threats posed by the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, as well as by Al-Qaida, ISIL (Da’esh) affiliates and other terrorist groups, violent and extremist groups and illegal armed groups, as well as the challenges related to the efforts to address such threats, and expressing its serious concern over the harmful consequences of violent and terrorist activities by all the above-mentioned groups on the capacity of the Afghan Government to guarantee the rule of law, to provide security and basic services to the Afghan people, and to ensure the improvement and protection of their human rights and fundamental freedoms,

“Expressing serious concern at the presence and potential growth of ISIL (Da’esh) affiliates in Afghanistan, posing serious threats to the security of Afghanistan and the countries of the region, including in Central Asia, and affirming its support to the efforts by the ANDSF to combat them as well as assistance by Afghanistan’s international partners in this regard,

“Expressing concern with the serious threat that anti-personnel mines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices (IED) pose to the civilian population, and noting the need to enhance coordination and information-sharing, both between Member States and with the private sector,

“Expressing its deep concern about the record number of civilian casualties, as noted in the February 2017 UNAMA report on Protection of Civilians in armed conflict and condemning the suicide attacks, often in civilian-populated areas, and the targeted and deliberate killings, in particular of women and girls, including high-level women officials and those promoting women’s rights, as well as journalists,

“Reaffirming that all parties to armed conflict must take all feasible steps to ensure the protection of civilians, especially women, children and displaced persons, including from sexual and gender-based violence, and that perpetrators of such violence must be held accountable,

“Encouraging the international community and regional partners to further effectively support Afghan-led sustained efforts to address drug production and trafficking in a balanced and integrated approach, and recognizing the important role played by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in this regard,

“Expressing serious concern over the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, and supporting the Afghan Government’s essential role in the provision of humanitarian assistance to its citizens in coordination with efficient and effective delivery by United Nations agencies, funds and programmes,

“1.   Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 3 March 2017 (S/2017/189);

“2.   Expresses its appreciation for the United Nations’ long-term commitment, including throughout the Transformation Decade, to support the Government and the people of Afghanistan and reiterates its full support to the work of UNAMA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, and stresses the need to ensure continued adequate resourcing for UNAMA to fulfil its mandate;

“3.   Decides to extend until 17 March 2018 the mandate of UNAMA, as defined in its resolutions 1662 (2006), 1746 (2007), 1806 (2008), 1868 (2009), 1917 (2010), 1974 (2011), 2041 (2012), 2096 (2013), 2145 (2014), 2210 (2015), 2274 (2016) and paragraphs 5 and 6 below;

“4.   Recognizes that the renewed mandate of UNAMA is in support of Afghanistan’s full assumption of leadership and ownership in the security, governance and development areas, consistent with the Transformation Decade (2015-2024) and with the understandings reached between Afghanistan and the international community in the international conferences in Kabul (2010), London (2010 and 2014), Bonn (2011), Tokyo (2012) and Brussels (2016), and the NATO Summits held in Lisbon (2010), Chicago (2012), Wales (2014) and Warsaw (2016);

“5.   Decides further that UNAMA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, within their mandate and in a manner consistent with Afghan sovereignty, leadership and ownership, will continue to lead and coordinate the international civilian efforts, in full cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan and in accordance with the London, Kabul, Tokyo and Brussels Conferences Communiqués and the Bonn Conference Conclusions, with a particular focus on the priorities laid out below:

(a)   promote, as co-chair of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB), more coherent support by the international community to the Afghan Government’s development and governance priorities, including through supporting the ongoing development and sequencing of the Government’s reform agenda, mobilization of resources, coordination of international donors and organizations as facilitator and co-convener of development policy fora, including in developing and monitoring frameworks of mutual accountability, promoting coherent information sharing and analysis, design and delivery of development assistance in a manner consistent with Afghan sovereignty, leadership and ownership, and direction of the contributions of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, in particular for counter-narcotics, reconstruction and development activities; at the same time, coordinate also in a manner consistent with the Afghan leadership, ownership and sovereignty, international partners for follow-up, in particular through information sharing, prioritize efforts to increase the proportion of development aid delivered through the Afghan Government, in line with the commitments made at the Kabul and Tokyo Conferences, and support efforts to increase the mutual accountability and transparency, and the effectiveness of aid use in line with the commitments made at the Kabul, Tokyo and Brussels Conferences, including cost-effectiveness in this regard;

