The UN Security Council approved on Monday a resolution on Afghanistan focused on the safe departure of Afghans from the country, humanitarian aid and the rejection of terrorism, which had the abstention of China and Russia and was criticized for its weak condemnation of human rights violations.
For France, one of the countries that has sponsored the text -together with the United Kingdom, the United States and Ireland-, “the eyes of all Afghans are looking at this advice and they expect clear support from the international community and this lack of unity is a disappointment for us and for them “.
The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has been involved in the negotiations to obtain a text supported by the fifteen members of the council, and on Monday afternoon he met without success with the five permanent countries with the right to veto – USA, Russia, China, France and UK-.
“This meeting with the five countries should be seen as an extension of their good offices to try to unite the international community in the Security Council,” Guterres spokesman Stephan Dujarric said last Monday at his daily press conference.
Ensuring the safe departure of Afghans
France and the United Kingdom had proposed the creation of a safe zone at the Kabul civil airport, under UN control, which would allow evacuations from Afghanistan to continue, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Sunday.
However, the approved resolution does not address this issue and is limited to insisting on the need for the Taliban to allow anyone who wishes to leave the country.
“The Security Council hopes that the Taliban will fulfill their commitment to facilitate the safe passage of Afghans and foreigners who want to leave Afghanistan, either today, tomorrow or after August 31 (last official day of the US presence. .in the country), said the US representative on the Security Council, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
In this sense, the French diplomat also stressed that the text urges all parties to make all possible efforts to secure the airport and surrounding area and create a safe passage.
“Protection is a sine qua non to ensure that Afghans who wish to leave can do so safely, but also to ensure that the necessary assistance can reach all who need it, both through the airport and across land borders. “Estival-Broadhurst added.
Humanitarian aid and terrorism
Thomas-Greenfield also stressed that the text approved last Monday implies a “lasting commitment by the Security Council to help those who remain in Afghanistan” and underlines that “all parties must provide humanitarian assistance” and without obstacles to continue providing active services. currently.
Another of the key points highlighted by the US diplomat is the insistence on the “urgent need to address the serious threat of terrorism in Afghanistan”, practically the only point where Russia and China coincide with the rest of international actors.
On allegations of human rights violations by the Taliban, the representative of Ireland, Geraldine Byrne Nason, showed her disappointment over the final wording of the document.
“Of course, we would have preferred stronger language regarding human rights, particularly given the situation facing women and girls in Afghanistan now,” Nason told the rest of the United Nations highest body.
The Russian rejection
Russia, for its part, justified its abstention by ensuring that the text ignored its main concerns in the Asian country, among which it cited the language used to identify terrorist threats, as well as the damage that brain drain can cause in the economy and the blocking of economic assets.
“During the negotiations we stressed that the negative impact of the evacuation of qualified Afghan specialists on the Afghan economy was unacceptable. With this brain drain the country will not be able to achieve the sustainable development goals,” stressed Russian diplomat Vassily Nebenzia.
Nebenzia also accused the United States and “its allies” of trying through this resolution to blame the Taliban for their failure in Afghanistan.
“At the same time, we can see in this an attempt to place the blame for the failure and collapse of the 20-year presence of the United States and its allies in the region on the Taliban,” he said.
The United Kingdom’s ambassador to the UN, Dame Barbara Woodward, summarized the resolution by assuring that with it the Security Council has established “its minimum expectations of the Taliban.”
“We have made it clear that the Taliban must fulfill their own commitments to ensure safe passage (for Afghans) beyond August 31. Afghanistan can never again become a safe haven for terrorists,” the diplomat stressed.