Strongly Condemning Ongoing Arming of Group, Resolution 2255 (2015) Clarifies Exemptions to Asset-Freeze, Travel-Ban Measures
The Security Council today extended and adjusted its sanctions regime against individuals and entities affiliated with the Taliban – clarifying exemptions to travel bans and asset freezes, as well as language on the need to combat the financing of terrorism – deciding to review the implementation of those and other measures in 18 months.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2255 (2015) under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, and ahead of a separate meeting for its quarterly debate on Afghanistan, the Council decided that the travel ban would not apply where the Committee established in paragraph 35 of resolution 1988 (2011) determined - on a case-by-case basis only - that such entry or transit was justified. Any exemption would only be granted for the requested period of any travel to the specified location or locations.
In that context, the Council invited the Government of Afghanistan, in coordination with the High Peace Council, to submit to the Committee the names of listed individuals for whom it confirmed the necessity of such travel to participate in meetings in support of peace and reconciliation.
To combat the financing of terrorism, the Council called upon States to move “vigorously and decisively” to cut the flow of funds and other financial assets and economic resources to individuals and entities on the 1988 Sanction List, taking into account the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force in that regard.
By other terms, the Council strongly condemned the continuing flow of weapons, military equipment and component for improvised explosive device to the Taliban, expressing serious concern at their destabilizing impact on Afghanistan’s security. It encouraged States to share information, establish partnerships and develop national strategies and capabilities to counter the devices.
Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), opened the quarterly debate on that country, saying the Government of National Unity had taken many steps to keep the country on the path to stability and greater self-reliance. On the economic front, it was pressing forward with its reform agenda, as articulated in the Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework. On the security front, the Afghan National Security Forces had shown resilience in the face of an intensified insurgency, and had retaken Kunduz and several district centres from the Taliban.
“Afghanistan, as a sovereign nation confronting countless challenges, has made it through its first post-transition year, an achievement in itself,” he said. In the long term, however, the single development that would allow material progress towards a stable and self-reliant Afghanistan would be an agreement among Afghans as to the arrangements by which they could live together in peace and harmony. Welcoming the Government’s 9 December commitment to a peace process, he called upon the Taliban to reciprocate and engage directly with it, emphasizing that there was no other way for insurgent groups to demonstrate a commitment to the welfare and prosperity of their fellow citizens.
UNAMA would continue its three-track approach to engagement with the Taliban: on human rights, on humanitarian access and on political engagement, he pledged. The United Nations would engage with the Taliban and the Government on the protection of civilians and on the rights of women and children while promoting humanitarian access. UNAMA would meet with the Taliban to explore possible entry points to a peace process. “We stand by our call for direct, face-to-face negotiations between representatives of the Government and the Taliban leadership,” he said.
Afghanistan’s representative said the latest potential diplomatic breakthrough with the Taliban in opening a sustainable regional and global approach was a sign of hope. “This is the moment of truth,” he declared, emphasizing: “We must see a genuine paradigm shift on the part of regional orchestrators of our insecurity.” As demonstrated by recent attacks in Kandahar and Helmand, better relations with neighbours would be possible only when foreign-based sanctuaries were dismantled. Furthermore, tensions over military and civilian control in domestic politics had instigated policies that applied violence in the pursuit of political objectives, turning Afghanistan into a theatre of proxy wars.
Targeting those who promoted such policies would make the world safer, he said, adding that the rapid growth of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) was another serious concern because some Taliban members had sworn allegiance to that group. Vowing that Afghanistan would not be defeated by extremist elements aiming to destroy the process launched in 2001, he said Afghanistan had demonstrated its commitment to the pursuit of peace. It fought terrorist threats daily and expected stronger global partnership to help it address the root causes of such activities in a holistic manner. A united front must be presented against terrorism, he reiterated, expressing hope that the Security Council would continue to act in the service of the millions of Afghans who had suffered nearly four decades of imposed conflict.
Pakistan’s representative said that while his country had given its full support to combating violence, it was Afghans themselves who must “put their house in order”. Robust reconciliation, if seriously pursued, was the only way to achieve that goal. In that spirit, Pakistan had facilitated direct talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban, and stood ready to play that role again. Pakistan, itself a primary victim of terrorism, had targeted all terrorist groups and had made substantial progress in cleansing itself of their activities. However, those goals would not have been accomplished if the sanctuaries of those who had fled to Afghanistan had not been targeted.
The representative of the United States, which holds the Council Presidency for December, spoke in her national capacity, underscoring that her country would continue to help the Afghan people. The current level of 9,000 troops would remain through most of 2016, she said, welcoming the commitment stated at the Islamabad ministerial meeting to support Afghan-led efforts to enter into negotiations with the Taliban. The choice facing the group was clear: engage in negotiations or fight a war they could not win. While all parties must ensure they were doing everything possible to minimize harm to civilians, she emphasized that importance of distinguishing between a mistaken strike and the deliberate targeting of civilians.
Expressing concern about violations of international humanitarian law, the Russian Federation’s representative said his Government’s predictions that there would be a spill-over of instability from the south to the north had been confirmed. So-called Islamic State forces were strengthening their positions, stockpiling weapons and “poaching” extremists from competing terrorist groups, he noted.
Other speakers stressed that strengthening regional cooperation was the path to consolidating peace and development while combating terrorism, and that the reconciliation process should be Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. Regional cooperation was also vital in the fight against the smuggling of narcotics, which financed Taliban and other insurgent groups.
Canada’s representative, echoed by other speakers, called for full implementation of measures to eliminate discrimination against women and for support for their participation in every aspect of life. The Government should also protect women and girls from sexual violence as well as child and forced marriage. Other speakers welcomed Government measures that guaranteed 25 per cent of seats in representative bodies to women.
Also speaking were representatives of Spain, France, Lithuania, New Zealand, Jordan, Chile, Angola, China, Nigeria, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Venezuela, Chad, Germany, India, Australia, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Iran, Netherlands, Finland, Turkey and a representative of the European Union.
The first meeting began at 10:07 a.m. and ended at 10:09 a.m. The second meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 1:35 p.m.
NICHOLAS HAYSOM, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said the international civilian and military withdrawal at the end of 2014 had coincided with a political transition and confronted Afghanistan with a triple set of challenges: economic, security and political. The Government of National Unity had inherited a weakening economy and a war with decreasing levels of international military assistance.
On the economic front, he said, the fiscal gap between revenue and spending remained a matter of concern, characterized by poverty, high unemployment, particularly among the youth, and corruption. On the security front, there was an overall deterioration as the Afghan National Security Forces grappled with intensified conflict but reduced international military support. Civilians, as ever, continued to bear the brunt of the conflict. On the political front, the Government had struggled to project national unity, and many Afghans consequently were anxious about the future. Some felt that they had no choice but to leave the country in search of security and economic opportunity.
However, many steps had been taken to keep Afghanistan on the path to stability and greater self-reliance, he said. On the political front, the Government had held together and was advancing its agenda. A final set of recommendations by the Special Electoral Reform Commission had been submitted today, for instance. The United Nations maintained its view that there was no viable alternative to the National Unity Government, a point that much of the Afghan political opposition also appeared to recognize.
On the economic front, the Government was pressing forward with its reform agenda, as articulated in the Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework, he continued, noting that actual economic growth was projected for the coming year. He welcomed the recommitment by members of the Heart of Asia-Istanbul process at the recent ministerial meeting held in Islamabad, Pakistan. On the security front, the national security forces had shown resilience in the face of an intensified insurgency. Although the temporary loss of key district centres and the provincial centre of Kunduz was worrisome, almost all the district centres had been retaken, as had Kunduz. The security forces might be stretched to capacity, but they were holding their ground.
“Afghanistan, as a sovereign nation confronting countless challenges, has made it through its first post-transition year, an achievement in itself,” he said, emphasizing, however, that it was vital that the Government increasingly demonstrate its effectiveness in 2016, not only to the Afghan people, but also to donors. In 2016, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conference in Warsaw would pledge military support for four years, while in Brussels, the donor community would pledge renewed civilian assistance. Afghanistan must show, in particular, that it was committed to tackling corruption, he stressed.
In the long term, he said, the single development that would allow for material progress towards a stable and self-reliant Afghanistan would be an agreement among Afghans as to arrangements by which they could live together in peace and harmony. After promising developments earlier in 2015, most notably the July talks in Murree, peace efforts had reached an impasse as the Taliban leadership appeared to fragment and strains reappeared in relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Welcoming the Government’s on 9 December commitment to a peace process, he called upon the Taliban to reciprocate and engage directly with the Government, pointing out that there was no other way for insurgent groups to demonstrate a commitment to the welfare and prosperity of their fellow citizens. A commitment to violent conflict placed a question mark over their intentions, he noted.
