Note to Correspondents – on Afghanistan

The Secretary-General is following with deep concern the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan. He urges the Taliban and all other parties to exercise utmost restraint in order to protect lives and ensure that humanitarian needs can be addressed.

Conflict is forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. There continue to be reports of serious human rights abuses and violations in the communities most affected by the fighting. The Secretary-General is particularly concerned about the future of women and girls, whose hard-won rights must be protected. All abuses must stop. He calls on the Taliban and all other parties to ensure that international humanitarian law and the rights and freedoms of all people are respected and protected.

The need for assistance is surging while the operating environment becomes more restricted due to the escalation of the conflict. The Secretary-General calls on all parties to ensure that humanitarian actors have unimpeded access to deliver timely and life-saving services and assistance.

The United Nations remains determined to contribute to a peaceful settlement, promote the human rights of all Afghans, notably women and girls, and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and critical support to civilians in need.

On Monday, the Secretary-General will address the Security Council’s open meeting on Afghanistan.