|Security Council held a VTC meeting on the situation in Afghanistan|
The Security Council held a video conference on the situation in Afghanistan on 31 March, 2020, which was chaired by the Presidency of the Council, H.E. Mr. Zhang Jun and briefed by Ms. Ingrid Hayden, the officer in charge of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
The members of the Security Council condemned the recent heinous terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and stressed the importance of sustained efforts to continue to reduce the violence and to ensure that the territory of Afghanistan will not be used by Al-Qaida, ISIL or other international terrorist groups to threaten or attack any other country.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern at the impact of COVID-19 in Afghanistan, stressed the importance of an effective response, called on the international community to work with the Government of Afghanistan to prevent the further spread of the virus, and urged all Afghan parties to heed the Secretary-General's call for a comprehensive ceasefire, to reduce violence and to ensure access of humanitarian aid throughout the country is not unduly hindered. They reaffirmed the Security Council's strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan.
The members of the Security Council called on the political leadership of Afghanistan to put aside their differences and put the interest of the country first. They commended the presentation of a negotiating team for the upcoming intra-Afghan negotiations, including several women. They expressed hope for the intra-Afghan negotiations to start without delay, bearing in mind the challenge the COVID-19 situation poses.
The members of the Security Council also underlined that the economic, social, political and development gains made in the last 19 years including in the field of human rights, especially the rights of women, children and persons belonging to marginalized groups, must be protected and built upon.
The members of the Security Council expressed concern over the drug problem in Afghanistan and called for enhancing efforts to fight against this threat.
The members of the Security Council commended UNAMA for supporting Afghanistan in creating an environment conducive to the Intra-Afghan Negotiations, and reaffirmed the importance of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned inclusive political process.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the efforts of international and regional partners in advancing regional cooperation, development, and reconstruction in Afghanistan.
The members of the Security Council paid tribute to Tadamichi Yamamoto, former United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan, commended his efforts to bring about political resolution to the conflict in Afghanistan and welcomed the announcement of the Secretary-General on the appointment of Deborah Lyons of Canada as his new Special Representative and Head of UNAMA. They wished her well for her future work.