News / Asia

UN Urges Smooth Transition; Elections in Afghanistan

FILE - Jan Kubis, the U.N. Secretary-General's special representative to Afghanistan (2012 photo)FILE - Jan Kubis, the U.N. Secretary-General's special representative to Afghanistan (2012 photo)
x
FILE - Jan Kubis, the U.N. Secretary-General's special representative to Afghanistan (2012 photo)
FILE - Jan Kubis, the U.N. Secretary-General's special representative to Afghanistan (2012 photo)
Margaret Besheer
The United Nations' top diplomat in Afghanistan said Thursday that a smooth transition of political power next year largely depends on well-planned, credible and timely elections.

In a briefing to the U.N. Security Council, Jan Kubis warned that the coming months are likely to see heavy fighting, as Afghan security forces crack down on anti-government elements across the country and insurgents target security personnel and civilians in return.

He noted an increase in high-profile attacks and said more than a thousand civilians, many of them children, have been killed since January - nearly 25 percent more people than were killed in the same period last year.

Afghanistan is preparing for elections next April, but Kubis warned that continued delay in passing two important pieces of electoral legislation has raised doubts about the intention to hold the vote in a timely and credible manner.

“There is no alternative to inclusive and transparent elections as a means of delivering political transition with the necessary degree of legitimacy and acceptability.  The elections are central to international and domestic legitimacy and sustained extraordinary support of the international community for the new government,” Kubis said.

On the opening of a new Taliban office in Qatar this week, and the fallout which led to Afghanistan canceling security talks with the United States, Kubis said he hoped this would soon be resolved so talks between the Afghan High Peace Council and the Taliban could begin.

Afghanistan’s Ambassador Zahir Tanin criticized the Taliban for inaugurating its office in a manner he said went against the very spirit of peace.  He said Afghanistan broke off talks with the United States, because it expects its allies “to stand against any threat to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.”

The U.S. envoy said Washington has made clear that the Taliban office must not be treated as, or represent itself as, an embassy or other office representing the Afghan Taliban as an emirate, government, or sovereign.

In remarks directed at Pakistan, Ambassador Tanin warned that terrorism continues to pose a serious threat to Afghanistan’s peace and stability.

“So long as terrorist sanctuaries continue to exist in Pakistan’s soil and some elements continue to use terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy, peace will not prevail; neither in Afghanistan, nor in the region,” Tanin said.

Pakistan’s envoy rejected those remarks, saying before the council that all state institutions agree that terrorism is a threat to both Pakistan and Afghanistan and both countries should work together to eliminate it.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid