NEW YORK: Highlighting the challenges facing Afghanistan due to decades-long violence and instability, the United Nations Envoy to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto stressed on Wednesday night that avenues for peace must be explored with utmost urgency and seriousness.
“As one of the world’s most aid-dependent countries, it will be difficult for Afghanistan to achieve self-reliance as long as there is conflict,” Yamamoto told members of the Security Council during a briefing.
“Conflict diverts resources, which would be better spent on developing Afghanistan and helping its people. Peace is therefore a requirement,” he underlined.
Yamamoto, who is also head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), went on to stress the need to resolve political tensions between the two leaders in government to ensure that it is stable.
“No effective policies are possible if the government is internally divided,” noting that tensions had surfaced, with public criticism by Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah about what he viewed as the incomplete implementation of the political agreement of 2014.
He nevertheless called on the leaders to show to the people of Afghanistan and to the international community that they are able to govern effectively.
Drawing attention of the 15-member body to the volatile security situation within the country, the UN official expressed concern that the toll extracted by violence on civilians continues to increase.
He added that the country’s health and social systems could also face further strain as the number of people newly displaced by the conflict is being added to by a massive increase in the number of Afghan families returning back from Pakistan.
“If current trends continue, Afghanistan will have to meet the needs of at least one million people on the move,” he said, adding that unless urgent measures are taken, thousands of families could suffer due to the upcoming winter season.