The United Nations security council passed resolution 2593 (2021) on the 30th of August, 2021 with a vote of 13 in favour and 2 abstentions. Why did China and the Russian Federation abstain on this resolution? What particular clauses in the resolution did they find unsatisfactory?

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Why did China and Russia abstain on the UN security council resolution 2593 on the situation in Afghanistan?

Both Russia and China offered amendments or concerns that were not accepted or addressed and China questioned the urgency for passing the resolution.

In meetings coverage of the Security Council meeting: Adopting Resolution 2593 (2021), Security Council Condemns Deadly Attacks in Afghanistan, Calls for Combating Terrorism, Upholding Human Rights.

The representative of the Russian Federation condemned the terrorist attacks at the Kabul airport and said that his country abstained from the vote because the authors of the draft ignored his delegation’s concerns, referring to their refusal to add an additional passage on terrorism and their reluctance to acknowledge the terrorist threat of other groups, instead separating them into “ours and theirs”. The draft also did not acknowledge the negative impacts of evacuating valuable economists and other skilled individuals who will be important for the rebuilding of Afghanistan. Moreover, there was no reference to the harmful influence of freezing economic assets in Afghanistan and the negative impact that it has on the people remaining there. Had there been more time, the result of the vote may have been different. However, his delegation viewed the text as an effort to shift the blame from the 20 years of failed presence in Afghanistan to the Taliban and not the countries that occupied the country for so long.

The representative of China said that, given the fragile situation in Afghanistan, any actions taken by the Security Council should help ease rather than intensify tensions in the conflict. The authors of the draft only circulated it on 27 August and China has doubts about the urgency to pass the resolution and the balance of its contents, he said. Unfortunately, its amendments were not fully adopted. The recent chaos in Afghanistan is a direct result of the hasty withdrawal of troops there and now should be a time of reflection, he stressed. Relevant countries should change their hegemonic practice of imposing sanctions and using force at every turn. Furthermore, those countries should not claim to support social and economic development while seizing Afghans overseas assets. Criminal activities by the United States and Australia in the killing of innocent civilians should not be ignored either. To achieve fundamental changes, it is vital to work with the Taliban and provide them with guidance in order to help maintain stability. Condemning the terrorist attack in Kabul, he said it demonstrates the occupation of the country over the last 20 years did nothing to eliminate such groups. On the issue of counter-terrorism, there must be a balanced approach, he said.

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