The participants of the UN Security Council at Wednesday's meeting on Afghanistan expressed concerns over the collapse of the Afghan economy.
The UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, said that the reconstitution of the Afghan economy needs international community engagement with the current Afghan government.
“But other challenges to reviving the economy still remain. These include the collapse of demand due to cessation of all development assistance, restrictions on international payments, lack of access to hard currency reserves, lack of liquidity, and constraints on the Central Bank to carry out some of its core functions,” Lyons said.
The envoys of China and the US have engaged in a verbal dispute with the Chinese envoy accusing the US of stealing Afghan assets.
The Chinese envoy at the meeting expressed criticism over US President Joe Biden’s decision to divert $3.5 billion of Afghan assets to be available to the victims of 9/11. He also called for the removal of financial sanctions on Afghanistan.
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 minority 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 UK envoy also expressed concerns over the Afghan economic meltdown.
“The situation in Afghanistan remains of deep concern…more than half of population is in need of emergency assistance. The risks of humanitarian catastrophe remain real, and urgent action is needed to avert economic collapse,” he said.
The meeting was the second since the Islamic Emirate swept into power in Afghanistan.