In the aftermath of terrorist organisation Taliban capturing Afghanistan and rapidly evolving situation, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres stated that the international community must unite to make sure that Afghanistan is never again used as a platform or safe haven for terrorist organizations.
“I appeal to the Security Council — and the international community as a whole — to stand together, to work together and act together — and use all tools at its disposal to suppress the global terrorist threat in Afghanistan and to guarantee that basic human rights will be respected,” he said.
“All of us have seen the images in real time. Chaos. Unrest. Uncertainty. And fear. Much lies in the balance. The progress. The hope. The dreams of a generation of young Afghan women and girls, boys and men,” said Guterres.
He also urged all parties, especially the Taliban, to exercise utmost restraint to protect lives and to ensure that humanitarian needs can be met.
Conflict has forced hundreds of thousands from their homes. The capital city has seen a huge influx of internally displaced persons from provinces around the country where they felt insecure or fled during fighting. “I remind all parties of their obligation to protect civilians,” he said.
“I call on all parties to provide humanitarians with unimpeded access to deliver timely and life-saving services and aid,” the UN Chief said. He also asked all countries to be willing to receive Afghan refugees and refrain from any deportations.
TIME TO STAND UNITED
The secretary General said that the international community must be united and utilize all available instruments to ensure the following:“first, we must speak with one voice to uphold human rights in Afghanistan. I call upon the Taliban and all parties to respect and protect international humanitarian law and the rights and freedoms of all persons. I am particularly concerned by accounts of mounting human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan who fear a return to the darkest days.”
He also said that the international community should assure that opportunities would be expanded, education would be guaranteed, freedoms would spread and rights would be secured.
The UN Chief urged the Taliban to honour the integrity and inviolability of diplomatic envoys and premises. “The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan affects 18 million people — fully half of the country’s population. It is vital that basic services continue to be provided,” he said.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Taliban said that they would work with existing institutions. It is crucial that civil servant salaries continue to be paid, infrastructure is maintained, airports are reopened, and health and education services continue.
Noting that the UN would support Afghan people in their hour of need, António Guterres called for an immediate end to violence, for the rights of all Afghans to be respected and for Afghanistan to comply with all international agreements to which it is a party.
“Afghans are a proud people with a rich cultural heritage. They have known generations of war and hardship. They deserve our full support,” he said.