|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
5 June 1991 â€“ 3 February 1993
|Prime Minister||Sid Ahmed Ghozali
|Preceded by||Sid Ahmed Ghozali|
|Succeeded by||Redha Malek|
|United Nations and Arab League Envoy to Syria|
1 September 2012 â€“ 31 May 2014
|Secretary General||Ban Ki-moon (UN)
Nabil Elaraby (AL)
|Preceded by||Kofi Annan|
|Succeeded by||Staffan de Mistura|
1 January 1934 |
El Azizia, Algeria
|Political party||National Liberation Front|
|Alma mater||University of Algiers|
There is an expression now that is commonly used about these so-called internal conflicts which are not really internal, because they have connections to the outside world.
In Rwanda that genocide happened because the international community and the Security Council refused to give, again, another 5000 troops which would have cost, I don't know, maybe fifty, a hundred, million dollars.
In the globalized world that is ours, maybe we are moving towards a global village, but that global village brings in a lot of different people, a lot of different ideas, lots of different backgrounds, lots of different aspirations.
So, the international community are all the countries that are important: the United States definitely everywhere; the European Union because it is very important, and also, they do show a great deal of international responsibility; and then the local players.
The events of September 11 and what has happened since have made people understand that even a small, distant and far away country like Afghanistan cannot be left to break up into anarchy and chaos without consequences for the whole world.
Several million people inside and outside Afghanistan are destitute and desperately in need of help.
However, it does seem now that the international community, more importantly the powers that have influence, and, even more importantly, Afghanistan's neighbors realize that it is high time that they work together, and not against one another.
You are dealing with people who have taken the responsibility of killing their own because they think that they are right, they think that they are serving the interests of their people. They not going to give that up easily, just because you've shown up.
At times one feels that what is being said in the West is that the fact that you are a Muslim predisposes you to this blind, stupid terrorism.
People now realize that globalization is not only for the multi-nationals and the circulation of money.
The mandate you go with is intimidating and also is a source of respect that you gain, because you have come with this mandate from the United Nations.
But you've got to understand what the other guy is about, even if at the end of the process you decide that there is no ground with this man or woman except to fight them.
I think a failed state is the responsibility of the people who have made that state fail, and those are generally the people of that country.
There is an element of luck, there is an element of trial and error, sometimes you fail, sometimes you succeed. It's not as beautifully simple as it may seem when we are talking about it.
But you are absolutely right that when the international community decides to help in a meaningful manner a country like Afghanistan, then coordination between the various actors that are involved in these processes is very, very difficult indeed.
What again I tell my people is that no matter how much you know, it's never enough. You will always discover, after the fact, that you've missed something.
If you are talking about terrorism, you need to sit down and understand what is making these people put dynamite around their waists and blow themselves up.
There is a story which is not being told strongly enough of the Afghan employees of the UN inside the country who are saving hundreds of thousands of lives everyday by their bravery and nobody talks of them.
Somebody was asking me the other day – President Bush is now talking about freedom for the Arab world. I say, well, that's great. I was talking about that fifty years ago.
A fly cannot go in unless it stops somewhere; therefore weapons, fuel, food, money will not go to Afghanistan unless the neighbors of Afghanistan are working, are cooperating, either being themselves the origin or the transit.
There is a firm, clear commitment to provide resources and ideas to enable us to organize the Afghans towards starting the process of rehabilitation and reconstruction.
There is also a natural and very, very strong empathy with the underdog, with people who have suffered, people who have been pushed around by foreigners in particular, but also by their own people.
It also seems that the Afghans themselves want to avail themselves of this opportunity and all recognize that the UN is uniquely qualified to help bring them together.
Iraq is a country that has been invaded. It's not a failing state that you want to help. It's a country that was functioning good or bad, with a horrible dictator, but you have invaded.
The third point is that for some time the UN has been talking about helping Afghanistan in the reconstruction of the country but there has never been any real commitment by the international community to provide resources for that.
But I knew that what had happened was an eye-opener not only to the United States but also to Pakistan, who realized that after what has happened on the 11th of September, it was simply impossible to continue to play those games in Afghanistan.
When you go from one place to another, you go with experience, you don't go with prescriptions.
To leave Afghanistan as a playground for terrorists and adventurers was simply not possible anymore.