UN Security Council endorses US-Taliban peace deal


File photo: UN Security Council

File photo: UN Security Council

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution welcoming the recent deal between the US and the Taliban to bring lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan and allow US troops to return home from America’s longest war.

The US-Taliban peace deal was signed in Doha on February 29.

All 15 members of the UNSC on Tuesday supported the resolution, tabled by the United States, which endorses the joint US-Afghan declaration on peace and the agreement signed between Washington and the Taliban.

“The developments endorsed by this resolution are the product of more than a year of unprecedented US diplomatic engagement with the Taliban, in coordination with our partners in Afghanistan, the region, and around the world,”

Acting Deputy Permanent Representative of the US to UN Cherith Norman Chalet said.

The agreement with the Taliban calls for the fundamentalists to severe ties with international terrorist groups and to prevent them from using Afghanistan to carry out attacks against the US.

Under the terms of the deal, the Taliban would also participate in an intra-Afghan dialogue. While negotiations were scheduled to begin on Tuesday, they were postponed due to renewed violence and political discord at the highest levels of the government.

Afghanistan’s rival leaders — incumbent President Ashraf Ghani and his former unity government partner Abdullah Abdullah — claimed victory in the presidential election held last September and each sworn in as the country’s new president in separate ceremonies on Monday, throwing plans for talks with the Taliban into chaos

The US has welcomed President Ghani’s steps towards agreement on an inclusive government, and Abdullah’s commitments to peace and inclusivity.

“We hope the people of Afghanistan seize the opportunity to achieve an historic peace settlement that ends the conflict in Afghanistan; preserves the gains of the last two decades in human rights, basic freedoms, and the meaningful participation of women in political and civil institutions; and ensures that the territory of the Afghan people will never again be used by international terrorists to threaten the world,” Norman Chalet said.

The Security Council vote took place just hours after the Group of Friends of Women in Afghanistan met at the UN headquarters. The group, founded last year by the Afghan Mission to the UN, champion women’s participation in the country’s future. It is co-chaired by the UK and comprised of women representatives to the UN and its senior officials.

Group co-chair Ambassador Karen Pierce of the United Kingdom said the UN resolution sends a clear message on women’s inclusion in Afghanistan’s future.

“We expect to see the effective and meaningful participation in the peace process of women, as well as youth and other minorities. And while any peace deal is ultimately for Afghans to decide upon, we affirm that it should protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all,” she said.

Prior to voting, Council members observed a minute of silence in honour of former UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, who died last week at the age of 100. The Peruvian diplomat was the UN’s fifth Secretary-General and served two terms: from 1982 to 1991.