The members of the UN Security Council on Wednesday held a conference to discuss the situation in Afghanistan as the country struggles with a humanitarian and economic crisis despite efforts of humanitarian organizations.
The UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, said that perhaps the worst fears over the humanitarian crisis were averted but any gains were short-term, and "only to buy a little time."
She told the members of the UNSC that assisting the Afghan people will not be possible without working with the de facto authorities. She acknowledged this will be difficult for some, but it is essential.
However, she said that they are concerned by the arbitrary detention, extrajudicial killings, as well as house-to-house searches in Kabul, but pledged to "raise this with the de facto authority”.
Lyons said that Islamic Emirate stated that their policy was Afghanistan does not become an arena for the competition.
The chargé d'affaires of Afghanistan's permanent mission to the UN, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, welcomed the issuing of the new general license for expanding the authorization of commercial activities in Afghanistan.
“I wish to request that the council members—the UN and donors--establish a monitoring and reporting mechanism to ensure transparent, accountable and effective implementation of any humanitarian project,” Faiq said.
Mariam Sapai, a civil rights activist, told the UNSC council that “as this council is well aware” there has been a rapid deterioration of women’s rights. She called on the international community to not trust the Islamic Emirate’s words but monitor its actions. According to Sapai, nearly 70 percent of media activities have been stopped and more than half of women employed become jobless.
Speaking at the meeting, the US Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Acting Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs, said the Islamic Emirate must “put an end to reprisal killings and forced disappearances as well as to respect freedom of expression.”
“Our attention to Afghanistan's immense humanitarian and economic needs cannot distract us from continuing to demand that women, girls and members of minorities groups fully be able to enjoy their life and participate in political and economic and social life in Afghanistan,” he said. “As public schools reopen throughout Afghanistan this month, we will be watching carefully to see if girls and women are able to access education at all levels as the Taliban have publicly committed. Girls have been denied the right to access education for too long now.”
The Chinese envoy at the UN called for lifting sanctions on Afghanistan. He also criticized US President Joe Biden’s recent decision to direct the $3.5 billion Afghan assets to the victims of 9/11.
The UK representative told the UNSC members that the Taliban needs to address the international community’s concerns over reports of increased “reprisals against former security forces, government officials” as well as attacks against minority groups and the detention of civil society representatives.
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