Pledging that UNAMA would continue to pursue its three-track approach to engagement with the Taliban – on human rights, humanitarian access and political engagement – he said the Mission would engage with the Taliban and the Government on the issue of protection of civilians and on the rights of women and children right. United Nations humanitarian agencies would engage with both sides to promote humanitarian access. UNAMA would also meet with the Taliban to explore possible entry points to a peace process, he said, recalling that in the course of 2015, it had floated several proposals for talks and other initiatives which, unfortunately, had not succeeded. “We stand by our call for a Track I dialogue, namely direct, face-to-face negotiations between representatives of the Government and the Taliban leadership,” he said, adding that he was encouraged by the offers made by Pakistan, the United States and China on 9 December in support of such a process.
MAHMOUD SAIKAL (Afghanistan) said the first post-transition year was drawing to an end, and despite some scepticism, his country remained united in its national resolve against terrorism and violent extremism. The National Unity Government had “spread its wings” over governance with the aim of being more inclusive through its outreach policies. It continued to pursue its goal of improving security through a two-track policy: engaging in the peace process through regional and international efforts, and increasing Afghanistan’s defensive capacity through national reform and the Resolute Support Mission.
He went on to say that throughout the year, the Government had continued to build trust, improve bilateral ties, engage with other countries in the region and invest considerable political capital toward peace. In that context, on 9 December, through the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference and the adoption of a General Assembly resolution, the world had acknowledged that Afghanistan had been fighting regional and international terrorist groups, recognizing that peace was a shared responsibility.
The Afghan President, Pakistani Prime Minister, Chinese Foreign Minister and United States Deputy Secretary of State had all stressed the need to enhance mutual trust and cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan, he recalled. The President of Afghanistan had expressed hope that that process, together with regional and international security organizations, could help ensure agreement on a verification mechanism for the type of actors that threatened common interests.
He said the latest potential diplomatic breakthrough with the Taliban in opening a sustainable regional and global approach was a sign of hope which could only be meaningful if words were translated into deeds. “This is the moment of truth,” he emphasized. “We must see a genuine paradigm shift on the part of regional orchestrators of our insecurity.” As recent attacks in Kandahar and Helmand had shown, better relations with neighbours would be possible only when foreign-based sanctuaries were dismantled. Foreign planning, logistical support, cash, weapons and suicide bombers enabled terrorism, and the motivation for such support, within State circles, must be questioned, identified and addressed, he stressed.
Further, tensions over military and civilian control in domestic politics had instigated policies that applied violence in the pursuit of political objectives, turning Afghanistan into a theatre of proxy wars, he said, underlining that targeting those who promoted such policies would make the world safer. It was to be hoped that the update and expansion of sanctions through Council resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1988 (2014) would “tighten the noose” on Al-Qaida, ISIL and Taliban activities. Incursions across the Durand Line continued, in violation of General Assembly resolution 2131 XX (1965), and the flow of militants and weapons in the region must be disrupted. The rapid growth of ISIL was another serious concern because some Taliban members had sworn allegiance to that group, he said, underscoring the need for a unified response to defeat its extremist ideology.
Against that backdrop, consolidating Afghanistan’s gains would be vital because the flow of Afghan refugees to Europe was a reminder of the costs of insecurity, he said. The national defence and security forces required the right enablers to face the imposed war. The Government was focused on economic issues, addressing the fiscal gap, poverty, unemployment and basic service delivery through the Self-Reliance through Mutual Accountability Framework. Its efforts to promote regional economic cooperation had yielded results, he noted, citing the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline and the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). It also was working to strengthen governance and the rule of law, promote the rights of all Afghans and bolster the fight against narcotics.
With that, he went on to vow that Afghanistan would not be defeated by extremist elements aiming to destroy the process launched in 2001. The country had demonstrated that it was committed to the pursuit of peace. It fought terrorist threats daily and expected stronger global partnership to help it address the root causes of such activities in a holistic manner. A united front must be presented against terrorism, he reiterated. As a new representative of a transformed Afghanistan, with a strong mandate and high expectations from the United Nations, he said that he hoped the Council would continue to act in the service of the millions of Afghans who had suffered nearly four decades of imposed conflict.
ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI (Spain), associating himself with the European Union, emphasized his country’s unwavering commitment to Afghanistan, pointing out that more than 100 Spaniards had lost their lives in that country. Noting that 2015 had been the first year of transformation, he said that despite challenges, Afghanistan had enjoyed success stories, such as the consolidation of the Government. President [Ashraf] Ghani had rolled out many reforms in several areas, among others the fight against corruption. However, Afghanistan would face ongoing challenges, such as electoral reform, security and migration, he added. Regarding the economic situation, he welcomed measures to boost tax receipts and promote job creation, for the youth in particular. Welcoming regional cooperation, he said that improving the economic and security situation would require regional support. Spain hoped conditions would soon be suitable for Afghanistan to pursue the peace process in a robust way and start a process of national reconciliation, he said, adding that the role of women and the situation of children were also key issues.
PHILIPPE BERTOUX (France), associating himself with the European Union, said 2015 had been a year of progress and challenges. The National Unity Government had demonstrated its resolve to move forward, and the announcement of the Heart of Asia meeting on reconciliation initiatives was welcome. Unfortunately, the degree of violence remained high, with many victims being civilians. The security forces had remained resilient, but the security situation was still fragile. On the human rights front, women and children still remained vulnerable and a woman had recently been stoned to death for adultery, he said. Combating narcotics was a serious concern because the illicit trade undermined stability, financed the insurgency and posed a threat to public health nationally, as well as in the wider region and beyond. However, Afghanistan’s counter-narcotics action plan reflected its commitment to combating the scourge. The international community must mobilize to help Afghanistan move to prosperity and stability and the role of the United Nations must be adapted, he emphasized, expressing hope that a joint consideration of how best to develop support could guide the renewal of UNAMA’s mandate in March. France supported proposals for the final tripartite review, he added.
DAINIUS BAUBLYS (Lithuania) said the Taliban campaign showed no signs of abating and ISIL affiliates were fuelling the conflict. The kidnapping and beheading of ethnic Hazaras had stirred a wave of inter-ethnic violence, and in that regard, President Ghani’s efforts to restart peace talks with the Taliban was the only way forward. Opium poppy cultivation had decreased in 2015, but given the nexus between the production and trafficking of drugs and the insurgency, it was imperative that the new drug action plan not become just another piece of paper. Lithuania remained engaged in the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission and continued its participation in the European Union Police Mission, EUPOL. It also stood read to increase its military training and assistance mission within the Resolute Support Mission Format. UNAMA’s presence was critical to the advancement of human rights, democratic processes and national development, he said, expressing hope that during 2016 Council negotiations on UNAMA’s mandate, its field presence in remote regions of the country would remain of vital importance to achieving peace, self-reliance and growth in Afghanistan.
GERARD VAN BOHEMEN (New Zealand), commending the Government and security forces for having confronted seemingly unsurmountable challenges, urged the Government to do more to cement governance institutions and build trust. Inclusivity must be a “touchstone” in re-establishing a secure State, he emphasized, adding that neighbours must acknowledge that there could be no regional stability without a stable Afghanistan. ISIL and those associating with it had excluded themselves from any political dialogue and must be treated as they were in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere. Noting the provisions in resolution 2253 (2015) on forwarding listing requests to the ISIL [Da’esh] and Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee, he urged full use of exemption procedures for the travel ban in relation to peace talks, adding that full use of listing procedures was also important in countering the narcotics trade. Today’s resolution referred to improvised explosive devices, including the need for enhanced coordination between States and industry. New Zealand was disappointed that the Council had not agreed on stronger action to target that issue, he said, noting that efforts to incorporate component parts into the arms embargo had not been taken on board.
MAHMOUD HMOUD (Jordan), welcoming legislative reforms and implementation of the anti-corruption strategy, urged the Government not to delay parliamentary elections, and expressed hope that they could be held freely in favourable security conditions. Voicing grave concern over the growing threat by ISIL, he said it was imperative to confront that threat and not allow terrorists to exploit the withdrawal of foreign forces. He also underlined the need for improved relations between Afghanistan and regional States, noting that international support in confronting terrorists would help control borders. It was necessary to support the Government and ensure the capacity of the security forces, he stressed, urging all parties to assume their responsibilities under international humanitarian law. It was essential to promote the rule of law, and to investigate all violence against civilians, especially women and children, while guaranteeing accountability, he said.
CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile) expressed concern over the deterioration in the security situation, citing the Taliban’s recent seizure of Kunduz, and hope that the Government would appoint a Minister for Defence and Attorney General as soon as possible. Noting that an international response to humanitarian appeals was needed, he said Afghan initiatives were also required on inter-ethnic dialogue such as the 12 October Ulema Conference, which could hopefully develop into a standing body to promote national reconciliation. Chile welcomed the Government’s adoption of the recommendation of the Special Electoral Reform Commission, which set aside 25 per cent of district council seats for women. ISIL was an obstacle to peace and aid delivery, which went hand-in-hand with clashes among various factions of the Taliban, he said, expressing hope that today’s text would complement national efforts to combat those who sought to profit from Afghanistan’s instability.
