Chinese envoy calls for more int'l support for Afghanistan

UNITED NATIONS, June 23 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy on Thursday called on the international community to step up support for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is at a critical stage of transition from chaos to governance. Since the Taliban takeover in August 2021, the situation in Afghanistan has remained stable on the whole while the humanitarian and economic fields are facing the most daunting challenges, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

Afghanistan still has a long way to go to achieve peace and development. The Afghan people should not be forgotten. And it is incumbent upon the international community to provide more support and assistance, he told the Security Council.

It is important to strengthen constructive engagement to support Afghanistan in realizing autonomous and effective state governance, he said.

The lessons of the past 20 years have proved that military interventions and foreign models will not work in Afghanistan. All parties should uphold the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led principle, strengthen engagement with the interim Afghan government in a pragmatic manner, patiently guide and support national reconciliation and domestic unity in Afghanistan, and explore a governance model suited to Afghanistan's national conditions. This should be an internally driven and progressive process that requires a forward-looking attitude and necessary patience, said Zhang.

It is necessary to increase resource inputs to help Afghanistan get out of economic and livelihood difficulties, he said.

The humanitarian and economic situation in Afghanistan took an abrupt turn for the worse in the wake of the precipitous withdrawal of foreign troops, Zhang said, adding that so far, only 30 percent of the UN humanitarian response plan for Afghanistan is funded -- a shortfall of 3 billion U.S. dollars and other geopolitical developments have shifted the attention of major donor countries from Afghanistan.

"This trend is extremely dangerous, which may turn the current crisis into a greater catastrophe," he said.

In April, dozens of independent UN human rights experts jointly issued a statement, pointing out that the freezing of Afghanistan's overseas assets by the United States has aggravated the plights of Afghanistan women and children, and calling for the release of the funds. Regrettably, there has been no progress on the issue, said Zhang.

"At a time when the Afghan people are most in need of resources, it is unreasonable, unjustifiable, and unacceptable to freeze their sizable overseas assets. The United States should respond to the appeals of the (UN) secretary-general, human rights experts, humanitarian agencies, and other parties by unconditionally returning Afghanistan's overseas assets as soon as possible," he said.

The security, counter-terrorism, drug control, and refugee problems faced by Afghanistan are intertwined. Therefore, a holistic approach is needed to address the root causes, said Zhang.

As a friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, China has always been committed to supporting its peace, stability and development. China is ready to work with the international community to contribute to a brighter future for Afghanistan, he added.

Editor: Gao Jingyan
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