Magazine article UN Chronicle


Magazine article UN Chronicle


Article excerpt

The Security Council on 16 April, in expressing its grave concern at the continued fighting in Afghanistan and its intensification in recent months, called upon the Afghan parties to cease immediately all hostile actions and to enter into sustained negotiations. A negotiated settlement was the "only solution to the long-standing conflict" in that country, it stressed.

Through a statement by Council President Antonio Monteiro of Portugal, it also reiterated that the "continuation of the conflict threatens to destabilize the region and prevents steps towards the formation of a fully representative and broad-based government able to address effectively Afghanistan's acute social and economic problems".

It expressed regret that important Security Council and General Assembly resolutions remained unimplemented and called upon the parties, in particular the Taliban, to abide by them, fully cooperate with the United Nations Special Mission to Afghanistan (UNSMA), and participate in serious negotiations through the good offices of the Mission. Interested countries were urged to "coordinate their activities with those of UNSMA and to refrain from supporting one Afghan party against another".

The Council also called upon all States to end immediately the supply of arms and ammunition to all parties to the conflict. It reiterated its concern that the continuation of the conflict provided a "fertile ground for terrorism and drug trafficking which destabilize the region and beyond", and called upon the Afghan leaders to halt such activities.

Further, deep concern was expressed at the "worsening of the humanitarian situation, including the displacement of the civilian population", at the discrimination against women, and other human rights violations.

In addition, the Council welcomed the convening by the Secretary-General of a meeting of concerned countries on 16 April, following an earlier meeting held in New York on 18 November 1996, and the convening of an International Forum on Assistance to Afghanistan on 21 and 22 January at Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, and the meeting of the Afghanistan Support Group on 21 April in Geneva.

UN role stressed

The second meeting of regional and other States with influence in Afghanistan, held at Headquarters on 16 April, had demonstrated that "consensus continues to exist on the grave dangers of continued armed conflict for the region and on the central role of the United Nations in coordinating efforts to achieve a peaceful solution", Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote on 1 May to the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Security Council. …

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