UNITED NATIONS, Dec 23 (APP): Pakistan has welcomed Wednesday’s U.N. Security Council resolution facilitating humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, where war and international sanctions have left the country on the verge of economic collapse.
The resolution clearly confirms the international legality that humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people are not a violation of the provisions of the Security Council sanctions,” Ambassador Munir Akram said after the unanimous adoption of the US-sponsored text.
Under its terms, the resolution said that processing and payment of funds, other financial assistance or economic resources, and the provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of such assistance or to support such activities are permitted.
The Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in mid-August after 20 years of war against a U.S.-led coalition.
The West has since frozen $9.5 billion in aid and assets to the aid-dependent country of more than 40 million people, who are also facing a harsh winter.
The Security Council resolution, passed unanimously Wednesday, said, This resolution provides an exemption from the U.N. Security Council assets freeze against listed members of the Taliban and associated entities solely for the provision of humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan, which the council will review in one year.
“We thank the United States for presenting the resolution,” the Pakistani envoy said, adding that China and Russia had improved the resolution.
At the recent OIC Conference in Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that the targeted sanctions against certain individuals and entities in Afghanistan must not prevent humanitarian and other essential assistance to the Afghan people who are facing a dire humanitarian and economic crisis.
“It is clear that the Security Council resolution is not a carve-out or an exemption from the sanctions regime,” Ambassador Akram said, regretting that some Council members still want to use humanitarian and economic support to the Afghan people to extract political concessions.
“This is regrettable insensitivity to the tragic suffering of the Afghan nation.”
“We hope that with the adoption of this resolution, the international community, member states, the UN agencies, NGOs will all be able to provide all possible assistance to the Afghan people without being concerned about any legal impediments.”
Ambassador Akram commended the leadership role of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in mobilizing humanitarian and essential assistance to help the Afghan people.
By other terms, the Council decided to review implementation of the resolution after one year and requested the Emergency Relief Coordinator to brief its members every six months, based on the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.
In addition, the Council requested providers to assist the Emergency Relief Coordinator in preparing such briefings by providing relevant information within 60 days of any provision of assistance or activities.
It called on all parties — in all circumstances — to respect the human rights of all individuals and comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, and demanded that they allow full, safe and unhindered access for personnel of United Nations humanitarian agencies and other humanitarian actors, regardless of gender.