UN Security Council extends mandate of team monitoring Taliban sanctions

In a unanimous decision, the United Nations Security Council has renewed for another year the mandate of the team overseeing sanctions against the Taliban and their affiliates. The mandate, crucial for maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan, will now extend until December 2024.

The Council, comprising 15 member states, adopted resolution 2716 (2023), tasking the Monitoring Team to support the Committee established by resolution 1988 (2011). This team plays a key role in designating sanctions on individuals and groups linked to the Taliban.

The Monitoring Team’s responsibilities include tracking non-compliance with measures such as freezing funds and assets, preventing travel, and obstructing the supply of arms and related equipment. They will also assist Member States in building capacity and offer recommendations for addressing non-compliance.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, representing the United States, praised the renewal, emphasizing the sanctions regime’s importance in supporting Afghanistan’s peace and security. She noted the Team’s reports are vital for assessing the impact of sanctions and the Taliban’s adherence to commitments, including counter-terrorism and human rights issues.

Geng Shuang of China stressed the need to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a terrorist hub and to reintegrate the country into the international community. He expressed disappointment over the Council’s failure to extend travel exemptions to some Taliban officials, arguing these are essential for constructive dialogue.

Anna M. Evstigneeva of the Russian Federation echoed the importance of the Team’s travel to Afghanistan for effective mandate implementation. She expressed regret over the resolution’s lack of extension for travel ban exemptions, emphasizing the need for ongoing discussions on the matter within the sanctions Committee.