(b)   support, at the request of the Afghan authorities, the organization of future Afghan elections, including the upcoming parliamentary elections, as well as to strengthen, in support of the Government of Afghanistan’s efforts, including electoral reform efforts, the sustainability, integrity and inclusiveness of the electoral process, as agreed at the London, Kabul, Bonn, Tokyo and Brussels Conferences and the Chicago Summit; and provide capacity-building and technical assistance to the Afghan institutions involved in this process in close consultation and coordination with the Government of Afghanistan;

(c)   provide outreach as well as good offices to support, if requested by and in close consultation with the Government of Afghanistan, the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, including through support to the High Peace Council and its activities and proposing and supporting confidence-building measures also in close consultation with the Government of Afghanistan within the framework of the Afghan Constitution and with full respect for the implementation of measures and application of the procedures introduced by the Security Council in its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1988 (2011), 1989 (2011) and 2082 (2012), 2083 (2012) and 2255 (2015) as well as other relevant resolutions of the Council;

(d)   support regional cooperation, with a view to assisting Afghanistan utilize its role at the heart of Asia to promote regional cooperation, and to work towards a stable and prosperous Afghanistan, building on the achievements made;

(e)   continue, with the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to cooperate with and strengthen the capacity of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), to cooperate also with the Afghan Government and relevant international and local non-governmental organizations to monitor the situation of civilians, to coordinate efforts to ensure their protection, to monitor places of detention, to promote accountability, and to assist in the full implementation of the fundamental freedoms and human rights provisions of the Afghan Constitution and international treaties to which Afghanistan is a State party, in particular those regarding the full enjoyment by women of their human rights, including the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW);

(f)   closely coordinate and cooperate, where relevant, with the non-combat Resolute Support Mission agreed upon between NATO and Afghanistan, as well as with the NATO Senior Civilian Representative;

“6.   Calls on UNAMA and the Special Representative to further increase efforts to achieve greater coherence, coordination and efficiency among relevant United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes in Afghanistan based on a “One‑UN” approach in close cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan with a view to maximizing their collective effectiveness in full alignment with the Government of Afghanistan’s reform agenda, and continue to lead, in a manner fully consistent with the Afghan leadership, ownership and sovereignty, international civilian efforts aimed at reinforcing the role of Afghan institutions to perform their responsibilities, with an increased focus on capacity-building in key areas identified by the Afghan Government, with a view, in all UN programmes and activities, to move towards a national implementation model with a clear action-oriented strategy for mutually agreed condition-based transition to Afghan leadership and ownership including making greater use of country systems, in the following priority areas:

(a)   support through an appropriate UNAMA presence, to be determined in full consultation and cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan, and in support of the Afghan Government’s efforts, implementation of the Kabul Process throughout the country, including through enhanced cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in line with the Government’s policies;

(b)   support the efforts of the Afghan Government in fulfilling its commitments as stated at the London, Kabul, Bonn and Tokyo Conferences, to improve governance and the rule of law including transitional justice, budget execution and the fight against corruption, throughout the country in accordance with the Kabul Process and the Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework (SMAF), with a view to helping bring the benefits of peace and the delivery of services in a timely and sustainable manner;

(c)   coordinate and facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including in support of the Afghan Government and in accordance with humanitarian principles, with a view to reinforcing the Government’s capacity, including by providing effective support to national and local authorities in assisting and protecting internally displaced persons and to creating conditions conducive to the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of refugees from neighbouring and other countries and internally displaced persons, with a particular focus on development solutions in areas of high returns;

