Mr. President,

Like my colleagues, I would first like to thank SRSG Otunbayeva and Mrs Gailani for their presentations. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General for the Doha meeting of Special Envoys, and to refer to what we discussed last week in this Council, especially given the fact that the recommendations of the independent evaluation must be implemented quickly.

We have heard it from the SRSG, but also from all our colleagues, and we have read it in the report: Afghanistan continues to face a multitude of complex crises, combining, among other things, an economic crisis with a human rights crisis, particularly affecting women.

In addition, a climate crisis is already having serious consequences for the region as a whole. In the future, growing competition for water is likely to accentuate conflicts, instability and insecurity. It is therefore imperative to take immediate steps to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on security. This is also one of the recommendations of the New Agenda for Peace. In this context, UNAMA is well placed to promote regional dialogue and cooperation, and to strengthen the sustainable management of water resources. We therefore encourage the Mission to develop this area of action and to continue working with local communities and organizations.

Climate change is also putting additional pressure on an already shaken economy that is largely dependent on agriculture. Almost half of Afghanistan's population lives in poverty. The humanitarian response plan requires more than three billion dollars to help more than 17 million people. Three billion dollars is far more than Afghanistan can currently generate in annual revenue. What's more, the economic prospects for the population remain bleak.

Against this backdrop, the Taliban's actions continue to be detrimental to the prosperity of Afghanistan and its people. The worst measure probably is to exclude half the population from public life and economic participation. The recent intensification of repression against women who do not comply with the Taliban dress code shows how fear and insecurity are systematically reinforced among the female population. This leads to even greater exclusion and psychological trauma. We strongly condemn these actions. Afghanistan is a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. It is therefore obliged to ensure that the rights enshrined in this Convention are respected. As we will discuss at an "Arria" meeting next week, CEDAW and Agenda 1325 complement each other in the urgent need to ensure women's participation at all levels of decision-making and public life. Whether as entrepreneurs or employees, Afghan women are vital to the country's economic development and prosperity.

Equally reprehensible is the fact that half of all children - the future of Afghanistan, and here I can only underline what the A3 group said - are denied a secondary education, while the other half receive what is essentially a religious education. We have long recognized the importance of quality education for all and have collectively enshrined it as a Sustainable Development Goal. Restricting education also makes children more vulnerable to abuse.

All these actions raise a fundamental question: if the Taliban show no willingness to assume to assume the responsibilities inherent in governance, and fail to meet their international obligations, how can we build the confidence to resume international cooperation?

I believe that unity and a common approach remain essential within this Council. In this respect, the development of a roadmap for a Special Envoy and coordination within a contact group will, in time, be important steps.

Mr. President,

I would like to reiterate our full support for the UN's efforts in Afghanistan under the leadership of UNAMA and for its essential commitment on the ground. Its mandate provides it with the tools it needs to continue to do its work, even in complex circumstances. We will therefore support all Japan's efforts, as penholder, to renew the mandate for another year. We call on our fellow Council members to send a united signal of support for UNAMA's mandate and work, as we have done in the past.

I thank you.


Download the statement

Size / Type