On behalf of the peace and freedom-loving people of Afghanistan, it is an honor to address today’s high-level forum on the culture of peace.
I welcome this year’s theme of “Transformative Role of The Culture of Peace: Promoting Resilience and Inclusion in Post-Covid Recovery”
While the Afghan people have been yearning for stability and peace in their country for the past four decades, peace has remained elusive for 36 million Afghans, and we continue to experience war and destruction.
As we meet in the General Assembly Hall today, the Afghan people face the prospect of an uncertain future under the Taliban’s repressive regime.
As we witnessed recently, the Taliban unseated the elected Government of Afghanistan and gained power through violence and are seeking to reinstate their so-called Islamic Emirate, in violation of the resolution passed by this Assembly less than nine months ago.
The Taliban may have won the war but have yet to win peace and the hearts of minds of millions of Afghans.
They continue to choose war over peace as a way of resolving their differences with those who oppose them as we are witnessing their brutal offensive against the people of Panjshir and suppression of women peacefully demonstrating across cities in Afghanistan.
The Taliban must realize that pacification of the country and true peace can only be established if they pursue an inclusive and participatory government in Afghanistan. Today the Taliban announced their Government. It is anything but inclusive.
The Afghan people, especially our youth who have only known a free and democratic Afghanistan, will not accept a governing structure that excludes women and minorities, eliminates constitutional rights for all, and does not protect the gains of the past.
As all nations represented in this Hall know, peace is not merely the absence of war, and a country whose regime pursues extremist and exclusionary policies and ideologies will never be at peace with itself, its neighbors, or the world.
This simple insight is at the center of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace.
We ask all Member States of the United Nations to help us promote a Culture of Peace in Afghanistan. We ask that you continue to reject the reinstatement of the Islamic Emirate, hold the Taliban to account for their violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, insist on an inclusive government, and draw a fundamental red line regarding the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls, and respect for their rights.
As we strive to build back better from the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic, we ask you not to forget the people of Afghanistan and our dreams of reaching true peace.