9506th Meeting (AM)

Security Council Renews for One Year Mandate of Team Monitoring Sanctions against Taliban, with Some Regretting Travel Exemptions Not Extended

The Security Council today extended for a further year the mandate of the team monitoring sanctions against the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, which threaten Afghanistan’s peace, security and stability.

The 15-member body unanimously adopted resolution 2716 (2023) (to be issued as document S/RES/2716(2023)), directing the Monitoring Team to support the Committee established by resolution 1988 (2011), designating sanctions on individuals, groups, undertakings and entities found to be part of and linked to the Taliban.  The new mandate expires in December 2024.

Further to the text, the Monitoring Team is to gather information on instances of non-compliance with measures that include the freezing of funds and assets, prevention of travel and supply or transfer of arms and related equipment, established by resolution 2255 (2015).  It is also to facilitate, upon request of Member States, assistance with capacity-building, and provide recommendations to the Committee for actions to respond to non-compliance.

Speaking after the vote, Linda Thomas-Greenfield (United States), whose delegation was the penholder on Afghanistan sanctions issues, welcomed the mandate’s renewal, saying the voting result is a “confirmation of the continuing importance of the 1988 sanctions regime” in supporting peace and security in Afghanistan. The Team’s reporting remains crucial to understanding both the impact of the sanctions and the events on the ground in Afghanistan.  “These insights enable Member States to track whether the Taliban follows through on its commitments,” including on counter-terrorism, human rights for women and girls and unhindered humanitarian access.

Geng Shuang (China) said it is vital to ensure that Afghanistan does not become a hub for terrorist organizations.  The international community must integrate the country into “the family of nations”, he said, expressing appreciation for the provision encouraging the Monitoring Team to visit Afghanistan and communicate with all Afghan parties.  The Council must make timely adjustments to sanctions measures to avoid any negative impact on the Afghan people.  Further, it should resume the travel exemptions granted to some Taliban officials, as those are a necessary tool for dialogue and engagement and “not a bargaining chip for pressure”.  Regretting that the specific proposal his delegation put forward was not reflected in the current text, he called on Council members to demonstrate pragmatism and flexibility and support the next phase of engagement with the Afghan authorities.

The Team’s reports are a useful support for the Committee, Anna M. Evstigneeva (Russian Federation) said.  She is pleased that the text of the adopted resolution notes the importance of the travel of the Team to Afghanistan, which remains a key condition for the mandate’s implementation.  She welcomed the call for it to travel to Afghanistan and have contact with the de facto authorities.  She noted the text’s reference to the need for a revision of the 1988 sanctions regime, on the basis of the recommendations prepared by the Monitoring Team.  She regrets that it does not include the extension of exemptions to the travel ban. She believes it is important to continue discussions on these issues within the 1988 sanctions Committee.

For information media. Not an official record.