JULIO LUCAS (Angola) said that, besides applying sanctions, a comprehensive peace plan for Afghanistan was important. While noting the diligent work of the Government to strengthen good governance and the rule of law, as well as the progress made in restoration of credibility in the electoral process, he expressed his concern about the deteriorating security situation, including, among other things, the presence of ISIL. The Afghan people continued to pay an intolerable price in enduring violence and violations of human rights. The number of refugees clearly demonstrated Afghans’ lack of confidence in the future. He welcomed the Islamabad conference to improve relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which was necessary for security and prosperity in both States. Reduction in the illegal drug economy was a key development for the country, as it was a cornerstone in preventing the financing of insurgent groups. In spite of progress, the challenges were immense, he said, stressing the need to assist the country, no matter how high the price might be.
WANG MIN (China) said 2015 marked the starting point of the 10-year transition period. Although progress had been made, Afghanistan was facing challenges in economic and social development. Strengthening governance was a necessity. The international community should continue to provide assistance in line with that country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It was important to provide support for an Afghan-led and -owned peace process in which the different factions should place the interest of the people first. Voicing hope for successful talks between the Taliban and the Government, he said that China stood ready to provide its support. The security situations remained fragile with numerous casualties among the civilians. He underlined the importance of promoting information exchange on terrorism and transnational smuggling.
KAYODE LARO (Nigeria) said the attack on Kunduz highlighted the threat posed by the Taliban. The fall of Kunduz had been preceded by deteriorating relations between civilians and security forces. He applauded the decision to reserve 25 per cent of representative seats for women and urged the Government to enhance participation of women in governance and politics. Encouraged by efforts to revitalize the peace process, he welcomed the outcome of the Heart of Asia conference affirming the commitment of regional stakeholders to peace. He urged the Taliban and other groups to lay down arms and engage in dialogue. He also applauded the agreement on the first ceasefire in Baglan Province which had resulted in a reduction of violence. Noting the first decrease since 2009 in poppy growing, he said he hoped for continued results in Afghanistan’s counter-narcotics efforts. The importance of the fight against money laundering should be underlined, as that might be used for financing terrorism. Also welcomed was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between intelligence units of Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom) said that by renewing Taliban sanctions by 18 months, the Council had demonstrated that it would not relent in its efforts to disrupt the group’s finances. That there was still a need for sanctions showed that Council support remained essential, and UNAMA was a vital part of that support. “Together, we want to build a stable country” that no longer exported insecurity and in which people could prosper in peace, he said. Afghan and other security forces faced an unrelenting foe in the Taliban, and while they were holding and retaking district centres from Taliban control, Taliban attacks against civilians undermined any pretence that the group was fighting for religious ideals. Emphasizing that Afghan forces required sustained help, he said a peace process was the only long-term solution. The United Kingdom supported the Heart of Asia Conference and urged the Council to support the Government in combating ISIL and other groups. On the economic front, he said the TAPI gas pipeline could have huge benefits for all countries in the region.
RAMLAN BIN IBRAHIM (Malaysia) expressed concern over the deterioration of security in Afghanistan, noting that ISIL affiliates were making inroads and that the involvement of the United Nations in security incidents had increased. Condemning attacks on United Nations personnel and facilities, he also expressed alarm that 159 children had been killed within three months, and urged all parties to show restraint, stressing that perpetrators of international humanitarian law violations must be held accountable. Welcoming the Government’s adoption of seven of 10 recommendations by the Special Electoral Reform Commission, he reiterated that a peacefully negotiated political settlement was the only way to create peace. A 19 per cent decrease in the poppy cultivation area and the development of a counter-narcotics plan were both important steps.
HENRY SUÁREZ MORENO (Venezuela) expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, citing the 19 per cent increase in violence over the same period last year. The Taliban’s capture of Kunduz as well as ISIL activities called for robust measures to curb the flow of foreign fighters. ISIL and Taliban actions had hindered the peace and national reconciliation process spearheaded by UNAMA and the High Peace Council, he said, welcoming the Government’s adoption of seven of 10 recommendations by the Special Electoral Commission, notably one raising to 25 per cent the number of women in district councils. The Government must also adopt measures to fill vacancies in the Ministry of Defence and the Office of the Attorney General, as well as to strengthen the State’s role across the country. While welcoming the decrease in poppy harvests, he noted that the drug trade across the region persisted. Combating it required international assistance in the framework of common but shared responsibilities. Chile was concerned about the 10 per cent increase in the number of children killed, the abductions of women by the Taliban, and the fact that the 235,000 internally displaced persons represented a 70 per cent increase over previous year.
VLADIMIR K. SAFRONKOV (Russian Federation) expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in the north, noting that the security forces continued to suffer losses in clashes with the opposition, and expressed hopes of seeing a report on NATO operations, which his Government had long requested. He also expressed concern about violations of international humanitarian law, saying that Russian predictions that there would be a spill-over of instability from the south to the north had been confirmed. So-called Islamic State forces were strengthening their positions, stockpiling weapons and poaching extremists from competing terrorist groups, he noted. While international efforts to combat narcotics production must be enhanced, the Russian Federation did not agree with the optimistic assessment of the drug situation, because official statistics showing a decrease in production in 2015 had been calculated using changes in how data had been gathered. Drug production was a source of terrorist financing, a depressing situation due to the passivity of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), he said. The Russian Federation had made constructive proposals, and the military presence had had a good opportunity, yet it was paying “scant” attention to combating that evil. Welcoming Afghanistan as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, he said combating narcotics must involve the destruction of crops, laboratories and marking precursors, as well as arresting those involved.
MAHAMAT ZENE CHERIF (Chad) said the security, stability and human rights situation in the country was worrying. Commending the Unity Government in its unfailing efforts to rid Kunduz of the Taliban, he noted that the seizure of Kunduz by the Taliban, which resulted in civilian and international staff deaths, showed how unstable the situation was. The recent terrorist attack near the Spanish Embassy underscored the need to bring the perpetrators of those barbaric acts to justice. He was concerned at the presence of foreign fighters in Afghanistan, including those from ISIL. The Government’s adoption of the national Anti-Narcotics Plan to combat narcotics trafficking was welcomed. Countries in the region should coordinate their work in cross-border combating of narcotics smuggling. He also voiced concern by the use of improvised explosive devices; local and regional cooperation was critical in preventing smuggling of material that could be used in the manufacture of those devices. Noting the deterioration of the humanitarian situation of internally displaced persons, he urged the international community to provide necessary assistance.
MICHELE J. SISON (United States), Council President, spoke in her national capacity, underscoring that the United States would continue to help the Afghan people, said that the current level of 9,000 troops would remain in the country through most of 2016. Welcoming the commitment stated at the Islamabad ministerial meeting to support Afghan-led efforts to enter into negotiations with the Taliban, she said the choice facing the Taliban was clear: engage in negotiations or fight a war they could not win. The international community should continue to provide support for the country, as progress was real but fragile. Two major conferences in 2016 in Warsaw and Brussels would provide opportunities for States to renew such support. All parties must ensure they were doing everything they could to minimize harm to civilians. In that regard she reiterated President [Barack] Obama’s heart-felt condolences for the Médicines sans frontières, stressing that no country did more to avoid civilian casualties. President Obama had insisted on a thorough investigation in order to assign full responsibility and was committed to helping the organization rebuild the hospital. However, one should distinguish between a mistaken strike and the deliberate targeting of civilians.
The only path to peace and security, she said, was through an Afghan-led path to reconciliation. The Taliban must stop fighting. The Unity Government reflected the genuine will of the people for a peaceful transition and the Government had made progress in building more transparent institutions and progress in electoral reform had been made. The Government had also undertaken efforts towards sustainable economic growth. In September, the Taliban had seized Kunduz, and was then expelled on 13 October. The treatment of the local population provided a window on how it would rule in other parts of Afghanistan. It had carried out house-to-house searches, looking for human rights defenders, in particular women, journalists and non-governmental organizations staff. The prosecution of women was particularly harrowing. One of its targets was a women’s shelter run by women for women, which had been destroyed. The shelter’s director had escaped, but would have been hanged if captured, according to the Taliban.
HARALD BRAUN (Germany), aligning himself with the European Union, said the Government of National Unity had committed itself to implementing an ambitious and cross-cutting set of reforms. The Ministerial Conference in Brussels in October 2016 would be an important milestone in measuring progress achieved. The difficult economic and security situations were the main drivers behind the rising numbers of Afghans leaving their country. Halting and reversing that “brain drain” was first and foremost in the interest of Afghanistan. To that end, it was necessary to provide the Afghan population, especially the young, with the prospect of a future in their own country. Concerned at the high number of civilian casualties, he strongly condemned today’s attack in Bagram as well as the attack on the compound of the Spanish Embassy earlier in the month. The NATO Summit in Warsaw in July would be an important opportunity for the international community to reaffirm its support to the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces, he said, noting that Germany had raised its troop ceiling to 980 soldiers. Encouraged by the commitment of the Governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to promote an Afghan-led and –owned political process, he called on all regional actors to lend their active and unreserved support to that effort.
