One year ago, the Taliban broke their promises towards the Afghan people and the international community to negotiate a settlement to the decades-long Afghan conflict. Instead, they have overthrown the constitutionally-based Afghan government by force, and the Taliban have failed to establish an inclusive political system, thereby denying the aspirations of the Afghan people. More concretely, they have severely violated and abused the rights of Afghan women and girls, who remain deprived of secondary education, while new restrictions on dress codes and movement have further excluded them from most aspects of economic and public life. Mechanisms to protect women and girls from violence and forced marriages have been dismantled, and domestic violence is on the rise. The population, including ethnic and religious groups and in particular Hazaras and the Shia population, are experiencing institutionalised and systemic abuse of their economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights. Violations and abuses include extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, ill-treatment, and intimidation. Freedom of opinion, expression, press, peaceful assembly and association are being violated.
The EU remains committed to the Afghan people and to stability, prosperity and sustainable peace in Afghanistan and the region. This will require an inclusive political process with full, equal and meaningful participation of all Afghan men and women. We advocate for the protection and the fulfilment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international conventions, to which Afghanistan as a State Party should adhere, while respecting International Humanitarian Law. Afghanistan must not remain a safe haven for terrorists, nor a threat to international security.
Today nearly half of the population are acutely food insecure. In the absence of a recognised Afghan government, the EU has been working tirelessly with the international community to find principled, pragmatic and creative solutions to support the Afghan people and mitigate the grave humanitarian and economic crisis. The EU has committed over EUR 300 million in humanitarian aid, and has mobilised EUR 330 million to maintain basic services and sustain livelihoods, delivered though UN partners and local and international organisations and NGOs.
The EU intends to continue its support to the Afghan people in close coordination with international partners. The EU has re-established minimal presence in Kabul ensuring the delivery of assistance, facilitating operational coordination and representing EU policies and positions. The EU prioritises direct engagement with the Afghan people, including through the Afghan Women Leaders’ Forum which aims to ensure that Afghan women have a voice in international fora.
The EU interacts with Afghanistan’s de facto authorities to raise key issues related to the five benchmarks agreed by the EU’s Foreign Ministers last year. We call on the de facto authorities, for the sake of the Afghan people, to repeal legislation and discontinue policies violating Afghanistan’s human rights obligations and address ongoing human rights violations, to allow for an inclusive political process, to fulfil their counter-terrorism commitments, and to continue providing unhindered humanitarian access and allowing safe, secure and orderly travel to and from Afghanistan. Credible and consistent action by the Taliban in these areas would pave the way for domestic dialogue and further engagement with the EU and the international community. Failure on their part to deliver will continue to deprive Afghans of their rights, riskgenerating increased instability and further isolate Afghanistan.
Source – EEAS