31st special session of the Human Rights Council on the serious human rights concerns and situation in Afghanistan
24 August 2021
Statement by Ambassador Federico Villegas
Argentina supported the convening of this special session convinced that the way out of this serious situation in Afghanistan can only be achieved through an inclusive political dialogue with a human rights perspective, which will guarantee a lasting and sustainable peace. We urge all actors involved, both nationally and internationally, to fully cooperate with the protection mechanisms of this Council. The fundamental rights of Afghans must prevail over other considerations.
The Hight Commissioner, the UN Secretary-General and several Special Procedures Mandate Holders have presented chilling reports that reveal serious human rights violations, as well as restrictions on the rights of individuals, especially women, girls and children.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Virginia Gamba, has also stressed that true protection for children in Afghanistan can only be achieved through a peaceful resolution of the conflict, in which the specific needs of children are addressed and child protection issues are prioritized.
We call once again on all political actors in Afghanistan, particularly those in power, to fully respect international humanitarian law and international human rights law. And to adopt urgent measures for the protection of those persons at imminent risk: women, girls and children, refugees and those internally displaced, the disabled, health personnel, journalists, human rights defenders, educators, artists, and ethnic and religious minorities.
We urge them to ensure unrestricted access to humanitarian aid, including essential health services and medical supplies, as well as to guarantee the preservation of cultural heritage.
We must address the situation in Afghanistan from the perspective of the full observance of the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. As members of the international community, especially through this Council and the work on the ground of the Office of the High Commissioner, we can and must offer tools to serve as guarantees in this new stage of the country, that will ensure there are no setbacks and that progressive development of human rights continues in Afghanistan. This Council will have an essential role in pursuing this goal.