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UN Secretary-General follows “closely” peace efforts Afghanistan

(Last Updated On: February 17, 2020)

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his visit to Pakistan, Sunday said that he was closely following the “vital peace efforts in Afghanistan to reduce violence, especially against civilians”.

The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres went to Pakistan, Sunday to have a three-day visit from the country.

He delivered a speech acclaiming Pakistan’s efforts in hosting refugees, especially Afghan.

Guterres said, “Pakistan is today the world’s second-largest host of refugees – and for decades, it was the first. For 40 years, despite Pakistan’s own challenges, Pakistan has sheltered and protected Afghan refugees with limited support from the international community.”

He called Pakistan a “stellar example of hospitality and compassion”.

Guterres views Pakistan’s role vital in the stability of Afghanistan and the region saying, “One can only imagine how much worse the plight of Afghans would be, and how much more unstable the region might be, without Pakistan’s stellar example of hospitality and compassion.”

Speaking on Afghanistan’s peace, Guterres said,” Achieving a comprehensive settlement to the conflict is essential for saving lives and advancing sustainable development. It is my hope that discussions will be productive in leading to a reduction in violence, especially violence that harms civilians. Reducing violence is critical to building confidence and support for a peace process that leads to a lasting political settlement and a permanent ceasefire.”

He underlined, “The United Nations remains committed to supporting an inclusive and Afghan-led peace process that upholds the human rights of all citizens and leads to sustainable peace in Afghanistan.”

He added, “Such conditions would contribute to enabling the peaceful return of displaced persons and refugees to their homes. I want to reaffirm that the preferred, durable solution for refugees has always been voluntary repatriation in safety and dignity to their country of origin. This is also true for Afghan refugees.”

Guterres also appreciated Pakistan playing a crucial role in supporting the ongoing peace efforts.

This comes as the Peace Talks in Qatar reach its final stage, and both the laterals seem to have reached an agreement.

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