Mr. President,


Let me begin by thanking the Special Representative, Ms. Roza Otunbayeva, and the Director of OCHA's Division of Finance and Partnerships, Ms. Lisa Doughten, for their presentations. We are also grateful to Ms. Manizha Wafeq for their important testimony.


We continue to be deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan. I'd like to focus on three main points today:


First, as the Secretary-General's report points out, Afghanistan's economic situation remains dire and its population heavily dependent on humanitarian assistance. In this context, the restrictions that the Taliban continue to impose, particularly on women and girls, whose systematic exclusion from public life and access to quality education is preventing the Afghan people from achieving security and prosperity. As we have heard from Ms. Wafeg and in the words of Richard Bennett, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan: “The Taliban’s institutionalization of its system of discrimination, segregation, disrespect for human dignity and exclusion of women and girls, and the harms that it has entrenched, should shock the conscience of humanity”. Switzerland reiterates its strong condemnation of these actions and stands in solidarity with the Afghan people, in particular women and girls, as well as ethnic and religious minorities. Respect for their human rights, fundamental freedoms and participation in public life must remain a priority for the international community. Without this, there will be no path to an Afghanistan at peace with itself, enjoying sustainable economic growth and providing security and stability for all its people.


Second, children, who should benefit from special protection, are particularly vulnerable in Afghanistan. Switzerland welcomes the adoption of the relevant conclusions of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. We are convinced that these conclusions are essential for strengthening the protection of children in Afghanistan, and we call on all parties to implement them, and on UNAMA to actively support these efforts.


Third, another complex crisis that deserves our full attention is climate change. Frequent droughts, flash floods, melting ice as temperatures rise, and land degradation are having serious consequences, displacing millions of Afghans, threatening their survival, and weighing heavily on an already fragile economy that is largely dependent on agriculture. The New Agenda for Peace reminds us that we must address the challenges posed by climate change and the inequalities it creates, both for the sake of the planet and for the sake of development, human rights and our shared peacebuilding goals. This is particularly true in Afghanistan and the surrounding region, where growing competition for water can quickly become a factor of instability and insecurity, exacerbating conflicts. Only by strengthening regional and international cooperation, combined with continued support for local communities, will we be able to mitigate these challenges. We therefore encourage UNAMA to strengthen its role in promoting regional dialogue and cooperation on the impact of climate change on populations and livelihoods, as well as on the sustainable management of water resources.


Mr. President


As we approach the next Special Envoy meeting in Doha, it remains imperative to ensure that the Afghan people, in all their diversity, particularly women and girls, are involved in all processes related to the future of the country, including the implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Assessment. Their voices must be heard. Therefore, it is important that civil society representatives be invited to the Doha meetings and that adequate space be reserved for discussions on human rights, especially those of women and girls.


I thank you.


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