A note issued to the UN press corps said that Mr. Guterres is following with deep concern the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan, as the conflict is forcing hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. There continue to be reports of serious human rights abuses and violations in the communities most affected by the fighting, added the note.
Protect rights of women and girls
The Secretary-General is particularly concerned about the future of women and girls, whose hard-won rights must be protected, the note continued, stressing that “all abuses must stop. He calls on the Taliban and all other parties to ensure that international humanitarian law and the rights and freedoms of all people are respected and protected.”
The note goes on to say that the need for assistance is surging while the operating environment becomes more restricted due to the escalation of the conflict.As such, Mr. Guterres is calling on all parties to ensure that humanitarian actors have unimpeded access to deliver timely and life-saving services and assistance.
UN remains committed to peace in Afghanistan
“The United Nations remains determined to contribute to a peaceful settlement, promote the human rights of all Afghans, notably women and girls, and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and critical support to civilians in need,” concludes the note.
Speaking to reporters at UN Headquarters this past Friday, the Secretary-General stressed that there was still potential for stalled intra-Afghan talks taking place in Doha, Qatar, supported by the region and the wider international community, which could lead to a negotiated settlement.
On Monday, the Secretary-General will address the UN Security Council‘s open meeting on Afghanistan.