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Welcoming Taliban's collapse, Security Council decides to adjust sanctions

Welcoming Taliban's collapse, Security Council decides to adjust sanctions

Hailing the end of Taliban rule in Afghanistan and the resulting progress in the country, members of the Security Council today decided that the sanctions it had imposed earlier against the group should be adjusted to conform to new realities.

Following a closed-door meeting on Afghanistan, the current Council President, Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul of Mauritius, said the members "welcomed the positive changes in Afghanistan as a result of the collapse of the Taliban regime."

"They reiterated their support to the Interim Authority of Afghanistan in its efforts to return the country to peace, stability and normalcy and move forward the political process in accordance with the Bonn Agreement," he said, referring to the accord reached among Afghan factions meeting last month in Germany.

At the same time, the Council President said the members had reviewed a report of Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the humanitarian implications of the sanctions imposed against the Taliban by Security Council resolutions 1267, adopted in 1999, and 1333, passed the following year. They were also briefed by the Chairman of the committee monitoring those sanctions, Ambassador Alfonso Valdivieso of Colombia.

Members noted that "in view of the latest political developments, some measures imposed by 1267 and 1333 appear to have lost focus and shall have to be adjusted to new realities," said the President. He added that the members had agreed to exclude the Central Bank of Afghanistan from the list of entities subject to a freeze of all Taliban-controlled funds under resolution 1267.

Council members also reaffirmed that the UN should continue to play a central role in supporting the Interim Authority of Afghanistan and the Afghan people in their efforts, and expressed in this regard full support for the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi.

Expressing concern about the grave humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, Council members called on all donors to continue providing humanitarian help and to assist with the rehabilitation, recovery and reconstruction of Afghanistan, and said they looked forward to the reconstruction conference in Tokyo later this month.

In addition, the statement urged all Afghans "to support full and unimpeded access by humanitarian organizations to people in need and to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian workers."

Meanwhile in Kabul, Mr. Brahimi continued his contacts with various officials, including United States Senator Joseph Biden, with whom he discussed the presence of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, as well as the country's foreign aid needs.

"In this respect there was a reference to how quick nations were to pledge funds but how slow they were to deliver cash," Mr. Brahimi's spokesman, Ahmad Fawzi, told the press in Kabul.