BHAGWANT S. BISHNOI (India) said that the presence of ISIS-affiliated groups, particularly in the Nangarhar Province, was alarming. Strongly condemning the recent terrorist attack on Kandahar airport and the Spanish Embassy in Kabul, he expressed hope that the Council would work on ways to paralyse those terrorist organizations. In that regard, the body should strengthen the relevant sanctions regime to effectively impose and implement the restrictions placed on the listed terrorist organizations. Peace talks with the Taliban had to be Afghan-led and with Taliban sympathizers who were willing to accept and work within the country’s Constitution. Talks without a reduction in violence by the Taliban would not eliminate the threats to peace and reconciliation. Turning to economic issues, he said Afghanistan would only be able to achieve its economic potential if it was allowed freedom of transit to major markets in South Asia. India was willing to join the Afghanistan-Pakistan Trade Transit Agreement and it was working with Afghanistan and Iran to develop trilateral transit, he said.
GILLIAN BIRD (Australia), noting that the debate came at the end of a difficult year for Afghanistan, said that her country was one of the largest donors to Afghan security forces, providing AUD 0.5 billion from 2009 to 2017. Since 2001, over 25,000 Australian personnel had served in Afghanistan, with 250 continuing to serve in NATO’s Resolute Support Mission at the current time. With Afghanistan continuing to face human rights challenges, violence against women and children was of particular concern to her country. On the subject of electoral reform, she said that parliamentary elections should be held in a timely manner to meet the expectations of the Afghan people. She also said she looked forward to the Council renewing the mandate of UNAMA so that the Mission could continue to play its important role effectively.
SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy), strongly condemning the most recent terrorist attacks in Kandahar and Kabul, reaffirmed his country’s commitment to sustaining Afghanistan’s security and stability and to fulfilling the aspirations of its people for a future of peace and prosperity. That commitment was evidenced by Italy’s decision to maintain its contribution to the Resolute Support Mission. Promising signs of strengthened cooperation among the region’s main actors had emerged from the Heart of Asia conference. That could lead to an internal and inclusive peace process which would include breaking all links with terrorism and enabling respect for human rights, in particular those of women. The year had witnessed a worrying increase in the flux of Afghan citizens fleeing their country due to the worsening security situation. Self-sustaining development would be untenable without the necessary internal reforms. In that regard, the hard work of the Afghan authorities and institutions, with the support of the international community, was crucial for the reform process to achieve its goals of further democratic consolidation and self-reliance.
NABEEL MUNIR (Pakistan), noting the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the rising number of civilian casualties, said that while Pakistan had given its full support to combating violence, it was Afghans themselves who must “put their house in order”. There was clear consensus that use of force alone might not achieve peace. Robust reconciliation, if seriously pursued, was the only way to achieve that goal. It was in that spirit that Pakistan had facilitated direct talks between the Afghan Government and the Taliban, and it stood ready to play that role again. No one should cast aspersions on Pakistan’s sincerity. It had been the primary victim of terrorism. It had targeted all terrorist groups and made substantial progress in cleansing itself of their activities. However, those goals would not been accomplished until the sanctuaries of those who had fled to Afghanistan were targeted. When Pakistan had carried out counter-terrorism efforts in North Waziristan, it had requested help from Kabul. That cooperation was still missing.
“We cannot do diplomacy through statements,” he said. Differences must be resolved through dialogue. At the Heart of Asia-Istanbul process conference, the Islamabad Declaration had paved the way for a peaceful region. Among other things, it committed parties to return Afghan refugees to their homeland with dignity. Pakistan was considering an extension of the Tripartite Agreement with a clear road map. The building of the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline would create tens of thousands of jobs in Afghanistan, representing the kind of activities that should be the region’s focus. He expressed hope that regional countries would cooperate closely to defeat all terrorists and establish lasting peace.
MOTOHIDE YOSHIKAWA (Japan) said it was crucial that an Afghan-led and -owned peace process advance and he welcomed the positive outcome of the Islamabad meeting earlier this month. He called on all stakeholders to advance peace and reconciliation. “Afghanistan has great potential for realizing self-reliance,” he said, citing agriculture as a key sector for income generation and the Green Ground Project in the Gamberi Desert, Nangarhar province in that regard. In addition, Japan had announced on 19 December a $13.5 million agriculture and irrigation project covering Kunduz, Baghlan and Takhar provinces. Enhanced regional cooperation would foster a stronger foundation for economic growth. To overcome obstacles in accessing mineral resources, Japan and the Asian Development Bank had promoted a feasibility study of a railway connecting western Afghanistan to Turkmenistan. Underlining Japan’s support for counter-narcotics measures, he said that in the areas of human resources, more than 400 young Afghan officials had received post-graduate education in Japan. Japan and Pakistan also had held in February a training session for 24 Afghan disaster management officials.
PER THÖRESSON (Sweden), associating himself with the European Union, said that 2015 had seen an alarming increase in violence throughout Afghanistan, resulting in a significant number of civilian casualties. The deteriorating security situation had a devastating impact on the civilian population, not least women and children. The peace process remained the only viable option, he said, welcoming international and regional initiatives to restart peace talks and urging that women be included in the peace process. The increasing number of refugees and migrants leaving Afghanistan was a serious concern as well, he added, reiterating his support for the “Jobs for Peace” initiative, which had the potential to improve living conditions for Afghans.
IOANNIS VRAILAS of the European Union Delegation said Afghanistan had made considerable political, security, economic and developmental progress over the past decade. However, continuous insecurity threatened the progress made in stabilizing the country and remained a real concern. The past few months had seen a new spike in the exodus of refugees and migrants from the country. “It is crucial that the Afghan people can regain confidence in the future”, he stressed, underlining the importance of an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned political process of peace and national reconciliation. In addition, insecurity and instability were also fuelled by the illicit production and trafficking in narcotics. The recent adoption of Afghanistan’s National Drug Action Plan was welcomed, he said, encouraging its swift and effective implementation.
The European Union would co-host the next Ministerial Conference in Brussels on 4 October 2016, he went on to say. Afghanistan would need the ongoing commitment of the international community in order to continue on the path to sustainability. The conference would set out the framework for the Government and donors until 2020, contributing to a stable and reliable environment for Afghanistan to move more progressively towards self-reliance. Welcoming the launching of the country’s National Action Plan, implementing Security Council resolution 1325 (2000), he said the gains made by Afghan women since the fall of the Taliban regime must be preserved. Although the economic outlook for the country remained “mixed”, he emphasized the need to further improve the business and investment climate and to foster development and intra-regional trade and infrastructure.
GHOLAMALI KHOSHROO (Iran) expressed concern at the 19 per cent rise in security incidents over the same period last year. The capture of Kunduz and 16 other district centres was another alarming signal that the Taliban and other violent extremists threatened Afghanistan and the region. Condemning all violent attacks, he said strengthening regional cooperation was the path to consolidating peace and development. The expansion of Iran’s political and economic ties with Afghanistan was a priority, offering potential exploration on security, counter-narcotics, development and economic matters, as well as in the areas of infrastructure, agriculture and Afghan refugees. Giving an update on the first meeting on the Iran-India-Afghanistan Agreement on Transit and International Transportation Cooperation, he also said that poppy cultivation was a threat that should be comprehensively addressed by the international community. Strong support from donors, Afghan authorities and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was essential to deter drug cultivation and trafficking, especially as it was a source of income for terrorist groups. He expressed support for the work of the Tripartite Commission to plan the voluntary, safe and gradual repatriation of Afghan refugees, as well as support for UNAMA and United Nations agency efforts in providing reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan.
SANDRA PELLEGROM (Netherlands), aligning herself with the European Union, said that recent attacks showed Afghanistan faced continued and increasingly pressing security challenges. Welcoming the positive steps that had been taken during the recent Heart of Asia conference in Islamabad, she noted that Afghanistan also faced serious economic challenges. The Netherlands had recently pledged to continue to support the NATO Train, Advise and Assist Mission Resolution Support in Northern Afghanistan, and was contributing staff to both UNAMA and the European Union’s police training mission, EUPOL. Upcoming summits would mark significant moments for the international community to show commitment to Afghanistan beyond 2016, be it militarily, politically, or through development assistance.
KAIR SAUER (Finland), aligning himself with the European Union, said the situation in Afghanistan remained fragile. Although security was key to stability, it was only one of many challenges, including economic development and job creation. Participation of women was one of the primary measures in building a future in Afghanistan and women should also have a voice in designing peace. He commended the Government for its launch of the National Action Plan implementing resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and Security. He welcomed Government efforts in fighting corruption and establishing rule of law. His country supported Afghanistan through the NATO and the European Union and also provided development aid. As long-term international engagement was essential to strengthen economic development in the region, he called for more regional cooperation. In the mid-term, there would likely be progress with occasional setbacks. Afghanistan leadership was crucial, however.
