Permanent Mission of Australia
to the United Nations
New York

221110 - UN General Assembly Item 34: The situation in Afghanistan: report of the Secretary General


10 November 2022

Statement by H.E. The Hon. Mitch Fifield, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Australia to the United Nations

Thank you, President. Good morning colleagues.

Firstly, Australia thanks the Secretary-General for his report on the Situation in Afghanistan.

Australia is extremely concerned by the report’s findings of escalating abuses of women and girls’ human rights. The growing humanitarian demands and ongoing problems with security also highlight the significant challenges facing the people of Afghanistan.

We are particularly concerned by the disproportionate and methodical targeting of the Hazara community. The senseless attacks on places of worship, schools and public spaces are abhorrent and we call for those responsible to be held accountable, and we call for those responsible to be brought to justice.

We renew our call on the Taliban to respect the rights of all Afghans and ensure the protection of ethnic and religious minorities.

The Taliban have spurned the opportunity for reform, and instead have chosen to systematically roll back hard-won gains in human rights, including by taking away the rights of women and girls.

They have doubled down on repression and non-inclusion and have been negligent in providing the most basic services to the people of Afghanistan. Colleagues, the gravity of the situation cannot be overstated.

Effective humanitarian support is contingent upon unimpeded access to affected populations. Ensuring the safety and freedom of movement of all humanitarian staff, especially women, is essential.

On security, the international community has been clear in its expectation that the Taliban does not support the presence of any terrorist group in Afghanistan nor allow Afghan territory to be used to threaten or attack any country.

Afghanistan continues to remain the only country in the world to deny girls their full right to education. This is unacceptable.

Once again, we urge the Taliban to stand by its commitments to the Afghan people and immediately end the exclusion of girls from secondary education, and to set a firm date for the opening of secondary schools to all children.

We call on the Taliban to respect the rights of Afghan women and girls by removing restrictions on their movement and right to access employment.

Australia strongly supports the draft resolution on the Situation in Afghanistan, and we join with the international community in reiterating our commitment to the people of Afghanistan.

Australia is staying the path, no matter how long the journey. We are steadfast in our determination to support and speak up for the people of Afghanistan.