Iranian Envoy Urges Int'l Community to Mobilize for Assistance to Afghanistan
TEHRAN (FNA)- Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi called on the international community to mobilize all resources to help the quake-hit Afghanistan, and further stressed the need for Washington to free Kabul's frozen assets.
Addressing the UN General Assembly, Ershadi expressed “sympathy and deepest condolences” to the people of Afghanistan for the deadly earthquake in this country.
She urged the international community to mobilize its resources and take prompt action to respond to the urgent humanitarian disaster.
“We also call upon countries that have confiscated or blocked Afghan assets, contrary to basic humanitarian and international norms, to release them for the sake of humanity,” Ershadi said, referring to the US’ freezing of billions of dollars of Afghanistan’s money and confiscation of a portion of the assets.
Elsewhere, Ershadi reiterated Iran’s “unwavering commitment to the noble goal of the protection of civilians as well as the prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and prosecution of their perpetrators”.
"Early warning initiatives along with preventive diplomacy, including resorting to the appropriate peaceful settlement of disputes, serve as the cornerstones for these efforts in order to achieve this goal."
"We acknowledge the inevitable role of the youths in this process and emphasize the commitment of all countries to protect all their citizens especially children, as well as youths during catastrophic humanitarian situations. In this regard, we take note of the recent report of the Secretary-General under this Agenda item," Ershadi said.
She also urged in-depth legal as well as humanitarian discussions on the concept of “Responsibility to Protect” as there’s no consensus on the scope, definition and elements of the concept.
Ershadi added that the failure to effectively prevent atrocity crimes can be attributed more to the failures of the Security Council rather than due to the lack of a relevant normative framework.
She also mentioned the outstanding role of some mainstream medias in the hands of certain states and lobbies that willfully portray humanitarian situations while manipulating the realities on the ground.
“This nonconstructive role manifests in an exaggeration of particular situations while downgrading or censoring certain critical conditions, such as the cases concerning Afghanistan, Palestine and Yemen,” Ershadi noted.
Iran announced that it has sent two aid cargos to Afghanistan after the deadly quake in the war-stricken country.
In a tweet on Wednesday, the Iranian embassy in Kabul extended its condolences to the people of Afghanistan, saying it has dispatched two cargo planes carrying first aid supplies to the quake-hit country.
It said that relief and rescue teams of Iran’s Red Crescent Society (IRCS) as well as medical and volunteer squads have been put on standby to be deployed to Afghanistan.
“Search, rescue teams, emergency medical services, rescue workers, volunteers, and medical staff of the IRCS are fully prepared to be sent to Afghanistan if requested by the government,” the embassy said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh issued a statement, expressing condolences to the families of victims and praying for the full recovery of the wounded.
He also announced Iran’s full readiness to help survivors with relief and rescue efforts.
Also, Iranian Government Spokesman Ali Bahadori Jahromi issued a statement, saying Iran would stand by the people of Afghanistan in this hour of distress and provide the necessary aid.
The caretaker government in Kabul has called on the international community and global charities to help those affected by the massive quake.
The death toll has already surpassed 2,000, with hundreds of others injured or under the debris. According to officials, the casualty toll is likely to mount as the search operation continues.
The 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck about 44 km (27 miles) from the city of Khost, near the Pakistani border, early on Wednesday.
The US Geological Survey later said the magnitude was 5.9, which struck the region on the country’s border with Pakistan, flattening homes and leaving people trapped under the debris.