Explanation of vote by Deputy Permanent Representative Anna Evstigneeva after UNSC vote on humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in the context of 1988 sanctions regime (put forward by the US)
Russia voted in support of UNSC resolution on humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in the context of effective 1988 sanctions regime.
We must say that this draft was not endorsed easily. During the negotiations, we were guided by only one purpose – help the Afghan people receive immediate humanitarian assistance, much needed to prevent the catastrophe. It was our understanding that the text of the resolution should be brief, yet its content – capacious.
The main point that the resolution dwells on is as follows: provision of humanitarian assistance does not violate 1988 sanctions regime; humanitarian agents and donors can proceed with assistance without fear of restrictions; humanitarian aid can flow to Afghanistan via any channel. All of this had been self-evident to us, yet any bit of doubt could possibly lead to reduction of assistance and extra sufferings for ordinary Afghans.
We trust that the resolution we adopted will enhance the scope of humanitarian assistance with participation of the United Nations, humanitarian agencies, donors, regional organizations, and bilateral mechanisms. This assistance must be provided to the Afghans promptly and without preconditions.
It is encouraging that the new authorities realize the importance of these efforts and demonstrate readiness to interact in the interests of quicker provision of assistance to all those in need, including women and children, who have to be struggling for survival in current circumstances.
We are convinced that in the long term, Afghanistan will not be able to make it out of the crisis while its assets remain frozen. For 20 years, Afghanistan used to be financially dependent on the international community, but was not able to get onto its feet. Doctors, teachers, other social sector workers – they all need money. Banks also need money, because the lack of cash has paralyzed the economy. We call on the United States and other Western donors to get the money back to the country. Further delay threatens to trigger greater destabilization, more victims, growing migration, terrorist activity and drug manufacturing.
The Russian Federation continues supporting Afghans in practice rather than just in words. Over the past period, we sent our second planeload of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and are preparing to dispatch the third one. At the same time, we realize that none of the assistance must be used by terrorist groups, included on 1267 ISIL and Al-Qaida sanctions list, or their affiliates.