Afghanistan: This is the opportunity to stand as one UN chief tells Security Council: The Secretary-General remarked that the international community is supporting the advancements in Afghanistan “with a heavy heart and deep anxiety about what lies ahead.”
After gripping large swaths of territory in recent months, the Taliban on Sunday took control of the capital, Kabul, home to remarkable six million people.
According to media reports, President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country, and extreme residents have been jumbling to the airport to get flights out.
“At this grave hour, I urge all parties, especially the Taliban, to exercise utmost restraint to protect lives and to ensure that humanitarian needs can be met,” said Mr. Guterres.
Concern for Women and Girls
The Secretary-General pointed the need to protect civilians and allow humanitarian entrance. He forced nations to show a willingness to receive Afghan refugees and to halt any removals. “Now is the time to stand as one,” he said.
The UN chief invited the global community to “speak with one voice” to uphold human rights and voiced particular interest over mounting violations against women and girls. “It is essential that the hard-won rights of Afghan women and girls are protected,” he stressed.
Suppress Terrorist Threat
He continued, international unity will also be critical to ensuring 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,” said Mr. Guterres.
“Regardless of who holds power, these two fundamental principles — in which our world has such a deep and abiding interest — must be upheld.”
The Secretary-General underlined the UN’s commitment to supporting Afghanistan. He reported that staff and offices remain in areas that have come under Taliban control, and most personnel and premises have been respected.
Staying the Course
As approximately half of all Afghans, or some 18 million people, depend on humanitarian aid, it is vital that essential services remain to be provided, he added.
“In a statement issued yesterday, the Taliban said that they would work with existing institutions,” Mr. Guterres told ambassadors.
“Civil servant salaries must continue to be paid, infrastructure is maintained, airports are reopened, and health and education services continue.”
While the UN will adapt to the security situation in Afghanistan, the Secretary-General stated that “we will wait and deliver in support of the Afghan people in their time of need.”