Resolution 2593 on Taliban: UNSC

Why in News

Recently, the India-led United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted a Resolution 2593 on Taliban.

  • The resolution, sponsored by France, UK and the US, was adopted with 13 members, including India, voting in favour, none against it.
    • Two permanent and veto-wielding members Russia and China abstained.
  • The adoption of the resolution is a strong signal from the Security Council and the international community on its expectations in respect of Afghanistan.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Reiterates the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999)
    • Called for the Taliban to facilitate safe passage for people wanting to leave Afghanistan, allow humanitarians to access the country, uphold human rights, including for women and children and inclusive and negotiated political settlement.
  • Russia and China’s Abstention:
    • Russia abstained as the resolution wasn’t specific enough about terror threats, did not speak of the “brain drain” effect of evacuating Afghans and did not address the economic and humanitarian consequences of US freezing the Afghan government’s US accounts following the Taliban takeover.
    • China shared some of Russia’s concerns. It believes that the current chaos was a direct consequence of Western countries’ “disorderly withdrawal”.
      • China is of the view that it is necessary for the international community to engage with the Taliban, and actively provide them with guidance.
    • Russia and China wanted all the terrorist groups, especially Islamic State (ISIS) and the Uighur East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) to be named specifically in the document.
  • India’s Recent Steps:
    • India has directed a high-level group composed of EAM (External Affairs Minister), NSA (National Security Adviser) and senior officials to focus on the immediate priorities of India.
      • The group is seized of issues pertaining to the safe return of stranded Indians to India and is assuring that the territory of Afghanistan is not used in any manner for terrorism directed against India.
    • Recently, India’s ambassador to Qatar met with the head of the Taliban’s political office.
      • It is the first time the government has publicly acknowledged such a meeting which came at the request of the Taliban.
      • The Taliban leader assured that all the issues would be positively addressed.
  • Afghanistan’s Representation in Multilateral Organizations:
    • With uncertainty hanging over the international representation of Afghanistan under the Taliban, a question has risen over the membership of the country in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
      • The question on representation of Afghanistan at the SAARC has come up especially since a similar issue is yet to be addressed by the United Nations.
      • SAARC is already facing many issues and the current situation of Afghanistan has further increased the problems for it.
      • Afghanistan was admitted into the SAARC as the eighth member in 2007.
    • Conventionally, countries do not lose membership of regional or global platforms because of a domestic political change.
    • However, a similar question is also likely to come up in the Kathmandu-based intergovernmental organisation the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

Way Forward

  • India is expected to chair the 1988 Sanctions committee that looks at Taliban sanctions next and participate in the decision to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), where it will also have to balance competing demands from the US, the UK and France bloc against Russia and China.
  • India’s Afghan policy is at a major crossroads; to safeguard its assets there as well as to stay relevant in the unfolding ‘great game’ in and around Afghanistan, India must reset its Afghanistan policy accordingly.

Source: IE