United Nations, Sep 17 (PTI) The UN Security Council on Friday extended for six months the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), unanimously voting on a resolution that emphasises the importance of the establishment of an inclusive and representative government.

The 15-nation Council voted on the draft resolution that extended the mandate of UNAMA until March 17, 2022.

The resolution, stressing the important role that the United Nations will continue to play in promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan, recognises the need for strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan and the important coordination role of the United Nations, and reaffirming that the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance requires all parties to allow full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access, for United Nations humanitarian agencies and other humanitarian actors.

It also reaffirms the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those designated by the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015), and ensuring that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any country, to plan or finance terrorist acts, or to shelter and train terrorists, and that no Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any country.

The resolution "stresses the critical importance of a continued presence of UNAMA and other United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes across Afghanistan, and calls upon all Afghan and international parties to coordinate with UNAMA in the implementation of its mandate and to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel throughout the country." The adoption of the resolution extending the mandate comes just over a month after the Taliban took control of Kabul and has now established an interim hardline government, whose cabinet members include UN designated terrorists. US Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said with the adoption of the resolution the Council has taken an important step to underscore the importance of the UN’s work in Afghanistan during this critical moment for the country.

She said over the course of this six-month extension, Washington looks forward to receiving reports from the Secretary-General on the situation in Afghanistan, particularly for its vulnerable groups, and the UN’s own recommendations about what their role and future in Afghanistan will look like. Noting that the current situation in Afghanistan is “fluid and dynamic”, she said the UN’s role must always work to serve Afghans and advance their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

We will stand by them in this goal. “By extending UNAMA’s work as assigned in Resolution 2543, we are emphasising the importance of the UN’s continued commitment to human rights, civilian and child protection, humanitarian assistance coordination, and countless other functions, which will be fundamental to the future of Afghanistan,” she said.

Last week, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, while responding to a question on UNAMA’s mandate renewal, had said that he believes it was not possible “with the level of unpredictability” that exists to do an entirely new mandate for UNAMA and the extension would be a technical roll-over.

“I hope that the consensus will be in a technical rollover for a short period, allowing time for a more clear perspective about what the situation is in Afghanistan and what the role of the UN should be,” Guterres had said.

He also said that he thinks it is prudent to do a technical rollover and to have the time to engage sufficiently to be able to have a more clear perspective about the future, “to define the characteristics of the mandate of UNAMA that will necessarily be different from the present mandate, for different reasons.” While a decision about the UNAMA mandate renewal will be taken by the Member States, Guterres had said he hopes it will be “possible to have a short, technical rollover to allow for a more well-prepared, new mandate for UNAMA, taking into account the new realities.” Speaking following the adoption of the resolution, Russia said it regrets that because of the position taken by some members of the Council, "the final version of the resolution does not take up the objective assessments of threats in Afghanistan from ISIL, nor does it take up the long standing drugs problem.

And these continue to be lingering challenges not just for the country but for the region as a whole and beyond.

“We emphasise that neutralising these threats is key for the stability and security in the region. Passing over them in silence or downplaying them is unacceptable,” Russia said, adding that “we also can look positively at the signal sent by the Afghan. Afghan authorities when they say they stand ready to interact with the UN and ensure the security and safety of UN staff and the immunity of its premises.” China said that Afghanistan is transitioning from a turmoil situation to stability. “Afghans war has ended, however Afghan’s problems still exist. The power politics and military interference and so called reconstruction are the root causes that caused the problems. The hasty exit of the United States … has created new problems, which created further unpredictability in the country,” China said.

It said the international community must fight terrorism forces and “we must not allow any terrorist forces to impair the rights of Afghanistan and the neighboring countries. We hope the new authority in Afghanistan will cut their ties with all terrorist groups and to address both the root causes and symptoms of the problems.”