Category: Afghanistan (Page 1 of 2)

UN chief: “Restore trust and inspire hope” to UN General Assembly.

With humanity on the edge of an abyss, and moving in the wrong direction, the world must wake up“, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in his keynote address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Antonio Guterres called for greater action in areas such as climate policy, gender equality and closing the gap between rich and poor.

“This is our time.

A moment for transformation. 

An era to re-ignite multilateralism. 

An age of possibilities,” the UN Secretary-General told world leaders and ambassadors.      

“Let us restore trust. 

Let us inspire hope.

And let us start right now.”

Amid “the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes”, which include the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate emergency, and upheaval in places such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Yemen.

Mr. Guterres singled out one disturbing image as indicative of the present moment, citing “the picture we have seen from some parts of the world of COVID-19 vaccines…in the garbage.

Expired and unused”.

“On the one hand, we see the vaccines developed in record time, a victory of science and human ingenuity.

On the other hand, we see that triumph undone by the tragedy of a lack of political will, selfishness and mistrust.”

For the UN Secretary-General, the fact that most wealthier countries are vaccinated, while more than 90 per cent of Africans are still awaiting their first dose, was “a moral indictment of the state of our world” and “an obscenity”, according UN News.

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UN chief: $1 billion pledge a ‘quantum leap’ in commitment to Afghanistan.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday hailed significant international financial support pledged to the people of Afghanistan following a meeting in Geneva, which nearly doubled the initial $606 million flash appeal for the country.

“Today, we have already heard clearly more than $1 billion in pledges, it represents a quantum leap in relation to the financial commitment of the international community towards the Afghan people,” said Mr. Guterres.

UN relief chief Martin Griffiths confirmed in his closing remarks to the meeting that more than $1.2 billion in humanitarian and development aid in total had been promised, incorporating both Monday’s appeal, and the regional response.

A ‘lifeline’ for Afghans

The funding will throw a lifeline to Afghans who lack those services; to the small children that Henrietta Fore of UNICEF spoke of, who face the risk of acute malnutrition.

And to the many women and girls who could lose their access to reproductive health services, and much more,” said the Emergency Relief Coordinator, and head of the UN humanitarian affairs office.

In an encounter with journalists on the sidelines of the high-level ministerial meeting, the UN Secretary-General noted that the fact that nearly 100 Member States had taken part in helping Afghanistan,

This in addition to more than 30 regional and international organisations, underscored that the crisis in Afghanistan remained a crucial issue for the global community, according UN News.

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UN chief: “support Afghans in their most perilous hour”.

The international community should urgently offer a “lifeline” to millions of vulnerable Afghans “who face perhaps their most perilous hour”, the UN Secretary-General said on Monday.

Leading the appeal in Geneva for $606 million to support emergency aid for 11 million people across the country, António Guterres said that even before the uncertainty caused by the Taliban takeover last month, people were in the grip of one of the worst crises in the world.

“The people of Afghanistan need a lifeline,” he said. 

“After decades of war, suffering and insecurity, they face perhaps their most perilous hour.

Now is the time for the international community to stand with them”, according UN News.

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Pope Francis calls for prayer, fasting for Afghanistan.

At the Angelus, Pope Francis calls Christians to show solidarity with the people of Afghanistan, especially women and children, the victims of violent attacks in recent days.

Let us continue to assist those in need“, he says, “and pray that dialogue and solidarity may lead to peaceful and fraternal coexistence.”

In a statement by Pope Francis:

“I am following the situation in Afghanistan with great concern,” Pope Francis said on Sunday, adding, “I share in the suffering of those who mourn for the people who lost their lives in the suicide attacks last Thursday, and of those who are seeking help and protection.”

Almost two hundred people were killed in the suicide bombing at Kabul’s airport last week, and thousands of people are still waiting desperately to flee to the country as the Taliban takes control of the war-torn nation.  

The Holy Father commended the souls of those who were killed “to the mercy of Almighty God.”

At the same time, he thanked those who are working to help the “sorely tried population” of Afghanistan, especially women and children.

“I ask everyone to continue to assist those in need,” the Pope said, “and to pray that dialogue and solidarity may lead to the establishment of peaceful and fraternal coexistence, and offer hope for the future of the country.”

Pope Francis insisted that “in historical moments like this we cannot remained indifferent,” and for Christians it is a duty to respond.

For this reason, he said, “I appeal to everyone to intensify prayer and practise fasting: prayer and fasting, prayer and penance.

Now is the time to do it.”

Adding emphasis to his appeal, he continued, “I’m serious: intensify prayer and practice fasting, asking the Lord for mercy and forgiveness”, according Vatican News.

