A Security Council mission wrapped up a visit to Afghanistan today urging the country's leaders and its international partners to intensify their efforts in bringing stability and security to the war-torn country while expressing cautious optimism for its future.
Speaking at a press conference, delegation leader Ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant' Agata of Italy said Afghanistan was faced with a difficult security situation, but not a security crisis.
“We should avoid any inclination to disillusion and frustration,” Mr. Terzi said. Adding, “This is instead time for Afghans and their international partners to redouble their joint efforts.”
Mr. Terzi also noted a number of recent positive turn of events including the marked improvement in relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, new energy in Government following a cabinet reshuffle and a significant drop in opium cultivation.
The a three-day visit included meetings with President Hamid Karzai, Government leaders, parliamentarians, civil society representatives, and members of the international community, including the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
The team – made up of ambassadors and representatives from the Council's 15 member countries – addressed several issues during their three-day visit, including governance, regional cooperation, elections, human rights and humanitarian issues, reconciliation, security, civilian casualties, socio and economic development, media, the situation for women, and the UN's role in assisting Afghanistan.