10 October 2001


NEW YORK, 9 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of today’s press statement on Afghanistan by the President of the Security Council, Richard Ryan (Ireland):

Council members received this morning a full briefing on the humanitarian situation in and around Afghanistan, from Under-Secretary-General Kenzo Oshima. They welcomed the participation of the Secretary General in the discussion. Assistant Secretary-General Danilo Türk of the Department of Political Affairs also participated.

Council members expressed grave concern about the humanitarian situation. They welcomed contributions of Member States to respond to the United Nations emergency fund, and urged States to make further contributions as a matter of urgency.

Council members commended the work of humanitarian staff in Afghanistan. They noted and joined in the expressions of great regret by the United States and the United Kingdom at the deaths of four Afghan non-governmental organization personnel working on United Nations landmine programmes. They reiterated the importance they attach to ensuring the safety and security of United Nations personnel at all times. They also expressed concern about the deliberate attacks on United Nations offices in Quetta, Pakistan.

Council members stressed the need for all States to cooperate with United Nations agencies and to help create the conditions for humanitarian agencies to operate effectively. They expressed concern about the plight of vulnerable women and children, especially before the onset of winter.

Council members remain deeply concerned about the plight of refugees. They welcomed the cooperation of Iran and Pakistan and other States in the region in working with the United Nations in responding to this crisis, and called on neighbouring States to enable essential cross-border deliveries. They stressed the need for the international community to respond to the needs of host countries.

Council members called on the Taliban to desist immediately from threatening the safety and security of aid workers, and to cease immediately the obstruction of aid destined for the Afghan people.

Council members reiterated their support for the appointment of Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi as Special Representative for Afghanistan. Mr. Brahimi will address the political, humanitarian and, in due course, the rehabilitation aspects of the situation.

Council members reiterated their intention to remain fully briefed on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

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