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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNAMA

2024-03-06 12:55

Mr. President, 

I thank Special Representative Roza Otunbayeva for her briefing and Ms. Fatima Gailani for her statement. 

Over the two and a half years since the interim government took office, the domestic situation in Afghanistan has been generally stable, with improvements in the economy and people's livelihoods and expansions in regional cooperation. These positive developments merit recognition. At the same time, Afghanistan still faces severe challenges in terms of humanitarian situation, economic development, and threats of terrorism.

Last November, the independence evaluation report submitted by the Special Coordinator of the Secretary-General put forward a series of recommendations on how to enhance constructive engagement between the international community and the Afghan authorities and mobilize the efforts of all parties to help Afghanistan emerge from the difficult situation and get back on track at an earlier date. The meeting of special envoys held in Doha last month made positive discussions in this regard. The Council should build on these efforts and gain a more comprehensive and objective understanding of the Afghanistan situation, plan a solution in a more rational and pragmatic manner, break the deadlock and resolve the impasse, and play a positive and constructive role in the stable development of Afghanistan and its integration into the international community. I wish to emphasize the following points. 

First, the promotion of practical cooperation with Afghanistan should be prioritized. The latest report of the Secretary-General points out that Afghanistan has good potential for development and its economic growth can be driven by the promotion of trade connectivity so that dependence on international assistance will be greatly reduced. In recent years. regional countries, within the framework of regional cooperation mechanisms, have carried out cooperation in areas of infrastructure, mineral development, energy supply, transportation, and customs clearance facilitation, which has brought tangible benefits to the Afghan people. These initiatives are highly in line with the recommendations of the independence evaluation report. The international community should on one hand guarantee humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan, and on the other hand provide more help in areas of alternative cultivation, mine clearance, restoration of Afghan banking system, and trade and investment facilitation in light of the needs of the country, so as to contribute to the long-term development of Afghanistan. 

Second, it is imperative to maintain dialogue with the Afghan authorities. The Security Council resolution urges the Afghan authorities to build inclusive governance and to protect the basic rights of all, including women, children, and ethnic minorities. The international community should, through patient communication with the Afghan authorities, gradually enhance their understanding of and trust in the outside world and adopt more effective initiatives in response to international expectations. It is important to create favorable conditions for dialogue and engagement and avoid presuppositions and imposing programs on Afghanistan. As an important step for confidence building, the Security Council should make timely adjustments to the sanctions regime and reinstate exemptions to the travel ban on relevant members of the Afghan authorities. Illegal unilateral sanctions imposed on Afghanistan by relevant countries should be terminated, and assets aboard be returned immediately. 

Third, it is important to support the Afghan authorities in their continued determination to combat terrorism. The Secretary-General's report shows that the terrorist forces based in Afghanistan remain active and continue to threaten the security of Afghanistan and the region. We expect the Afghan authorities to fulfill their commitments in good faith and take resolute and strong measures to combat terrorist organizations such as ETIM and Daesh, so as to eliminate the breeding ground for terrorism. In the face of terrorism, which is a common enemy of humanity, all parties should abandon geopolitical calculations and ideological prejudice, reject double standards or selective counter-terrorism, and work together to fight against terrorism. 

Mr. President, 

Under the leadership of Special Representative Otunbayeva, UNAMA has maintained positive interaction with the Afghan authorities and actively coordinated and enhanced humanitarian assistance and reconstruction efforts for Afghanistan, China appreciates these efforts. We look forward to UNAMA continuing to be the bridge to enhance understanding and mutual trust between the international community and the Afghan authorities and play a greater role in addressing Afghanistan's urgent needs and long-term development. 

As a friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, China will continue to firmly support the peace and development of Afghanistan and provide Afghan people with all possible assistance to the best of our capabilities. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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