UNSC Briefing/Consultations on Afghanistan
16 August 2021
India Statement delivered by Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti,
Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations
Excellencies, Dear colleagues,
Allow me at the outset to warmly welcome the Secretary General and his important remarks. I also welcome the presence of the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations.
2. The Council is meeting for the second time in a period of ten days to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. In this short period of time, we have witnessed dramatic changes in the situation. We have also seen very unfortunate scenes at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. There is widespread panic among the people. Women and children are in distress. Incidents of firing have been reported from the city, including at the airport. While the security situation remains precarious, a grave humanitarian crisis is unfolding.
3. We have heard urgent appeals from all quarters, including the Secretary General. It is time for the international community, in particular, this Council, to act and ensure an immediate cessation of violence and contain any possible crisis and mitigate its consequences.
4. As a neighbour of Afghanistan and a friend to its people, the current situation prevailing in the country is of great concern to us in India. Afghan men, women and children are living under a constant state of fear. They are uncertain about their future. Everyone is concerned about the increasing violations of the fundamental rights of Afghan citizens. Afghans are worried about whether their right to live with dignity would be respected. There are many unanswered questions.
5. We hope that the situation stabilizes soon, and the parties concerned address the humanitarian and security issues. We also hope that there is an inclusive dispensation which represents all sections of Afghan society. Voices of Afghan women, aspirations of Afghan children and the rights of minorities must be respected. A broader representation would help the arrangement gain more acceptability and legitimacy.
6. The current situation in Afghanistan has numerous challenges. However, there are a few opportunities. If there is a zero tolerance for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and it is ensured that the territory of Afghanistan is not used by terrorist groups to threaten or attack any other country, then Afghanistan’s neighbours and the region would feel safer. The Secretary General has underlined this unequivocally just now.
7. Afghanistan has already seen enough bloodshed in the past. It is time for the international community to come together unitedly, rising above any partisan interests, to support the people of Afghanistan in their desire for peace, stability and security in the country and to enable all Afghans, including women, children and minorities, to live in peace and dignity.
8. India has contributed significantly in recent years to the development of the country. In this context, Indian development projects have been undertaken in critical areas of power, water supply, road connectivity, healthcare, education, agriculture and capacity building. India’s emphasis has been on the welfare and well-being of the people of Afghanistan. Before the current crisis unfolded, India had ongoing development projects in every one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan.
9. As underscored by Council members, we need to continue to support the robust work of UNAMA and ensure their safety. We call upon the parties concerned to maintain law and order, ensure the safety and security of all concerned, including UN, diplomatic and consular personnel, and observe human rights and international humanitarian law in all circumstances in Afghanistan.
SOURCE : UNSC