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 the previous report dated 17 June 2020 (A/74/897- S/2020/549). 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 28 February 2019 (A/73/777--S/2019/193), in accordance with Security Council resolution 1868 (2009).
II. Relevant developments
- The implementation of the political agreement concluded on 17 May between the President, Ashraf Ghani, and the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Abdullah Abdullah, encountered hurdles over the appointment of ministers, provincial governors and other positions, delaying the formation of the Cabinet. The continued release of prisoners and the observation of two ceasefires over Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha gave momentum to intra-Afghan negotiations, but attacks continued. The United States of America announced that it had reduced forces from 13,000 to 8,600, in keeping with the Joint Declaration between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan and the Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan between the United States of America and the Taliban, both signed on 29 February. The Government continued efforts to promote regional consensus on intra-Afghan peace and reconciliation, economic cooperation and connectivity, and the response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The spread of COVID-19, compounded by violence, natural disasters and food insecurity, added to the surge in humanitarian needs, with some 14 million people estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2020. Planning continued for the 2020 ministerial conference on Afghanistan.