Security Council Press Statement on Afghanistan

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Ruchira Kamboj (India):

The Security Council is deeply alarmed by reports that the Taliban have suspended access to universities for women and girls, and reiterated its deep concern of the suspension of school beyond the sixth grade, and its call for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls in Afghanistan, and called on the Taliban to reopen schools and swiftly reverse these policies and practices, which represent an increasing erosion of the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Security Council is furthermore profoundly concerned by reports that the Taliban have banned female employees of non-governmental organizations and international organizations from going to work, which would have a significant and immediate impact for humanitarian operations in the country, including those of the United Nations, and the delivery of aid and health work, and that these restrictions contradict the commitments made by the Taliban to the Afghan people, as well as the expectations of the international community.

The Security Council reiterated its full support to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), and the importance of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to carry out her mandate, including through monitoring and reporting on the situation, and continued engagement with all relevant Afghan political actors and stakeholders, including relevant authorities, on these issues, consistent with the mandate of UNAMA, and keeping the Security Council informed on progress.

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