Afghanistan: the road to a lasting peace is still long [fr]
STATEMENT BY NATHALIE BROADHURST,
DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
SECURITY COUNCIL IN ARRIA FORMULA
New York, 20 November 2020
First of all, let me thank the co-organizers of this meeting as well as all the briefers.
The start of the inter-Afghan negotiations has created an opportunity for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, but the road to a lasting peace is still long. And while the international community will accompany Afghanistan in this process, this support will not be unconditional. This is the message that we will carry in a few days time at the donors’ conference that will open on November 23rd in Geneva.
This support will depend on the sincere engagement of all parties and on the respect of their commitments, particularly those made in the February agreements. In resolution 2513, the Security Council welcomed these agreements as a first step towards peace. Since then, confidence-building measures have made it possible to start negotiations, but they are not sufficient and they must continue. First of all, by the reduction of violence. This is a priority. We continue to call for the implementation of resolution 2532, with the immediate establishment of a cessation of hostilities and a humanitarian pause.
Civilians, and in particular children, continue to pay the heaviest toll in this conflict. We reiterate our strong condemnation of the recent attacks. The preservation of humanitarian space, the protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical personnel, as well as civilian infrastructure must be a top priority: it is imperative that all parties respect their obligations under international humanitarian law. Efforts to combat impunity must also be strengthened. The release of prisoners has made it possible to start negotiations, but peace must not be achieved at any price. Those who commit these attacks must be punished.
Another essential condition for sustainable peace, as well as support from the international community, will be the full participation of women. Women must be included in all spheres of public life and all relevant processes. Peace will not be achieved without them, nor at the expense of their rights. We will not compromise on this point and we deplore the fact that only one of the parties to the negotiations has included women in its negotiating team.
As I have said, the sustainability of peace will depend on the fulfillment of each party’s commitments. The Security Council will tailor its support by making full use of the tools at its disposal. That is on the sincere investment of all. Among its tools, the review of the 1988 Committee’s sanctions list is possible, but as the Council indicated in resolution 2513, it will only be done in the light of progress in peace. In particular, we expect the Taliban to meet their commitments under the February 29, 2020 agreement, in particular by severing their ties with international terrorist organizations, including al-Qaida and ISIS. We remain attentive to the progress of the discussions and to the pledges that each of the parties will make to preserve the gains made in terms of democracy, human rights for all, as well as the renunciation of violence.
Our collective objective must remain the establishment of a lasting peace, for which the resolute commitment of Afghanistan’s partners at its side is indispensable. France stands ready to facilitate the peace process at the request of the parties, and it intends to continue its commitment to support Afghanistan’s security as well as economic and social development. Finally, I would like to commend the work of UNAMA and of Deborah Lyons. Their engagement in Afghanistan is a key component of the peace process and the Security Council should remain mobilized in supporting them.