Statement on the Secretary General’s Report “Response to the Implications of Afghanistan for the OSCE Region” (RIAOR)

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Statement on the Secretary General’s Report “Response to the Implications of Afghanistan for the OSCE Region” (RIAOR)

As delivered by Chargé d’Affaires Katherine Brucker
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
July 20, 2023

The United States welcomes the Secretary General’s report on the OSCE’s response to the security implications of the situation in Afghanistan.  Afghanistan’s ongoing economic, human rights, and humanitarian crises are causing great suffering among the Afghan people.  Human trafficking, narcotics trafficking, and violent extremism not only endanger the lives of Afghans but also undermine the security of neighboring countries and the wider OSCE region.  

The United States is committed to countering these threats through diplomatic engagement and assistance in and around Afghanistan.  We remain the single largest provider of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, having supplied over $1.9 billion in critical support since August 2021.  The United States has also urged the Taliban to follow through with its commitments on rebuilding a sustainable economy; respecting human rights, especially those of women and girls; and countering terrorist activities.  

Recognizing that the OSCE is uniquely positioned to address the regional consequences of the crisis, the United States has provided significant financial and in-kind contributions to the projects associated with the three pillars of the framework on Response to the Implications of Afghanistan for the OSCE Region.  These include more than $8.5 million in funding to eight of the projects detailed in your report, including to the Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe, the WIN project for gender equality, and the OSCE Academy in Bishkek, all of which have purposefully and thoughtfully engaged women from Afghanistan and Central Asia.  

We look forward to continuing to work with the Secretariat and Central Asian participating States to support these demand-driven, extra-budgetary projects, especially on border security training and through other programs to counter human and narcotics trafficking and violent extremism.