United Nations Security Council Resolution 1868

Adopted by the Security Council at its 6098th meeting, on 23 March 2009

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular its resolution 1806 (2008) extending through 23 March 2009 the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) as established by resolution 1662 (2006), and its resolution 1659 (2006) endorsing the Afghanistan Compact, and recalling also the report of the Security Council mission to Afghanistan, 21 to 28 November 2008 (S/2008/782),

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan,

Stressing the importance of a comprehensive approach to address the situation in Afghanistan, and recognizing that there is no purely military solution to ensure the stability of Afghanistan,

Reaffirming its continued support for the Government and people of Afghanistan as they rebuild their country, strengthen the foundations of sustainable peace and constitutional democracy and assume their rightful place in the community of nations,

Reaffirming in this context its support for the implementation, under the ownership of the Afghan people, of the Afghanistan Compact, of the Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and of the National Drugs Control Strategy, and noting that sustained and coordinated efforts by all relevant actors are required to consolidate progress made towards their implementation and to overcome continuing challenges,

Recalling that the Afghanistan Compact is based on a partnership between the Afghan Government and the international community, based on the desire of the parties for Afghanistan to progressively assume responsibility for its own development and security, and with a central and impartial coordinating role for the United Nations,

Stressing the central and impartial role that the United Nations continues to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan by leading the efforts of the international community, including, jointly with the Government of Afghanistan, the coordination and monitoring of efforts in implementing the Afghanistan Compact, and expressing its appreciation and strong support for the ongoing efforts of the Secretary-General, his Special Representative for Afghanistan and the women and men of UNAMA,

Welcoming the continued commitment of the international community to support the stability and development of Afghanistan, and also welcoming in this regard international initiatives including the special conference on Afghanistan under the aegis of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to be held in Moscow on 27 March 2009, the International Conference on Afghanistan to be held in The Hague on 31 March 2009 and the Outreach Session of the G8 Ministerial Meeting to be held in Trieste on 26 to 27 June 2009,

Welcoming ongoing efforts to ensure an orderly, open, fair and democratic process that preserves stability and security through the election period, underscoring the challenges that the Afghan Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is successfully confronting, and welcoming the announcement by the IEC to hold presidential and provincial council elections in August 2009,

Recognizing once again the interconnected nature of the challenges in Afghanistan, reaffirming that sustainable progress on security, governance and development, as well as the cross-cutting issue of counter-narcotics is mutually reinforcing and welcoming the continuing efforts of the Afghan Government and the international community to address these challenges through a comprehensive approach,

Stressing the importance of a comprehensive approach in addressing the challenges in Afghanistan and noting, in this context, the synergies in the objectives of UNAMA and of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), and stressing the need for strengthened cooperation, coordination and mutual support, taking due account of their respective designated responsibilities,

Stressing the need of urgently addressing the humanitarian situation through improving the reach, quality and quantity of humanitarian aid, ensuring efficient, effective and timely coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance through enhanced coordination among the United Nations agencies, funds and programmes under the authority of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and between the United Nations and other donors, and through the expansion and strengthening of the United Nations humanitarian presence in the provinces, where it is most needed,

Condemning the increasing attacks against humanitarian workers, and underlining the need for all parties to ensure safe and unhindered access of all humanitarian actors, including United Nations staff and associated personnel, and comply fully with applicable international humanitarian law,

Reiterating its concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, in particular the increased violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, illegally armed groups, criminals and those involved in the narcotics trade, and the increasingly strong links between terrorism activities and illicit drugs, resulting in threats to the local population, including children, national security forces and international military and civilian personnel,

Expressing also its serious concern over the harmful consequences of violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist 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,

Recognizing the increased threats posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist groups as well as the challenges related to the efforts to address such threats,

Recalling its resolutions 1674 (2006) and 1738 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, expressing its concern at the high number of civilian casualties as stated in the recent report of the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan, reiterating its call for all feasible steps to be taken to ensure the protection of civilians, and calling for compliance with international humanitarian and human rights law as applicable,

Expressing also concern with the serious threat that anti-personnel mines, remnants of war and improvised explosive devices may pose to the civilian population, and stressing the need to refrain from the use of weapons and devices prohibited by international law,

