Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha at the Security Council meeting on UNAMA – Afghanistan

Ferit Hoxha, Permanent Representative of Albania to the United Nations and President of the Security Council for the month of June, chairs the Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security.

We join colleagues in conveying our deep condolences to the families of the victims of the earthquake and wish speedy recovery to the injured.

Thank USG Griffiths and DSRSG Ramiz Alakbarov for a detailed update on the dramatic situation in Afghanistan.

Thank you Yalda Hakim and Yalda Royan for bringing such an important and needed perspective from that part of Afghan society which is unfortunately shrinking dangerously.

Thank you, in particular, Yalda Hakim, for continuing to be such a strong and, as an Afghan yourself, a credible voice for those who need to be heard, the Afghanis.

What we heard today leaves little room for hope. I was trying to find one positive aspect to highlight. I am still searching.

Since the takeover, the economy of the country has been in free fall; it contracted by more than a third compared with the same period a year earlier. There is outspread unemployment. Food prices are rising by nearly 20% year on year. Families that were middle-class a year ago are surviving on a single meal a day. As we heard from USG Griffiths, more than half the country’s people, nearly 20 million, face acute hunger. Reports speak of such heart-braking situations when families are selling organs or children to put food on the table.

When it comes to the security situation it is utterly troubling to notice a resurgence of al-Qaeda on Afghan soil. Despite efforts, riven by factions and with lose control on some parts of the country, the Taliban have also failed to suppress the Islamic State. There have been persistent bombings, attacks on civilians, often against Hazara minority. This raises the legitimate question if Afghanistan is again ripe for the wholesale export of terrorists. It must not be allowed.


When the Taliban took over, nearly a year ago, they promised peace and harmony. There would be no reprisals; they would show concern for the vulnerable, manage the economy and engage with other countries. Girls would be allowed to go to school but they needed time to prepare.

The reality, as we heard here from Ms. Hakim and Ms. Royan, is different; the Taliban are reverting to form. Last March, teenage girls returning to class for the first day of the school year found the doors shut. Instead of teachers they were met by armed men. Now, the last islands of resistance in the area of education, private schools, are giving way under pressure.

In May, all Afghan women were ordered to cover themselves from head to toe outside home, basically shutting them out of public life. The Human Rights Commission was disbanded and minorities, including in particular the Hazaras, are deliberately targeted. All this is depressing; it is wrong, it is retrograde. It runs against the very basic universal human rights, it contradicts what the Taliban had themselves promised.

Education has moved humanity forward, but the Taliban have chosen ignorance; No free women in public life means half of the society left out of the country’s future.

How can this lead to a developed and prosperous Afghanistan? How can this respond to people’s needs, help them build a future?

It is rather a roadmap to the dark ages of obscurantism, bigotry, misogyny, a departure from civilization. When women’s rights are constrained, the entire society is weakened. A system that excludes women and talent cannot withstand.

The Taliban have a big problem with progress. They have a bigger problem with truth. Most popular entertainers, singers, actors, comedians were forced to flee the country. Nabi Roshan was watched by millions each week. Now he is living in Albania. The Taliban have decided Afghans do not need information, they don’t need to lough; they only need to listen and obey. For how long?Colleagues

Last month, the Taliban leader, called on countries to engage with Afghanistan on the basis of “mutual respect.” That means formal recognition, establishment of diplomatic relations, development assistance, trade and investments.

But respect is not a given. It is earned. First, by respecting commitments, not betraying them. With truth not with lies. Unfortunately, the actions of the Taliban go on the opposite direction, to the detriment of the people, to the detriment of the country.

It not that they don’t know. It is by choice. A bad and a wrong one. It is therefore of paramount important for his Council to remain united and speak loudly, telling the Taliban clearly and unequivocally, that if they do not reverse their course, the doors to the world will remain closed; they will not be welcome, they will remain the pariah they have chosen to be. Worse, they will be responsible and take the country back into tension and conflict.

This is why it is high time that a meaningful and inclusive political process is initiated, in good faith and with good will, with women in the room and at the table.

Finally, we greatly appreciate every effort made by UNAMA. Everything must be done to make sure that humanitarian aid reaches those entitled too and not to men with weapons.

Despite major difficulties and renewed challenges, UNAMA must make every possible effort to continue to engage with the Taliban in implementing the mandate given by this Council for the sake and on behalf of the Afghan people, for their future.

I thank you.

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Albania remains committed to uphold the charter of the UN, convinced that a rules-based international order with effective multilateral institutions is the best way to ensure peace, security, and respect for human rights, development and prosperity.

Albania remains committed to uphold the charter of the UN, convinced that a rules-based international order with effective multilateral institutions is the best way to ensure peace, security, and respect for human rights, development and prosperity.

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