Delivered by: Her Excellency Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative
On behalf of the United Arab Emirates and Japan, I want to express our deep gratitude for today’s adoption.
I want to thank all Council Members for reinforcing, over the past year, our shared and enduring commitment to Afghanistan.
I’d like to also recognize Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioğlu and his team for their exemplary work on the independent assessment.
Finally, and most importantly, I want to pay tribute to Afghans – women and men, girls and boys, Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara and Uzbek, Sunni, Shia, Christian, Sikh, and Hindu, in all their remarkable ethnic and religious diversity, in the country and in the diaspora.
I would like to salute your irrepressible spirit, and your unyielding dedication to an Afghanistan at peace with itself, its people, its region, and the world.
And I want to assure you that we, too, are dedicated to that Afghanistan.
This time last year, the Taliban issued some of their harshest edicts to date.
They banned girls from education beyond the 6th grade, and they followed that soon with bans on women working for the UN and for international NGOs.
What was clear then, and is abundantly clear now, is that there is no coherent international strategy for Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, and its people, and to be crystal clear, that includes its women and girls, are isolated, left to fend for themselves as their tragedy is instrumentalized by outsiders for performative virtue-signaling and cynical self-interest.
Afghans struggle for basic needs like food, shelter, healthcare, education, and a decent living. A patchwork of well-meaning but unsustainable humanitarian assistance are all that stands in the face of total collapse.
Let today signal the beginning of the end for all of that. We have before us, perhaps the last, opportunity to change course on Afghanistan. It will require compromises from all.
This resolution sets in motion a principled and pragmatic international approach to Afghanistan. That approach centers the interests of Afghans, while reflecting the need for regional and international buy-in.
The implementation of the recommendations outlined in the Special Coordinator’s report will, at the very least, bring coherence to an often ad hoc and reactive approach by the international community.
It starts a challenging but feasible path towards a prosperous, peaceful, secure, and stable Afghanistan – built by Afghans for Afghans.
This has been a productive year for the Security Council on Afghanistan. Amid increasing division and polarization, we have largely maintained unity on this file.
And I wish to continue inviting in-coming Council Members and current Council Members to strive for this progress. It is an important file worth that unity.
In our, admittedly, brief experience, we have found the purpose of this Council repeatedly validated by the potential and practice of diplomacy.
It has been an extraordinary honor and a privilege to serve with Japan as co-penholders on Afghanistan, and they have our full confidence and support as they continue leading on this file next year.