Delegate Name: Alex Garcia
On the 16th of July, 2021, Estonia and Norway, joint penholders on the matter of Afghanistan, issued a joint press statement. This statement laid out three core principles: First, all violence in Afghanistan must immediately come to a stop; second, civil order and security must be established; third, the crisis of authority in the country must be resolved by way of peaceful settlement. These principles, along with the firm commitment to human rights laid out in Security Council resolution 2596, form an effective guide for international action. Political instability in Afghanistan worsens humanitarian conditions and gives operational latitude to terrorist groups such as ISIS-K, and ending it must be the first priority of any international programme for the country.
Estonia maintains that a system of conditional recognition for the Taliban, wherein they will be considered the legitimate government of Afghanistan if and only if they form a diverse and comprehensive government and respect women’s rights, human rights, and international law, is the best way to end this instability. The Taliban do not have universal support among Afghans, and in order for peace to be maintained, rival factions must have a seat at the table. A more unified government with conditional international support would be more likely to uphold human rights and more able to combat ISIS-K. The Security Council should begin developing a framework for such a conditional process.
Estonia notes with unease the findings in a recent UNDP report titled Economic Instability and Uncertainty in Afghanistan After August 15, which projected that Afghanistan could be in universal poverty by mid-2022 if current issues are not corrected. Rising food prices, a shambled monetary and financial system, and lack of outside aid mean Afghanistan risks imminent economic implosion, which would jeopardize not just the economic circumstances of Afghans, but human rights and regional peace as well. It is our responsibility as an international community to avert such a situation. Estonia encourages the Security Council to work with other UN agencies in implementing the recommendations of the UNDP report, principally, the Local Area-based Programme, which focuses on targeted, community-level interventions to build resilience and promote human development.