Chinese envoy urges countries to help Afghanistan tackle humanitarian crisis

(Xinhua) 15:50, December 21, 2023

A doctor checks up a malnourished child in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, Oct. 3, 2023.(Photo by Ahmadi/Xinhua)

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Wednesday urged the international community to help Afghanistan respond to humanitarian crisis.

"At present, over 3 million Aghan children are malnourished and over 10 million people there do not know where their next meal is. Winter is here and the Afghan humanitarian disaster will get even worse. We once again call upon the international community to act immediately by stepping up humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, bring warmth and hope to the Afghan people, and not let ordinary Afghans become victims of political considerations," Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, told the Security Council briefing on the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

"We also hope that all parties will take a long-term view, increase development aid to Afghanistan, and help the country restore the functioning of its banking system, establish basic economic order, and better integrate into regional economic and trade cooperation and connectivity," he said.

The ambassador called on the returning of the frozen overseas assets of Afghanistan and their interest to the Afghan people as soon as possible.

Geng also called for efforts to help Afghanistan strengthen the protection of rights and interests of women.

"Afghan women and girls have rights to education and employment. The Afghan Taliban authorities should take concrete actions to implement the requests of the Security Council resolutions and respond to the concerns of the international community," he said.

"Meanwhile, we need to see that the rights and interests of women and girls will not be realized in a vacuum. The international community should support Afghanistan with its peaceful reconstruction and economic recovery, so as to create more enabling conditions for guaranteeing the rights and interests of women and girls. We should refuse to oversimplify the issue into absolutes and still less instrumentalize or weaponize it," said the ambassador.

The envoy underlined the importance of enhancing engagement with the Afghan authorities.

"As is pointed out in the independent assessment on Afghanistan, the international community should get a clearer picture of the political reality in the country, prioritize the interests of the Afghan people, and maintain engagement with the country," he said.

"When engaging with the Afghan authorities, the international community needs to demonstrate good faith, set no preconditions, communicate with the Afghan Taliban in ways easily acceptable to it, and strive for its understanding and cooperation," he said.

Geng said that as for the follow-up to the independent assessment, the Security Council should consider the needs of the Afghan people and expectations of the international community in an integrated manner and make its decision on the basis of full consultation.

"The council should adjust the sanctions measures in a timely manner and, in particular, reinstate the travel ban exemption on some Taliban officials to facilitate engagement with Afghanistan," he added.

In addition, Geng urged efforts to bolster support for the Afghan authorities in their counter-terrorism efforts.

"Currently, terrorist forces in Afghanistan remain active and pose threats to the security of Afghanistan and countries in the region. The international community should urge and help Afghanistan to effectively combat terrorism and resolutely prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a hub for terrorist organizations," he said.

"The Afghan authorities should, as requested by the Security Council resolutions, take robust measures to prevent terrorists from using its territory to engage in terrorist activities that threaten other countries," he said.

Citing the report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the envoy said that the area of poppy cultivation in the country dropped by 95 percent following the drug ban.

"This deserves full recognition. The international community should provide Afghanistan with targeted support such as alternative cultivation and drug rehabilitation, among others," said the ambassador.

Geng underscored that as Afghanistan's neighbor, China has always actively supported its peaceful development and taken concrete actions to help the Afghan people ease their suffering.

"We stand ready to continue our active participation in coordination and cooperation with Afghanistan under framework such as the coordination and cooperation mechanism among neighbors of Afghanistan, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the China-Central Asia Cooperation mechanism," he said.

"We will continue our support for the work of UNAMA and the positive role of the UN, and work with regional countries and the international community at large to help Afghanistan get out of the plight and achieve lasting peace and stability at an early date," Geng stressed.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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