As delivered by Political Counselor Christopher Robinson to the Permanent Council
Vienna, January 30, 2014
The United States would like to thank the Secretary General for raising the issue of the ODIHR Election Support Team to Afghanistan, and Finland for its contribution to this effort. We would also like to thank ODIHR for the Exploratory Team Report on its visit to Afghanistan earlier this month, which lays the foundation for the success of the Election Support Team.
Credible, transparent, and inclusive elections are critical to Afghanistan’s stability and democratic development and are important for the security of all OSCE participating States. It is in our best interests to assist the successful conduct of these elections by supporting ODIHR’s efforts. The clearest way for us to register this support is through a generous financial contribution.
The Permanent Council decided in October 2013 to send an Election Support Team to Afghanistan, following a request from the Government of Afghanistan. The United States has already contributed $500,000 and is prepared to provide an additional $1.5 million for the Election Support Team effort. We recognize that not everyone will be able to make this large of a contribution, but we urge fellow delegations to take on the challenge of having as many of us around this table contribute as possible. It is in this spirit that we call on all participating States and Partners for Cooperation to support generously this top OSCE priority.
Thank you, Madam Chair.