The present report is submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 68/11 and Security Council resolution 2489 (2019), in which the Secretary-General 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 political, humanitarian, development and human rights efforts, since the issuance of his previous report, dated 3 September 2019 (A/74/348-S/2019/703).
II. Relevant developments
- Presidential elections were at the forefront of political developments in Afghanistan during the reporting period, as the first contest for the executive branch was held since the start of the Transformation Decade (2015–2024). Turnout for the elections on 28 September 2019 was lower than in the previous presidential and parliamentary elections, in 2014 and 2018, respectively. The outcome of the election was still pending at the time of writing the present report. The decision by the United States of America to halt talks with the Taliban, announced on 7 September, was followed by a series of diplomatic engagements by stakeholders seeking to encourage a peace process. The security situation remained volatile, with a high number of security incidents, particularly in the southern, eastern and northern regions. From 1 July to 30 September 2019, the number of civilian casualties was the highest recorded in a single quarter since systematic documentation began in 2009. Discussions continued between the Government of Afghanistan and key donors on the implementation of the Geneva Mutual Accountability Framework. The humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate, with 9.38 million people estimated to be in need in 2020, compared with 6.3 million in 2019.