Explanation of Vote on UNAMA - Afghanistan by Ambassador Byrne Nason
Statement17 September 2021
I shall now make a statement my capacity as the representative of Ireland.
We welcome the adoption this morning of this resolution extending the mandate of UNAMA, and I want to express my appreciation to Estonia and Norway, as penholders, for their efforts to secure agreement on this text.
Today’s resolution demonstrates the unanimous support of this Council for the vital work of UNAMA supporting the people of Afghanistan.
We welcome the recognition in the text that a sustainable future for Afghanistan can only come through the establishment of an inclusive and representative government. The Council has also reaffirmed the importance of the full, equal and meaningful participation of women in any future political settlement.
I also welcome the emphasis we have placed on the responsibility of any future government to uphold human rights, including for women, children and minorities.
In welcoming the adoption of today’s resolution, we know that this text does not capture all of the issues facing Afghanistan at this time of upheaval. I wish to take the opportunity to reiterate the central importance of the upholding of Afghanistan’s obligations under international humanitarian, refugee and human rights law. We also reiterate our call that all actors ensure full, safe and unhindered access to all humanitarian workers delivering vital aid in Afghanistan. This is particularly important for women humanitarian workers who are facing challenge as they seek to undertake their life saving and life sustaining work. Ireland also reaffirms our strong commitment to the protection of civilians.
This resolution provides a clear and structured basis for the engagement of this Council and that of the Secretary General on the situation in Afghanistan for the next six months. I will not tire of saying that we will judge the Taliban during this period by their actions, not by their words. During this period, we will consider our next steps, including the parameters for future UN engagement.
Today’s resolution is an important step, but it is but one step. Ireland will continue to place the rights and needs of the Afghan people, in particular women and girls, to the forefront of our engagement in the period ahead.
I now resume my function as President of the Council.