What the FAQ: What does the UNSC resolution say about Afghanistan and why is India such a big part of it?

The UNSC, under India's Presidency, adopted a resolution demanding that Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter and train terrorists
Pic: Edex Live
Pic: Edex Live

India's presidency at the United Nations Security Council ended on August 31. But as its last resolution with India presiding over it, the UNSC passed the first-ever resolution on Afghanistan after the Taliban took over on August 15. What does this mean? What did they really decide? We explain it as simply as possible.

What did the resolution say?

The resolution said that it expects that the Taliban will adhere to commitments made by it regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and foreign nationals. The resolution said it strongly "demands that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists, or to plan or to finance terrorist acts, and reiterates the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and notes the Taliban's relevant commitments".

Who adopted the resolution and who abstained?

The Council adopted the resolution proposed by France, the UK and the US with 13 Council members voting in favour, and Russia and China abstaining. This was the first resolution adopted by the Council on the situation in Afghanistan following the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban and came on the penultimate day of India's Presidency of the Security Council for August.

What does the resolution say about the attacks of August 26?

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Afghanistan, the resolution "condemns in the strongest terms the deplorable attacks" of August 26 near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul for which the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, an entity affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da'esh), claimed responsibility and which resulted in deaths and injuries of over 300 civilians and 28 military personnel. The UNSC resolution took note of the Taliban's condemnation of the attack.

Have they taken steps to prevent such attacks?

The Council, through the resolution, also took note of the "dangerous security situation" around the Hamid Karzai International Airport and "expresses concern that intelligence indicates further terrorist attacks may take place in the area”. It called on “the relevant parties” to work with international partners to take steps to strengthen security and to prevent further casualties and requested that every effort be made to allow for the rapid and secure reopening of the Kabul airport and its surrounding area.

What is the message to the Taliban?

It noted the Taliban's statement of August 27 in which the outfit had committed that Afghans will be able to travel abroad, may leave Afghanistan anytime they want to, and may exit Afghanistan via any border crossing, both air and ground, including at the reopened and secured Kabul airport, with no one preventing them from travelling. The resolution said it "expects that the Taliban will adhere to these and all other commitments, including regarding the safe, secure, and orderly departure from Afghanistan of Afghans and all foreign nationals".

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