EU Statement – UN General Assembly : Vote on the resolution on Afghanistan (10 november 2022)

10 November 2022, New York – European Union Statement at the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Vote on the General Assembly resolution on Afghanistan

Mr President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU and its 27 Member States.

The Candidate Countries, Montenegro*, Serbia*, Albania*, Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Andorra and Monaco align themselves with this statement.

Let me start by thanking all the delegations that have participated constructively in the consultations on the resolution text, and particularly the German team for facilitating the negotiations. International unity in the approach to the challenges in Afghanistan is important for the Afghan people and we hope that the resolution is adopted by consensus today.

The EU re-iterates our support for the work of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and welcome its efforts thus far. The UN remains an indispensable partner and a key actor on the ground. The efforts and reports from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Afghanistan, Richard Bennet are also greatly appreciated.

Mr President,

We want to reaffirm that the EU and its Member States will stand with the Afghan people, and that we remain committed to stability, prosperity and sustainable peace in Afghanistan and the region. This will require an inclusive political process with full, equal and meaningful participation of all Afghans, including all ethnic groups and religious minorities and the meaningful participation of women in decision-making positions. The EU and its Member States in that regard welcomed UNSC 2593, which encourages such an inclusive, negotiated political settlement and sends a clear, strong and united message on the international community’s expectations and demands that must be transformed into concrete actions.

We advocate for the protection and the fulfilment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international conventions, to which Afghanistan as a State Party should adhere, while respecting International Humanitarian Law. The EU remains deeply alarmed by the increase of human rights violations and abuses in Afghanistan. Accountability must be ensured and, in this regard, we recall that Afghanistan is a party to the Rome Statute.

The human rights situation of women and girl continues to deteriorate. The EU reiterates its unwavering commitment to the full, equal and meaningful participation of all women and girls in all spheres of life in Afghanistan, as well as to their protection from all forms of discrimination and violence. Nowhere else are girls banned from attending secondary education, this is unacceptable and must be revoked immediately

Furthermore, persons belonging to ethnic groups and religious minorities, notably Hazaras and the Shia population, LGBTI persons, human rights defenders, journalists and other media workers suffer physical abuse, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and killings. This is unacceptable. The shrinking space for civil society and media and restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms remain primary concerns.

Afghanistan faces a deep humanitarian and economic crisis. The situation is expected to deteriorate further during the upcoming winter. In the absence of a legitimate and recognised Afghan government, the EU has been working tirelessly with the international community to find principled, pragmatic and creative solutions to support the Afghan people and mitigate the grave humanitarian and economic crisis. The EU has committed over EUR 300 million in humanitarian aid, and has mobilised EUR 330 million to maintain basic services and sustain livelihoods, delivered though UN partners and local and international organisations and NGOs.

The EU intends to continue its support to the Afghan people in close coordination with international partners. The EU has re-established minimal presence in Kabul ensuring the delivery of assistance, facilitating operational coordination and representing EU policies and positions. The EU prioritises direct engagement with the Afghan people, including through the Afghan Women Leaders’ Forum which aims to ensure that Afghan women have a voice in international fora.

Allowing the implementation of humanitarian operations in Afghanistan in line with the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence and full respect of International Humanitarian Law is key. The Taliban must respect the independence of humanitarian operations and guarantee for all humanitarian staff, including female staff, the safe and unhindered access to the entire territory. Safety of beneficiaries of humanitarian aid must be ascertained and all of them must have free and unhindered access to aid services.

We expect that all foreign nationals, and Afghans who want to leave the country, are allowed a safe, secure and orderly departure, in line with UNSC 2593 (2021) in the full respect of the freedom of movement.

An unstable Afghanistan will continue to threaten and destabilize its neighbours, the wider region and beyond. Illicit drug trafficking and terrorism do not respect international borders. The EU underlines the importance to prevent Afghanistan from serving as a base for hosting, financing or exporting terrorism to other countries. All efforts must be pursued to ensure that the Taliban cease all direct orindirect ties with international terrorism. The EU is greatly concerned about the continued presence of terrorist organisations in Afghanistan, including Al-Qaeda and ISIL-KP.

The EU maintains contact with the Taliban in order to allow for dialogue on the political priorities of the EU, ensure the EU can provide support to the Afghan people, and to raise the key issues related to the five benchmarks defined by the EU’s Foreign Ministers. The EU engagement with the Taliban is not an international legitimation of the Taliban appointed interim government and is carefully calibrated to the policies and actions of the Taliban.

To conclude, we believe that the resolution we will adopt today is an important reflection of our collective political understanding of the present situation in Afghanistan and provides the basis for continuing a constructive dialogue on the way ahead.

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تاریخ نشر 14/11/2022

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