7 November 2001


NEW YORK, 6 November (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of today’s statement on Afghanistan by Mignonette Patricia Durrant (Jamaica), President of the Security Council:

Members of the Security Council met in informal consultations and were briefed by Under-Secretary-General Kenzo Oshima on the situation in and around Afghanistan, including the humanitarian situation.

Mr. Oshima briefed the Council on his recent visit to the Central Asian region and advised that delivery and distribution of humanitarian assistance continued despite difficult circumstances. He also advised of the plans being put in place to ensure that relief supplies are delivered in anticipation of the coming winter.

Council members expressed grave concern about the deteriorating humanitarian situation and noted that the misrule of the Taliban is the underlying cause of the dire humanitarian circumstances in the country. They also noted the continued obstruction of the Taliban to the provision of humanitarian assistance. They deplored the looting of United Nations offices and the Taliban’s takeover of humanitarian aid sites, including food and supply warehouses.

Council members acknowledged the important role that the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) continues to play in the coordination of emergency relief assistance in Afghanistan. They noted that the United Nations and its agencies were the main providers of humanitarian relief inside Afghanistan and called on the Taliban not to impede the work of these agencies. They commended the humanitarian agencies and their staff and expressed support for their continued work in and around Afghanistan. They also attached importance to the safety and security of all humanitarian workers, both local and international.

Council members urged humanitarian workers to continue to do all possible to assist the most vulnerable people of Afghanistan, in particular women, children and the elderly. They also stressed the need to continue to find innovative ways of delivering much needed supplies to the region and distributing aid to those in need. Members urged the international community to continue its financial support for these efforts and appealed for accelerated disbursement of funds pledged.

Council members expressed appreciation to the governments of neighbouring countries which have agreed to open access routes for the delivery of relief supplies.

Council members also expressed support for the efforts of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Lakdhar Brahimi, who is now holding consultations with officials of several countries in the region.

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

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