UN has a clear role to play in Afghanistan, says UNGA President-elect Abdulla Shahid

By The Hindu

The United Nations has a definite role to play in Afghanistan, said Abdulla Shahid, President-elect of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday. Addressing an interaction at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) here, the veteran Maldivian diplomat, who also serves as the Foreign Minister of the Maldives, condemned terrorism and said the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) is a “collective responsibility”.

“Maintenance of international peace and security is mandated to the Security Council of the United Nations. Therefore, the United Nations has a very clear role in what is happening in Afghanistan. The people of Aghanistan are resilient and their government is democratic. We in the international community should help the Afghan people in whatever way they so desire,” said Mr. Shahid, who will steer the Geneal Assembly during the upcoming session of the UNGA in September.

The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has a Personal Envoy for Afghanistan in French diplomat Jean Arnault but the current phase of the peace process has been dominated by the United States, the Taliban, the government of the President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, and regional stakeholders. The comments from Mr. Shahid indicate that under his stewardship of the UN, Afghanistan is expected to receive due attention at the UNGA as the Taliban continue to march ahead.

Mr. Shahid defeated former Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul in the election for the top post at the UNGA.

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