UNFSU Broadcast: Update on situation in Afghanistan and evacuation of UN Staff

Dear Colleagues and Friends,


While I am attending an ICSC session in my capacity as UNISERV Federation VP, we are fortunate to be here together with our sister federations FICSA and CCISUA and as such are closely engaged with UN Leadership in relation to what is happening on the ground in Afghanistan.


The safety and security of our colleagues there of course remains of paramount concern to us all.

The partial evacuation of international staff is ongoing and happening as we speak.


As staff representatives we are of course extremely concerned as well about our Afghan national staff colleagues who may be at a very high risk.


Over the past few days, the Federations have jointly communicated with various stakeholders including the UN Secretary-General, who in response to our communications (which are reproduced below) indicated that they are seriously looking into our requests and who has assured us that they are doing everything necessary to ensure the safety and security of our UN Colleagues.


We will continue to keep you informed.


Kind Regards,

Mark Polane

President UNFSU

Vice President UNISERV



Dear Secretary-General,


We would like to follow up on our previous message regarding the worsening and worrying situation in Afghanistan.


Allow us first of all to thank you and your team for all the measures that have been taken to secure the evacuation of international staff and to secure the safety and security of those who are remaining in Afghanistan, including national staff.


This being said, the latest reports regarding the situation on the ground are very concerning, particularly in relation to national staff.  National staff are in distress and are understandably fearful of reprisals against them and their families. Some are trying to leave the country by any means while others are waiting in the expectation that the UN will help them as part of its duty of care towards its staff.


As things stand now, nobody can predict how the situation will develop. Whatever happens, we believe, and we are sure that you will agree, that national staff cannot be abandoned and the UN has to exercise duty of care towards its staff, regardless of their category.


That is why the three Staff Federations, on behalf of the 120,000 plus staff who we collectively represent across the UN system, call on you to take the following additional measures:


·       Ensure the evacuation of all national staff who wish to be evacuated. 

·       Use the good offices of the UN with the remaining foreign embassies in Kabul to assist in granting of visas for those national staff and their families who wish to leave the country.


We are aware of the immense political complications and know that our requests might seem impossible, however we are sure that you will understand that we cannot just watch in silence our national colleagues who might risk their lives and the lives of their families, just because they, like many thousands of us, accepted to carry the UN flag.


 We look forward to your response and stand ready to support in any way that we can. 


Prisca Chaoui (CCISUA President)

Tanya Quinn-Maguire (FICSA President)

Steve Towler (UNISERV President) 




Dear Secretary-General,


We are writing to you on behalf of the three staff federations, CCISUA, FICSA and UNISERV regarding the fast deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.


We are relieved to note that the evacuation of international staff is going to take place and that only 30 essential staff will remain in Kabul. However, we are very concerned by the risks of retaliation that national staff and the member of their families might be facing and that might endanger their lives. 


That is why, we kindly ask you to take the immediate necessary measures to ensure that the remaining international staff as well as the national staff and the members of their families are being protected from any risk of retaliation.


We are aware that the situation on the grounds is very complicated but we expect from the UN to exercice its duty of care towards all staff, be them international or national.


Best regards


Prisca Chaoui (CCISUA President)

Tanya Quinn-Maguire (FICSA President)

Steve Towler (UNISERV President) 


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