New York, 19 March 2022 (TDI): The Permanent Representative of China, Ambassador Zhang Jun gave a statement to explain the vote on the UN Security Council Resolution on the Mandate of UNAMA.

Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Zhang Jun on the UN Security Council Resolution on the Mandate of UNAMA

Madam President,

Since the withdrawal of foreign troops last August, Afghanistan has ushered in a critical phase of peaceful reconstruction. China supports the important role of the United Nations on the Afghan issue, and welcomes the mandate renewal of UNAMA to continue to provide assistance for the peace, stability and development of Afghanistan.

Helping Afghanistan ease the humanitarian and economic crisis is the most urgent task at present, and it should also be the most important work of UNAMA in the coming period.

UNAMA should actively implement the mandate of the Council resolution, urge major donor countries to increase aid without political strings attached, and help Afghanistan improve people’s livelihood.

We expect UNAMA to assist Afghanistan in cooperating with international financial institutions to gradually activate Afghanistan’s commercial and financial activities and promote economic and social development.

The Security Council resolution specifies that Afghan assets belong to the Afghan people, which reflects the common view of the international community. In line with the clear mandate from the Security Council, UNAMA should further play a coordinating role in promoting assets unfreeze in the country concerned.

We call upon the country concerned to expedite action to unconditionally return these assets to the Afghan people, and look forward to substantive progress in this regard before the next UNAMA briefing to the Council.

Madam President,

We have seen that the Afghan interim government, namely the de-facto authorities, is actively conducting foreign exchanges and taking measures to respond to the expectations of the international community.

The general direction is correct. The international community should adhere to the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned principle, strengthen contacts with the Afghan interim government and all other parties, activity guide and promote the establishment of an open and inclusive political structure, and gradually restore order, rule of law and economic development.

We should support Afghanistan to increase investment in education and health, protect the basic rights of all people, including women and children, combat terrorism in all forms, and develop friendly cooperation with other countries.

This time, the Security Council significantly reprioritized UNAMA’s mandate in light of the changing situation on the ground. As the situation is unfolding too fast and filled with many uncertainties, it is not an easy task to ensure that the new mandate fits the latest development, meets the real needs of the Afghan people, and is practical and feasible to implement.

As the pen-holder, Norway conducted in-depth communication with Council members, and made unremitting efforts towards consensus-building. I would like to take the opportunity to express my thanks to the delegation of Norway.

At the same time, we must admit that we still have many doubts about whether the priorities set out in this resolution are appropriate, whether the mandated tasks are generally balanced, and whether they can play the expected role.

In a prudent manner, we should take stock of UNAMA’s future work in a timely fashion, and be ready to make new adjustments at any time. We hope that UNAMA will make full use of its existing resources, implement its mandate in an orderly and balanced manner, and divide the work and coordinate with other UN agencies to improve its performance.

Always respecting the sovereignty and leadership of Afghanistan, it is important to pay attention to the legitimate concerns of the Afghan interim government, and carry out various tasks on the basis of active communication and mutual understanding.

At present, terrorists remain active in Afghanistan. UNAMA should maintain communication with the Afghan interim government and take necessary measures to ensure the safety of UN personnel.

Madam President,

For a long time, the neighbors of Afghanistan and regional countries have actively supported Afghanistan in its peace, reconciliation and reconstruction process, and made great efforts to promote its peaceful development.

China is making preparations for the third meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbors, and is ready to promote regional countries to strengthen communication and coordination so as to create a favorable environment for the stability and reconstruction in Afghanistan. We call upon the international community to keep up its attention to and input into Afghanistan, and let Afghan people know that they have not been forgotten.

I thank you, Madam President.