UN Security Council to vote on draft resolution for Afghanistan

The United Nations Security Council plans to vote Friday on a draft resolution aimed at addressing the challenges in Afghanistan, following recommendations from an independent assessment required by Resolution 2679 of March 16.

Co-penholders Japan and the United Arab Emirates proposed the draft, which emphasizes a comprehensive approach among political, humanitarian, and development groups, both within and outside the UN, according to a Thursday Council statement.

The report, led by UN Special Coordinator on Afghanistan Feridun Sinirlioğlu and submitted November 8, proposes an “engagement architecture” for international efforts in Afghanistan. It includes four main recommendations: addressing basic needs, increasing international cooperation on security, creating a political engagement roadmap, and establishing coordination mechanisms.

Sinirlioğlu’s report also suggests three mechanisms for overseeing implementation, including a “large group format” of member states’ special envoys, a smaller contact group, and a dedicated UN Special Envoy for Afghan-international diplomacy.

Negotiations on the draft have been contentious among Council members, with preliminary consultations starting December 11. The UK and the US support the initial draft, while China and Russia call for caution and further evaluation. China stresses the need for Taliban involvement, given their opposition to some recommendations.

France, Malta, and other European members seek stronger language on Afghan women and Taliban compliance with international obligations. China and Russia proposed removing the Special Envoy appointment and references to the “smaller contact group.”

Penholders made adjustments, including encouraging rather than urging member states to consider the recommendations. However, some proposals, like those on Taliban compliance, were not fully incorporated.