Afghanistan

 

      Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-ordinator Mr. Kenzo Oshima briefed the

Members of the Council on the critical and deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, The Members expressed their

grave concern at the famine and continued suffering of the Afghan people, who are facing the worst drought in a generation. The

Members deplored the ongoing civil war in Afghanistan and the absence of effective government that might address this

humanitarian disaster. The factions' continuing fighting while the Afghan people suffer demonstrates a profound lack of concern

for the very people in whose name they fight. The Members called on the member-states and the international community to

respond generously to the UN's consolidated appeal and to urgently provide necessary assistance to those most affected by the

drought and the fighting. They also called on the Afghan parties, especially the Taliban, to guarantee the secure and

uninterrupted supply of humanitarian aid to all of those in need, particularly those in remote areas of Afghanistan.

 

      The Members of the Council received additional information from the Secretariat about the deliberate killings of civilians

in Hazarajat in central Afghanistan. Members of the Council welcomed the consultations between Mrs. Robinson, the UN High

Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Afghanistan on how international independent

investigation might be carried out at the earliest possible time. They urged the Taliban to conduct a thorough investigation and to

bring to Justice those responsible, and requested the Secretariat to follow this issue closely. The Members again called upon all

factions to respect the rights of the civilian population, to comply with international humanitarian law, and stressed the

importance of full respect for gender equity and human rights.

 

      The Members of the Council were also briefed by the Secretariat on the destruction of statues, including the colossal

Buddhas in Bamian and other non-Islamic shrines and artifacts in Afghanistan. They condemned the Taliban edict of 26

February that ordered these incomprehensible and wanton acts of violence on the cultural heritage of Afghanistan. The

Members of the Council joined other calls by states, the UN Special Mission to Afghanistan (UNSMA), the UN Educational,

Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and many others

urging the Taliban to halt the destruction of these significant aspects of Afghanistan's cultural heritage, that form part of the

world's cultural treasure.