“7.   Affirms its continuing commitment to UNAMA, and to ensure that the Mission is able to effectively support Afghanistan, requests the Secretary-General, in accordance with best practices, to conduct a strategic review of UNAMA, examining mandated tasks, priorities, and related resources, assessing the Mission’s efficiency and effectiveness, in order to optimize the division of labour and configuration to ensure better cooperation and minimize duplication with other UN‑related organizations, and further requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the results of this review by July 2017;

“8.   Calls upon all Afghan and international parties to coordinate with UNAMA in the implementation of its mandate and in efforts to promote the security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel throughout the country;

“9.   Stresses the critical importance of a continued and appropriate presence of UNAMA and other United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes in the provinces, in close consultation and coordination with and in support of the Afghan Government, in response to needs and with a view to security and including the objective of overall United Nations effectiveness;

“10.  Underscores the importance of a sustainable democratic development in Afghanistan based on inclusive, transparent and credible elections, welcomes in that regard the forthcoming organization of parliamentary elections in line with the relevant international conferences and the commitment of the Government of Afghanistan to deliver further improvements to the electoral progress and its ongoing efforts in this regard, and requests that, upon the request of the Government of Afghanistan, UNAMA provide assistance to the relevant Afghan institutions to support the integrity and inclusiveness of the electoral process, including measures to enable the full and safe participation of women and requests the Secretary-General to continue to include in his reports to the Security Council relevant information on the process of integration of women into the political, economic and social life of Afghanistan and further calls upon members of the international community to provide assistance as appropriate;

“11.  Calls on the United Nations, with the support of the international community, to support the Government of Afghanistan’s reform agenda;

“12.  Welcomes the continuing efforts of the Afghan Government to advance the peace process, including by the High Peace Council and the implementation of the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme, to promote an inclusive, Afghan-led and Afghan-owned dialogue on reconciliation and political participation, including the participation of women and women’s rights groups, as laid forth in the Kabul Conference Communiqué on dialogue for all those who as part of an outcome of such a process renounce violence, have no links to international terrorist organizations, respect the Constitution, and are willing to join in building a peaceful Afghanistan, and as further elaborated in the principles and outcomes of the Bonn Conference Conclusions, and encourages the Government of Afghanistan to make use of UNAMA’s good offices to support this process as appropriate, in full respect of the implementation of measures and procedures introduced by the relevant Security Council resolutions;

“13.  Stresses the role of UNAMA in supporting, if requested by and in close consultation with the Government of Afghanistan, an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process, while continuing to assess, including in collaboration with the AIHRC, the impact of the aforementioned peace process, with reference to the relevant parameters set out in the Kabul Conference Communiqué and the Bonn Conference Conclusions, and encourages the international community to assist the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan in this regard;

“14.  Welcomes and encourages the continuation of the efforts of all regional and international partners of Afghanistan to support peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan, in all formats, working toward holding early, direct talks between the Government of Afghanistan and authorized representatives of Taliban groups, and calls upon all regional and international partners of Afghanistan to continue these efforts;

“15.  Reaffirms the central role played by the JCMB, in a manner consistent with Afghan leadership, ownership and sovereignty, in coordinating, facilitating and monitoring the implementation of the Government of Afghanistan’s reform agenda, and calls upon all relevant actors to enhance their cooperation with the JCMB in this regard;

“16.  Reiterates the importance of increasing, in a comprehensive framework, the functionality, professionalism and accountability of the Afghan security sector in line with resolution 1325 (2000) and its successor resolutions on Women, Peace and Security through appropriate vetting procedures, training including on women’s and children’s rights in support of the implementation of Afghanistan’s 1325 National Action Plan, and stresses the importance of the commitment by the Government of Afghanistan and the international community to ensure a capable, professional and sustainable Afghan National Defence and Security Force (ANDSF);

“17.  Welcomes in this context the continued progress in the development of the Afghan National Army and its improved ability to plan and undertake operations, and encourages sustained training efforts and assistance, including through the contribution of trainers, resources, advisory teams, advice in developing a sustainable defence planning process, and assistance in defence reform initiatives;

“18.  Takes note of the ongoing efforts of the Afghan authorities to enhance the capabilities of the Afghan National Police, calls for further efforts towards that goal, including the commitment by the Ministry of Interior and the Afghan National Police to develop an effective strategy for coordinating increased recruitment, retention, training and capacity development for women in the Afghan National Police, fully implement Afghanistan’s 1325 National Action Plan, and further the implementation of their gender integration strategy, stresses the importance of international assistance through financial support and provision of trainers and mentors, and notes the importance of a sufficient and capable police force for Afghanistan’s long-term security;

“19.  Reiterates its support for the Government of Afghanistan, and in particular to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF), in securing their country and in their fight against terrorism and violent extremism, and calls upon the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, to continue to address the threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan posed by the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, as well as by Al‑Qaida, ISIL (Da’esh) affiliates and other terrorist groups, violent and extremist groups, illegal armed groups, criminals and those involved in the production, trafficking or trade of illicit drugs;

“20.  Reiterating its concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, in particular the ongoing region based violence and attacks by the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, as well as by Al-Qaida, ISIL (Da’esh) affiliates and other terrorist groups, violent and extremist groups, illegal armed groups, criminals, and foreign terrorist fighters, and calls upon all States in this regard to strengthen their international and regional security cooperation to enhance information-sharing, border control, law enforcement and criminal justice to better counter the threat posed, including from returning foreign terrorist fighters;

“21.  Condemns in the strongest terms all attacks, including improvised explosive device attacks, suicide attacks, assassinations and abductions, targeting civilians and Afghan and international forces and their deleterious effect on the stabilization, reconstruction and development efforts in Afghanistan, and condemns further the use by the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network as well as Al-Qaida, ISIL (Da’esh) affiliates, and by other terrorist groups, violent and extremist groups, and illegal armed groups of civilians as human shields;

“22.  Strongly condemns the continued flow of weapons, including small arms and light weapons (SALW), military equipment and IED components to the Taliban, including the Haqqani network, as well as by Al-Qaida, ISIL (Da’esh) affiliates and other terrorist groups, violent and extremist groups, illegal armed groups and criminals, and encourages Member States to share information, establish partnerships and develop national strategies and capabilities to counter IEDs;

“23.  Further condemns all acts of violence against diplomatic and consular officials and other representatives of the international community in Afghanistan, as well as the continued high incidence of attacks against humanitarian and development workers, including attacks on health-care workers and medical transports and facilities;

“24.  Welcomes the achievements to date in the implementation of the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan, notably the ratification of Protocol V on Explosive Remnants of War to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, and encourages the Government of Afghanistan, with the support of the United Nations and all the relevant actors, to continue its efforts towards the removal and destruction of anti-personnel landmines, anti-tank landmines and explosive remnants of war and to provide assistance for the care, rehabilitation, and economic and social reintegration of victims;

“25.  Notes concern over increasing child casualties and recruitment and use of children and the need for protection of schools and hospitals, reiterates its strong condemnation of all violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict, and calls for those responsible to be brought to justice, in this context, requests UNAMA to continue to support efforts to strengthen the protection of children affected by armed conflict, including engagement with the Afghan Government to fully implement the Action Plan and Road Map, and actions to address other violations and abuses, including sexual violence against children, and requests the Secretary-General to continue to give priority to the child protection activities and capacity of UNAMA and to include in his future reports the matter of children and armed conflict in the country in line with the relevant Security Council resolutions;

“26.  Calls upon States to strengthen international and regional cooperation to counter the threat to the international community posed by the production, trafficking, and consumption of illicit drugs originating in Afghanistan which significantly contribute to the financial resources of the Taliban and its associates, in accordance with the principle of common and shared responsibility in addressing the drug problem of Afghanistan, including through cooperation against the trafficking in illicit drugs and precursor chemicals, appreciates the work of the Paris Pact initiative and its “Paris-Moscow” process, as well as the efforts of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), underlines the importance of border management cooperation, and welcomes the intensified cooperation of the relevant United Nations institutions with the OSCE, the CSTO, and the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for combating the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors (CARICC) in this regard;

