‘Now is the time to stand as one’, UN chief tells Security Council

‘Now is the time to stand as one’, UN chief tells Security Council

New York (UNA-OIC) – As desperate Afghans were trying to escape the Taliban and board planes, during chaotic scenes at Kabul airport on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for international unity on Afghanistan.

In a briefing to an emergency Security Council session, Guterres appealed for the ambassadors to stand as one, and ensure that human rights are upheld, humanitarian aid continues, and that the country does not again become a platform for terrorism.

“The following days will be pivotal,” said the UN chief. “The world is watching. We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan.”

The Secretary-General noted that the international community is following the developments in Afghanistan “with a heavy heart and deep disquiet about what lies ahead.”

“At this grave hour, I urge all parties, especially the Taliban, to exercise utmost restraint to protect lives and to ensure that humanitarian needs can be met,” said Guterres.

After seizing large swaths of territory in recent months, the Taliban on Sunday took control of the capital, Kabul, home to some six million people.  

President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country, according to media reports, and desperate residents have been scrambling to the airport to get flights out.

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