The German UN ambassador, Antje Leendertse, had hoped that the 193-member General Assembly would adopt the resolution facilitated by Germany by consensus.
But a vote was requested and passed 116-0, with 10 countries abstaining: Russia, China, Belarus, Burundi, North Korea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Zimbabwe. Sixty-seven countries did not vote.
General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding, unlike Security Council resolutions, but they do reflect world opinion.
The adoption came on the same day that the Taliban, who had already banned girls from high school and high school, banned women from using gyms and parks.
Before the vote, Leendertse told the meeting that since the Taliban took power in August 2021, Afghanistan has seen “a massive economic contraction and humanitarian crisis”, leaving half of the population facing “critical levels of food insecurity”.
“We expect a harsh winter and a level of needs not seen in recent decades, with little prospect of economic recovery and poverty reduction,” she warned.
Presenting the resolution, Leendertse told the meeting that the Taliban control the country, but do not take their responsibility to meet the needs of the Afghan people.
“The resolution is a clear call to respect, protect and uphold human rights, develop inclusive governance and fight terrorism,” she said. “It carries a clear message that without it there can be no business as usual and no path to recognition.”
The resolution pledges continued UN support to the Afghan people “to rebuild a stable, secure and economically self-sufficient state, free from terrorism, narcotics, transnational organized crime, including human trafficking, and corruption, and to lay the foundations for of a constitutional democracy as a responsible member of the international community.”
It calls for better access for aid workers and recognizes the need to address Afghanistan’s economic challenges, including efforts to restore banking and financial systems and enable Central Bank assets – primarily in the United States. – used to the Afghan people.
The resolution expresses its deep concern about human rights violations against women and girls, including sexual violence, and calls on the Taliban to promote “full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women in all aspects of Afghan society”.
It condemns all attacks, reprisals and violence against journalists and media workers and calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
The resolution reaffirms the assembly’s expectation that the Taliban will honor their commitments to enable the safe departure of all Afghans and foreign nationals seeking to leave the country.