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Minister Coveney addresses Arria Formula Meeting on the Peace Process in Afghanistan

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, TD, addressed an informal UN Security Council meeting by videoconference today, on the Peace Process in Afghanistan.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister Coveney said:

“The Afghan people have endured decades of violence but the start of peace negotiations has provided hope for a better future.  Making peace takes courage.  We know from our own experience of overcoming conflict, that the path to peace can be long and complex. I urge all of the participants engaged in the peace process to stay the course and to substantively engage in negotiations.”

Minister Coveney reiterated Ireland’s support for an inclusive Afghan-owned peace process that meaningfully includes women and young people, and that builds on the gains made by the Afghan people over the last two decades, including respect for human rights, gender equality and the rights of minorities, the rule of law, and improving inclusive and accountable governance.

The Minister also expressed Ireland’s grave concern at the increase in violence over recent months in Afghanistan at a time when efforts should be focussed on providing humanitarian relief.

Minister Coveney  stated that:

“Attacks against civilians violate international humanitarian law, and those responsible must be held accountable. I call on all who are genuinely committed to peace to reflect the overwhelming desire of the Afghan people for an end to the violence and to declare an immediate ceasefire.”

In closing, the Minister highlighted that as a member of the UN Security Council, Ireland will continue to stand in solidarity with and support the people of Afghanistan to build a sustainable peace.

The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani opened the meeting, which was chaired by Estonian Foreign Minister, H.E. Urmas Reinsalu.

ENDS

PRESS OFFICE

20 NOVEMBER 2020

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