The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 68/11 and Security Council resolution 2274 (2016), in which I was requested to report every three months on developments in Afghanistan.
The report provides an update on the activities of the United Nations in Afghanistan, including significant humanitarian, development and human rights efforts, since the issuance of my predecessor’s report of 13 December 2016 (A/71/682-S/2016/1049). It also provides a summary of key political and security developments and regional and international events relating to Afghanistan. The annex to the present report contains an assessment of progress made towards the achievement of benchmarks and indicators since the issuance of the report of 7 March 2016 (A/70/775-S/2016/218), in accordance with Security Council resolution 1868 (2009).
II. Relevant developments
- The Government continued to face significant political, economic and security challenges. The President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, and the Chief Executive, Abdullah Abdullah, continued to engage in bilateral discussions to improve their working relationship. An investigation into the role of the First Vice-President, Abdul Rashid Dostum, in the alleged illegal detention and abuse of a former Governor of Jowzjan Province was launched. Several key government positions remain vacant. The newly formed electoral management bodies took initial steps towards implementing electoral reforms and preparing for future elections. The Government also continued to advance its anti-corruption agenda. In parallel, the implementation of the peace agreement with Hizb-i Islami Gulbuddin advanced, including the lifting of sanctions against Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, but there was no discernible progress on peace talks between the Government and the Taliban. There was an increase in multilateral engagement at the regional level. The security situation continued to worsen, with armed clashes between security forces and the Taliban reaching a record high in 2016 and continuing at that pace in 2017. High levels of violence against civilians continued to be recorded as a result, with a significant increase in casualties among children and in internal displacements. Service delivery remained challenging given the difficult security situation. The economic situation remained fragile, with persistently low rates of economic growth and low investment rates.