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Guterres requests SCO cooperation on Afghanistan

Troubling developments in Afghanistan are causing profound political, economic, security, and humanitarian challenges, the UN chief said.

IANS | United Nations |

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has requested cooperation from the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in support of Afghanistan.

Troubling developments in Afghanistan are causing profound political, economic, security, and humanitarian challenges, he said on Friday in a video message during the 21st SCO summit held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

“The UN is committed to delivering for the Afghan people,” he said.

“We look forward to working with all of you to support the Afghan people.”

Guterres said any suggestion the world body can solve Afghanistan’s problems is “a fantasy” and that its capacity to mediate for a more inclusive Taliban government is limited.

The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving and unpredictable, but it is clear that the Afghan people want extreme poverty to be eradicated, jobs to become available, health and education services to be restored, and their lives and basic rights and freedoms to be protected, according to the UN chief

They want their country free of insecurity and terror, Guterres added.

Across the board, solidarity is needed now more than ever, he said.

“Transnational threats, such as the climate crisis and Covid-19, demand coordinated and creative solutions. The work of regional organizations such as the SCO is critical to addressing the shared challenges and ensuring an equitable recovery.

“I am proud that our collaboration is growing stronger every day. Our partnership is advancing peace, stability, and sustainable development in Central Asia, expanding opportunities for women and promoting the role of young people.

“Let us continue to build on those vital efforts,” he added.