United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council have hailed the inauguration of Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai as new president of Afghanistan, with both noting the historic nature of the occasion which marks the first democratic transition of power in the country’s history.
In separate press statements issued on Monday, the UN chief also extended his congratulations to Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on being sworn in as the Chief Executive Officer and the Council members said they looked forward to the formation of the government of national unity with Dr. Abdullah in his new role.
“The Secretary-General notes the serious challenges facing Afghanistan and calls for the new government to be formed quickly and to work with all Afghans in a spirit of national unity,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in the statement.
“He applauds the great determination, patience and strength demonstrated by the Afghan people, and encourages the new government to uphold these virtues as it moves the country forward,” the spokesperson added.
In their statement, the members of the 15-member Council reiterated the importance of all parties in Afghanistan “working within the framework of the government of national unity in order to achieve a unified, peaceful and prosperous future for all the people of Afghanistan.”
The Council members also renewed their call for the government of national unity to effectively address the issues facing the country, including security, good governance, human rights, in particular for women and children, democracy and the fight against corruption, as well as economic recovery, improving the livelihood of its people and addressing the cross-cutting issue of counter-narcotics.
Secretary-General Ban reaffirmed the continued commitment of the United Nations to support the government and the people of Afghanistan in the new period of transition and beyond.
Representing the Secretary-General, his Special Representative for Afghanistan, Ján Kubiš, attended Monday’s inauguration ceremony in Kabul, accompanied by Deputy Special Representative and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative-designate, Nicholas Haysom.