UN / GUTERRES AFGHANISTAN

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13-Jan-2022 00:02:50
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said a nightmare was unfolding in Afghanistan and stressed that “freezing temperatures and frozen assets are a lethal combination” for the Afghan people. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / GUTERRES AFGHANISTAN
TRT: 2:50
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 13 JANUARY 2022, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE – NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UN headquarters exterior

13 JANUARY 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2. Pan left, Guterres walking to podium at stakeout
3. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Freezing temperatures and frozen assets are a lethal combination for the people of Afghanistan. Rules and conditions that prevent money from being used to save lives and the economy must be suspended in this emergency situation. International funding should be allowed to pay the salaries of public-sector workers, and to help Afghan institutions deliver healthcare, education and other vital services.”
4. Wide shot, Guterres at stakeout
5. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The United Nations in Afghanistan stands ready to work with Member States and others to put in place accountable systems that will enable funds to reach the Afghan people most in need, and to ensure that these funds are not diverted.”
6. Wide shot, Guterres listen to question at stakeout
7. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“As I appeal to the international community to step up support for the people of Afghanistan, I make an equally urgent plea to the Taliban leadership to recognize and protect the fundamental human, and in particular the rights of women and girls. Across Afghanistan, women and girls are missing from offices and classrooms. A generation of girls is seeing its hopes and dreams shattered. Women scientists, lawyers and teachers are locked out -- wasting skills and talents that will benefit the entire country and, indeed, the world. No country can thrive while denying the rights of half of its population.”
8. Wide shot, Guterres listen to question at stakeout
9. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Without creative, flexible and constructive engagement by the international community, Afghanistan’s economic situation will only worsen. Despair and extremism will grow. We need to act now to prevent economic and social collapse and find ways to prevent further suffering for millions of Afghans.”
10. Wide shot, Guterres listen to question at stakeout
11. SOUNDBITE (English) António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“Obviously, I think everybody's concerned with the present escalation of tension, and it is absolutely essential that the dialogue that is taking place find a way allowing for de-escalation of tension and allowing for the... to avoid any kind of confrontation that will be a disaster for Europe and for the world.”
12. Pan right, Guterres leaving stakeout

STORYLINE:

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said a nightmare was unfolding in Afghanistan and stressed that “freezing temperatures and frozen assets are a lethal combination” for the Afghan people.

Speaking to reporters in New York today (13 Jan), Guterres said, two days after launching the largest humanitarian appeal ever for a single country, the world was in a race against time to help the Afghan people. He said more than half the population now depends on life-saving assistance, adding that without a more concerted effort from the international community, virtually every man, woman and child in Afghanistan could face acute poverty amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UN chief said a properly funded aid operation in Afghanistan has the capacity to achieve amazing results, with humanitarians reaching some 18 million people across the country last year.

But, he said, humanitarian operations desperately need more money and more flexibility. Guterres said, “Rules and conditions that prevent money from being used to save lives and the economy must be suspended in this emergency situation. International funding should be allowed to pay the salaries of public-sector workers, and to help Afghan institutions deliver healthcare, education and other vital services.”

The Secretary-General said support for essential state functions will give Afghans hope for the future and reason to stay in their country and welcomed the Security Council's adoption of a humanitarian exception to the United Nations sanctions regime for Afghanistan.

He said the UN is taking steps to inject cash into the economy through creative authorized arrangements, but this was just a drop in the bucket. Guterres highlighted the need to jump-start the Afghan banking system to avoid economic collapse and to enable humanitarian operations.

He said, “The United Nations in Afghanistan stands ready to work with Member States and others to put in place accountable systems that will enable funds to reach the Afghan people most in need, and to ensure that these funds are not diverted.”

While appealing for international support for the Afghan people, the UN chief made “an equally urgent plea to the Taliban leadership to recognize and protect the fundamental human, and in particular the rights of women and girls.” He said, “Across Afghanistan, women and girls are missing from offices and classrooms. A generation of girls is seeing its hopes and dreams shattered. Women scientists, lawyers and teachers are locked out -- wasting skills and talents that will benefit the entire country and, indeed, the world. No country can thrive while denying the rights of half of its population.”

Guterres noted that, moving forward, it is also essential that every effort is made to build inclusive government institutions in which all Afghans feel represented – and that promote security and fight terrorism.

The Secretary-General underscored that, “without creative, flexible and constructive engagement by the international community, Afghanistan’s economic situation will only worsen; despair and extremism will grow; We need to act now to prevent economic and social collapse and find ways to prevent further suffering for millions of Afghans.”

Asked about the talks between Russia and NATO, Guterres said, “Obviously, I think everybody's concerned with the present escalation of tension, and it is absolutely essential that the dialogue that is taking place find a way allowing for de-escalation of tension and allowing for the... to avoid any kind of confrontation that will be a disaster for Europe and for the world.”
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