Amir Saeed Iravani, Iran’s permanent representative to the UN, has called for immediate and unconditional humanitarian aid for Afghanistan as the country is wrestling with economic woes.
Iravani made the remarks during a briefing on the “Situation in Afghanistan” at the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
The full text of Iravani’s speech is as follows:
I thank Albania for convening this meeting. I also thank Ms. Otunbayeva, Special Representative, and Ms. Sima Bahous, Executive Director (UN Women), for their briefing.
We also take note of the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in Afghanistan (S/2023/678).
The report highlights the ongoing and escalating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan in 2023. It reveals that an alarming two-thirds of the population, approximately 29.2 million people, require urgent assistance, marking a concerning increase from 28.3 million earlier in the year.
Adding to the severity of the situation, inadequate humanitarian funding has exacerbated these unprecedented levels of need. The Humanitarian Response Plan, requiring a total of 3.23 billion dollars, remains severely underfunded, with only 27 percent of the necessary funds secured as of September 12th.
We firmly believe in the importance of impartial and unconditional humanitarian aid. It is also crucial to lift unilateral sanctions to support and facilitate Afghanistan's economic recovery.
The international community has a moral obligation to fulfill its humanitarian commitments and pledges, demonstrating solidarity and compassion for the Afghan people.
We emphasize the need for collective cooperation to assist Afghanistan in rebuilding its economy and creating conditions conducive to the well-being of its citizens, while also facilitating the safe return of Afghan refugees.
As a neighboring country, deeply impacted by the influx of millions of Afghan refugees, we are alarmed by the potential consequences of the current situation for regional security and stability. The persistent presence of Daesh and Al-Qaida affiliates, coupled with the scourge of drug trafficking, poses a substantial threat to Afghanistan, neighboring countries, and the broader international community.
Tragically, on 13 August 2023, we witnessed yet another devastating terrorist attack, targeting innocent civilians and pilgrims visiting the Shah-e-Cheragh shrine in Shiraz. This cowardly act resulted in the martyrdom of two innocent Iranians and the injury of several others. Daesh claimed responsibility for the second such attack in ten months.
While preliminary indications suggest a reduction in opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, following a de facto authorities ban on narcotics cultivation in April 2022, our concerns regarding drug trafficking persist.
Regrettably, there has been no progress by the de facto authorities in achieving genuine ethnic and political inclusion. Instead, they continue to impose increasingly stringent restrictions on Afghan women and girls, severely curtailing their access to education. We reiterate our call for the establishment of an inclusive government, recognizing it as a crucial step towards the safety and dignified return of millions of Afghan refugees to their homeland.