Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls on countries to unite to protect hard-won rights of women as he warned the UNSC “to suppress global terrorist threat” as Taliban takes control of Afghanistan.
The United Nations has asked the international community to let the Afghan refugees in and not deport those who are taking the risk to get away from the war-torn country.
“I call on all parties to provide humanitarians with unimpeded access to deliver timely and life-saving services and aid,” United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday told an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan.
The Taliban entered Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan on Sunday as the insurgents took over the country 20 years after they were ousted by a US-led invasion.
Thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of religious rule.
Britain must now throw its doors open to Afghan refugees— Claudia Webbe MP (@ClaudiaWebbe) August 15, 2021
Afghan refugee wave
While some countries have made arrangements to airlift those Afghan who worked with the foreign troops, Europe and the US have largely sidestepped the question of refugees.
There are fears that in the coming months a wave of refugees will move towards Europe where some politicians have expressed concern about hosting migrants.
Some leaders are now calling for allowing the refugees to come in.
Iran and Pakistan — two of Afghanistan’s neighbours — already host millions of refugees.
Canada has announced it will take 20,000 Afghan refugees.
This afternoon, we welcomed a flight of Afghan refugees to Canada. These refugees are part of the 20,000 vulnerable Afghans threatened by the Taliban and forced to flee Afghanistan that Canada will assist in resettling. pic.twitter.com/2duObWTaZG— IRCC (@CitImmCanada) August 14, 2021
"We are receiving chilling reports of severe restrictions on human rights throughout the country. I am particularly concerned by accounts of mounting human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan," he told the 15-member council.
"We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan," he said.
Taliban officials have issued statements aimed at calming the panic.
Under Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001, women could not work, girls were not allowed to attend school and women had to cover their faces and be accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to venture out of their homes.
"Attacks against civilians or civilian objects must stop. The human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghan citizens, especially women, girls and members of minority groups, must be respected," US ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the council.
Afghanistan's UN ambassador Ghulam Isaczai called on the council and the UN not to recognise any administration that achieves power by force or any government that is not inclusive.
He urged them to call for the immediate establishment of an inclusive transitional government.
The UN has about 3,000 national staff and about 300 international staff on the ground in Afghanistan. On Friday, the United Nations said some staff had been relocated to Kabul but that none had been evacuated.
Guterres also said that the international community must come together to ensure that Afghanistan is not used to stage terrorist attacks by other groups.
"The international community must unite to make sure that Afghanistan is never again used as a platform or safe haven for terrorist organizations," he said.
The meeting was hastily convened at the UN's headquarters in New York after Taliban militants entered Kabul.
Guterres said Afghans "deserve our full support."
"The following days will be pivotal," he said. "The world is watching. We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan."