Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Deadly mosque explosion ‘another painful blow to the people of Afghanistan’

The United Nations has condemned a deadly explosion at a Sufi mosque in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, on Friday, which reportedly killed at least 10 people and injured up to 15 more, many of them seriously. 

The blast at the Khalifa Sahib mosque, located in the Darulaman area in the west of the city, is the latest in a series of attacks on civilian targets in the capital and provinces.

The explosion tore through the mosque, damaging the roof, which caved in on worshippers, the UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) in the country said, citing initial reports.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres, strongly condemned the attack in a statement released on Saturday.

The UN Security Council also issued condemnation of the multiple recent terrorist attacks targeting minorities in Afghanistan, publishing a detail statement on Saturday. More

Strengthening multilateralism ‘only way’ to peaceful world for all: Guterres

Stronger collaboration among countries is the only sustainable path to a peaceful, stable, prosperous world for all, UN Secretary-General António Guterres told G20 Foreign Ministers meeting in Bali, Indonesia, on Friday.

The meeting is taking place at an extremely challenging moment for multilateralism and global governance, with the international order “at risk of coming apart at the seams”, he said, citing challenges that include the climate emergency, the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and new and evolving forms of conflict.

“Strengthening multilateralism – the theme of this session – is not a choice, but a necessity,” Mr. Guterres said in a video message.

“It is the only way to avoid widespread food shortages, deepening climate chaos, and a wave of poverty and destitution that will leave no country untouched”. More

On brink of humanitarian crisis, there’s ‘no childhood’ in Afghanistan

For over 70 years, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has had a presence across Afghanistan – even as the Taliban secured power over the summer. UN News spoke with Samantha Mort, Chief of Communication, Advocacy and Civic Engagement at UNICEF Afghanistan, who assured that all offices remain open and warehouses full. 

Some 22.8 million people across the country are facing food insecurity, she explained, adding that they cannot access affordable or nutritious food.  Of the 38 million people living in Afghanistan, some 14 million children are food insecure.

For Ms. Mort, “there’s no childhood” these days in Afghanistan. “It’s all about survival and getting through the next day.”

The agency is doubling its number of nutrition counselors and mobile health and  nutrition teams that can go into rural communities to help the children hardest to reach. More

Act swiftly and with determination on Afghanistan, UN chief urges; World Bank suspends aid

Countries must unite and act urgently to secure stability in Afghanistan, and a better future for its people, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a video message on Wednesday to a regional conference of the country’s neighbours, organized by Iran.  

Foreign Ministers from Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan participated in the meeting held in Tehran, with their Russian and Chinese counterparts joining by video, according to media reports

With the Afghan economy on the brink of collapse, the UN chief stressed the need to work together to revive it. “Injecting liquidity into the Afghan economy can be done without violating international laws or compromising principles,” he said.

Mr. Guterres said he was deeply disturbed by violations of human rights, including the rights of women, children and ethnic minorities, and recent deadly terrorist attacks on religious institutions.  He called for ongoing engagement “to help move things in the right direction.”  More

Afghanistan: World must act on ‘make or break moment’ – UN chief

Amidst a growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, on Monday UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged the world to take action during a “make or break” moment for the country.

“If we do not act and help Afghans weather this storm, and do it soon, not only they but all the world will pay a heavy price”, Mr. Guterres told journalists in New York, ahead of Tuesday, when G20 leading industrialized nations will meet to discuss the country embroiled in crisis.

Currently, at least 18 million people, or about half of the country’s population are affected.

“Without food, without jobs, without their rights protected, we will see more and more Afghans fleeing their homes in search of a better life. The flow of illicit drugs, criminal and terrorist networks will also likely increase”, Mr. Guterres warned.

For him, “this will not only badly affect Afghanistan itself, but also the region and the rest of the world”. More

Afghanistan: ‘Palpable’ fear of ‘brutal and systemic repression’ of women grows

Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last month, they have made some commitments to uphold human rights. However, their subsequent actions have “sadly contradicted” those promises, the UN rights chief told a side event of the General Assembly on Tuesday.

Michelle Bachelet informed a high-level event on safeguarding 20 years of international engagement in Afghanistan, that women have been “progressively excluded from the public sphere”, prohibited from appearing without a male guardian and face increasing restrictions on their right to work.

