New York: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday urged the Taliban to exercise utmost restraint to protect lives and to uphold human rights especially for women and girls. He also urged countries to accept refugees from Afghanistan and refrain from any deportations.
Addressing an emergency UNSC meeting on Afghanistan, Guterres said: "I urge all parties especially the Taliban to exercise utmost restraint to protect lives and to ensure that humanitarian needs can be met. The conflict has forced hundreds of thousands from their homes." This was the second meeting on Afghanistan under India's presidency at the council. Estonia and Norway had requested this urgent session after the Taliban took over Afghanistan's capital city Kabul on Sunday.
The UN chief while briefing the council called on all parties to provide humanitarians with unimpeded access to timely and life-saving services and aid.
"I call on all parties to provide humanitarians with unimpeded access to timely and life-saving services and aid. I also urge all countries to be willing to accept refugees and refrain from any deportations," said the UN chief.
Kabul is witnessing a huge influx of internally displaced persons from provinces across the country where they felt insecure and fled during the fighting. "I remind all parties of their obligations to protect civilians," added Guterres.
Talking about the chilling reports of restrictions on human rights throughout the country after the Taliban takeover, he said, "We are receiving chilling reports of restrictions on human rights throughout the country. I'm particularly concerned by the account of mounting human rights violations against women and girls of Afghanistan who fear a return of the darkest days." He urged the global community to uphold human rights in Afghanistan "We must speak in one voice to uphold human rights in Afghanistan. I call upon Taliban and all parties to respect and protect international humanitarian law and rights and freedom of all persons," said Guterres at the UNSC meeting on Afghanistan.
Further, the UN chief asked the international community to stand together in suppressing terrorist threats in Afghanistan.
"I urge the UNSC and international community to stand together, act together and work together use all tools at their disposal to suppress the global terrorist threat in Afghanistan and to guarantee that basic human rights will be respected," said UN Secretary-General.
"The international community must unite to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used as a platform or safe haven for terrorist organizations," added Guterres.
He reiterated that the people of Afghanistan should not be abandoned at such a critical juncture.
"Afghans are proud people. They have known generations of war and hardship. They deserve our full support. The following days will be pivotal. The world is watching. We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan," said Guterres.