Remarks following the Adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2405 Renewing the Mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan for Six Months
Thank you Madam President. The United States has voted in favor of this Security Council Resolution today to extend the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan for six months. I would like to thank the penholders Germany and Indonesia for their diligent efforts. Let us be very clear about our very strong support for UNAMA. The United States fully supports the Mission’s role in Afghanistan’s peace process, electoral reforms, and coordination of international assistance.
We reiterate our steadfast commitment to advancing the prospects for peace in Afghanistan. This is reflected by our intense diplomatic engagement, led by our Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, to build momentum towards intra-Afghan dialogue to end the longstanding conflict.
We are, however, deeply disappointed that the Council was not able to come to consensus on a resolution renewing the Mission’s mandate for a full year. China held the resolution hostage and insisted on making it about Chinese national political priorities rather than the people of Afghanistan. As a result, the Council had no choice but to accept a short-term, technical rollover.
Madam President, when the Council considers important issues of international peace and security — such as the situation in Afghanistan — it cannot allow the national initiatives of one member state to derail negotiations. In this case, the issue was China’s demand that the resolution highlight its Belt and Road Initiative, despite its tenuous ties to Afghanistan and known problems with corruption, debt distress, environmental damage, and lack of transparency.
We look forward to working with our fellow Council members in the coming months on a more complete resolution that would extend the mission for a longer period. That I believe this entire Council agrees UNAMA and the people of Afghanistan deserve.
Madam President, We hope that in subsequent negotiations, China will focus on how best to advance peace and security in Afghanistan, rather than using Security Council resolutions as a platform for inappropriately promoting self-serving initiatives.
I thank you for your attention.