Saturday Aug 13, 2022
Saturday Aug 13, 2022

World 'must not abandon' Afghans: UN chief

2021 Aug 16, 21:17, KABUL, Afghanistan
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres attends a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov following the talks in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Photo: AP

The United Nations chief is calling for an immediate end to violence in Afghanistan and urging the international community to unite to ensure that the human rights of all people, especially women and girls, are respected.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed to the UN Security Council at an emergency meeting on Monday “and the international community as a whole to stand together, work together and act together.”

He said he is “particularly concerned by accounts of mounting human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan who fear a return to the darkest days” in the 1990s when the Taliban ruled and barred girls from getting an education and imposed draconian measures on women.

Guterres said “the world is following events in Afghanistan with a heavy heart and deep disquiet about what lies ahead” and with the country’s future and the hopes and dreams of a generation of young Afghans in the balance, the coming days “will be pivotal.”

At this “grave hour,” the secretary-general urged all parties, especially the Taliban, “to exercise utmost restraint to protect lives and to ensure that humanitarian needs can be met.”

Guterres said the UN continues to have staff and offices in areas now under Taliban control, and which so far have been respected. “Above all, we will stay and deliver in support of the Afghan people in their hour of need.”

“We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan,” he said. 


Secretary-General Antonio Guterres United Nations chief Afghanistan abandon Afghanistan UN Security Council Taliban UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
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