Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : It is vital that we collectively continue to support the Afghan people: UK statement at the UN Security Council [March 2024]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 6 March 2024.

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan.

Thank you, President,  and like others I would like to thank SRSG Otunbayeva and Fatima Gailani for their briefings.

And thank you too to  UNAMA’s staff for all the work they do to support the Afghan people.

UNAMA’s latest report outlines the challenges that Afghanistan continues to face – restrictions on the rights of women and girls are becoming stricter and over half the country’s population will require humanitarian assistance this year.

So it is vital that we collectively continue to support the Afghan people.

First, by the international community staying united, or in Ms Gailani’s word, cohesive, in its engagement with the Taliban.

The future path for an Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbours is laid out in the Special Coordinator’s Independent Assessment and in resolution 2721.

So we should now seek to move forward with its recommendations, including the formation of a small contact group and the appointment of a Special Envoy.

In order to make further progress the Taliban must meet their international obligations.

Afghanistan cannot be self-reliant when it excludes fifty percent of its people from society.

And without inclusive governance, it will not find durable and lasting peace.

Second, by continuing our urgent action to address the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The UN’s humanitarian needs and response plan for Afghanistan remains underfunded.

We call on all states to step up their support and the UK’s own bilateral aid programme this year currently stands at $144 million.

We need to support aid agencies as they try to ensure that all marginalised groups have equal, safe, and dignified access to assistance and services.

President, the United Kingdom remains committed to finding a constructive way forward, working with all international partners and a range of Afghan stakeholders in this endeavour.

We continue to stand with the Afghan people.