Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations

Explanation of vote by Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia before UNGA vote on a draft resolution on the situation in Afghanistan


Russia attaches particular importance to the consideration of the situation in Afghanistan by the General Assembly.

We always stand for adopting a truly consensual UNGA resolution which should reflect the present-day reality in Afghanistan and consolidated approaches of the global community as it looks for ways to ensure an effective and lasting Afghan settlement.  

Unfortunately, for the past several years, the working process on this resolution has shown the direct opposite. We see insistent attempts of our Western colleagues to impose on the international community their own vision of the developments in Afghanistan.  This is done in order to cover up for the effects of their 20-years-long war and irresponsible flight of foreign troops at the end of August 2021. There are hypocritical attempts to shift all responsibility for the failure of their military campaign and the deteriorating current situation to the new authorities. Against this backdrop, the existing socio-economic and humanitarian problems which Afghanistan is exposed to, as well as concerns of regional states, were simply ignored.

We repeatedly underscored that UNGA member states could have reached a consensus on a draft resolution on Afghanistan. It was possible, and there was just one condition for that – make the negotiations objective and heedful of a wide range of positions.

But we see that our Western colleagues still are not interested in fair engagement. Instead, they prefer behind-the-scenes games and manipulations. So this time they simply demanded, incl. by exerting pressure on the penholders, to remove from the draft everything that they believed impeded the “correct” perception of the current situation in Afghanistan and its causes. Not surprisingly, any references to the investigations of Western coalition's war crimes in Afghanistan, which the International Criminal Court hastily "deprioritized" because of US threats, were subsequently removed from the final document.

The West would want for everyone to forget about the irresponsible acts of the US and NATO military, who launched scattered air strikes against ordinary Afghans on a regular basis. To say nothing of nighttime raids and extrajudicial killings of civilians, including women and children. By the way, BBC recently wrote about it again. Various NGOs have been issuing reports about those heinous war crimes in order to obtain justice and hold the perpetrators accountable. But unfortunately, regardless of that, no investigations have been carried out because of the blackmail on the part of Washington.  However, this level of cynicism is not a novelty, but rather a typical attitude that the US and its allies would adopt towards the war crimes that they committed in other crisis spots, including Syria, Iraq, Libya. Against this backdrop, attempts of our Western colleagues to propel only the issue of human rights violations by de facto authorities in Afghanistan appear especially hypocritical.

Paragraphs about weapons that the US and NATO had left in Afghanistan after the hasty withdrawal of their troops also turned out unacceptable to our Western colleagues. At the same time, these delegations did not even bother to try and give a reasonable explanation of their position on the points that they found “problematic”.

Amidst the deteriorating humanitarian and economic situation in Afghanistan, the problem of frozen Afghan assets that needs to be resolved in order to ensure Afghanistan’s economic recovery and further development was basically left unattended. We see that Western donors are not ready to discuss this topic earnestly, without attempts to use financial aspects as leverage to exert pressure on de facto authorities. Thereby it is obvious that the fate of ordinary Afghans who have no means of subsistence, is of little concern to the mentioned states.

We are disappointed by the demonstrative unwillingness of some Western colleagues to even mention the role of regional organizations, including the SCO, CSTO and OIC, as well as to take into account the proposals of regional states to promote the socio-economic recovery and subsequent development of the country.

It is deeply regrettable that, in the end, due to a preconceived position in favor of one group of countries and a defiant disregard for proposals supported by regional states, the draft turned out misbalanced. Under these circumstances, we are compelled to put the resolution to a vote.

In conclusion, despite the situation with the resolution, we continue to support Afghanistan and its people in this important period, and our vote should be interpreted only as disapproval of the actions and methods of work of the penholders of the Afghan file.

Thank you.