Thirteen of the 15 ambassadors voted in favor of the resolution, which further demands that Afghanistan be not used as a hideout for terrorism.
Permanent members China and Russia abstained.
Airport attack condemned
Countries condemned in the strongest terms the deadly explosions at Kabul airport on Thursday, which killed more than 150 people and injured more than 200. The Islamic State terror group in Khorosan Province (ISKP) has claimed responsibility.
The attack targeted people fleeing Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover two weeks ago, as well as international forces assisting the evacuations.
Thousands of Afghans have tried to flee the country pending the full withdrawal of the United States by Tuesday’s self-imposed deadline.
US: Keeping promise
The resolution was tabled by the United States, along with other permanent councilors France and the United Kingdom.
“The Security Council expects the Taliban to deliver on their promise to facilitate safe passage for Afghans and foreigners seeking to leave Afghanistan, whether it be today, tomorrow or after Aug. 31,” US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said.
“In accordance with the right to leave any country, including one’s own, everyone should be able to safely leave Afghanistan for any reason, whenever they want, by air or land. This is of the utmost importance to us.”
Since July, the US has evacuated more than 122,000 Americans, foreigners and Afghan citizens at risk, she reported. Ms Thomas-Greenfield added that the resolution also reflects the Council’s “crystal clear” commitment to helping those who remain in Afghanistan.
“It underlines the need for all parties to facilitate humanitarian aid and to provide humanitarian actors with full safe and unimpeded access to continue serving those in need,” she said.
France: Reach everyone in need
The resolution notes a statement by the Taliban this week allowing Afghans to leave the country at any time. French ambassador Nicolas de Rivière called for that commitment to be fulfilled.
“This resolution calls on everyone to make every effort to secure the airport and the surrounding area,” he said through an interpreter.
“And to create this safe passage and protection is a sine qua non condition to ensure that endangered Afghans who want to leave can do so safely, but also to ensure that humanitarian aid can reach everyone who needs it through the airport, of course, but also across land borders.”
UK: protect rights gain
On human rights, British Ambassador Barbara Woodward stressed the need to protect the achievements of the past two decades and stressed the need to safeguard the rights of women, children and minorities.
She described the resolution as an important step towards a unified international response to the situation in Afghanistan.
“We will build on this to ensure that the Council holds the Taliban accountable for its commitments. The Taliban will be judged by the international community by their actions on the ground, not by their words,” she said.
Russia: Concerns are not expressed
Explaining his vote, Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said Russia was forced to abstain because certain “principles of concern” were not reflected in the draft text, which was circulated Friday.
“First, despite the fact that the resolution was proposed against the background of a horrific terrorist attack, the authors categorically refused to refer to a passage on the fight against terrorism in which internationally recognized terrorist organizations ISIL and the Eastern Turkish Islamic Movement are recorded,” he said. , speaking through an interpreter.
“We see this as an unwillingness to recognize the obvious, and a desire to divide terrorists into ‘ours’ and ‘theirs’; and that is, to downplay the terrorist threat from these groups.”
China: reflect and correct
Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun said that given the fragile situation on the ground and uncertainties, any Council action should help to reduce tensions, not increase them.
“The recent chaos in Afghanistan is directly related to the hasty and disorderly withdrawal of foreign troops,” he said. “We hope relevant countries realize that withdrawal is not the end of responsibility, but the beginning of reflection and correction.”