Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
March 17, 2022
Thank you, Madam President. The United States would, firstly, like to commend Norway for the cooperative and constructive spirit in which it led the Council’s negotiations on this text.
The Security Council’s adoption of a new and robust mandate for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan demonstrates the international community’s enduring commitment to the people of Afghanistan and to the UN’s work in support of them. This mandate empowers UNAMA to execute a variety of critical functions and serves as an advocate for Afghans throughout the country as they face a variety of urgent and mutually reinforcing challenges.
Through this resolution, the Security Council has tasked UNAMA with facilitating dialogue among Afghan and international stakeholders that focuses on the promotion of inclusive, representative, participatory, and responsive governance that serves the needs of all Afghans – regardless of their gender, ethnicity, or identity.
UNAMA continues to have a robust human rights mandate to monitor and report on the situation of women, members of ethnic and religious minority groups, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable or marginalized populations – as well as to advocate for those suffering from violence. We are also pleased the UN can continue its important child protection work, which aligns with this Council’s efforts on children and armed conflict.
Critically, this mandate ensures UNAMA can continue its vital work in support of women’s and girls’ empowerment, their ability to enjoy fully human rights and fundamental freedoms, and their full, equal, and meaningful participation in all levels and stages of decision-making. In doing so, the Security Council has instructed UNAMA not just to advocate for Afghanistan’s women but to engage with them as vital partners in its work.
As the Security Council notes through the resolution we have adopted today, enhancing respect for the rights of all Afghans is not only of critical importance unto itself, but also contributes to the conditions essential to Afghanistan’s development. Afghanistan cannot prosper if half the population is denied access to education or is not permitted to work. The United States is closely watching the Taliban’s actions to ensure it meets its commitments to respect the rights of women throughout the country.
This mandate also ensures UNAMA will continue to contribute to efforts to address the widespread humanitarian emergency in Afghanistan and ongoing economic crisis in the country. As the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, the United States remains firmly committed to UNAMA’s work to facilitate the efforts of partners on the ground who are providing vital humanitarian aid to Afghans.
In addition to our humanitarian contributions, we continue to support measures to help address the enormous challenges facing Afghanistan’s economy, as shown by the steps we’ve taken recently to protect certain property of the central bank of Afghanistan held in the United States for the benefit of the Afghan people. We welcome the opportunity to continue to engage closely with the UN to advocate for an Afghan central bank that is free from interference and meets global technical standards.
The Security Council has taken an important step today to underscore the importance of the UN’s continued work in Afghanistan as the country navigates a pivotal moment in its history.
Thank you, Madam President.