September 19, 2021

The UN Council passed the Afghanistan resolution, but there is no ‘safe zone’

The UN Security Council on Monday passed a resolution calling on the Taliban to fulfill their commitment to free the people of Afghanistan, but the move violated French President Emmanuel Macron’s “safe zone Not cited.

The resolution – drafted by the United States, Britain and France – received 13 votes in favor and no objection. China and Russia did not participate.

The resolution said the council expects the Taliban to allow the safe and secure departure of Afghans and all foreign nationals from Afghanistan.

It cites the Taliban’s August 27 statement that hardline Islamists said Afghans would be able to travel abroad and leave Afghanistan whenever they wanted, including by air and land border crossings.

The resolution said the Security Council expects the Taliban to abide by these and all other commitments.

Macron raised hopes for more concrete suggestions in comments published in the weekly journal Du Demanche over the weekend.

He said Paris and London would present a draft resolution aimed at “defining a ‘safe zone’ in Kabul under UN control that would allow humanitarian work to continue.”

“I am very hopeful that it will succeed. I do not see who can oppose the protection of humanitarian projects,” he said.

But the UN resolution is far less ambitious. It is not clear if another resolution proposing a “safe zone” will be circulated later.

“This resolution is not an operational aspect. It is very much about principles, important political messages and warnings,” a UN diplomat told reporters.

Richard Gowan, a UN expert on the International Crisis Group, said the resolution “at least sends a political signal to the Taliban about the need to keep the airport open and help the United Nations deliver aid,” but Thin text.

“Macron was guilty of selling the idea of ​​a safe zone at Kabul airport this weekend, or at least was not openly discussing it,” he told AFP.

Despite the criticism, the French Foreign Ministry said Paris “welcomes the adoption of the resolution. We got what we asked for, the airport is a safe place for those who want to leave Kabul.”

UN Security Council
UN Security Council resolution says it expects Taliban to allow systematic withdrawal from Afghanistan Photo: AFP / Timothy A. Cleary

“We regret the unavailability of Russian and Chinese, but will work closely with each other to ensure that the council’s decision is implemented,” the French statement added.

The text called on the Taliban to allow “full, safe and unhindered access” to the United Nations and other agencies to provide humanitarian assistance.

It “reaffirms the importance” of upholding human rights, including those of children, women and minorities, and urges all parties to reach a comprehensive, negotiated political settlement with “full, equal and meaningful representation of women”. Is.

The text also states that Afghanistan “should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or finance terrorist acts.”

Experts say the resolution was watered down to ensure that China and Russia would not use their vetoes to block it, including softening some language about the Taliban.

Moscow said it could not support the text because it did not mention the “brain drain” caused by the departure of Afghans or the “detrimental effect” of freezing Afghan financial assets.

Beijing said the current turmoil was a direct result of the “random withdrawal” of Western countries.

The resolution comes as international efforts to deport foreign nationals and vulnerable Afghans end after the Taliban returned to power on August 15, when the United States withdrew 20 years later.

France ended its evacuation efforts on Friday, and Britain followed suit on Saturday.

The United States has said it withdraws from Kabul before midnight on Tuesday.

By Tuesday’s deadline, US troops were entering a dangerous and chaotic situation to complete a massive evacuation from Kabul airport.

Copyright AFP All rights reserved.

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