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Statement on the situation in Afghanistan

Statement by the Republic of Slovenia at the UN Security Council briefing on the situation in Afghanistan

Thank you very much Mr. President.

I wish to add my thanks to SRSG Otumbayeva and Ms. Gailani for the briefings.

Mr. President,

We welcome and commend UNAMA for all the activities it has undertaken. Its presence in Afghanistan remains essential. We particularly stress the importance of its work in the fields of human rights, humanitarian assistance and continued political dialogue with the Taliban.

Slovenia supports the renewal of UNAMA’s mandate and its full implementation.

We reiterate our strong support for democratic and prosperous future of Afghanistan. Afghanistan at peace with itself, its neighbours and fully integrated in international community. Afghanistan, able to assume obligations of a sovereign state in relation to other states and its own population. We support a coherent and structured engagement on Afghanistan with the aim of helping the Afghan people, bringing stability, prosperity and sustainable peace.  

The bedrock of a country’s strength lies in recognizing and upholding the inherent equality of all its people. The Taliban in its domestic and foreign policy approach must focus on serving the whole population. We call for inclusivity and good, effective and accountable governance.

Mr. President,

Unfortunately, the human rights situation remains grim. At this point, it is worth repeating that Afghanistan is a party to human rights treaties including CEDAW and those must be respected and implemented. It is an obligation.

In this regard, we condemn the reported public executions and instances of corporal punishment in public places. These are direct violations of Afghanistan’s obligations under international human rights law. Further on, we are concerned about the continued extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and systematic restrictions on the activities of human rights defenders and journalists. We call on the Taliban to release all women’s rights activists that have been detained.

We also call for full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women and girls in all spheres of public life, their right to education, employment and work, as well as their freedom of movement, expression and assembly.

We strongly advocate for an immediate shift and reversal of policies and practices of unacceptable repression of women’s rights. We condemn the increased challenges for women and girls to access healthcare services. This will severely affect the already compromised health situation of Afghan women.

We strongly commend humanitarian partners trying to bridge the gender gap and deliver healthcare assistance to women and girls. Since 2016, Slovenia has been providing financial support to Mine Detection Polyclinic in Kabul, operating under ITF Enhancing Human Security, a non-profit organization established by the Slovenian government. The Polyclinic continues to employ women personnel who provide free medical care and psycho-social support to Afghan women in girls.

It is deeply concerning that there is no indication for girls to return to secondary and tertiary education. Imagine! So much potential and talents that go unrecognized due to the lack of opportunity. Not just the lack of it, but the direct negation. How many doctors, teachers, engineers, scientists and artists that would contribute to a bright future of the country could come from Afghan women and girls? It is a negation of its own future.

The current crisis continues to generate humanitarian needs unparalleled in scale, severity and complexity. It has profound repercussions for overall stability of Afghanistan. Let me repeat that all humanitarian operations need safe and unhindered access to provide urgent assistance and nobody should be discriminated against in this regard.

While the nature of the conflict in Afghanistan has changed, we remain gravely concerned about the security challenges for Afghanistan and the region. We call for concerted efforts to tackle these security issues including the threat of terrorism. In addition, as a security issue, comprehensive policies should be in place to address the production and illicit traffick of narcotics and as elsewhere climate induced risk must be addressed in this regard.

Mr. President,

The Taliban and the international community have yet to find the path to trust in order to address the needs and aspirations of Afghanistan’s diverse population. We can support stronger engagement with the Taliban, but with the clear and non-negotiable understanding of their obligations to bring the process further.  

Slovenia also supports the appointment of the Special Envoy as mandated by the Resolution 2721 who will work with all parts of the Afghan society.  We expect the appointee to have a high level of gender expertise and extensive knowledge of human rights. I thank you.

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