Speaking at the high-level international summit in Pakistan, Guterres said that success in the peace negotiations is "an opportunity not to be missed."
The Secretary-General urged the international community to help Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and Iran and to "do everything possible" to bring peace to Afghanistan, where tens of thousands of civilians have been killed since the U.S. invasion in 2001.
Guterres' statements come at a crucial moment in the negotiations as the U.S. and the Taliban have agreed on a seven-day "violence reduction" in Afghanistan as a prelude to a final peace agreement. Both sides have been discussing a ceasefire before the signing of the final peace agreement since last October.
I am closely following vital peace efforts in Afghanistan to reduce violence, especially against civilians.
The final peace agreement would represent the withdrawal of U.S. troops and a guarantee that Afghanistan will not be used as a launching pad for attacks abroad.
The agreement also proposes the beginning of talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban, the armed group that has been fighting U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan since 2001.
The Taliban has so far refused to talk to the Western-backed Afghan government, calling it a "puppet regime."
According to U.N. data, a record number of civilian casualties were registered in October in the war against the Taliban. At least 2,563 civilians were killed and more than 5,600 injured in the first nine months of 2019.