UN / AFGHANISTAN

10-Sep-2019 00:02:05
UN Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto said recent events in the country show the urgency of finding a political settlement and stressed that it was “imperative” for talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban “commence as soon as possible.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / AFGHANISTAN
TRT: 2:05
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 10 SEPTEMBER 2019, NEW YORK CITY
SHOTLIST
FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

10 SEPTEMBER 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Tadamichi Yamamoto, Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, United Nations:
“Conflict can only be resolved by direct talks between Afghan people. These talks must be inclusive, representing the whole spectrum of Afghan society. It is imperative therefore that direct talks between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban commence as soon as possible.”
4. Med shot, ambassadors
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Tadamichi Yamamoto, Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, United Nations:
“Any political settlement must include a promise to continue to protect and advance human rights and fundamental freedoms for all who live in Afghanistan, including those of women, youth, and minorities as well as the freedom of expression and the media.”
6. Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Tadamichi Yamamoto, Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, United Nations:
“Attacks directed against polling centres and civilians participating in the electoral process are unacceptable; they are clear violations of international law. I urge the Taliban to retract this threat, and I urge the Government to provide adequate security arrangements to safeguard the electoral process.”
8. Med shot, delegates
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Adela Raz, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations:
“Despite all the security threats and challenges, the people of Afghanistan are determined to hold and participate in the elections. The casting of each ballot by a cross-section of our society will, yet again, signify our people's firm determination of to our journey towards stability, democracy and prosperity. Afghanistan wants to move forward not backward. We must respect the desire of Afghan people and should not pre-judge the credibility of the election, or question or underestimate the turn out.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council
STORYLINE
UN Special Representative for Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto said recent events in the country show the urgency of finding a political settlement and stressed that it was “imperative” for talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban “commence as soon as possible.”

Briefing the Security Council today (10 Sep), Yamamoto said the conflict could “only be resolved by direct talks between Afghan people” adding that these talks must be “inclusive, representing the whole spectrum of Afghan society.” He said people around the country hope for an end to the conflict, but also fear that peace might come at the sacrifice of freedom and rights.

SOUNDBITE (English) Tadamichi Yamamoto, Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, United Nations:
“Any political settlement must include a promise to continue to protect and advance human rights and fundamental freedoms for all who live in Afghanistan, including those of women, youth, and minorities as well as the freedom of expression and the media.”

The Special Repetitive said the United Nations fully supports the efforts of the Independent Election Commission as the country prepares for its fourth presidential election since 2001 set for 28 September. He said technical and operational preparations for the elections are on track, but expressed concern over the security situation, voter turnout, and the possibility of fraud and irregularities.

Yamamoto highlighted Afghan citizens’ anxiety, particularly in view of the Taliban’s stated threat to disrupt the electoral process, especially by targeting civilians participating in the elections. He said, “Attacks directed against polling centres and civilians participating in the electoral process are unacceptable; they are clear violations of international law. I urge the Taliban to retract this threat, and I urge the Government to provide adequate security arrangements to safeguard the electoral process.”

Afghan ambassador Adela Raz said her Government was approaching the elections with a full and unprecedented commitment to ensure a transparent, free, credible and inclusive process, in accordance with the strong demand of its people. She said the Government would also spare no efforts in ensuring the safety and security of voters.

Raz stressed that despite all the security threats and challenges, “the people of Afghanistan are determined to hold and participate in the elections. The casting of each ballot by a cross-section of our society will, yet again, signify our people's firm determination of to our journey towards stability, democracy and prosperity. Afghanistan wants to move forward not backward. We must respect the desire of Afghan people and should not pre-judge the credibility of the election, or question or underestimate the turn out.” She called on the Security Council and Afghanistan’s international partners to support the Afghan people in their quest for democracy.
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