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Statement by Ambassador Woodward at the UN Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan


Let me start by commending the penholders, UAE and Japan, for their approach to securing the Council’s support for this important resolution.

Since the Taliban took power, they have imposed restriction after restriction, resulting in the systematic erasure of women and girls from society. Banning Afghan women from working for the UN in country is the latest example of the Taliban’s complete disregard for women’s fundamental rights.

This latest ban is a direct violation of the core tenets underpinning the UN Charter, including the principle of non-discrimination. It will severely impede the delivery of life-saving aid to women and girls in a time when 28 million people – over two-thirds of all Afghans – are in need of assistance.

So we welcome the Council’s unanimous condemnation of the Taliban’s latest decision and call for an immediate reversal of all policies which restrict women’s rights and fundamental freedoms.

We join other Council members and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries in co-sponsoring this resolution to send an unequivocal message to the Taliban: there is no justification for what you are doing to women and girls in your country.

Since April 2021, the UK has given $662 million to address the deepening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. We remain committed to supporting the UN and our partners working in country. We will not abandon the women and girls of Afghanistan. Photo by ninara from Helsinki, Finland, Wikimedia commons.