Adopting Annual Resolution on Afghanistan, General Assembly Commends Progress in Peace Talks while Voicing Concern over Chronic Terrorist Violence.
Citing the threat posed by chronic terrorist violence in Afghanistan, delegates commended fresh progress in peace talks and exchanged views on the best way to help the nation move into a new era of stability and prosperity, as the General Assembly adopted, by a recorded vote, its annual resolution on the situation in the country.
Adopting the resolution “The situation in Afghanistan” (document A/75/L.45), by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 1 against with 3 abstentions, the General Assembly pledged its continued support to the country’s Government and people as they rebuild a stable, secure and economically self‑sufficient State. Also by the text, the Assembly reiterated serious concern about the continuing high level of violence and the security situation, stressing the need to continue to address these destabilizing threats caused by terrorist groups and their affiliates.
The 15-page resolution titled “The Situation in Afghanistan” covers a wide range of issues including peace and reconciliation, democracy, the rule of law, good governance, human rights, counter-narcotics, social and economic development and regional cooperation.
While welcoming progress in the intra-Afghan talks, including the Dec 2 agreement on rules of procedure for negotiations, the resolution condemns the high rate of continued violence. It says “this is contributing to an unacceptable number of casualties” and calls for an immediate cessation of violence and strongly encourages the Afghan government and the Taliban to pursue confidence-building measures and to reduce violence.
The resolution reiterates the General Assembly’s “serious concern” about the security situation in Afghanistan and stresses the need to continue to address the threat to the country’s stability from violence committed by the Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, as well as Al Qaeda, IS, their affiliates and other terrorist and criminal groups.
Afghanistan’s UN ambassador, Adela Raz, expressed regret that despite her government’s strong support for the resolution it wasn’t adopted by consensus, saying the measure reflects developments that are taking place on the ground and particularly the progress in the peace process.
Raz said the goal of the government, Afghanistan’s neighbours and the General Assembly “is to incorporate the Taliban as a political party. It is our utmost aim to see the Taliban as a constructive political party in the country, without the relationship with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, working for prosperity and peace in Afghanistan”.
Noting that UN experts monitoring sanctions against the Taliban say it maintains ties to terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, Raz said the resolution is balanced regarding the Taliban’s willingness to take firm steps towards peace and reconciliation and its continuing attacks and terrorist ties.
German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen, whose country led negotiations on the resolution, said that out of all the ‘special years’ for Afghanistan declared in the past two decades, 2020 was indeed singular. Most important was the start of Afghan peace negotiations in September, he said after detailing all the events leading to the talks, starting with the US-Taliban agreement in February.
He said the resolution is constructive and forward-looking and the vote signals that the General Assembly “stands behind the Afghan people in a very difficult period of the country”.