Expressing deep concerns over reported serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses in Afghanistan, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called for an immediate cessation of all hostilities and the establishment of a new government that is united, inclusive and representative.
In a press statement, UNSC President TS Tirumurti said that the members of the Security Council called for an immediate end to the violence in Afghanistan, the restoration of security, civil and constitutional order. UNSC members also called for urgent talks to resolve the current crisis of authority in the country and to arrive at a peaceful settlement through an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process of national reconciliation.
The statement comes as UNSC held a meeting on Afghanistan on Monday morning under the Indian presidency. The meeting comes a day after Kabul fell to the Taliban and the terror group seizes control of the presidential palace. In the statement, the member countries underlined that all parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law in all circumstances, including those related to the protection of civilians.
“They underscored the particular situation of vulnerability of humanitarian and medical personnel, interpreters and other international service providers,” the statement read. The members of the Security Council called for strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, and on all parties to allow immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for United Nations humanitarian agencies and other humanitarian actors providing assistance, including across conflict lines, to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches all those in need.
The members of the Security Council also “reaffirmed the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan to ensure the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any country, and that neither the Taliban nor any other Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any other country”.
Reiterating their support to the work of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the member countries emphasised the importance of the safety and security of United Nations personnel as well as of diplomatic and consular personnel of United Nations Member States.
Speaking during the UNSC meet, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for international unity on Afghanistan. Guterres appealed for the Council to stand as one, and ensure that human rights are upheld, humanitarian aid continues, and that the country does not again become a platform for terrorism.
“The following days will be pivotal”, said the UN chief. “The world is watching. We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan”.