UNSC extends UNAMA mandate for another year

Members of the UN Security Council on Thursday voted unanimously in favor of two draft resolutions regarding Afghanistan – including the resolution to extend the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s (UNAMA) mandate for another year.

The first draft resolution was to extend the mandate and the second draft resolution requests that the UN Secretary-General conduct an independent assessment that provides recommendations for an integrated and coherent approach among different actors in the international community to address the current challenges facing Afghanistan.

The assessment resolution calls for the UN Secretary-General to conduct and provide the assessment in full to the Security Council, by no later than 17 November 2023.

Following the adoption of the two resolutions, a number of member nations took to social media in a show of support for the people of Afghanistan.

The UK however stated that the UNSC message “is clear”: Their representative to the UN said: “We will not abandon Afghan women and girls; We will hold the Taliban to account; We fully support UN efforts to get aid to those who need it.”

Japan tweeted that it welcomed the move and said it will continue to support UNAMA’s activities to address complex challenges faced by Afghanistan and its people.

Switzerland also welcomed the move but called on the international community to continue supporting Afghanistan. “Switzerland welcomes UNSC unanimous decision to extend UNAMA mandate for 12 months. Its work in humanitarian, political & Human Rights field is key. We reiterate our concern regarding the situation of women & girls.”

The US mission to the United Nations also issued a statement and Washington’s envoy Robert Wood said the United States “fully supports UNAMA which is a lifeline for the people of Afghanistan.”

He noted that with the extension of UNAMA’s mandate, “the UN will be able to continue its important work to restore Afghans’ ability to exercise their human rights, especially those of women and girls and members of minority communities.”

He noted that UNAMA will also continue to address a widespread humanitarian emergency and economic crisis, promote peace and stability, and facilitate dialogue among all relevant Afghan political actors and stakeholders.

“Today and every day, the United States stands firmly in support of the UN’s work to support peace, security, and stability in Afghanistan and to advance respect for all Afghans’ human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he said.

The Resolution noted that the UN reaffirmed its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan, as well as its continued support for the people of Afghanistan; but stated, among other entries, that it is concerned “at the lack of progress on the Security Council’s expectations of the Taliban”.