A girl sits between concrete barriers in Kabul, Afghanistan October 7. (Image: Reuters)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on G20 leaders to fulfil United Nations Security Council Resolution 2593 to effectively deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
At a closed-door meeting on October 12, called specifically to talk about the Afghanistan crisis, Modi asked the G20 nations, many of which are also part of the Security Council, to quickly bring the Taliban to the discussion table – something that many are wary about. Moneycontrol looks at what Resolution 2593 entails and why India is pushing it.
What is Resolution 2593?
United Nations Security Council Resolution 2593 was adopted on August 30, 2021, following the fall of Kabul and the subsequent Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. According to the resolution, the Security Council demands that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any other country or to shelter and train terrorists. Crucially, Russia and China abstained from the vote.
UN resolutions are officially defined as the formal expressions of the opinion or the will of UN organs. UNSC resolutions carry weight and often act as the final comment on an issue by the global community, given the heft of its members and recognition of the body as one of the highest in international governance.
What does the resolution say?
Politically, the resolution demands that Afghan territory not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists or to plan or to finance terrorist acts. It reiterates the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999), and notes the Taliban’s relevant commitments. It sets expectations on the safe passage and secure departure of Afghans and foreign nationals who wish to leave that country.
The resolution condemns the attacks of August 26 near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, which were claimed by the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, an entity affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), and resulted in the deaths and injuries of over 300 civilians and 28 military personnel.
Why is the resolution relevant?
The resolution calls for strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, calls on all parties to allow full, safe, and unhindered access for the UN, its specialised agencies and implementing partners, and all humanitarian actors engaged in humanitarian relief activity.
With respect to internally displaced persons, it underlines that all parties must respect their obligations under international humanitarian law in all circumstances, including those related to the protection of civilians. It reaffirms the importance of upholding human rights including those of women, children and minorities.
Most importantly, it encourages all parties to seek an inclusive, negotiated political settlement with the full, equal and meaningful participation of women, in adherence to the rule of law, and underlines that all parties must respect their obligations.
As a result, it remains till now the only piece of international legislation that has identified the Taliban remain de facto in control of Afghanistan and aims to work with them, even though no country has till now recognised their government. This is despite 12 nations, including the US, India and China, and the European Union having decided they would not recognise any government in Afghanistan that seeks to take control through force.
Why is the resolution important for India?
UNSC Resolution 2593 was adopted during India’s one-month presidency of the Security Council in August. While India started its two-year tenure as part of the council on January 1, 2021, it is not a permanent member, something New Delhi has been demanding for long. The permanent members of the UNSC are China, France, Russia, the UK and the US, and they all have veto rights.
Officials say India is pushing Resolution 2593 as a key piece of global consensus on the Afghanistan crisis as part of its leadership agenda. Given how India is pushing for a wide range of reforms to the UNSC, the move is significant. India, Brazil, Germany and Japan, as members of the G4, support each other’s bids for permanent seats in the council.