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United Nations Security Council urges Taliban to provide safe passage out of Afghanistan.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution on Monday that calls for the Taliban to facilitate safe passage for people wanting to leave Afghanistan, allow humanitarians to access the country, and uphold human rights, including for women and children.

Thirteen of the 15 ambassadors voted in favour of the resolution, which further demands that Afghanistan not be used as a shelter for terrorism.

Permanent members China and Russia abstained.

Airport attack condemned

Member states condemned in the strongest terms the deadly blasts at Kabul airport on Thursday, which killed more than 150 people and injured upwards of 200 more. 

The terrorist group Islamic State in Khorosan Province claimed responsibility.

The attack targeted people fleeing Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover two weeks ago, and international forces assisting the evacuations.

Thousands of Afghans have been trying to escape from the country ahead of the full withdrawal of the United States by its self-imposed Tuesday deadline, according UN News.

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Islamic State claims responsibility for terror attack Kabul airport; death toll at 103.

The Islamic State has officially claimed responsibility for the Kabul airport attack in Afghanistan that killed at least 103 people on Thursday.

Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport, transforming a scene of desperation into one of horror in the waning days of an airlift for those fleeing the Taliban takeover.

The organisation’s affiliate in Afghanistan known as Islamic State Khorasan Province, had been pointed to as the prime suspect immediately after the blast.

The IS official Amaq news agency said on its Telegram channel that a member called Abdul Rahman al-Logari carried out “the martyrdom operation near Kabul Airport”.

The Pentagon has warned of more terror attacks in Afghanistan after the deadly airport bombing on Thursday in a statement.

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UN chief condemns terrorist blasts near Kabul airport in Afghanistan.

UN chief António Guterres condemned on Thursday the terror attacks around Kabul airport in Afghanistan and expressed his support for both the injured and the families of those who have been killed. 

“He condemns this terrorist attack which killed and injured a number of civilians… He stands in solidarity and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured”, UN spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric told journalists.

Mr. Dujarric underscored that it was the responsibility of the de-facto authorities to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, including the airport.

According to media reports, suspected suicide bombers struck the Kabul airport gates with at least two explosions, leaving at least 13 people dead, including children.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, also reacted to the terrorist attacks.

“Today’s horrible bomb attack in Kabul, in addition to everything else, should make us all even more determined not to leave the Afghan people alone”, he said on his official twitter account.

Grandi added that now is the time to do more for Afghans at risk and in need, and for those who are displaced or refugees in neighbouring countries, according UN News.

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President Joe Biden keeps deadline of 31 August pullout US military Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden told G7 leaders on Tuesday that the United States is on pace to complete the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan by Aug. 31 depending on cooperation from the Taliban.

We are currently on a pace to finish by August 31, I am determined to complete our mission,” Joe Biden said in a speech.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to negotiate with the Taliban:

The Taliban must guarantee a safe passage for those who want to leave Afghanistan beyond the 31 August deadline, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said in a speech.

The World Government Movement will keep you informed about the situation in Afghanistan.

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UN rights chief tells Member States: Afghanistan women’s rights are ‘red line’.

UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet led calls on Tuesday for Afghanistan’s new Taliban leaders to respect the rights of all Afghans and warned that the treatment of women and girls is a “fundamental red line” that should not be crossed.

Speaking at the opening of an emergency session at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, a little over a week since the Taliban swept to power, Ms. Bachelet reminded UN Member States of credible reports of violations of international humanitarian law against civilians in areas under their control.

These reports, she said, make it especially important that the Human Rights Council work in unison to prevent further abuses, and that Member States establish a dedicated mechanism to monitor the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan and, in particular, the Taliban’s implementation of its promises. 

Ms. Bachelet added that “a fundamental red line will be the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls, and respect for their rights to liberty, freedom of movement, education, self-expression and employment, guided by international human rights norms.

In particular, ensuring access to quality secondary education for girls will be an essential indicator of commitment to human rights”, according UN News.

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President Joe Biden says he stands behind Afghanistan decision.

President Joe Biden on Monday defended his decision to continue with the U.S. military withdrawal in Afghanistan, blaming the U.S.-backed Afghan government and military for allowing the Taliban to take over.

Joe Biden: “I am president of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me,” he said.

“I am deeply saddened by the facts we now face, but I do not regret my decision.”

Speaking to the American public from the White House, Joe Biden said he stood firmly by his decision and argued that he was faced with a choice to either follow through with the drawdown or escalate the conflict into its third decade and ultimately sacrifice more American lives.

“I stand squarely behind my decision.”

“After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

That’s why we’re still there,” Biden said.

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