The adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2615 should serve as a respite for the Taliban in their quest to consolidate their position by ensuring good governance and addressing US / EU and US concerns. other important capitals. The resolution grants a one-year exemption for “humanitarian assistance and other activities that support basic human needs in Afghanistan.” The resolution also clarifies that it is not a violation of paragraph 1 (a) of resolution 2255 (2015), which froze the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of the Taliban.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry hailed the adoption of Resolution 2615, stating that the resolution “reaffirms that the provision of humanitarian and other assistance to the Afghan people does not constitute a violation of the country’s sanctions regime. Security Council “. It also reflected the resolution unanimously adopted by the 17th Extraordinary Session of the OIC Foreign Ministers Council hosted by Pakistan last week. Describing the adoption of the resolution as “a step in the right direction to help the Afghan people in need”, the statement called for the attention of the international community to find a way “to revitalize the Afghan economy and thaw assets that rightfully belong to the Afghan people.
Indeed, the resolution provides the tools for donor countries to reach out to the Afghan people who are in desperate need of assistance. It will be a temporary relief for the Afghan people until UN funds and programs develop a comprehensive strategy for the delivery of aid. Operative paragraph 2 of the resolution “requests the Emergency Relief Coordinator to inform the Security Council every six months from the adoption of this resolution based on the delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan” .
The role of the coordinator will be crucial in delivering aid as this office monitors UN agencies and other donors, including countries and NGOs. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The United Nations is planning an $ 8 billion aid and services program in Afghanistan for the next year, assuming many government functions at a time when the Taliban regime remains under economic sanctions and is missing. diplomatic recognition, according to the Wall Street Journal. international officials.
Prima facie, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), will be responsible for delivering aid throughout the country. However, the fine print of the resolution makes it clear that this body would act as a watchdog to keep tabs on the activities of the Taliban to ensure that funds do not fall into their hands as long as resolution 2255 (2015 ) of the UNSC is not in vogue. The situation could change in favor of the Taliban if they strike a deal with the Americans on issues of “inclusiveness, denial of space to AQ / ISIS, and human rights, including women’s rights.”
The broad interpretation of the UNSC resolution can encompass four areas to defend the interests of multiple stakeholders. First, although unspecified, resolution 2615 authorized the United Nations to serve as the guardian of Afghanistan to meet its socio-economic needs. Food and medical aid would be covered by its emergency plan. It is also possible that the UN is helping to provide educational facilities, especially for girls. The Taliban are unlikely to have a say in the distribution of aid, even though they would be required to ensure the security of UN agencies and NGOs.
Second, since the scope of the ERC office would be nationwide, it would keep an eye on Taliban governance practices, especially human rights issues. ECR’s report to the Security Council on the behavior of the Taliban would carry substantial weight and determine the future course of the Security Council towards the Taliban government.
Third, the Taliban will be able to generate income within the country and through tariffs. In addition, there are no restrictions on Afghanistan’s trade with the rest of the world. This should allow the Taliban regime to use the income to pay the salaries of civil servants and to undertake development projects. It is estimated that the Taliban government earns some $ 3 million a day from customs and other taxes, which allows it to pay the salaries of government employees. The regime is currently preparing an annual Afghan budget that does not include foreign aid for the first time in 20 years.
Fourth, depending on the Taliban’s decision regarding the inclusion of various ethnic groups, religious minorities and women, the Afghan opposition may decide on its future strategy. In doing so, they will examine the external reaction to the events in Afghanistan. The US and the EU can be flexible about the inclusive aspect of cabinet under the Taliban. Yet they cannot compromise on human rights issues, including women’s rights to education and work.
Apart from Ahmad Shah Masoud’s son, other warlords will clash if Afghanistan worsens. Apparently, some well-known warlords including Dostum, Hekmatyar, Mohaqqiq and Qanooni recently met in Turkey to define their future course of action. They can wait until the beginning of spring. If an opposition alliance emerges, it may garner financial and material support from known external sources supporting the former Northern Alliance before September 11. Such a scenario would mean a repeat of the old enmities between the Afghans and their supporters outside. This would undoubtedly be a setback to the reconciliation efforts launched by the various stakeholders at the regional and international levels.
The Security Council resolution does not offer a long-term remedy for the stability of Afghanistan. Yet it opened a small window for stakeholders to work for lasting peace and stability in the war-torn country. A chaotic Afghanistan would thus provide an ideal framework for various terrorist organizations to fortify their sanctuaries and launch operations on the targeted destinations.
In an interview with CNN, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai called on the international community “to work with the Taliban to prevent millions of people from starving to death.” He advised the international community “to prioritize the aid the Afghans badly need and, for now, put aside its distrust of the Taliban.”
The author is a former Pakistani Ambassador to Iran and the United Arab Emirates. He is currently working as a senior researcher at the Islamabad Political Research Institute (IPRI).