Welcoming the declaration addressed to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) by the Government of Afghanistan that there is no legal use for acetic anhydride in Afghanistan for the time being and that producing and exporting countries should abstain from authorizing the export of this substance to Afghanistan without the request from the Afghan Government, and encouraging, pursuant to resolution 1817 (2008), Member States to increase their cooperation with the INCB, notably by fully complying with the provisions of article 12 of the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988,

Recalling the importance of the Kabul Declaration of 22 December 2002 on Good-Neighbourly Relations (Kabul Declaration) (S/2002/1416), looking forward to the Third Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan to be held in Islamabad, and stressing the crucial importance of advancing regional cooperation as an effective means to promote security, governance and development in Afghanistan,

Expressing its support for the Afghan-Pakistani Peace Jirga process,

Recalling its resolutions 1265 (1999), 1296 (2000), 1674 (2006) and 1738 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, its resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008) on women and peace and security, and its resolution 1612 (2005) on children and armed conflict, and taking note of the report of the Secretary-General (S/2008/695) on Children and Armed Conflict in Afghanistan,

1. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 10 March 2009 (S/2009/135);

2. Expresses its appreciation for the United Nations long-term commitment to work with 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;

3. Decides to extend the mandate of UNAMA, as defined in its resolutions 1662 (2006), 1746 (2007) and 1806 (2008), until 23 March 2010;

4. Decides further that UNAMA and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, within their mandate and guided by the principle of reinforcing Afghan ownership and leadership, will continue to lead the international civilian efforts, in accordance with their priorities as laid out in paragraph 4 of its resolution 1806 (2008), to, namely:

(a) promote, as co-chair of the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB), more coherent support by the international community to the Afghan Government and the adherence to the principles of aid effectiveness enumerated in the Afghanistan Compact, including through mobilization of resources, coordination of the assistance provided by international donors and organizations, and direction of the contributions of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, in particular for counter-narcotics, reconstruction and development activities;

(b) strengthen the cooperation with ISAF at all levels and throughout the country, in accordance with their existing mandates, in order to improve civil-military coordination, to facilitate the timely exchange of information and to ensure coherence between the activities of national and international security forces and of civilian actors in support of an Afghan-led development and stabilization process, including through engagement with provincial reconstruction teams and engagement with non-governmental organizations;

(c) through a strengthened and expanded presence throughout the country, provide political outreach, promote at the local level the implementation of the Compact, of the ANDS and of the National Drugs Control Strategy, and facilitate inclusion in and understanding of the Government’s policies;

(d) provide good offices to support, if requested by the Afghan Government, the implementation of Afghan-led reconciliation programmes, within the framework of the Afghan Constitution and with full respect for the implementation of measures introduced by the Security Council in its resolution 1267 (1999) and other relevant resolutions of the Council;

(e) support and strengthen efforts to improve governance and the rule of law and to combat corruption at the local and national levels, and to promote development initiatives at the local level with a view to helping bring the benefits of peace and deliver services in a timely and sustainable manner;

(f) play a central coordinating role to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance in accordance with humanitarian principles and with a view to building the capacity of the Afghan Government, 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 and internally displaced persons;

(g) continue, with the support of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to cooperate with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), to cooperate also with relevant international and local non-governmental organizations, to monitor the situation of civilians, to coordinate efforts to ensure their protection and to assist in the full implementation of the fundamental freedoms and human rights provisions of the Afghan Constitution and

(h) support, at the request of the Afghan authorities, preparations for the crucial upcoming presidential elections, in particular through the IEC, by providing technical assistance, coordinating other international donors, agencies and organizations providing assistance and channelling existing and additional funds earmarked to support the process;

(i) support regional cooperation to work towards a stable and prosperous Afghanistan;

5. 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;

6. Stresses the importance of strengthening and expanding the presence of UNAMA and other United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in the provinces, encourages the Secretary-General to continue his current efforts to take necessary measures to address the security issues associated with such strengthening and expansion, and underlines the authority of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the coordination of all activities of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes in Afghanistan;

