India played 'constructive role' in adoption of UNSC resolution on Afghanistan: FS Shringla

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Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla
Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla

Washington [US], September 4 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Friday (local time) termed the recently-adopted United Nations Security Council's (UNSC) resolution on Afghanistan "most important" as it involved "pressing" issues.

He added that India, whose UNSC presidency concluded early this week, played a "constructive and bridging role" in getting the resolution adopted.

Interacting with reporters in Washington, Shringla said four resolutions were adopted under India's presidency at the council. However, the fourth resolution which is related to Afghanistan was "very important to us" as it called for an inclusive negotiated political settlement, and demanded that the Taliban facilitate the evacuation of those wanting to leave including foreign nationals.

Speaking about the resolution on Afghanistan that was passed by the UNSC on August 30, Shringla said, "We had a very active wrap up session in which we adopted four resolutions. Three of them were mandate resolutions but one of them still required a vote was a contested resolution, but the fourth resolution which is one of Afghanistan was very important to us."

Shringla said that it "was a US-initiated resolution, but one that I think involved a fair amount of consultation between members, and the President, we played what we thought was a constructive and bridging role and trying to bring consensus on this issue."

He added, "We did realise that there was an urgency in getting this resolution adopted because of the pressing issues involved by issues of the evacuation of personnel issues of humanitarian access issues of, you know concerns that all members international community had."

The 15-member council on Monday adopted the resolution in which the member states reiterated the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan and noted the Taliban's relevant commitments.

The resolution called for the Taliban to facilitate safe passage for people wanting to leave Afghanistan, allow humanitarians to access the country, and uphold human rights, including for women and children.

This crucial resolution was adopted with the support of 13 members with Russia and China abstaining and no one voting against the resolution. Foreign Secretary Shringla was chairing the UNSC meet under the Indian presidency in which the resolution was adopted.

The resolution was tabled by the United States, alongside fellow permanent Council members France and the United Kingdom. This came two weeks after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

Besides the resolution, there were three earlier statements by the UNSC on Afghanistan in August.

Shringla said, "There were four different outcomes in security concern Afghanistan during our presidency. We had three press statements on the third I think 16 and the 27th of August. And then, culminating in a resolution on Afghanistan on the 30th of August, the resolution as you know is very comprehensive."

India's month-long presidency of the UNSC ended on Tuesday. India is currently a non-permanent member (for a two-year term) of the 15-nation UNSC.

Shringla termed India's presidency as an "active presidency".

"So in all, it was a very, we feel that it was an active presidency. There were a lot of acknowledgments of the contributions made in our presidency, including the very unique session chaired by the Prime Minister on maritime security, as you know, this was the first time that maritime security was wholly and comprehensively discussed in the Security Council," he said.

"It has never been done before because there was no consensus on this issue. We also had a press statement that emerged after the meeting for the first time in the council. Historically, this is the first time, Prime Minister of India, chaired a session of the UN Security Council. We also had two other sessions, which is chaired by our External Affairs Minister on peacekeeping and technology, a very important session," he added. (ANI)

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