Guterres Requests SCO Cooperation on Afghanistan

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The 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, on Sept. 17, 2021. — Xinhua/IANS

UNITED NATIONS — UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has requested for cooperation from the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in support of Afghanistan.

Troubling developments in Afghanistan are causing profound political, economic, security and humanitarian challenges, he said on Friday in a video message during the 21st SCO summit held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

“The UN is committed to deliver for the Afghan people,” he said.

“We look forward to working with all of you to support the Afghan people.”

The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving and unpredictable, but it is clear that the Afghan people want extreme poverty to be eradicated, jobs to become available, health and education services to be restored, and their lives and basic rights and freedoms to be protected, according to the UN chief

They want their country free of insecurity and terror, Guterres added.

Across the board, solidarity is needed now more than ever, he said.

“Transnational threats, such as the climate crisis and Covid-19, demand coordinated and creative solutions. The work of regional organisations such as the SCO is critical to addressing the shared challenges and ensuring an equitable recovery.

“I am proud that our collaboration is growing stronger every day. Our partnership is advancing peace, stability and sustainable development in Central Asia, expanding opportunities for women and promoting the role of young people.

“Let us continue to build on those vital efforts,” he added. — IANS

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