“I am convinced that a political settlement is possible,” Tadamichi Yamamoto told the UN Security Council in his latest briefing, citing progress, still daunting challenges, and opportunities for political engagement.
“We should not let another fighting season begin without progress towards substantive negotiations. Opportunities will be lost, with the cost paid in thousands of Afghan lives and at tremendous financial cost.
“I appeal to the countries in the region to conduct a profound reassessment of their strategic interest and renew work towards a viable peace process leading to an Afghan-owned solution to the conflict. If requested, the United Nations stands ready to assist all parties to achieve this goal.”
Yamamoto said that U.S. announcement in August of a continuing, conditions-based commitment has removed some uncertainties, adding that regional countries and key States are actively seeking to promote regional engagements for peace.
He stressed that preparations leading to a peace process are complex and efforts must be pragmatic and flexible.
“The security situation continues to be a major concern,” he stressed, citing the persistence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Da’esh) in the east of the country, with new Da’esh activity reported in the north as well as in Kabul, the capital, making the situation more complex.”
Meanwhile, the U.N. in a periodic report on Afghanistan said that 5,532 security-related incidents were recorded in the country between 15th June and 31st August, a three percent increase compared with the same period last year.
Moreover, by the end of August 2017, the United Nations had recorded more than 16,290 security – related incidents for the first eight months of the year.