Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gulf Security Conference to be held in The Netherlands

Press Release of Opening Remarks to be given by BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations

United Nations Conference on Afghanistan and Regional Security, March 31, 2009

by Neil Kitson from GoogleCrypt, world security website.

Good Morning.

On behalf of The United Nations, I am pleased to welcome you all here to The Hague for this one day Gulf Regional Security Conference on Afghanistan. We are a long way from the Gulf of Arabia but a short distance from NATO headquarters, which is perfect. One day should be enough to sort this out.

For those of you travelling with family and significant others, I encourage you to take advantage of tours to the International Criminal Court, where some of you should be indicted in the near future, and Amsterdam coffee houses, where consumers of Afghanistan agricultural products can be located.

The United Nations has always taken an interest in Afghanistan and the welfare of its people, despite the fact that our mine-clearing program has run out of money. Security Council Resolution 1386 and subsequent extensions makes clear the resolve of the UN to "root out" the problem of international terrorism, while at the same time fostering the development of a democratic, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan.

It's a lovely thought.

[March 22 -- paragraph with incorrect information omitted. Invitations for this conference can be found at the Dutch Foreign Ministry website. Apologies for lousy editing. On the other hand, there is a plan to "unveil" a new "executive" for Afghanistan at the same conference. --NK]

I note that there has been extensive co-operation between the United Nations operation in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the NATO-led International Stabilization and Assistance Force (ISAF), in that they meet once a week. I'd really like to be in on some of those meetings but I don't have adequate security clearances. I would particularly like to discover how UNAMA and ISAF arrive at such divergent estimates of civilian casualties caused by ISAF air attacks. I'm sure there must be a reason. Just like there must be a good reason Afghanistan is short over $100 million for the UN mine clearing program.

Anyway, I look forward to a constructive conference that will produce an action plan that will later, at some point, be communicated to the Afghan people in a form they can understand.

Please turn off all personal electronic devices including GPS locators, and visit the NATO and NSA hospitality suites.