A Chinese envoy on Friday asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to be cautious in dealing with the appointment of a special envoy for Afghanistan.
The UN Security Council on Friday adopted a resolution on the Afghanistan independent assessment, which requests the secretary-general to appoint a special envoy for Afghanistan to promote the implementation of the recommendations in the assessment.
China and Russia abstained while the remaining 13 members of the Security Council voted in favor.
In an explanation of vote, Geng Shuang, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, asked the secretary-general to cautiously deal with the appointment of a special envoy.
China has always maintained that when dealing with hot-spot issues, actions taken by the Security Council and the UN secretary-general, including the appointment of special envoys, should be based on thorough communications with the countries concerned and on respect for their opinions, said Geng.
“We are, therefore, of the view that the follow-up by this council to the independent assessment should also be taken in full communication with the Afghan authorities, respecting their opinions, with the decision to be made after extensive consultations with various stakeholders,” he said.
Geng warned that a forcible appointment of a special envoy in disregard of the views of the country concerned may not only lead to the special envoy being unable to discharge his or her functions at all, but also heighten the antagonism and confrontation between the international community and the Afghan authorities.
Such a scenario, the envoy noted, completely runs counter to the signal sent by the independent assessment to step up constructive engagement with the Afghan authorities.
Security Council members remain obviously divided on the follow-up implementation of the assessment report, while the Afghan authorities, on the other hand, still have reservations about some recommendations, he said, adding that against this background, it seems hasty to force through the adoption of the resolution and doing so might turn out to be counterproductive.
China and Russia expressed these concerns in the consultation process and constructively proposed amendments to the draft resolution, which were regrettably not taken on board. China had to abstain from voting, he said.
“It is our hope that, going forward, the secretary-general will cautiously deal with the appointment of a special envoy, continue to strengthen communication and interaction with the Afghan authorities, and strive to find appropriate solutions,” said Geng.
Afghanistan’s history in the last two decades has proven once and again that externally imposed solutions will only end in failure. The real solution to the Afghan issue ultimately lies with the Afghan people themselves. In this process, the international community should effectively communicate and engage with the Afghan authorities to provide support and assistance in a constructive manner, he said.