Upon her return from an official visit to Afghanistan and following a suicide bombing in Kabul City that left 11 civilians dead, Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said, “as we witnessed again yesterday, conflict continues in Afghanistan” and noted that “in 2018, the country suffered the highest number of civilian casualties since UNAMA began recording figures in 2009.”
Addressing a Security Council meeting on Afghanistan, Mohammed said, “in the first five months of this year, more than 100,000 people were displaced by conflict, and we know displacement increases the risk of gender-based violence in all areas.”
In areas where the Taliban have reclaimed control, she said, “there are reports of honor killings, stoning and other attacks on women’s rights.” Peace, security and economic stability, she added, “are urgently needed.”
In her address to the Council, Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary A. DiCarlo said, “a political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan remains more relevant than ever, as civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict.”
“A political solution to the conflict in Afghanistan remains more relevant than ever, as civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict,” DiCarlo said.
All too often, DiCarlo said, “civilians are either injured or killed, including when caught in the cross fire, struck by explosive weapons, or deliberately targeted.”
She called on all parties to the conflict “to respect international humanitarian law, to ensure access for humanitarian agencies to provide life-saving assistance and to distinguish between combatants and civilian targets to protect civilians from hostilities.”
Afghan Ambassador Mohammad Wall Naeemi told the Council that “the momentum of peace continues to grow stronger and the Government of Afghanistan is decisive in bringing the decades-long conflict to an end.”
However, he said, “a comprehensive settlement must have women at the very center of the agenda and must recognize their role as a leader and agent of change.”
Last week, the Deputy Secretary General led an all-women delegation of top UN officials for an intensive two-day solidarity mission to Afghanistan, focused on women, peace and security. She was joined by UN Political and Peacebuilding Affairs chief, Rosemary DiCarlo, the Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Natalia Kanem, and the head of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.