Statement of Germany in the United Nations General Assembly, “The situation in Afghanistan”, 10 November 2022

10.11.2022 - Speech

Statement delivered by Ambassador Antje Leendertse

Fifteen months after the forceful takeover of the Taliban, the situation in Afghanistan remains of greatest concern. We witness a massive economic contraction and humanitarian crisis. Half the population is subject to critical levels of food insecurity. We expect a harsh winter and levels of needs that we have not seen in the last decades, with little prospect for economic recovery and reduction of poverty.

Wide-spread and systemic denial of fundamental human rights by the Taliban is the reality of Afghanistan and its people. Extremely worrying is the systematic oppression of women and girls who cannot enjoy their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. There is an absence of any effort towards inclusive governance and a sustainable long-term political solution to govern the country. We have not seen any effort from the Taliban towards the full enjoyment by women and girls and persons belonging to minorities of their human rights. Security remains fragile. The decrease of conflict-related security incidents contrasts with ongoing fighting in the country and an increasing number of terrorist attacks on schools, public transport, places of worship and diplomatic premises.

The Taliban control the country, but do not live up to their responsibility towards the Afghan people. They do not respond to the needs of the Afghan population. This makes a coherent international response all the more important. The resolution in front of you, which we would aim to adopt by consensus, sends a strong signal of support to the Afghan people. It is a reminder of the expectations of the international community towards the Taliban that the Security Council formulated with its resolution 2593 in August 2021.

The resolution is a clear call to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, develop inclusive governance and fight terrorism. It contains a clear message that, without, there cannot be business-as-usual and no pathway towards recognition without these steps being made. Engagement with the Taliban will have to remain limited in steps and scope, based on principles. The resolution is testimony to our joint commitment to assist the Afghan people who rely on us, while being neglected by their rulers.

Germany remains engaged. Since August 2021, we have provided more than one billion euros for humanitarian assistance and support to basic needs for the Afghan people and in support of Afghanistan’s neighbours.

The resolution before us is testimony to our support for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. It fully endorses the renewal of UNAMA’s mandate in March of this year. And the resolution is testimony to our common long-term aspiration to stabilize Afghanistan.

Finally, the resolution expresses the concerns we all share together with the neighbours of Afghanistan regarding the dangers of a spill-over of instability, irregular migration flows, radicalization and terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking. It clearly formulates appreciation and support for the efforts of countries in the region to support Afghanistan and its people.

Germany is the traditional facilitator of the General Assembly’s resolution on the “The situation in Afghanistan’. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all co-sponsors of this resolution for their support. This year’s draft resolution is the product of a comprehensive negotiation process, taking a step back after the events of last summer and including a sizeable core group inviting neighbouring countries and those countries carrying a heavy burden over the last 15 months. The resolution contains our collective political understanding and is recommended for adoption by consensus.

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