UNSC Briefing & Consultations on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
Our collective aspirations for the people of Afghanistan, more than 16 months since the Taliban authorities took over the country, continues to be frustrated by the State practices and policies that have been adopted since August 2021. We believe that Afghanistan, with its known history as an ancient buffer state in global politics and an early member of this Organisation, deserves its rightful place in the comity of nations. We therefore encourage the continuing role of UNAMA and support the leadership of SRSG Roza Otunbayeva in promoting respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms of Afghan people, including women and girls; scaling up responses to existing and new humanitarian emergencies; working towards economic recovery; and facilitating dialogue between communities and the de facto authorities, especially at the subnational level, on inclusive, participatory and responsive governance. We thank the SRSG for today’s briefing.
We also thank USG Martin Griffiths for his briefing on the humanitarian situation and the Chair of the 1988 Committee, Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj for drawing our attention to the continuing implications of the Taliban Sanctions regime on the situation in Afghanistan. To Ms. Mahbouba Seraj, we remain grateful for your clear and gendered voice, which reminds us that women cannot be displaced from the progress and future of Afghanistan.
The resolution of the situation in Afghanistan is one that requires the support of all of us. We cannot afford to be indifferent to the reported 23% rise in security-related incidents, including allegations of human rights abuses and violations against former government officials, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, IED detonations, assassinations, armed clashes, and ill-treatment of innocent civilians. For the Afghan people to look into the future with any degree of optimism or confidence, this Council must prioritise the security and economic challenges facing Afghanistan. Indeed, we should be concerned at the deterioration of the security and economic situation in that country and must mobilise its leaders, regional powers, and the international community in supporting a coherent and coordinated international action for the country’s national peace process and economic development. In this regard, we note the outcome of the Sixth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, which took place on 13 October in Astana, Kazakhstan and welcome the President Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan’s proposal for the formation of an international group of high-level negotiators to engage the de facto authorities.
It is important that, collectively, we underscore to the de facto authorities that if they are unable to presently fulfil the socio-economic aspirations of the Afghan people, they should not worsen their plight by depriving them of their rights and dignity. They must therefore be strongly encouraged to assume their responsibility by facilitating the rule of law, respecting the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the Afghan people, and promoting inclusive governance. The Taliban needs to be reminded that Afghan women and girls, like all Afghans, need to be treated with respect and decency in all aspects of life. In this regard, we reiterate the numerous calls made by the international community, urging the Taliban to respect the rights of all girls and women to an education, employment, and participation in public and cultural life. We urge them to abide by all international human rights obligations and commitments incumbent upon Afghanistan and fully implement the human rights standards that Afghanistan has voluntarily acceded to.
We note the challenging humanitarian situation in Afghanistan estimated as affecting some 28.3 million Afghans and urge the scaling up of funding to fill the shortfall required to meet the humanitarian needs for the rest of this month and beyond. We encourage UNAMA’s active role in maintaining its field presence at existing levels to protect vital linkages between international and local actors, create local competencies, and facilitate access for humanitarian organizations. The continued retention of the Central Bank of Afghanistan’s US$9.5 billion international financial reserves amid the present socio-economic challenges in Afghanistan is unjustifiable. While we note the wellintentioned establishment of the US$3.5 billion Afghan Fund to help stabilize Afghanistan’s economy, we believe that more should be done, and quickly, to help the early recovery of Afghanistan and the rebuilding of the resilience of its people.
Before concluding let me reiterate the condemnation of my delegation against the attack on the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Kabul as well as the attempted assassination of a Pakistani Diplomat in recent days. The international community’s presence in Afghanistan is to assist that important nation to rediscover its strength and capabilities. Attacks against diplomatic missions and their agents are unacceptable and the provision of safe havens to terrorist groups would not inure to the benefit of the Taliban and cannot be countenanced.
Finally, it is Ghana’s desire to see Afghanistan as a peaceful, stable, prosperous, and a responsible nation capable of addressing the socioeconomic aspirations of its people. We therefore call for an end to the senseless violence that we see in that country and reiterate our belief that all efforts should be directed by the Taliban towards the pursuit of inclusive and sustainable peace, which is central to achieving the desired development. It is only the Afghan people who can derail the rebuilding of their country and the course of their future. We would support them to reclaim their path of destiny.
I thank you.