UN Security Council focuses on security situation in Afghanistan

A pre-COVID 19 pandemic, face-to-face UN Security Council meeting in New York.
A pre-COVID 19 pandemic, face-to-face UN Security Council meeting in New York. Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Sanctions, international aid and regional cooperation should be used to influence the Taliban after its take over of Afghanistan, members of the United Nations Security Council agreed on Monday in a meeting called by Norway and Estonia.

At the start of the meeting, Secretary-General of the UN Antonio Guterres presented a message to the Council and the international community on the need to speak with one voice to uphold human rights in Afghanistan in the current critical situation.

The participants agreed that all existing options must be used to influence the Taliban - from sanctions to international aid and regional cooperation, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Security Council members called for an immediate cessation of all hostilities and the establishment of a new government that is united, inclusive and includes an equal participation of women.

They expressed deep concern about the number of reported serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses in communities affected by the ongoing armed conflict across the country.

They underlined that all parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law in all circumstances, including those related to the protection of civilians.

The members of the Security Council called on strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

They 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.

The members of the Security Council reiterated their support to the work of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). They emphasized the importance of the safety and security of UN personnel as well as of diplomatic and consular personnel of UN Member States.

On Sunday, the Taliban claimed victory in Afghanistan after taking over the capital Kabul, bringing to a swift end almost 20 years of a US-led coalition's presence in the country. Estonia took part in the allied NATO mission for almost 18 years.

Estonia and Norway raised Afghanistan's take over by the Taliban at the United Nations Security Council as the countries are the UNSC's "penholders" of the Afghanistan topic.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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