There is real and palpable fear among Afghan women of a return to the Taliban’s brutal and systemic repression of women and girls during the 1990s”, said the High Commissioner. More

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary General on Afghanistan

At the request of the Secretary-General, Martin Griffiths, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator for the United Nations, is currently in Kabul.
 
During his visit today Mr. Griffiths met with Mullah Baradar and the leadership of the Taliban in Kabul to engage with the authorities on humanitarian issues.

In this meeting, Mr. Griffiths reiterated the humanitarian community’s commitment to deliver impartial and independent humanitarian assistance and protection to millions of people in need. He emphasized the critical role of women in the delivery of aid and called on all parties to ensure their rights, safety and well-being. He called for all civilians – especially women and girls and minorities – to be protected at all times. Mr. Griffiths expressed his solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.

The authorities pledged that the safety and security of humanitarian staff, and humanitarian access to people in need, will be guaranteed and that humanitarian workers – both men and women – will be guaranteed freedom of movement. The authorities committed to cooperate with the humanitarian community to ensure assistance is delivered to the people of Afghanistan. Continue reading

UN experts urge Afghanistan’s new rulers to prohibit torture ‘in any circumstances’

Experts serving on a UN human rights treaty body called for the new Taliban-led authorities of Afghanistan to uphold “the international obligations of the State”, particularly in complying with all provisions of the Convention against Torture, outlawing the practice “in any circumstances”.

The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) drew particular attention to the provisions of the Convention and of its Optional Protocol (OPCAT).

Noting that Afghanistan has entered into “a very challenging new chapter of power transition”, the SPT reminded in a statement that torture is “absolutely prohibited at all times and under all circumstances”.

Meanwhile, UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told journalists at a regular media briefing that the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) operated by the World Food Programme (WFP) is resuming its flights to enable 160 humanitarian organizations to continue their life-saving activities throughout the country’s provinces. More

Secretary-General’s statement on Afghanistan

On the day Afghanistan enters a new phase I want to express my grave concern at the deepening humanitarian and economic crisis in the country and the threat of basic services collapsing completely.

Today, almost half of the population of Afghanistan – 18 million people – need humanitarian assistance to survive. One in three Afghans do not know where their next meal will come from. More than half of all children under-five are expected to become acutely malnourished in the next year. People are losing access to basic goods and services every day. A humanitarian catastrophe looms.

Now more than ever, Afghan children, women and men need the support and solidarity of the international community. The humanitarian system’s commitment to stay and deliver will not waver. Already this year, we have delivered aid to eight million people. In the last fortnight we delivered food to 80,000 people and relief packages to thousands of displaced families. Yesterday we airlifted 12.5 metric tons of medical supplies into the country.

Amid a severe drought and with harsh winter conditions on the horizon, extra food, shelter and health supplies must be urgently fast-tracked into the country. I call on all parties to facilitate safe and unimpeded humanitarian access for life-saving and life-sustaining supplies, as well as for all humanitarian workers – men and women.

Next week, we will release details of the most immediate humanitarian needs and funding requirements over the next four months in a Flash Appeal for Afghanistan. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths is coordinating the entire UN system in the preparation of the appeal.

I urge all Member States to dig deep for the people of Afghanistan in their darkest hour of need. I urge them to provide timely, flexible and comprehensive funding. I urge them to help ensure humanitarian workers have the funding, access, and legal safeguards they need to stay and deliver.

New York

31 August 2021

Security Council urges Taliban to provide safe passage out of Afghanistan

The UN Security Council passed a resolution that calls for the Taliban to facilitate safe passage for people wanting to leave Afghanistan, allow humanitarians to access the country, and uphold human rights, including for women and children.

Thirteen of the 15 ambassadors voted in favour of the resolution, which further demands that Afghanistan not be used as a shelter for terrorism. Permanent members China and Russia abstained.

Countries condemned in the strongest terms the deadly blasts at Kabul airport on Thursday, which killed more than 150 people and injured upwards of 200 more.  The terrorist group Islamic State in Khorosan Province (ISKP) claimed responsibility.

The attack targeted people fleeing Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover two weeks ago, and international forces assisting the evacuations. More