The United Nations Security Council condemned deliberate attacks on civilians in Afghanistan and all cases of terrorism “in the strongest terms” on Tuesday, while declaring its opposition to the restoration of Taliban rule.
In a press release approved by the 15 members, the most powerful body of the United Nations called on the Afghan government and the Taliban “to engage meaningfully in a comprehensive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process in order to make urgent progress toward a political settlement and ceasefire.”
The Security Council expressed its “deep concern” about the high levels of violence and reported serious human rights violations in Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban attack. She urged an immediate reduction in violence.
The war between the Taliban and Afghan government forces has intensified over the past few months as US and NATO forces complete their withdrawal from the war-torn country. The Taliban is now trying to take over the provincial capitals, having already taken over smaller administrative districts.
Diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of an official announcement, said the council was expected to hold an open session on Friday on the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.
In the statement, the council condemned “in the strongest terms the unfortunate attack on the United Nations compound” in western Herat on Friday, which resulted in the killing of an Afghan security force guard and wounding several others.
Council members reiterated that all parties are required to protect civilians under international humanitarian law and that deliberate attacks targeting civilians and United Nations personnel and compounds “may constitute war crimes.” It said the “urgent and urgent need to bring the perpetrators to justice.”
The Council reaffirmed that “there is no military solution to the conflict” and stressed “the need for the full, equal and meaningful participation of women” in peace negotiations.
Under the Taliban, women were not allowed to go to school, work outside the home, or leave the home without a male escort. Although they still face many challenges in the country’s male-dominated society, Afghan women have increasingly risen to powerful positions in many areas – many fear the departure of international forces and a Taliban takeover of power could dilute their gains.