MICHAEL GRANT (Canada), noting that Afghanistan was now one year into its transformation decade, said that Canada was committed to help Afghanistan in implementing its reform agenda and had committed $227 million in bilateral assistance, among other things for health, education, and empowerment of women. Social and economic outcomes were improved only when all citizens could have a voice in decisions that affected their lives. He called on the Government to fully implement measures to eliminate violence against women and to support the participation of women in every aspect of life. The Government should also protect women and girls from sexual violence and child and enforced marriage. The Afghan security forces had stood strong, he said, but the brief fall of Kunduz pointed to a deterioration of the security situation, exacerbated by the presence of ISIL. Peace and reconciliation were crucial, and in that regard, recent discussions in Islamabad were encouraging. It was imperative to work together to confront Afghanistan security challenges and prevent terrorism from taking footholds there, which threaten both the region and the world. He also called on leaders to redouble efforts to improve security, increase transparency and uphold human rights for all Afghans.
LEVENT ELER (Turkey) said that achievements made in the past 14 years in security, democracy, governance, economic development and human rights were not at a point of no return. The support of the international community during the “Transformation Decade” was therefore of the utmost importance. The stability of Afghanistan and that of the region would depend on improved security. The Afghanistan National Security Forces had been operating under full security responsibility for the first time in 2015, gaining considerable experience, although the temporary seizure of Kunduz by the Taliban had been a major setback. As shortcomings in terms of equipment, training and operational capabilities were being addressed the army’s victories over the Taliban and other armed groups would increase. Many of the region’s problems, such as terrorism and illegal narcotics trade, were trans-boundary in nature. Close regional cooperation was therefore crucial. Welcoming recent initiatives to overcome the stagnation in the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said he was encouraged by President Ghani’s statements following the Islamabad meeting that the two countries had agreed to eliminate terrorist groups and that talks within the peace process would likely start within a few weeks. He then described Turkey’s assistance programmes to Afghanistan, noting that Turkey was one of the four framework nations of the Resolution Support Mission.
The full text of resolution 2255 (2015) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Recalling its previous resolutions on international terrorism and the threat it poses to Afghanistan, in particular its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1333 (2000), 1363 (2001), 1373 (2001), 1390 (2002), 1452 (2002), 1455 (2003), 1526 (2004), 1566 (2004), 1617 (2005), 1624 (2005), 1699 (2006), 1730 (2006), 1735 (2006), 1822 (2008), 1904 (2009), 1988 (2011), 1989 (2011), 2082 (2012), 2083 (2012), 2133 (2014), and 2160 (2014) and the relevant statements of its President,
“Recalling its previous resolutions extending through 17 March 2016 the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) as defined in resolution 2210 (2015),
“Recalling its resolutions on the recruitment and use of children and armed conflict, expressing its strong concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, in particular the ongoing violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban, Al-Qaida, and other violent and extremist groups, illegal armed groups, criminals and those involved in the narcotics trade, and the strong links between terrorism and insurgency activities and illicit drugs, resulting in threats to the local population, including children, national security forces and international military and civilian personnel,
“Expressing concern at the increasing presence and future potential growth of ISIL affiliates in Afghanistan,
“Welcoming the establishment of a National Focal Point in Afghanistan as a means to enhance engagement and coordination with the Committee established in paragraph 35 of resolution 1988 (2011) (‘the Committee’) and underscoring the importance of close cooperation between the Government of Afghanistan and the Committee and encouraging further efforts in this regard.
“Welcoming the process by which Afghanistan and its regional and international partners are entering into long-term strategic partnership and other agreements aimed at achieving a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan,
“Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan,
“Stressing the importance of a comprehensive political process in Afghanistan to support reconciliation among all Afghans,
“Recognizing that the security situation in Afghanistan has evolved and that some members of the Taliban have reconciled with the Government of Afghanistan, have rejected the terrorist ideology of Al-Qaida and its followers, and support a peaceful resolution to the continuing conflict in Afghanistan,
“Recognizing that, notwithstanding the evolution of the situation in Afghanistan and progress in reconciliation, the situation in Afghanistan remains a threat to international peace and security, and reaffirming the need to combat this threat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, including applicable human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, stressing in this regard the important role the United Nations plays in this effort,
“Emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach to fully disrupt the activities of the Taliban and recognizing the important role that this sanctions regime can play in this regard,
“Reiterating its firm commitment to support the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to advance the peace and reconciliation process, including by the High Peace Council and the implementation of the Afghanistan Peace and Reconciliation Programme, in line with the Kabul Communiqué and the Bonn Conference Conclusions, and within the framework of the Afghan Constitution and application of the procedures introduced by the Security Council in its resolutions 1988 (2011), 2082 (2012), and 2160 (2014), as well as other relevant resolutions of the Council,
“Welcoming the decision taken by some members of the Taliban to reconcile with the Government of Afghanistan, to have no links to international terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaida, to respect the constitution, including its human rights provisions, notably the rights of women, and to support a peaceful resolution to the continuing conflict in Afghanistan, and urging all those individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with the Taliban in constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan, to accept the Government of Afghanistan’s offer of reconciliation,
“Emphasizing its serious concern about the security situation in Afghanistan, in particular the ongoing violent and terrorist activities by the Taliban and associated groups, including the Haqqani Network, and by Al-Qaida, and other violent and extremist groups, illegal armed groups, criminals and those involved in terrorism and the illicit brokering in arms and related material and arms trafficking in the production, trafficking or trade of illicit drugs, and the strong links between terrorism and insurgency activities and illicit drugs, resulting in threats to the local population, including women, children, national security forces and international military and civilian personnel, including humanitarian and development workers,
“Expressing concern at the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by the Taliban against civilians and the Afghanistan National Defence and Security Forces and noting the need to enhance coordination and information-sharing, both between Member States and with the private sector, to prevent the flow of IED components to the Taliban,
“Also expressing concern over the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons (SALW) into Afghanistan and emphasizing the need for enhancing control over the transfer of SALW in this regard,
“Underscoring the importance of humanitarian aid operations and condemning all acts or threats of violence against United Nations staff and humanitarian actors and any politicization of humanitarian assistance by the Taliban and associated groups, or individuals,
“Reiterating the need to ensure that the present sanctions regime contributes effectively to ongoing efforts to combat the insurgency and support the Government of Afghanistan’s work to advance reconciliation in order to bring about peace, stability, and security in Afghanistan,
“Taking note of the Government of Afghanistan’s request that the Security Council support reconciliation, including by removing names from the United Nations sanctions lists for those who reconcile and have ceased to engage in or support activities that threaten the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan,
“Expressing its intention to give due regard to lifting sanctions on those who reconcile,
“Welcoming the briefings by the Afghan National Security Advisor and the High Peace Council to the Committee in March 2015 as a sign of close, ongoing cooperation between the Committee and the Government of Afghanistan and encouraging further close cooperation in this regard,
“Stressing the central and impartial role that the United Nations continues to play in promoting peace, stability and security in Afghanistan, and expressing its appreciation and strong support for the ongoing efforts of the Secretary-General and his Special Representative for Afghanistan to assist the High Peace Council’s peace and reconciliation efforts,
“Reiterating its support for the fight against illicit production and trafficking of drugs from, and chemical precursors to, Afghanistan, in neighbouring countries, countries on trafficking routes, drug destination countries and precursors producing countries and acknowledging that illicit proceeds of the drug trafficking significantly contribute to the financial resources of the Taliban and its associates,
“Recognizing the threats that the Taliban, illegal armed groups and criminals involved in narcotics trade, and illicit exploitation of natural resources, continue to pose to the security and stability of Afghanistan and urges the Government of Afghanistan with the support of the international community to continue to address these threats,
“Recalling its resolution 2133 (2014) and the publication by the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) of the “Algiers Memorandum on Good Practices on Preventing and Denying the Benefits of Kidnapping for Ransom by Terrorists”, strongly condemning incidents of kidnapping and hostage-taking committed by terrorist groups for any purpose, including with the aim of raising funds or gaining political concessions, expressing its determination to prevent kidnapping and hostage-taking committed by terrorist groups and to secure the safe release of hostages without ransom payments or political concessions, in accordance with applicable international law, calling upon all Member States to prevent terrorists from benefiting directly or indirectly from ransom payments or from political concessions and to secure the safe release of hostages, and reaffirming the need for all Member States to cooperate closely during incidents of kidnapping and hostage-taking committed by terrorist groups,
“Recalling concern at the increased use, in a globalized society, by terrorists and their supporters of new information and communications technologies, in particular the Internet, to facilitate terrorist acts, as well as their use to incite, recruit, fund, or plan terrorist acts,
“Welcoming the efforts of the Secretariat to standardize the format of all United Nations sanctions lists to facilitate implementation by national authorities, further welcoming the Secretariat’s efforts to translate all list entries and narrative summaries of reasons for listing available in all official languages of the United Nations, including making the Afghanistan/Taliban sanctions list available in Dari and Pashtu,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Decides that all States shall take the following measures with respect to individuals and entities designated prior to the date of adoption of resolution 1988 (2011) as the Taliban, as well as other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with the Taliban in constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan as designated by the Committee established in paragraph 35 of resolution 1988 (2011) (‘the Committee’), in the 1988 Sanction List (hereafter known as ‘the List’)”:
