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Security Council endorses UN plan for political solution in Afghanistan

Security Council endorses UN plan for political solution in Afghanistan

Responding to the rapid pace of developments in Afghanistan, particularly in Kabul, the Security Council today endorsed a United Nations plan for a political solution to the situation in the country.

Early Wednesday evening the Council unanimously adopted a resolution reaffirming that the UN should play a "central role" in supporting the attempts of the Afghan people to establish a new and transitional administration and government. The 15-member body also voiced its full support for the efforts of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, in leading such negotiations.

Reacting to the Council's action afterwards, Mr. Annan told reporters that the UN now had a formal basis for moving forward. "We've done quite a bit of contingency planning and Mr. Brahimi is doing his best to bring the parties together as quickly as we can," he said. "We are beginning to send our staff back into Afghanistan to continue their humanitarian and other work and to provide whatever service and assistance that we can provide. And so in the next few days you will be seeing the UN streaming back into Afghanistan to do their work."

According to the resolution, the new Afghan institutions should be "broad-based, multi-ethnic and fully representative of all the Afghan people and committed to peace with Afghanistan's neighbours." They should also respect the human rights of all Afghan people, honour the country's international obligations - including cooperating with the global fight against terrorism and illicit drug trafficking within and from Afghanistan - and facilitate the urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance and the orderly return of refugees and others forced from their homes.

The resolution also called on countries to support such an Afghan administration and government and asked them to provide urgent humanitarian assistance as well as long-term help for the social and economic reconstruction of the country.

In addressing security concerns, the Council called on all Afghan forces to refrain from "acts of reprisal, adhere strictly to their obligations under human rights and international humanitarian law," and to ensure the safety and security of UN and humanitarian personnel. The resolution also encouraged countries to support efforts to guarantee the safety and security of areas no longer under Taliban control, particularly Kabul.