Addressing a virtual UN Security Council briefing on the Afghanistan situation and operations of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on December 17, Quy said that the continued support of UNAMA, regional countries and other international partners will be crucial to maintaining the momentum of peace talks in Afghanistan.
He urged all parties to fully respect international humanitarian law, immediately stop targeting civilians and allow unhindered access to humanitarian services in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Strengthened efforts are also needed to combat the increasing presence of terrorist groups in the country, he said, emphasising that long-term peace and stability require robust development and sustainable livelihoods for the people. In that regard, the Afghan Government and international partners should continue to work together in promoting economic development and reconstruction.
He went on to express concern that 11.15 million people, more than one third of the country’s population, are facing high levels of food insecurity, and that number could increase to 13.15 million during the approaching cold weather months.
Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan and UNAMA head, asked all countries to continue to pressure the parties to the conflict to bring about a sustained reduction in violence and expected that this will be a top priority in the negotiations.
Lyons noted positive signs in the peace process, such as the agreement among parties on rules and procedures for negotiations, and the formation of a working committee to discuss the agenda and present initial topics for discussion. At the same time, she expressed concern about increasing violence.
Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani, head of Indonesia’s permanent mission to the UN and Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1988 (2011), said that in 2020 the committee approved a proposal on the temporary exemption of restrictions for several Taliban members to support peace talks with the Government.
Shkula Zadran, Afghan Youth Representative to the UN, stressed the importance of ensuring Afghans from all walks of life are engaged in the peace process in the country, calling on Taliban to respect progress achieved in the country over the past nearly two decades.
Representatives from UNSC members also reaffirmed support for activities of UNAMA.