“27.  Welcomes the continued efforts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in empowering the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics-led implementation of the Afghan National Drug Control Strategy;

“28.  Reiterates the importance of accelerating the establishment of a fair and transparent justice system, eliminating impunity and strengthening the rule of law throughout the country, expresses its appreciation for the anti-corruption commitments by the Government of Afghanistan and initial measures taken in this regard, stresses the importance of further progress in the reconstruction and reform of the prison sector in Afghanistan, in order to improve the respect for the rule of law and human rights therein, emphasizes the importance of ensuring access for relevant organizations, as applicable, to all prisons and places of detention in Afghanistan, and calls for full respect for relevant international law including humanitarian law and human rights law;

“29.  Encourages all Afghan institutions, including the executive and legislative branches, to tackle corruption and to ensure good governance, and stresses the need for further international efforts to provide technical assistance in this area;

“30.  Calls for full respect for and protection for all human rights and fundamental freedoms, in accordance with international law, including international humanitarian law, throughout Afghanistan, and notes with concern the continued restrictions on freedom of media, including attacks against journalists by terrorist as well as extremist and criminal groups;

“31.  Calls for enhanced efforts, including on measurable and action-oriented objectives, to secure the rights and full participation of women and girls and to ensure that all women and girls in Afghanistan are protected from violence and abuse, that perpetrators of such violence and abuse are held accountable, and that women and girls enjoy equal protection under the law and equal access to justice;

“32.  Calls on international donors and organizations and the Afghan Government to adhere to their commitments made at the Kabul, Bonn, Tokyo, London, and Brussels Conferences;

“33.  Reaffirms its support to the ongoing Afghan-led regional efforts within the framework of the “Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan” and the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) Summits, and welcomes ongoing efforts to build trust and cooperation, including by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), as well as through the Trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, the Trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey, the Trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the UK;

“34.  Welcomes and urges further efforts to strengthen the process of regional economic cooperation, including measures to facilitate regional connectivity, trade and transit, including through regional development initiatives such as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (the Belt and Road) Initiative, and regional development projects, such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, the Central Asia South Asia Electricity Transmission and Trade Project (CASA-1000), the Chabahar port project, agreed between Afghanistan, India and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Lapis Lazuli Transit, Trade and Transport Route agreement and the Turkmenistan-Aqina and Herat-Khawaf railway segments, and bilateral transit trade agreements, expanded consular visa cooperation and facilitation of business travel, to expand trade, increase foreign investments and develop infrastructure, including infrastructural connectivity, energy supply, transport and integrated border management, with a view to promoting sustainable economic growth and the creation of jobs in Afghanistan and the region, and in this regard urges all relevant stakeholders to ensure a secure environment, integrate their development policies and strategies and promote the practical connectivity cooperation for these development initiatives and trade agreements to be fully implemented;

“35.  Recalls that regional security cooperation plays a key role in maintaining stability in Afghanistan and the region, welcomes the progress achieved by Afghanistan and regional partners in this regard, and calls for further efforts by Afghanistan and regional partners and organizations, to strengthen their partnership and cooperation, including to enhance the capabilities of the Afghan security forces and to enhance security in the region;

“36.  Expresses its concern over the recent increase in the number of internally displaced persons in and refugees from Afghanistan, strongly encourages intensified efforts by the Government of Afghanistan in making repatriation and reintegration of Afghan refugees among its highest national priorities including their voluntary, safe and dignified return, strongly supports the Government of Afghanistan’s efforts to create the necessary conditions for the repatriation and sustainable reintegration of Afghan refugees in the country, and calls for continued and enhanced international assistance in this regard;

“37.  Requests that the Secretary-General reports to the Council every three months on developments in Afghanistan, and to include in his reports an evaluation of progress made against the benchmarks for measuring and tracking progress in the implementation of UNAMA’s mandate, including at the subnational level, and priorities as set out in this resolution;

“38.  Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

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