Magazine article UN Chronicle

Grave Concern Expressed over Escalating Fighting in Afghanistan

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Grave Concern Expressed over Escalating Fighting in Afghanistan

Article excerpt

Those "very serious developments", Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar said, should concern not only the Afghan people but the international community as a whole, and underline the need for a political, not military, solution to the situation.

"The prolonged suffering of the Afghan people should be brought to an end", he stressed. "The past decade has already taken far too high a toll."

He called on the parties to the Geneva Accords setting forth a peace settlement (Afghanistan and Pakistan) and the guarantors of those Accords (the USSR and the United States) to ensure scrupulous and faithful implementation of all their obligations, and to promote urgently a comprehensive political solution. The parties and the guarantors "should abide by the letter and spirit of the Geneva Accords".

The Afghan people were called on to seek ways of placing the long-term interests of their country ahead of all other considerations, and to work sincerely for a broad-based Government "through an intra-Afghan dialogue". The Afghan people alone should determine their destiny.

Although in his 1989 New Year's message to the Afghan people, he had hoped for the end of the long and tragic war in Afghanistan, the realization of that hope unfortunately had thus far remained elusive, he said.

In his report on the work of the Organization, dated 8 September, the Secretary-General pointed out that because of the escalation in fighting, the UN's programme to render humanitarian assistance had been severely impeded.

Addressing a press conference in New York on 19 September, he said it was important for the UN to find some formula that would represent an international consensus. …

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