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China, Russia abstain, as UN charges Taliban on human rights of Afghans

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The UN Security Council has passed a resolution asking the Taliban to ensure safe passage of people wanting to leave Afghanistan.

It also sought the access of humanitarians into the country, and incorporation of human rights, including for women and children.

Thirteen of the 15 ambassadors voted in favour of the resolution on Monday, which further demanded that Afghanistan not be used as a shelter for terrorism.

Permanent members China and Russia abstained.

Countries condemned in the strongest terms the deadly blasts at Kabul airport on Thursday, which killed more than 150 people and injured upwards of 200 more.

The terrorist group Islamic State in Khorosan Province (ISKP) claimed responsibility.

The resolution was tabled by the United States, alongside fellow permanent Council members France and the United Kingdom.

“The Security Council expects the Taliban to live up to its commitment to facilitate safe passage for Afghans and foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan, whether it’s today, tomorrow, or after August 31,” U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.

“Consistent with the right to leave any country, including one’s own, everybody must be allowed to safely leave Afghanistan, for whatever reason, whenever they want, by air or by land. This is of the utmost importance to us.”

Read also: Taliban bans music, mandates chaperones for travelling women

Thomas-Greenfield added that the resolution also reflected the Council’s “crystal clear” commitment to assisting those who remain in Afghanistan.

“It underscores that all parties need to facilitate humanitarian assistance and that humanitarian actors be given full safe and unhindered access to continue service delivery to those in need,” she said.

French Ambassador Nicolas de Rivière called on the Taliban to be committed to the statement of allowing Afghans to leave the country at any time.

“This resolution calls on everyone to make all efforts to secure the airport and the surrounding area,” he said.

On the issue of human rights, UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward emphasised the need to protect gains made over the past two decades, stressing that the rights of women, children, and minorities must be safeguarded.

She described the resolution as an important step towards a unified international response to the situation in Afghanistan.

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