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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at Security Council Open Video Conference on Afghanistan

2020/06/25

Ms. President,

I thank Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ms. Lyons and Director of UNODC Ms. Waly for their briefings. I have listened carefully to the remarks of Ambassador Raz and the civil society representative, Ms. Akbar.

Afghanistan is "the heart of Asia". Its situation has a significant impact on regional peace and stability. The fast-moving events in recent months have taken the country closer to peace than ever. But the road ahead is far from smooth.

The Afghan people are entitled to a better life free from the shadow of war, and also to a healthy and safe environment. The international community should continue to provide support and assistance to Afghanistan.

First, China supports Afghanistan in safeguarding national unity and political stability, and calls on all parties in Afghanistan to put the national interests first and consolidate government unity.

We welcome President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah's agreement to form a national unity government to create necessary conditions for peace, and look forward to the normal functioning of the government as early as possible.

China encourages the main political forces in Afghanistan to seize the opportunity, bridge differences, and break new ground in national reconciliation and reconstruction at an early date.

Second, China firmly supports an inclusive peace process that is "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned".

Recently, the Afghan government and the Taliban have accumulated the conditions for the start of intra-Afghan negotiations by releasing prisoners to each other.

China appreciates this and calls on all factions to reach an early agreement on the arrangements for intra-Afghan talks on the country's future political architecture.

China kept close communications recently with other partners, especially countries in the region, to promote the intra-Afghan dialogue process.

We are ready to provide a platform for intra-Afghan talks, and will continue to work with others under mechanisms including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), and the trilateral China-Afghanistan-Pakistan dialogue.

Third, China is concerned about the recent resurgence of violence in Afghanistan, and calls on all factions to immediately cease hostilities.

We encourage and urge the international community and all parties in Afghanistan to strengthen Afghanistan's security capability and combat terrorism.

China calls on the parties concerned to ensure, in implementing the US-Taliban agreement, that the withdrawal of foreign forces in Afghanistan is conducted in an orderly and responsible manner, without undermining the interests of Afghanistan or other countries in the region, particularly to prevent regrouping of terrorist forces.

Security Council resolution 2513 should be effectively and comprehensively implemented.

Fourth, China supports the development and reconstruction of Afghanistan and its integration into regional cooperation.

Lasting and sustainable peace and prosperity would be difficult to achieve without a solid foundation. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the pressure on Afghanistan's economic and social development.

We call for efforts to strengthen regional cooperation and connectivity, give play to the critical role of regional countries, especially its neighbors, and help Afghanistan recover its economic vitality through the pandemic.

China has handed over three batches of anti-epidemic supplies to Afghanistan and such assistance is making a difference in Afghanistan. We will continue our efforts and call on the international community to do the best to support Afghanistan’s fight against the outbreak.

At the same time, we should also pay attention to and help the pandemic response by the Afghan refugees and host countries.

UNAMA is playing a leading role in helping Afghanistan at all fronts. We appreciate its work facing a lot of difficulties and challenges nowadays.

UNAMA’s core mandate should be maintained and strengthened, including in supporting regional cooperation. Previous consensus of member states should be safeguarded.

We also support UNAMA to help Afghanistan people in fighting against COVID-19, and protecting its own staff. In this regards, China stands ready to work with UNAMA.

Thank you, Ms. President.

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