(a) Freeze without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of these individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, including funds derived from property owned or controlled directly or indirectly, by them or by persons acting on their behalf or at their direction, and ensure that neither these nor any other funds, financial assets or economic resources are made available, directly or indirectly for such persons’ benefit, by their nationals or by persons within their territory;
(b) Prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of these individuals, provided that nothing in this paragraph shall oblige any State to deny entry or require the departure from its territories of its own nationals and this paragraph shall not apply where entry or transit is necessary for the fulfilment of a judicial process or the Committee determines on a case-by-case basis only that entry or transit is justified, including where this directly relates to supporting efforts by the Government of Afghanistan to promote reconciliation;
(c) Prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale, or transfer to these individuals, groups, undertakings and entities from their territories or by their nationals outside their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned and technical advice, assistance, or training related to military activities;
“2. Decides that the acts or activities indicating that an individual, group, undertaking or entity is eligible for listing under paragraph 1 include:
(a) Participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of;
(b) Supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to;
(c) Recruiting for; or
(d) Otherwise supporting acts or activities of those designated and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with the Taliban in constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan;
“3. Confirms that any individual or any group, undertaking or entity owned or controlled, directly or indirectly by, or otherwise supporting, such an individual, group, undertaking or entity on the List, shall be eligible for listing;
“4. Notes that such means of financing or support include but are not limited to the use of proceeds derived from crimes, including the illicit cultivation, production and trafficking of narcotic drugs originating in and transiting through Afghanistan, and trafficking of precursors into Afghanistan, and underscores the need to prevent those associated with the Taliban in constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan from benefiting, directly or indirectly, from entities engaging in activities prohibited by this resolution, as well as the illegal exploitation of natural resources in Afghanistan;
“5. Confirms that the requirements in paragraph 1 (a) above apply to all proposed uses of funds or other financial assets or economic resources in connection with the travel of a listed individual, including costs incurred with respect to transportation and lodging, and that such travel-related funds or other financial assets or economic resources may only be provided in accordance with the exemption procedures set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1452 (2002), as amended by resolution 1735 (2006), and in paragraph 17 below;
“6. Confirms that the requirements in paragraph 1 (a) above apply to financial and economic resources of every kind, including but not limited to those used for the provision of Internet hosting or related services, used for the support of those on this List, as well as other individuals, groups, undertakings or entities associated with the Taliban in constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan;
“7. Confirms further that the requirements in paragraph 1 (a) above shall also apply to the direct or indirect payment of ransoms to or for the benefit of individuals, groups, undertakings or entities on the List, regardless of how or by whom the ransom is paid;
“8. Decides that Member States may permit the addition to accounts frozen pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 1 above of any payment in favour of listed individuals, groups, undertakings or entities, provided that any such payments continue to be subject to the provisions in paragraph 1 above and are frozen;
“9. Encourages all Member States to more actively submit to the Committee listing requests of individuals and entities supporting the Taliban, and associated individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities, including those who provide financial support;
“10. Strongly urges all Member States to implement the comprehensive international standards embodied in the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) revised Forty Recommendations on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation;
“11. Calls upon Member States to move vigorously and decisively to cut the flows of funds and other financial assets and economic resources to individuals and entities on the List, as required by paragraph 1 (a), taking into account relevant FATF Recommendations and international standards designed to prevent the abuse of non-profit organizations, formal as well as informal/alternative remittance systems and the physical trans-border movement of currency, while working to mitigate the impact on legitimate activities through these mediums;
“12. Urges Member States to promote awareness of the List as widely as possible, including to relevant domestic agencies, the private sector and the general public to ensure effective implementation of the measures in paragraph 1; and encourages Member States to urge that their respective company, property and other relevant public and private registries regularly screen their available databases, including but not limited to those with legal and/or beneficial ownership information, against the List;
“13. Decides that States, in order to prevent those associated with the Taliban and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities from obtaining, handling, storing, using or seeking access to all types of explosives, whether military, civilian or improvised explosives, as well as to raw materials and components that can be used to manufacture improvised explosive devices or unconventional weapons, including (but not limited to) chemical components, detonators, or detonating cord, shall undertake appropriate measures to promote the exercise of enhanced vigilance by their nationals, persons subject to their jurisdiction and entities incorporated in their territory or subject to their jurisdiction that are involved in the production, sale, supply, purchase, transfer and storage of such materials, including through the issuance of good practices;
“14. Strongly condemns the continued flow of weapons, including SALW, military equipment and IED components to the Taliban and expresses serious concern at the destabilizing impact of such weapons on the security and stability of Afghanistan, and emphasizing the need for enhancing control over the transfer of illicit SALW to in this regard, and further encourages Member States to share information, establish partnerships, and develop national strategies and capabilities to counter improvised explosive devices;
“15. Encourages Member States to exchange information expeditiously with other Member States, in particular the Government of Afghanistan and States of origin, destination, and transit, and with the Committee, when they detect the travel of listed individuals;
“16. Encourages Member States to consult the List when considering travel visa applications;
“17. Recalls its decision that all Member States may make use of the provisions set out in paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1452 (2002), as amended by resolution 1735 (2006), regarding available exemptions with regard to the measures in paragraph 1 (a), encourages their use by Member States, and notes that the Focal Point mechanism established in resolution 1730 (2006) may receive exemption requests submitted by, or on behalf of, an individual, group, undertaking or entity on the List, or by the legal representative or estate of such individual, group, undertaking or entity, for Committee consideration, as described in paragraph 22 below;
“18. Recalls its decision that the assets freeze measures outlined in paragraph 1 (a) do not apply to funds and other financial assets or economic resources that the relevant State determines to be:
(a) necessary for basic expenses, including payment for foodstuffs, rent or mortgage, medicines and medical treatment, taxes, insurance premiums and public utility charges, or exclusively for payment of reasonable professional fees and reimbursement of incurred expenses associated with the provision of legal services, or fees or service charges for routine holding or maintenance of frozen funds or other financial assets or economic resources, following notification of intention to authorize access to such funds and in the absence of a negative decision by the Committee within three working days of the notification;
(b) necessary for extraordinary expenses, being expenses other than basic expenses, including funds to finance travel undertaken with an approved travel ban exemption request, following notification of the intention to authorize release of such funds and approval of the Committee of the request within five working days of the notification;
“19. Underlines the importance of a comprehensive political process in Afghanistan to support peace and reconciliation among all Afghans, invites the Government of Afghanistan, in close coordination with the High Peace Council, to submit for the Committee’s consideration the names of listed individuals for whom it confirms travel to such specified location or locations is necessary to participate in meetings in support of peace and reconciliation, and requires such submissions to include, to the extent possible, the following information:
(a) The passport number or travel document number of the listed individual;
(b) The specific location or locations to which each listed individual is expected to travel and their anticipated transit points, if any;
(c) The period of time, not to exceed nine months, during which listed individuals are expected to travel;
(d) A detailed list of funds or other financial assets or economic resources expected to be necessary in connection with the travel of the listed individual, including costs incurred with respect to transportation and lodging, as the basis for an exemption request for extraordinary expenses;
“20. Decides that the travel ban imposed by paragraph 1 (b) shall not apply to individuals identified pursuant to paragraph 19 above, where the Committee determines, on a case-by-case basis only, that such entry or transit is justified, further decides that any such exemption approved by the Committee shall only be granted for the requested period for any travel to the specified location or locations, directs the Committee to decide on all such exemption requests, as well as on requests to amend or renew previously granted exemptions, or on a request by any Member State to revoke previously granted exemptions, within ten days of receiving them, and affirms that, notwithstanding any exemption from the travel ban, listed individuals remain subject to the other measures outlined in paragraph 1 of this resolution;
“21. Requests the Government of Afghanistan, through the Monitoring Team, to provide to the Committee, for its consideration and review, a report on each individual’s travel under a granted exemption, promptly upon the exemption’s expiration, and encourages relevant Member States to provide information to the Committee, as appropriate, on any instances of non-compliance;
“22. Decides that the Focal Point mechanism established in resolution 1730 (2006) may:
(a) Receive requests from listed individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities for exemptions to the measures outlined in paragraph 1 (a) of this resolution, as defined in resolution 1452 (2002), provided that the request has first been submitted for the consideration of the State of residence, and reaffirms further that the Focal Point shall transmit such requests to the Committee for a decision, directs the Committee to consider such requests, including in consultation with the State of residence and any other relevant States, and further directs the Committee, through the Focal Point, to notify such individuals, groups, undertaking or entities of the Committee’s decision;
