China calls on global community to step up assistance to Afghanistan
China on Thursday voiced support for the United Nations (UN) in playing a greater coordinating role of assisting Afghanistan and called for joint efforts from the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country.
The UN Security Council on Wednesday adopted a resolution to exempt humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan from an asset freeze against designated leaders of the Taliban and associated entities.
The resolution provides a clear legal basis for continued humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference.
"China always believes that humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan does not violate Security Council resolutions, and it should not be conditional or politicized under any circumstances," Zhao stressed.
The Security Council should play a constructive role in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and such actions will help clarify doubts and facilitate the timely, smooth and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, he added.
During consultations on this resolution, some member states posited to create time limits, a list of aid providers and an onerous reporting mechanism, setting artificial restrictions and conditions for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan that deviate from the purpose, he said.
"China has been constructively engaged in the consultations and put forward specific amendments. Eventually, the resolution reflected the views of China and clarified the key issues," said Zhao.
As a friendly neighbor and sincere friend of Afghanistan, China closely follows Afghanistan's humanitarian situation and helps the country address economic and livelihood difficulties through various ways, he said.
Noting profound changes have taken place in Afghanistan since August, Zhao pointed out the U.S. and some NATO members bear responsibilities for the current Afghan situation where up to 39 million Afghans are facing a humanitarian crisis.
The spokesperson urged these countries to earnestly reflect on what they have done, immediately unfreeze Afghanistan's overseas assets, join hands with the international community in helping Afghanistan recover its economy and achieve development, and make contributions to relieving the difficulties facing the Afghan people.
Resolution 2615, which won the unanimous approval of the 15-member council, decides that humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan are not a violation of the asset freeze stipulated in a 2015 Security Council resolution.
It decides that the processing and payment of funds, other financial assets or economic resources, and the provision of goods and services necessary to ensure the timely delivery of such assistance or to support such activities are permitted.
The resolution strongly encourages providers to use reasonable efforts to minimize the accrual of any benefits to individuals or entities designated on the sanctions list.
It further decides to review the implementation of this provision after a period of one year.
The resolution requests the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator to brief the Security Council every six months from the adoption of this resolution.
(Cover: A man covered with a blanket drinks a tea on a sidewalk in Kandahar, Afghanistan, December 22, 2021. /AFP)