Explanation of Vote on Afghanistan Resolution by Ambassador Byrne Nason
Statement30 August 2021
Thank you very much Mr President,
We welcome the adoption today of this resolution on Afghanistan, and I want to express our appreciation to France, the United Kingdom and the United States for their efforts in bringing it forward.
Mr President, Ireland voted in favour of this resolution because we believe in the Council’s voice at this critical juncture for Afghanistan. We would, of course, have preferred a united message.
Our thoughts today are with those Afghans who are desperately trying to reach safety outside their homeland; with women and children who know their fundamental rights are now at risk; and with all Afghans suffering humanitarian need, including those hungry and without safe access to water. This, Mr President, is where our collective attention needs to be; we cannot look the other way.
That is why the focus in this resolution on ensuring full, safe and unhindered access to the UN and all humanitarian actors to deliver life-saving and life sustaining humanitarian aid is so important. We also welcome the emphasis on the upholding of human rights and the clear and unequivocal reaffirmation of the importance of the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in any negotiated political settlement.
We would, of course, have preferred stronger language in respect of human rights, particularly given the situation now faced by the women and girls of Afghanistan. On the 19th of August, Ireland and Mexico jointly urged this Council to place the utmost priority on women and girls.
Ireland calls on all parties to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian, refugee and human rights law.
I repeat what I said in this Chamber on the 16th of August - telling the international community what it wants to hear will fool no one. We have noted the public statements by the Taliban. We will judge you by your actions and not by your words.
Right now the international community must continue to demand that all those who need to leave Afghanistan - Afghans and foreign nationals – are free to do so in a safe, secure and orderly way. We reiterate our firm view that this access, at any air or land crossing, must be without preconditions.
Mr President, Ireland will not be found wanting in our determination to work alongside fellow Security Council members to ensure that we maintain a laser focus on the situation in Afghanistan, including as Ireland assumes the Presidency of this Council for the month of September.