(MENAFN- Daily Outlook Afghanistan) KABUL - United Nations (UN) Special Representative for AfghanistanTadamichi Yamamoto has said that both peace process, and upcoming presidentialelections remained top priorities for the UN, according to a statement onSunday.
'Regarding efforts related to the upcoming presidential elections and thework to create an initial peace framework in Afghanistan, I wish to reiteratethat both processes are top priorities for the UN, the statement quoted him assaying.
'Considering the various media reports speculating about the position ofthe United Nations on these two fundamental issues, let me be clear: Neitherprocess should be harmed or held back by the other; both processes must moveforward with the full force and commitment of all stakeholders. While there areclear links between these critical processes, as they both will substantiallyaffect Afghanistan's future, the United Nations will continue to do all it canin both areas.
'As I told the UN Security Council less than two weeks ago, thepresidential elections scheduled for 28 September will be a key moment toreaffirm the legitimacy of Afghanistan's democratic political structure. Thisvital political foundation needs to be laid to ensure that the vote will becredible and the outcome accepted, he said.
All participants in the process – candidates, supporters, governmentofficials, civil society organizations, national security forces, politicalleaders, political parties, media, the election management bodies and voters –have an important role and collective responsibility to ensure that the processis credible and transparent.
Afghanistan cannot afford a contentious and protracted post-election crisisthat could result in a president with brittle democratic and domesticlegitimacy, as this would harm the new president's ability to bring the Afghanpeople together in a meaningful and representative peace process.
In addition to fully supporting the efforts of Afghanistan's electoralmanagement bodies with technical guidance through the 28 September presidentialelections, the United Nations will continue to work to support all peaceefforts, which are of utmost importance. Attaining peace will require theefforts of many, but with the international community's support forAfghanistan's full ownership of the process, I am cautiously optimistic that weare moving in the right direction. (Pajhwok)
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