(b) Receive requests from listed individuals for exemptions to the measures outlined in paragraph 1 (b) of this resolution and transmit these to the Committee to determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether entry or transit is justified, directs the Committee to consider such requests in consultation with States of transit and destination and any other relevant States, and reaffirms further that the Committee shall only agree to exemptions to the measures in paragraph 1 (b) of this resolution with the agreement of the States of transit and destination, and further directs the Committee, through the Focal Point, to notify such individuals of the Committee’s decision;
“23. Encourages all Member States, in particular the Government of Afghanistan, to submit to the Committee for inclusion on the List names of individuals, groups, undertakings and entities participating, by any means, in the financing or support of acts or activities described in paragraph 2 above;
“24. Reaffirms that, when proposing names to the Committee for inclusion on the List, Member States shall use the standard form for listing and provide a statement of case, which should include as detailed and specific reasons as possible on the proposed basis for the listing, and as much relevant information as possible on the proposed name, in particular sufficient identifying information to allow for the accurate and positive identification of individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, and to the extent possible, the information required by INTERPOL to issue a INTERPOL-United Nations Security Council Special Notice, and decides further that the statement of case shall be releasable, upon request, except for the parts a Member State identifies as being confidential to the Committee, and may be used to develop the narrative summary of reasons for listing described in paragraph 26 below;
“25. Encourages Member States, in accordance with their national legislation, to submit to INTERPOL, where available, photographs and other biometric data of individuals for the inclusion in the INTERPOL-United Nations Security Council Special Notices, and directs the Monitoring Team to report to the Committee on further steps that could be taken to improve the quality of the 1988 Sanctions List, including by improving identifying information, as well as steps to ensure that INTERPOL-United Nations Security Council Special Notices exist for all listed individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities;
“26. Directs the Committee, with the assistance of the Monitoring Team and in coordination with the relevant designating States, to make accessible on the Committee’s website, at the same time a name is added to the List, a narrative summary of reasons for listing that are as detailed and specific as possible, as well as additional relevant information;
“27. Calls upon all members of the Committee and the Monitoring Team to share with the Committee any appropriate information they may have available regarding a listing request from a Member State so that this information may help inform the Committee’s decision on listing and provide additional material for the narrative summary of reasons for listing described in paragraph 26;
“28. Requests the Secretariat to publish on the Committee’s website all relevant publicly releasable information, including the narrative summary of reasons for listing, immediately after a name is added to the List;
“29. Strongly urges Member States, when considering the proposal of a new listing, to consult with the Government of Afghanistan on the listing prior to submission to the Committee to ensure coordination with the Government of Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation efforts, and encourages all Member States considering the proposal of a new listing to seek advice from UNAMA, where appropriate;
“30. Decides that the Committee shall, after publication, but within three working days after a name is added to the List, notify the Government of Afghanistan, the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan, and the Permanent Mission of the State(s) where the individual or entity is believed to be located and, in the case of non-Afghan individuals or entities, the State(s) of which the person is believed to be a national; and further decides that the relevant Member State(s) shall take all possible measures, in accordance with their domestic laws and practices, to notify or inform in a timely manner the listed individual or entity of the listing and to include with this notification the narrative summary of reasons for listing, a description of the effects of listing, as provided in the relevant resolutions, the Committee’s procedures for considering delisting requests, and the provisions of resolution 1452 (2002), as amended by resolution 1735 (2006), regarding available exemptions;
“31. Directs the Committee to remove expeditiously individuals and entities on a case-by-case basis that no longer meet the listing criteria outlined in paragraph 2 above, and requests that the Committee give due regard to requests for removal of individuals who have reconciled, in accordance with the 20 July 2010 Kabul Conference Communiqué on dialogue for all those who renounce violence, have no links to international terrorist organizations, including Al-Qaida, respect the constitution, including its human rights provisions, notably the rights of women, and are willing to join in building a peaceful Afghanistan, and as further elaborated in the principles and outcomes of the 5 December 2011 Bonn Conference Conclusions supported by the Government of Afghanistan and the international community;
“32. Strongly urges Member States to consult with the Government of Afghanistan on their delisting requests prior to submission to the Committee, to ensure coordination with the Government of Afghanistan’s peace and reconciliation efforts;
“33. Recalls its decision that individuals and entities seeking removal from the List without the sponsorship of a Member State are eligible to submit such requests to the Focal Point mechanism established in resolution 1730 (2006);
“34. Encourages UNAMA to support and facilitate cooperation between the Government of Afghanistan and the Committee to ensure that the Committee has sufficient information to consider delisting requests, and directs the Committee to consider delisting requests in accordance with the following principles, where relevant:
(a) Delisting requests concerning reconciled individuals should, if possible, include a communication from the High Peace Council through the Government of Afghanistan confirming the reconciled status of the individual according to the reconciliation guidelines, or, in the case of individuals reconciled under the Strengthening Peace Programme, documentation attesting to their reconciliation under the previous programme, as well as current address and contact information;
(b) Delisting requests concerning individuals who formerly held positions in the Taliban regime prior to 2002 who no longer meet the listing criteria outlined in paragraph 2 of this resolution should, if possible, include a communication from the Government of Afghanistan confirming that the individual is not an active supporter of, or participant in, acts that threaten the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan, as well as current address and contact information;
(c) Delisting requests for reportedly deceased individuals should include an official statement of death from the State of nationality, residence, or other relevant State;
“35. Urges the Committee, where appropriate, to invite a representative of the Government of Afghanistan to appear before the Committee to discuss the merits of listing or delisting certain individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities, including when a request by the Government of Afghanistan has been put on hold or rejected by the Committee;
“36. Requests all Member States, but particularly the Government of Afghanistan, to inform the Committee if they become aware of any information indicating that an individual, group, undertaking or entity that has been delisted should be considered for listing under paragraph 1 of this resolution, and further requests that the Government of Afghanistan provide to the Committee an annual report on the status of reportedly reconciled individuals who have been delisted by the Committee in the previous year;
“37. Directs the Committee to consider expeditiously any information indicating that a delisted individual has returned to activities set forth in paragraph 2, including by engaging in acts inconsistent with paragraph 31 of this resolution, and requests the Government of Afghanistan or other Member States, where appropriate, to submit a request to add that individual’s name back on the list;
“38. Confirms that the Secretariat shall, as soon as possible after the Committee has made a decision to remove a name from the List, transmit the decision to the Government of Afghanistan and the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan for notification, and the Secretariat should also, as soon as possible, notify the Permanent Mission of the State(s) in which the individual or entity is believed to be located and, in the case of non-Afghan individuals or entities, the State(s) of nationality, and recalls its decision that States receiving such notification take measures, in accordance with domestic laws and practices, to notify or inform the concerned individual or entity of the delisting in a timely manner;
Review and maintenance of the List
“39. Recognizes that the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, and the urgency that the Government of Afghanistan and the international community attach to a peaceful political solution to the conflict, requires timely and expeditious modifications to the List, including the addition and removal of individuals and entities, urges the Committee to decide on listing and delisting requests in a timely manner, requests the Committee to review each entry on the list on a regular basis, including, as appropriate, by means of reviews of individuals considered to be reconciled, individuals whose entries lack identifiers, individuals reportedly deceased, and entities reported or confirmed to have ceased to exist, directs the Committee to review and amend its guidelines for such reviews, as appropriate, and requests the Monitoring Team to circulate to the Committee every twelve months a list compiled in consultation with the respective designating States and States of residence, in particular the Government of Afghanistan, as well as States of nationality, location or incorporation, where known, of:
(a) Individuals on the List whom the Afghan Government considers to be reconciled along with relevant documentation as outlined in paragraph 34 (a);
(b) Individuals and entities on the List whose entries lack identifiers necessary to ensure effective implementation of the measures imposed upon them;
(c) Individuals on the List who are reportedly deceased, along with an assessment of relevant information outlined in paragraph 34 (c) and to the extent possible, the status and location of frozen assets and the names of any individuals or entities who would be in a position to receive any unfrozen assets;
“40. Directs the Committee to review whether these listings remain appropriate, and further directs the Committee to remove listings if it decides they are no longer appropriate;
“41. Requests the Monitoring Team to provide an overview of the current status of the information included in the INTERPOL-United Nations Security Council Special Notices on a periodic basis, as appropriate;
“42. Recalls that, with the exception of decisions made pursuant to paragraph 20 of this resolution, no matter shall be left pending before the Committee for a period longer than six months, urges Committee members to respond within three months,
“43. Urges the Committee to ensure that there are fair and clear procedures for the conduct of its work, and directs the Committee to review its guidelines as soon as possible, in particular with respect to paragraphs 17, 21, 32, 33, 34 and 35;
“44. Encourages Member States and relevant international organizations to send representatives to meet with the Committee to share information and discuss any relevant issues;
“45. Encourages all Member States, in particular designating States and States of residence, nationality, location or incorporation, to submit to the Committee additional identifying and other information, including where available, and in accordance with their national legislation, photographs and other biometric data of individuals along with supporting documentation, on listed individuals, groups, undertakings and entities, including updates on the operating status of listed entities, groups and undertakings, the movement, incarceration or death of listed individuals and other significant events, as such information becomes available;
“46. Directs the Committee to consider requests for information from States and international organizations with ongoing judicial proceedings concerning implementation of the measures imposed in paragraph 1, and to respond as appropriate with additional information available to the Committee and the Monitoring Team;