7. Underscores the importance of the upcoming presidential and provincial council elections to Afghanistan'€™s democratic development, calls for all efforts to be made to ensure the credibility, safety and security of the elections, recognizes UNAMA's key role, at the request of the Afghan Government, in supporting the electoral process, and calls upon members of the international community to provide the necessary assistance to these ends;

8. Calls on the Afghan Government, and the international community and international organizations, to implement the Afghanistan Compact and its annexes in full, and stresses in this context the importance of meeting the benchmarks and timelines of the Compact for progress on security, governance, the rule of law and human rights, and economic and social development, as well as the cross-cutting issue of counter-narcotics;

9. Reaffirms the central role played by the JCMB in coordinating, facilitating and monitoring the implementation of the Compact and calls upon all relevant actors to cooperate with the JCMB in this regard;

10. Calls on international donors and organizations and the Afghan Government to adhere to their commitments made at the International Conference in Support of Afghanistan, held in Paris on 12 June 2008 and reiterates the importance of further efforts in improving aid coordination and effectiveness, including by ensuring transparency, and combating corruption;

11. Calls upon the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, including ISAF and the Operation Enduring Freedom coalition, in accordance with their respective designated responsibilities as they evolve, to continue to address the threat to the security and stability of Afghanistan posed by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, illegally armed groups, criminals and those involved in the narcotics trade;

12. Condemns in the strongest terms all attacks, including Improvised Explosive Device attacks, suicide attacks 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 and other extremist groups of civilians as human shields;

13. Welcomes the achievements to date in the implementation of the Mine Action Programme of Afghanistan, 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 of anti-personnel landmines, anti-tank landmines and explosive remnants of war in order to reduce the threats posed to human life and peace and security in the country;

14. Recognizes the efforts taken by ISAF and other international forces to minimize the risk of civilian casualties, and calls on them to continue to take robust efforts in this regard, notably by the continuous review of tactics and procedures and the conduct of after-action reviews and investigations in cooperation with the Afghan Government in cases where civilian casualties have occurred and when the Afghan Government finds these joint investigations appropriate;

15. 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;

16. Expresses its strong concern about the recruitment and use of children by Taliban forces in Afghanistan as well as the killing and maiming of children as a result of the conflict, reiterates its strong condemnation of the recruitment and use of child soldiers in violation of applicable international law and all other violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict, in particular attacks against schools, calls for those responsible to be brought to justice, stresses the importance of implementing Security Council resolution 1612 (2005), in this context, and requests the Secretary-General to strengthen the child protection component of UNAMA, in particular through the appointment of child protection advisers;

17. Reiterates the importance of increasing, in a comprehensive framework, the functionality, professionalism and accountability of the Afghan security sector through training, mentoring and empowerment efforts, in order to accelerate progress towards the goal of self-sufficient and ethnically balanced Afghan security forces providing security and ensuring the rule of law throughout the country;

18. 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, including through the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams, and advice in developing a sustainable defence planning process as well as assistance in defence reform initiatives;

19. Takes note with appreciation of the recent serious efforts of the Afghan authorities to enhance the capabilities of the Afghan National Police, calls for further efforts towards that goal, including through the Focused District Development, and stresses the importance, in this context, of international assistance through financial support and provision of trainers and mentors, including through the contribution of the European Union through its police mission (EUPOL Afghanistan);

20. Welcomes the progress in the implementation by the Afghan Government of the programme of disbandment of illegal armed groups, and calls for accelerated efforts for further progress, with support from the international community;

21. Takes note of the recent progress in addressing opium production, remains concerned at the serious harm that opium cultivation, production and trafficking continue to cause to the security, development and governance of Afghanistan as well as to the region and internationally, calls on the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, to accelerate the implementation of the National Drug Control Strategy, including through alternative livelihood programmes, and to mainstream counter-narcotics throughout national programmes, and encourages additional international support for the four priorities identified in that Strategy;

22. Calls upon States to strengthen international and regional cooperation to counter the threat to the international community posed by the illicit production and trafficking of drugs originated in Afghanistan, including through border management cooperation in drug control and cooperation for the fight against the illicit trafficking in drugs and precursors and against money-laundering linked to such trafficking, taking into account the outcome of the Second Ministerial Conference on Drug Trafficking Routes from Afghanistan organized by the Government of the Russian Federation in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime held in Moscow from 26 to 28 June 2006 (S/2006/598), within the framework of the Paris Pact initiative, and, in this regard, calls for full implementation of its resolution 1817 (2008);

