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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the General Assembly Plenary Meeting on the situation of Afghanistan

2022-11-10 23:42

Mr. President, Afghanistan is a country that has experienced the vicissitudes and the hardships. With the hasty withdrawal of foreign troops last year, the 20 year long or in Afghanistan came to an end in chaos. Now, Afghanistan has entered a new phase of recovery and healing and is facing a long and arduous task of peaceful reconstruction.

History has once again proved that military intervention and external models do not work. The future of Afghanistan must be in the hands of the Afghan people themselves. All parties should not just pay lip service to the mantra “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned”, but really keep it in mind and put it into practice. We should encourage the Afghan authorities to build a broad and inclusive political structure, eradicate the breeding ground for terrorism and explore a governance model consistent with Afghanistan's national conditions. This is bound to be an internally-driven and gradual progress. Therefore the international community should maintain the necessary patience and reasonable expectations.

Afghanistan faces a severe humanitarian and economic situation with more than half of his population living in hunger and in dire need of humanitarian assistance with women and children bearing the brunt. As winter approaches, the international community must race against the time with immediate action to help the African people get through the harsh winter and send them warms and hope. The rights of African women and girls to education and employment should be guaranteed. We hope that the Afghan Taliban will make greater efforts to this end to respond to the concerns of the international community. At the same time, humanitarian aid should not be politicized nor be linked with other issues.

Mr. President,

20 years of war has ended. But the effects are still lingering. Tens of millions of land mines remain buried in Afghanistan to this day, leaving no place safe. Foreign troops have abandoned large quantities of weapons and equipment that have made their way into the black market. Regarding the investigation into and accountability for the crimes committed by foreign troops in Afghanistan, the Afghan people are waiting for answer. Countries that bear the primary responsibility for the current situation must earnestly reflect on and rectify their mistakes in a timely manner. Cutting off development assistance, imposing political blockade and isolation will not solve the problem but will instead intensify the plight of the Afghan people. 

Overseas assets of Afghanistan are the sovereign property of the country and the life saving money for his people. The full amount should be returned to Afghanistan immediately and be put at the disposal of the Afghan people themselves, to be used for livelihood improvement and reconstruction. This is the general wish of the Afghan people, the widespread expectation of the international community and the embodiment of fairness and justice.

Mr. President, 

As a neighbor of Afghanistan, China has always actively supported the peaceful development of Afghanistan. In the past year, the Chinese government has provided 300 million RMB emergency aid to Afghanistan and implemented 1 billion RMB in bilateral aid. We also actively extend economic and trade cooperation with Afghanistan and imported thousands of tons of pine nuts from Afghanistan through the pine nut air corridor to help its people generate more income. From next month, China will exempt the tariffs for 98% of products from Afghanistan. This is another important initiative to help Afghanistan people make more income. China will continue to work with international community to support Afghanistan's participation in regional cooperation and connectivity so as to unleash its geopolitical advantages and achieve stability and prosperity at an early date.

Mr. President, 

The General assembly is about to take action on a draft resolution on the situation in Afghanistan. We always expect the GA resolution to comprehensively and objectively reflected situation in Afghanistan, send out a strong signal of international solidarity and demonstrate rock firm international support for Afghanistan to overcome its difficulties and improve people's livelihood, and restore department.

Regretfully this draft resolution is unbalanced, in particular, on such issues as unfreezing overseas Afghan assets, investigating foreign troops crimes committed in Afghanistan and the proliferation risks of weapons abandoned in Afghanistan. The GA resolution should not choose to look away from these realistic and important issues. In addition, regional organizations play a unique role and have been making positive contributions to peace and stability in Afghanistan. However, certain member states refused to keep reference in the draft resolution of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and other major regional organizations that being involved in Afghanistan. So many important elements have been absent. It is hoped that the facilitator will take a balanced approach to the legitimate concerns of all parties, with greater objectivity and impartiality, abandon their persistently lopsided preference to the position of certain countries. China will continue to work with other countries to make more contributions to peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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