“47. Directs the Monitoring Team to refer to the Chair for review listings for which, after three years, no relevant State has responded in writing to the Committee’s requests for information, and in this regard, reminds the Committee that its Chair, acting in his or her capacity as Chair, may submit names for removal from the List, as appropriate and subject to the Committee’s normal decision-making procedures;
Cooperation with the Government of Afghanistan
“48. Welcomes periodic briefings from the Government of Afghanistan on the content of the list, as well as on the impact of targeted sanctions on deterring threats to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan, and supporting Afghan-led reconciliation; and underlines that continued and close cooperation between the Government of Afghanistan and the Committee will contribute to further enhance efficiency and effectiveness of the regime;
“49. Encourages continued cooperation among the Committee, the Government of Afghanistan, and UNAMA, including by identifying and providing detailed information regarding individuals and entities participating in the financing or support of acts or activities set forth in paragraph 2 of this resolution, and by inviting UNAMA representatives to address the Committee and further encourages UNAMA within its existing mandate, resources, and capacity to continue to provide logistical support and security assistance to the Monitoring Team for its work in Afghanistan;
“50. Welcomes the Government of Afghanistan’s desire to assist the Committee in the coordination of listing and delisting requests and in the submission of all relevant information to the Committee;
“51. Decides, in order to assist the Committee in fulfilling its mandate, that the 1267/1989 Monitoring Team, established pursuant to paragraph 7 of resolution 1526 (2004), shall also support the Committee for a period of 24 months from the date of expiration of the current mandate in December 2017, with the mandate set forth in the annex to this resolution, and further requests the Secretary-General to make the necessary arrangements to this effect, and highlights the importance of ensuring that the Monitoring Team receives the necessary administrative and substantive support, to effectively, safely and in a timely manner fulfil its mandate, including with regard to duty of care in high risk environments, under the direction of the Committee, a subsidiary organ of the Security Council;
“52. Directs the Monitoring Team to gather information on instances of non‑compliance with the measures imposed in this resolution and to keep the Committee informed of such instances, as well as to facilitate, upon request by Member States, assistance on capacity-building, encourages Committee members to address issues of non-compliance and bring them to the attention of the Monitoring Team or the Committee, and further directs the Monitoring Team to provide recommendations to the Committee on actions taken to respond to non-compliance;
Coordination and Outreach
“53. Recognizes the need to maintain contact with relevant United Nations Security Council Committees, international organizations and expert groups, including the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1540 (2004), and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), particularly given the continuing presence and negative influence on the Afghan conflict by Al-Qaida, and any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivative thereof;
“54. Encourages UNAMA to provide assistance to the High Peace Council, at its request, to encourage listed individuals to reconcile;
“55. Requests the Committee to consider, where and when appropriate, visits to selected countries by the Chair and/or Committee members to enhance the full and effective implementation of the measures referred to in paragraph 1 above, with a view to encouraging States to comply fully with this resolution and resolutions.
“56. Requests the Committee to report orally, through its Chair, once per year, to the Council on the state of the overall work of the Committee and the Monitoring Team, and further requests the Chair to hold annual briefings for all interested Member States;
“57. Decides to review the implementation of the measures outlined in this resolution in eighteen months and make adjustments, as necessary, to support peace and stability in Afghanistan;
“58. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”
“In accordance with paragraph 51 of this resolution, the Monitoring Team shall operate under the direction of the Committee and shall have the following responsibilities:
(a) To submit, in writing, two annual comprehensive, independent reports to the Committee, on implementation by Member States of the measures referred to in paragraph 1 of this resolution, including specific recommendations for improved implementation of the measures and possible new measures;
(b) To assist the Committee in regularly reviewing names on the List, including by undertaking travel on behalf of the Committee as a subsidiary organ of the Security Council and contact with Member States, with a view to developing the Committee’s record of the facts and circumstances relating to a listing;
(c) To assist the Committee in following up on requests to Member States for information, including with respect to implementation of the measures referred to in paragraph 1 of this resolution;
(d) To submit a comprehensive programme of work to the Committee for its review and approval, as necessary, in which the Monitoring Team should detail the activities envisaged in order to fulfil its responsibilities, including proposed travel on behalf of the Committee;
(e) To gather information on behalf of the Committee on instances of reported non-compliance with the measures referred to in paragraph 1 of this resolution, including by, but not limited to, collating information from Member States and engaging with related parties, pursuing case studies, both on its own initiative and upon the Committee’s request, and to provide recommendations to the Committee on such cases of non-compliance for its review;
(f) To present to the Committee recommendations, which could be used by Member States to assist them with the implementation of the measures referred to in paragraph 1 of this resolution and in preparing proposed additions to the List;
(g) To assist the Committee in its consideration of proposals for listing, including by compiling and circulating to the Committee information relevant to the proposed listing, and preparing a draft narrative summary referred to in paragraph 26 of this resolution;
(h) To bring to the Committee’s attention new or noteworthy circumstances that may warrant a delisting, such as publicly reported information on a deceased individual;
(i) To consult with Member States in advance of travel to selected Member States, based on its programme of work as approved by the Committee;
(j) To encourage Member States to submit names and additional identifying information for inclusion on the List, as instructed by the Committee;
(k) To consult with the Committee, the Government of Afghanistan, or any relevant Member States, as appropriate, when identifying individuals or entities that could be added to, or removed from, the List;
(l) To present to the Committee additional identifying and other information to assist the Committee in its efforts to keep the List as updated and accurate as possible;
(m) To collate, assess, monitor and report on and make recommendations regarding implementation of the measures, including by key Afghan government institutions and any capacity assistance requirements; to pursue case studies, as appropriate; and to explore in depth any other relevant issues as directed by the Committee;
(n) To consult with Member States and other relevant organizations and bodies, including UNAMA and other United Nations agencies, and engage in regular dialogue with representatives in New York and in capitals, taking into account their comments, especially regarding any issues that might be reflected in the Monitoring Team’s reports referred to in paragraph (a) of this annex;
(o) To cooperate closely with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and engage in a regular dialogue with Member States and other relevant organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Combined Maritime Forces, on the nexus between narcotics trafficking and those individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities eligible for listing under paragraph 1 of this resolution, and report as requested by the Committee;
(p) To provide an update report to the special report of the Monitoring Team pursuant to resolution 2160 (2014) Annex (p), as part of its regular comprehensive reports;
(q) To consult with Member States’ intelligence and security services, including through regional forums, in order to facilitate the sharing of information and to strengthen enforcement of the measures;
(r) To consult with relevant representatives of the private sector, including financial institutions, to learn about the practical implementation of the assets freeze and to develop recommendations for the strengthening of that measure;
(s) To cooperate closely with the Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) and other relevant United Nations counter-terrorism bodies in providing information on the measures taken by Member States on kidnapping and hostage-taking for ransom and on relevant trends and developments in this area;
(t) To consult with the Government of Afghanistan, Member States, relevant representatives of the private sector, including financial institutions and relevant non-financial businesses and professions, and with relevant international organizations, including the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and its regional bodies, to raise awareness of the sanctions and to assist in the implementation of the measures in accordance with FATF Recommendation 6 on asset freezing and its related guidance;
(u) To consult with the Government of Afghanistan, Member States, relevant representatives of the private sector and other international organizations, including International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the World Customs Organization (WCO), and INTERPOL to raise awareness of and learn about the practical implementation of the travel ban, including the use of advanced passenger information provided by civil aircraft operators to Member States, and assets freeze and to develop recommendations for the strengthening of the implementation of these measures;
(v) To consult with the Government of Afghanistan, Member States, international and regional organizations and relevant representatives of the private sector on the threat posed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to peace, security and stability in Afghanistan, to raise awareness of the threat and to develop, in line with their responsibilities under annex (a), recommendations for appropriate measures, to counter this threat;
(w) To work with relevant international and regional organizations in order to promote awareness of, and compliance with, the measures;
(x) To cooperate with INTERPOL and Member States to obtain photographs, physical descriptions and, in accordance with their national legislation, other biometric and biographic data of listed individuals when available for inclusion in INTERPOL-United Nations Security Council Special Notices and to exchange information on emerging threats;
(y) To assist other subsidiary bodies of the Security Council, and their expert panels, upon request, with enhancing their cooperation with INTERPOL, referred to in resolution 1699 (2006);
(z) To assist the Committee in facilitating assistance in capacity-building for enhancing implementation of the measures, upon request by Member States;
(aa) To report to the Committee, on a regular basis or when the Committee so requests, through oral and/or written briefings on the work of the Monitoring Team, including its visits to Member States and its activities;
(bb) To study and report to the Committee on the current nature of the threat of individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with the Taliban, in constituting a threat to the peace, stability and security of Afghanistan and the best measures to confront it, including by developing a dialogue with relevant scholars, academic bodies and experts according to the priorities identified by the Committee;
(cc) To gather information, including from the Government of Afghanistan and relevant Member States, on travel that takes place under a granted exemption, pursuant to paragraphs 19 and 20, and to report to the Committee, as appropriate; and
(dd) Any other responsibility identified by the Committee.”