|Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on UNAMA
I thank Deputy Special Representative Markus Potzel and UNODC Executive Director Ghada Fathi Waly for their briefings. I also listened carefully to the statement by Ms. Fawzia Koofi.
For the past two decades, Afghanistan has been going through vicissitudes and hardships. Its pursuit of peace and development has had twists and turns, and is full of challenges. The ordinary people in Afghanistan have been through tremendous sufferings and difficulties. With the hasty withdrawal of foreign troops last August, the 20-year long war in Afghanistan came to an end. Afghanistan has entered a new phase of recovery, healing, and peaceful reconstruction.
The history of the past 20 years has once again proved that military intervention and external models simply do not work, and that the future of Afghanistan can only be decided by the Afghan people themselves, and they must take their destiny into their own hands. The international community, including the UN, should fully draw lessons from the past 20 years, and not just pay lip service to the phrase “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned”, but should really keep it in mind and put it into practice.
The international community should remain engaged with the Afghan interim government in a pragmatic manner, carry out positive interactions, provide patient guidance, enhance mutual understanding and trust, and help the Afghan interim government build inclusive and moderate governance. It is not constructive to keep accusing or pressuring the Afghan interim government or even to instrumentalize the issue of travel ban exemptions as a bargaining chip for negotiations, which will only make the door to dialogue narrower and deepen confrontation and divergences. We hope that relevant members will reconsider their positions and show flexibility.
With winter fast approaching, the humanitarian and economic crises in Afghanistan are bound to worsen. The international community should help Afghanistan alleviate the humanitarian crisis and stabilize the economy as the most urgent priority, and should not politicize humanitarian and economic issues, nor should link humanitarian aid and economic development with other political issues. The rights and interests of Afghan women and girls in receiving education and achieving employment should be guaranteed. We expect the Afghan authorities to make greater efforts to this end, and respond to the concerns of the international community. At the same time, safeguarding the rights and interests of Afghan women and girls also means providing them with much needed humanitarian assistance, so that women and children can first have access to basic daily necessities like food and clothing. In this context, Afghanistan's frozen overseas assets should be used expeditiously for the improvement of Afghan lives and economic reconstruction.
Noting the recent developments and the statements of the Central Bank of Afghanistan, we call for the full and swift return of these frozen assets to the Afghan people as early as possible, so that they can be effectively used to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the humanitarian suffering of the Afghan people. The security, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, and refugee issues facing the country are intertwined, and require a comprehensive approach to find solutions at the root. We hope that the Afghan Taliban will genuinely fulfill their commitments, completely cut off their ties with all terrorist groups, and work together with the international community to resolutely combat Daesh, ETIM, and other terrorist groups, so as to prevent Afghanistan for becoming a hub for terrorism again. The Afghan interim government's efforts to combat poppy cultivation deserve encouragement, and the international community should actively support Afghanistan's efforts to carry out alternative cultivation and completely eliminate the sources of drugs. In the long run, all parties need to help Afghanistan restore its domestic market, integrate into regional cooperation and connectivity, thoroughly eradicate the root causes of unrest, and embark on the path to lasting peace and development.
For a long time now, Afghanistan's adjacent and neighboring countries have actively supported the Afghan peace process,and made huge efforts to that end. This month, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Leaders Summit held in Samarkand reached an important consensus on Afghanistan, which emphasizes supporting Afghanistan in building an independent, neutral, unified, democratic, and peaceful country and eliminating terrorism, war, and drugs. China looks forward to working with Russia, Pakistan, Iran, and other regional countries to continue to fully leverage the SCO Afghanistan contact group, The coordination and cooperation mechanism among neighbors of Afghanistan, and other platforms and make unique contributions to the maintenance of peace and stability in Afghanistan.
We support the UN in play an important role in the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan, and hope that UNAMA will actively carry out its mandated activities, and form synergies with international and regional efforts. China will continue to provide assistance to Afghanistan within its capabilities through bilateral and multilateral channels, and deliver concrete assistance to the Afghan people, so as to bring warmth and hopes to them.
Thank you, Madam President.