Procedure : 2017/2932(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0683/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 14/12/2017 - 8.5
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0678/2017

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on the situation in Afghanistan (2017/2932(RSP))

Charles Tannock on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on the situation in Afghanistan (2017/2932(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the situation in Afghanistan,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on an EU strategy on Afghanistan of 16 October 2017,

–  having regard to UN Security Council resolution 2344 (2017) and to the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA),

–  having regard to the previous statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on the situation in Afghanistan,

–  having regard to the Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development signed between the European Union and Afghanistan in February 2017, which provisionally entered into force on 1 December 2017,

–  having regard to the outcome of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan of 5 October 2016,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989,

–  having regard to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief of 1981,

–  having regard to the UN Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction of September 1997,

–  having regard to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984,

–  having regard to the UN report on the Treatment of Conflict-Related Detainees in Afghanistan of April 2017,

–  having regard to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, ratified in January 2004,

–  having regard to the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development and Peace, held in Beijing, China, in September 1995,

–  having regard to the latest Universal Periodic Review on Afghanistan before the UN Human Rights Council,

–  having regard to the Transition (Inteqal) process and the Transformation Decade (2015-2024) process,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the European Union and its Member States, working with international partners and the Afghan authorities, have supported efforts to end violence and extremism in Afghanistan, and supported the country’s reconstruction, development and democratic ambitions;

B.  whereas the European Union and its Member States remain committed to a peaceful, inclusive, political process in Afghanistan with the intention of delivering sustainable development, stability, security, and equality for all its citizens, as well as tackling issues such as security sector reform, addressing human rights concerns, and fighting corruption and the trade in illegal narcotics;

C.  whereas on 16 October 2017 the European Union agreed a new strategy for Afghanistan with four priority areas – promoting peace, stability and regional security; reinforcing democracy, the rule of law and human rights and promoting good governance and women’s empowerment; supporting economic and human development; and addressing challenges relating to migration;

D.  whereas the Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development between the EU and Afghanistan provisionally entered into force on 1 December 2017;

E.  whereas, despite the efforts of international and Afghan military and security forces, violence and extremism remain a facet of daily life in Afghanistan;

F.  whereas in 2016 thousands of civilians were killed or injured in suicide and improvised explosive device attacks, or indiscriminate aerial and mortar attacks by government forces supposedly targeting insurgents;

G.  whereas, since the Taliban were forced from power in 2001, access to healthcare and education, and life expectancy in Afghanistan have all improved;

H.  whereas as many as 20 insurgent groups and terrorist networks, including the Taliban, al-Qaeda, IS/Daesh and the Haqqani network, are now believed to pose a serious threat in Afghanistan;

I.  whereas the number of civilian deaths due to fighting in Afghanistan since 2001 reached a record high during the first half of 2017;

J.  whereas the Taliban appears to be growing in support in recent years, and has launched a series of deadly attacks on civilians and strategic targets, particularly in recent months, aimed at destabilising the process of building peace and democracy in Afghanistan; whereas the Taliban controls more territory and population than at any time since its defeat in 2001;

K.  whereas the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) is a political mission established by the UN Security Council in 2002 at the request of the Afghan Government to assist it and the people of Afghanistan in laying the foundations for sustainable peace and development in the country;

L.  whereas the EU Police Mission (EUPOL) in Afghanistan was established in 2007 to support the Afghan Government in building a civilian police service; whereas the mission completed its mandate in December 2016;

M.  whereas an estimated 1.3 million people are internally displaced in Afghanistan; whereas in the second half of 2016 there was a 10-year high surge in the number of Afghan refugees returning from Pakistan, rising to 370 000 from 55 000 in 2015;

N.  whereas political infighting has slowed the pace of government reforms, including in areas such as gender equality and women’s rights, accountability for acts of torture, and freedom of the media and expression;

O.  whereas 2016 was one of the deadliest years for journalists in Afghanistan, with 12 killed while reporting on the increasingly violent war; whereas, despite provisions in the Afghan Constitution designed to protect the rights and work of journalists, many local officials are unable to accept the principle of media independence, and the police and military are implicated in several cases of violence against journalists;

P.  whereas the Transition (Inteqal) process shifted lead responsibility for security in Afghanistan from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and was completed at the end of 2014;

1.  Reiterates its long-term commitment to the people of Afghanistan in ending conflict and the threat of terrorism and extremism, in order to build an inclusive, stable, democratic, and more prosperous country;

2.  Remains committed to an inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process of reconciliation;

3.  Welcomes the adoption of a new EU strategy on Afghanistan and believes it sets out the long-term commitment of Member States to promoting peace, stability, prosperity and equality in the country;

4.  Welcomes the provisional entry into force of the Cooperation Agreement on Partnership and Development between the European Union and Afghanistan on 1 December 2017, representing the first legally binding framework for relations between the two sides; further encourages the swift ratification of the agreement by EU Member States in order for it to enter into force in full;

5.  Expresses concern at the renewed series of attacks by extremist groups and at the subsequent loss of life, renews its commitment to all international efforts to rid Afghanistan of terrorism and extremism, and believes such endeavours are vital for regional and global security;

6.  Reminds all parties in Afghanistan that the targeting and killing of civilians, as well as the taking of civilian hostages, are serious violations of international humanitarian law;

7.  Condemns attacks on hospitals and other vital infrastructure and the use of schools for military purposes, and reminds all parties of the international conventions banning such activities;

8.  Welcomes the renewal of the mandate of UNAMA by the UN Security Council as an essential tool for peace, prosperity and inclusivity for all Afghans;

9.  Strongly encourages full implementation of the EU-Afghanistan Joint Way Forward in order to tackle issues relating to migration;

10.  Fully supports full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, and other domestic measures to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in Afghanistan, as well as to tackle violence against women;

11.  Urges the Government of Afghanistan to implement in full its National Plan on the Elimination of Torture and deplores the reported use of torture and ill-treatment of conflict-related detainees by all sides in Afghanistan;

12.  Encourages the continued implementation of the Afghan Government’s reform programme – Realising Self-Reliance: Commitments to Reforms and Renewed Partnership, and offers its support to the authorities in Kabul in achieving its ambitions;

13.  Encourages ongoing efforts to address the root causes of migration from Afghanistan, such as violence, poverty, human rights violations, corruption, and economic and political instability;

14.  Notes with concern the forced repatriation of Afghan nationals who have fled to neighbouring countries, and expresses its concern that their return could expose them to expanding armed conflict and challenging economic and social issues;

15.  Calls for the European Union and its Member States to continue to invest in Afghanistan’s educational system and for the Afghan Government to ensure that education remains one of its top priorities as an issue of crucial importance for the future of the country;

16.  Calls on Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to match his strong public commitments to the protection of rights and freedoms, with swift and robust implementation of legislation to protect them;

17.  Calls on the Afghan authorities to respect Articles 24, 27, 34 and 37 of the National Constitution in order to protect the rights and safety of journalists, and the right to freedom of the media and of association;

18.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the EEAS, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, and the President and Government of Afghanistan.

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