Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council Briefing on the Situation in Afghanistan
16 August 2021
Thank you, Mr. President,
I welcome the Secretary-General to the meeting today, and I thank him for the briefing. I’ve listened to the statement by the representative of Afghanistan.
The situation in Afghanistan has undergone major changes. We respect the will and choice of the Afghan people. The war in Afghanistan has lasted for more than 40 years. To stop the war and realize peace is the shared aspiration of the more than 30 million Afghan people and the common expectation of the international community and countries in the region. The pressing task at the moment is to restore peace, stability and order as soon as possible, so as to avoid unnecessary casualties and large scale refugees to the utmost extent possible. The rights and interests of diplomatic missions and personnel in Afghanistan are inviolable. The safety, security, and interest of foreign nationals in Afghanistan must be respected and guaranteed. All parties in Afghanistan have the responsibility to protect people’s lives and property. They should provide assurance for the safe residence and orderly evacuation of foreign citizens.
China has always maintained that the political solution is the only way out for Afghanistan. At present, Afghanistan’s national prospects are at a historic crossroads. China has noted that the Afghan Taliban said yesterday that the war in Afghanistan is over and that they will hold talks aimed at forming an open, inclusive Islamic government in Afghanistan and take responsible actions to protect the safety of Afghan citizens and foreign diplomatic missions. China hopes these remarks can be implemented so as to ensure a smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan, keep at bay all kinds of terrorism and criminal acts, and make sure that the Afghan people stay away from war and can rebuild their homeland. We hope the Afghan Taliban can form solidarity with all factions and ethnic groups in Afghanistan, and build a broad-based and inclusive political structure suited to the national realities, so as to lay the foundation for achieving enduring peace in the country.
In the last 20 years, terrorist organizations such as Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and ETIM have gathered and developed in Afghanistan, posing a serious threat to international and regional peace and security. Afghanistan must never again become a heaven for terrorists. This is the bottom line that must be held firmly for any future political solution in Afghanistan. We hope that the Taliban in Afghanistan will earnestly deliver on the commitments and make a clean break with the terrorist organizations. All countries should fulfill their obligations in accordance with international law and the Security Council resolutions, work with each other in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and take resolute actions to prevent terrorist organizations such as Islamic State, Al-Qaeda and ETIM from taking advantage of this chaos.
As we speak, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is very dire. Humanitarian assistance and epidemic prevention and control are under tremendous pressure. The international community should scale up humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and its neighbors that have received a large number of displaced persons from Afghanistan to help alleviate the regional humanitarian crisis. The relevant parties should ensure that the work of international humanitarian relief agencies can continue unhindered. The international community should also continue to help Afghanistan and its neighbors to control the pandemic as soon as possible.
The chaos currently in Afghanistan is directly related to the hasty withdrawal of foreign troops. Relevant countries should earnestly deliver on the commitment to support peace, reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan and play a constructive role on the issue of Afghanistan. On the basis of respecting the leadership of Afghanistan and relevant efforts of the neighboring countries in the political, security, development, humanitarian and anti-narcotics fields, constructive assistance to Afghanistan should be provided on continuing basis. Many council members said in their statements that they wish to see greater roles played by Afghanistan’s neighbors and regional countries. We learned that some regional countries and Afghanistan’s neighbors had made requests to participate in today’s meeting. It is regrettable that their requests were not granted.
For a long time, UNAMA has played an important role in supporting the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan. Given the current situation on the ground that has undergone major changes, we hope that the Secretary-General will make proper arrangements to ensure the safety of personnel of the mission. We also look forward to the Secretary-General presenting practical and actionable views and recommendations to the Security Council as soon as possible on the future UN presence in Afghanistan.
Thank you, Mr. President.