September 23rd, 2007 07:00 EST
Adoption by UN Security Council of Resolution Extending Authorization of International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan
The UN Security Council on September 19 adopted resolution 1776 extending for another year the mandate of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF), which expires on October 13. The Russian Federation abstained in the vote.
Russia generally supports ISAF activities for stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan. We from the outset participated in the elaboration and approval of the mandate for this operation, recorded in the 2001 Bonn Agreements, and voted for the relevant UNSC decisions.
However, when working on the draft resolution this year, US representatives at the last stage brought into the draft a new element – the coalition Operation Enduring Freedom maritime interception component.
As this was an absolutely new category, previously not figuring in the Council’s decisions on either Afghanistan or another conflict situation, the Russian side asked for additional explanations and specifications.
During the exchange of views that followed, we presented specific considerations based on which Russia could support the UNSC decision. We wanted to clarify the issue of the mechanism of using the maritime component, but this suggestion was not taken into account. As a compromise we proposed reflecting the imperative of observance of international law and national legislation in carrying out any actions involving interception and inspection of ships in the Indian Ocean’s waters.
But our concerns were ignored and the cosponsors hastened the vote on the draft resolution, although there was still about one month before the expiry of ISAF’s mandate. This left Russia no choice but to abstain.
Moscow believes that a consensus adoption of resolution 1776 could have been possible if a number of delegations showed a disposition towards constructive engagement and consideration for the partners’ positions. We are ready to work in this vein as subsequent resolutions are considered with respect to Afghanistan.
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