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Written Statement by Germany in the Security Council Open Debate on the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, September 9

09.09.2021 - Speech

As Afghanistan is entering into a new phase in its already difficult history, Germany is deeply concerned about the future of the country and reaffirms its solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. You will not be forgotten.

The Secretary-General together with the Security Council in its resolution 2593 sent clear and important messages with a view to the immediate and the next phase in Afghanistan. Germany echoes the calls for utmost restraint, for safe, rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access, for an immediate end to violence, for the safety, security and rights of all Afghans to be respected, and for adherence to Afghanistan’s international obligations, in particular under international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Fight against terrorism

Germany strongly condemns the attacks of 26 August, near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, for which responsibility was claimed by the Islamic State in Khorasan Province. Violence in Afghanistan must stop. Afghanistan must never again become a safe haven for terrorism or a source of terrorist attacks.

Humanitarian assistance and access

The Secretary-General warned that Afghanistan faces a looming humanitarian catastrophe. We thank him for convening a high-level ministerial meeting in Geneva on 13 September to address the growing humanitarian needs in the country. Germany calls on all parties to allow full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the United Nations, its implementing partners and all humanitarian actors to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches all those in need, with a particular focus on forthcoming winter season programmes.

The people in Afghanistan can continue to rely on our support and solidarity. Germany has provided emergency humanitarian assistance for many years and has been reacting swiftly, targeted and flexibly by significantly increasing its humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries by 100 Mio. EUR. We plan to dedicate another 500 Mio. EUR, also partly for humanitarian assistance.

Human rights

We are deeply concerned about recent reports that human rights are severely restricted and that human rights violations occur throughout the country, in particular against women and girls. We stress the importance of adhering to the rule of law and of respecting and protecting the human rights and freedoms of all Afghans, including the rights of women, girls and ethnic and religious minorities.

Government

Our future engagement with and the legitimacy that we lend to any future Afghan government will be assessed on the basis of its actions. The respect for its international obligations and commitments, in particular with regard to human rights, will play a key role. It is also essential to establish an inclusive and representative government, which includes the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and all minority groups. The most recent announcements of the Taliban do raise serious questions. They do not meet the expectations of the international community. Nevertheless we must maintain channels of communication to the Taliban in order to achieve essential commitments with regard to humanitarian access, the secure operation of airports, and the safe passage of Afghans who want to leave their country.

International cooperation

The situation in Afghanistan is posing major challenges for the international community and the neighbouring countries in particular. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas therefore travelled to Turkey, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Qatar last week and discussed the security and geopolitical impact of the latest developments.

The international community including the countries in the region must be united and speak with one voice in order to achieve stability and security in and around Afghanistan. Germany will continue its political and humanitarian engagement and strongly supports international efforts to support Afghanistan. All regional and international stakeholders should be involved. There is no alternative: international cooperation is crucial if we want to deal with the risks and challenges emanating from the new situation in Afghanistan.

UNAMA

The international community will of course not be able to deliver on what is needed in Afghanistan and the region without the United Nations. We highly welcome the presence and further recommend an active role of the United Nations in Afghanistan and call on all members of the Security Council to send a strong signal of support by extending UNAMA’s mandate now.

We share the penholders’ assessment that under the current circumstances a roll-over of the current UNAMA mandate followed by a Secretary-General´s report is the best way forward. The mandate should then be adapted in the light of the realities on the ground.

As facilitator of the resolution on Afghanistan in the General Assembly, Germany also stands ready to help when it comes to possible action in the General Assembly. We intend to adapt the General Assembly resolution on “The Situation in Afghanistan” accordingly and in close cooperation with partners.

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