Islamic Emirate welcomes renewal of UNAMA mandate

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The Islamic Emirate welcomed the renewal of the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) mandate for Afghanistan and said it hoped the move would be beneficial for engagement with the international community.

The UN Security Council on Thursday extended the mandate of UNAMA for a period of 12 months.

“It is a good step. We call for good engagement and effective cooperation in the coming year,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

The resolution was confirmed by 14 votes, with Russia abstaining.

“The resolution sends a clear message that this council stands firmly behind the UN’s continuous support to the Afghan people as they face unprecedented challenges and uncertainty.

The resolution ensures that UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) has a strong and robust mandate to promote inclusive political dialogue, monitor and report on human rights, and continue to facilitate humanitarian and basic human needs assistance. And to engage with all Afghan actors, and that includes the Taliban on all these issues,” said Mona Juul, Norway’s permanent representative to the UN.

The UK permanent ambassador to the UN, Barbara Woodward, said the renewal of UNAMA’s mandate at the current moment was important for Afghanistan.

“Today, the council spoke with one voice in support of a robust UN mission in Afghanistan: to lead and coordinate urgent humanitarian efforts, to support the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls, and to hold the Taliban accountable on its commitments. It’s disappointing that one council member decided to abstain just when UNAMA’s work is more important than ever,” Woodward said.

Analysts believe that UNAMA can play a beneficial role to connect Afghanistan with the world. UNAMA can play “a role as connector between the current government, Afghanistan and the world,” said Naseer Ahmad Haidarzai, an international relations analyst.

UNAMA is mainly focused on providing aid and assessing the situation of Afghanistan.

Based on available numbers, the poverty rate has unprecedently increased as Afghanistan is struggling with a dire humanitarian crisis.

Meanwhile, in these meetings, Lyons discussed the deepening economic and humanitarian crisis and human rights concerns. Lyons said UNAMA will continue delivering life-saving aid. She also said, “There is a need for inclusive governance and protection of the rights of all Afghans, women and men.”

In the meantime, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said the UN will stay in Afghanistan and will continue to promote and defend the rights of women and girls.

“We will not stop until girls can go back to school, and women can return to their jobs and participate in public life,” Guterres tweeted.

A spokesperson of the Islamic Emirate said the UN envoy in her meetings with the Islamic Emirate officials has discussed humanitarian aid and the problems in Afghanistan’s banking system.

“During the meeting, Ms. Lyons said they had incre ased the number of staff to deliver humanitarian aid and that she would soon visit the US where she would raise her voice for the resumption of the banking system of Afghanistan,” said Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a foreign ministry spokesman.—Tolonews