Delivered By: Her Excellency Lana Nusseibeh, Ambassador and Permanent Representative

Thank you, Mr. President.

I have the honour of delivering this statement on behalf of Japan and the United Arab Emirates in our capacity as co-penholders on the Afghanistan file.

I’d like to start by thanking the Russian Presidency for their flexibility in scheduling today’s vote.

Today, Council members are voting on a resolution condemning the decision by the Taliban to ban Afghan women from working for the United Nations. These restrictions are unprecedented in the history of the United Nations, and they put the very presence of the UN in Afghanistan in jeopardy. But as we all know, this is just the latest in a wave of restrictions that we have witnessed over the past year and a half.

By adopting this resolution, the Council would send an unequivocal message of condemnation and a clear call for the swift reversal, not only of this latest ban, but of others restricting the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.

We are pleased to be joined by over 90 states co-sponsoring the resolution, not just from the Security Council, but from Afghanistan’s immediate neighborhood, from the Muslim world, and from all corners of the Earth.

This cross-regional support makes our fundamental message today even more significant: the world will not sit by silently as women in Afghanistan are erased from society. The resolution also makes it clear that stability, economic recovery, and political reconciliation is not possible in Afghanistan without the inclusion of Afghan women and girls. At the same time, the resolution recognises that dialogue and engagement among all relevant Afghan stakeholders, the region, and the wider international community is critical for turning a page on this chapter of Afghanistan’s history.

Today’s draft resolution also reflects our unyielding commitment to the welfare of the Afghan people while echoing our profound concern about the exceptional set of challenges facing them: the unsustainable economic situation in the country, the dire humanitarian needs, and the importance of UNAMA’s presence and operations.

Finally, this draft resolution also underscores that the protection of aid workers and UN officials who risk their safety while serving humanitarian and UN objectives is fundamental to the wellbeing of Afghan people. This process cannot be achieved without women, and this is why the resolution makes a clear demand on all to allow the rapid and safe access to humanitarian actors, both men and women.

We want to thank and recognise all Council members for their constructive engagement with the text, their flexibility, and their active support to us, the penholders, throughout the negotiation process.

Mr. President,

It is our shared intention that the people of Afghanistan have the opportunity to build the future that they deserve, especially the women and the girls. 

Thank you.