23. Welcomes the launch of the National Justice Programme, and reiterates the importance of its full, sequenced, timely and coordinated implementation by all the relevant Afghan institutions and other actors in view of accelerating the establishment of a fair and transparent justice system, eliminating impunity and contributing to the affirmation of the rule of law throughout the country;

24. Stresses in this context 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;

25. Notes with strong concern the effects of widespread corruption on security, good governance, counter-narcotics efforts and economic development, and urges the Afghan Government, with the assistance of the international community, to vigorously lead the fight against corruption, and to enhance its efforts to establish a more effective, accountable and transparent administration;

26. Encourages all Afghan institutions, including the executive and legislative branches, to work in a spirit of cooperation, calls on the Afghan Government to pursue continued legislative and public administration reform in order to ensure good governance, full representation and accountability at both national and subnational levels, and stresses the need for further international efforts to provide technical assistance in this area;

27. Encourages the international community to assist the Government of Afghanistan in making capacity-building and human resources development a crosscutting priority;

28. Calls for full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and international humanitarian law throughout Afghanistan, notes with concern the increasing restrictions on freedom of media, commends the AIHRC for its courageous efforts to monitor respect for human rights in Afghanistan as well as to foster and protect these rights and to promote the emergence of a pluralistic civil society, and stresses the importance of full cooperation with the AIHRC by all relevant actors;

29. Recognizes the significant progress achieved on gender equality in Afghanistan in recent years, strongly condemns continuing forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, in particular violence aimed at preventing girls from attending schools, stresses the importance of implementing Security Council resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008), and requests the Secretary-General to continue to include in its reports to the Security Council relevant information on the process of integration of women into the political, economic and social life of Afghanistan;

30. Welcomes the efforts of the Afghan Government to promote dialogue with those elements in opposition to the Government who are ready to renounce violence, denounce terrorism and accept the Afghan Constitution, and calls for enhanced efforts to ensure the full implementation of the Action Plan on Peace, Justice and Reconciliation in accordance with the Afghanistan Compact, without prejudice to the implementation of measures introduced by the Security Council in its resolution 1267 (1999) of 15 October 1999 and other relevant resolutions of the Security Council;

31. Welcomes the cooperation of the Afghan Government and UNAMA with the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) with the implementation of resolution 1822 (2008), including by identifying individuals and entities participating in the financing or support of acts or activities of Al-Qaida and the Taliban using proceeds derived from illicit cultivation, production and trafficking of narcotic drugs and their precursors, and encourages the continuation of such cooperation;

32. Welcomes ongoing efforts by the Government of Afghanistan and its neighbouring and regional partners to foster trust and cooperation with each other as well as recent cooperation initiatives developed by the countries concerned and regional organizations, including the Second Trilateral Summit of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey held in Istanbul in December 2008 and the ministerial meeting in La Celle Saint-Cloud, France, in December 2008, and stresses the importance of increasing cooperation between Afghanistan and the partners against the Taliban, Al-Qaida and other extremist groups, in promoting peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and in fostering cooperation in the economic and development sectors as a means to achieve the full integration of Afghanistan into regional dynamics and the global economy;

33. Calls for strengthening the process of regional economic cooperation, including measures to facilitate regional trade, to increase foreign investments and to develop infrastructure, noting Afghanistan's historic role as a land bridge in Asia;

34. Recognizes the importance of voluntary, safe, orderly return and sustainable reintegration of the remaining Afghan refugees for the stability of the country and the region, and calls for continued and enhanced international assistance in this regard;

35. Affirms also the importance of voluntary, safe, orderly return and sustainable reintegration of the internally displaced persons;

36. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every three months on developments in Afghanistan, and to develop, for inclusion in his next report, benchmarks for measuring and tracking progress in the implementation of UNAMA'€™s mandate and priorities as set out in paragraph 4 of this resolution, and calls on all actors concerned to cooperate with UNAMA in this process;

37. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

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