New UN mandate in Afghanistan

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‘This is an important day for Afghanistan. The renewed mandate will enable the UN to continue its work in the country and provide assistance to civilians at this very difficult time. As the international community's leading representative in Afghanistan, the UN has an essential role to play,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.

Today, the United Nations Security Council adopted a new mandate for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). Of the Council’s 15 members, 14 voted in favour. Only Russia abstained.

‘The Security Council has now given the UN a political mandate to work to promote inclusive political processes, among other things. The UN will also play an important role in monitoring the human rights situation and strengthening women's and girls' rights in the country.’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

The adoption of the mandate does not change the fact that none of the members of the Security Council have recognised the country’s de facto Taliban authorities. The scale of humanitarian and economic need in Afghanistan is enormous. There is still a high risk of economic collapse. The lack of a functioning banking system and the shortage of cash make it more difficult to deliver assistance to those in need.

As the penholder for Afghanistan in the UN Security Council, Norway was in charge of drafting the resolution text and led the negotiations.

‘We would like to thank the other Council members for working together with us and supporting today's resolution. The ability of the Security Council to stand together with the international community at a time of such uncertainty for Afghanistan has great political significance,’ said Ms Huitfeldt.

So far this year, Norway has allocated nearly NOK 200 million in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and neighbouring countries. The funding is being channelled through the UN and various Norwegian NGOs, with priority being given to life-saving humanitarian assistance and protection.