UN / AFGHANISTAN

Preview Language:   Original
02-Mar-2022 00:03:45
The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Deborah Lyons told the Security Council that it is now most urgent to address Afghanistan’s economy, as “we are nearing a tipping point that will see more businesses close, more people unemployed and falling into poverty. It is approaching a point of irreversibility.” UNIFEED

Available Language: English
Type
Language
Format
Acquire
/
English
Other Formats
Description
STORY: UN / AFGHANISTAN
TRT: 3:45
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 02 MARCH 2022, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

SHOTLIST:

RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations Headquarters

02 MARCH 2022, NEW YORK CITY

2.Wide shot, Security Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan:
“I want to start to emphasize that we are nearing a tipping point that will see more businesses close, more people unemployed and falling into poverty. It is approaching a point of irreversibility. We welcome the many recent General Licenses issued by the United States Treasury, and particularly the recent General Licenses 20 that is aimed at facilitating commercial and financial activity and allowing work with all governing institutions, a huge step forward, albeit with some restrictions regarding sanctioned individuals.”
4.Wide shot, Security Council
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan:
“UNAMA today has taken all conceivable measures to inject liquidity into the economy, including the physical import of cash. UNAMA, together with UN partners and the World Bank, is seeking as well to establish—on a temporary basis— a humanitarian exchange facility to allow a scale up in humanitarian programming which you all know is badly needed in this coming year, and also will provide access to US dollars to legitimate business to enable them to import goods and allow the supply chain to function.”
6.Wide shot, Security Council
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan:
“As UNAMA, we must continue to report on what we see, even as we try to build understanding and a working relationship with the de facto authorities. We are concerned by restrictions on women and girls’ fundamental rights, extrajudicial killings, on enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention, most certainly respect for minorities, and freedoms of assembly and expression. We were extremely vocal on the need to release the disappeared women protesters and their family members last month, and indeed, they were released.”
8. Wide shot, Security Council
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Mariam Safi, Civil Society Briefer:
“The Security Council must ensure that UNAMA prioritizes gender equality and the rights of women, both protection and their participation. You will have no one to protect unless you also advocate for the active participation of women in the public and political life of their country. Therefore, I implore the Security Council to ensure that UNAMA has an explicit mandate to support the full, safe, equal and meaningful participation of women across all processes, and regularly consults with women and civil society more broadly, including LGBTQI+ individuals, youth, victims, and all ethnic and religious communities.”
10. Wide shot, Security Council
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Naseer Ahmed Faiq, Chargé d'affaires of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations:
"Here I would like to request you that for any future intra-Afghan dialogue for achieving a political settlement in Afghanistan and inclusivity, please engage with Afghan stakeholders who have credibility, legitimacy and good reputation amongst Afghans and those who actually represent Afghanistan's national interest.”
12. Wide shot, Security Council

STORYLINE:

The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Deborah Lyons told the Security Council that it is now most urgent to address Afghanistan’s economy, as “we are nearing a tipping point that will see more businesses close, more people unemployed and falling into poverty. It is approaching a point of irreversibility.”

Speaking to the Council today (02 Mar) in New York, Lyons welcomed the recent General License issued by the United States Treasury aimed at facilitating commercial and financial activity and allowing work with all governing institutions, albeit with some restrictions regarding sanctioned individuals.

But other challenges to reviving the economy still remain, said the UNAMA chief. She explained that these include the collapse of demand due to cessation of all development assistance, restrictions on international payments, lack of access to hard currency reserves, the lack of liquidity, and constraints on the Central Bank to carry out some of its core functions.

She said, “UNAMA today has taken all conceivable measures to inject liquidity into the economy, including the physical import of cash. UNAMA, together with UN partners and the World Bank, is seeking as well to establish—on a temporary basis— a humanitarian exchange facility to allow a scale up in humanitarian programming which you all know is badly needed in this coming year, and also will provide access to US dollars to legitimate business to enable them to import goods and allow the supply chain to function.”

Lyons also noted that when UNAMA’s mandate was rolled over for six months in September 2021, it was still too early for the international community to react to the Taliban’s seizure of power. Six months of indecision, marked by continued sanctions albeit with some relief, and unstructured political engagement, are eroding vital social and economic coping systems and pushing the population into greater uncertainty.

She emphasized that the international community cannot truly assist the Afghan people without working with the de facto authorities, adding that we must acknowledge, however, that there still remains an enduring distrust between the Taliban and much of the international community, and even the regional countries.

Lyons also said, “as UNAMA, we must continue to report on what we see, even as we try to build understanding and a working relationship with the de facto authorities.”

She reiterated, “we are concerned by restrictions on women and girls’ fundamental rights, extrajudicial killings, on enforced disappearances and arbitrary detention, most certainly respect for minorities, and freedoms of assembly and expression.”

Mariam Safi, a Civil Society representative also briefed the Council. She said, “the Security Council must ensure that UNAMA prioritizes gender equality and the rights of women, both protection and their participation.”

She reiterated, “you will have no one to protect unless you also advocate for the active participation of women in the public and political life of their country.”

She implored the Security Council to “ensure that UNAMA has an explicit mandate to support the full, safe, equal and meaningful participation of women across all processes, and regularly consults with women and civil society more broadly, including LGBTQI+ individuals, youth, victims, and all ethnic and religious communities.”

Naseer Ahmed Faiq, Chargé d'affaires of the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations also spoke to the Council.

He requested the Council that “for any future intra-Afghan dialogue for achieving a political settlement in Afghanistan and inclusivity, please engage with Afghan stakeholders who have credibility, legitimacy and good reputation amongst Afghans and those who actually represent Afghanistan's national interest.”
Series
Category
Geographic Subjects
Creator
UNIFEED
Alternate Title
unifeed220302c
Asset ID
2715466