Honorable Members of the Security Council,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I wish to congratulate the Permanent Mission of Kenya for the initiative to organize this Arria-Formula Meeting on a highly relevant and timely topic.
Afghanistan is proud to co-sponsor the meeting together with others.
I further wish to thank the distinguished briefers for their participation and insights.
The issue of today’s discussion is an everyday reality for Afghan women, men, girls, and boys.
Our people are currently facing a vicious onslaught by the Taliban and their affiliated foreign terrorist groups which has resulted in a devastating humanitarian situation.
As highlighted by the briefers during the UNSC’s meeting on the Situation in Afghanistan on 6th August,
Taliban’s relentless increase in violence through their military offensive on major cities supported by transnational terrorist and criminal networks is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis currently facing more than 18 million Afghans.
Moreover, UNAMA has indicated that the Taliban has taken the decision to further aggravate the humanitarian situation by targeting large urban areas and seek to benefit from the resulting carnage.
The Taliban is using humanitarian suffering as a deliberate weapon of war in violation of International Humanitarian Law to levels that may constitute war crimes.
They are also targeting and destroying critical civilian infrastructure.
According to a recent analysis, the Taliban’s destruction of public and private infrastructure has deprived over 13 million people of public services and amounted to more than 500 million dollars of damage.
Additionally, the Taliban and their terrorist affiliates are hampering the activities of our humanitarian partners to assist the most vulnerable and are directly targeting and killing humanitarian workers.
According to OCHA’s Humanitarian Access Group’s quarterly report, access impediments in the second quarter increased in 2021 with the vast majority of access restraints caused by the Taliban.
According to the same report, the Second Quarter of 2021 was also the deadliest on record, with 16 humanitarian workers tragically killed.
The Government of Afghanistan is steadfast in our response to these atrocities and continues to call on the Taliban to adhere to a ceasefire and engage in meaningful negotiations.
Simultaneously, our brave security forces are fighting to protect civilians and limit the humanitarian impacts of the Taliban’s offensive.
Yet, the Taliban continue to ignore the calls of the Afghan people and the international community, including the Security Council.
It is, therefore, high time for the Council to act.
I take this opportunity to reiterate our call on the Security Council to use all available tools including relevant Security Council Resolutions to monitor, investigate and block all sources of financing activities of the Taliban and other terrorist groups affiliated with them.
We further request the Council to discharge its responsibilities under the UN charter and take all the necessary measures to stop the Taliban’s large-scale attacks on big cities and population centers, which will have disastrous humanitarian consequences, including massive displacement.
We further ask our partners to fully fund the UN’s Humanitarian Appeal for Afghanistan, which is currently only 38% funded.
We sincerely thank all donors for their support, but more is needed to alleviate the drastically deteriorating situation and allow humanitarian workers to stay and deliver.
In closing, I wish to stress that Afghanistan is standing on the precipice. The international community, especially the Security Council, has both shared responsibilities and a moral obligation to act expeditiously and take all necessary steps to prevent further deterioration and humanitarian suffering.