UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir said Thursday that the latest bomb attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul were "most concerning" and "alarming."
"This grotesque development will only complicate and debilitate efforts, among others, at evacuations. This is unacceptable," Bozkir, who is also a former Turkish diplomat, said in a statement.
Multiple explosions shook Kabul earlier Thursday, including two outside the airport serving the city, killing over 60, including 13 American soldiers, and wounding over 140.
Bozkir recalled that the UN General Assembly for 40 years has addressed the situation in Afghanistan, focusing on peace, stability, good governance, human rights and development, adding hope on many fronts in Afghanistan's path towards peace and political reconciliation has been "overshadowed with recent developments during the past two weeks."
The Taliban swept to power on Aug. 15 following rapid advances through Afghanistan. With the collapse of the government in Kabul, attention has turned to ensuring the safety of civilians and evacuees and an orderly transfer of power.
"Violence, the threat of terrorism, an unstable security situation and growing civilian casualties have strong potential to derail the Afghan-led, Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation, which is the only path to enduring peace and stability. The Afghan leadership, from every ethnic and political group, cannot squander this opportunity to come together to forge a collective pathway to peace, security and prosperity for its people and for the region," said Bozkir.
He emphasized that the protection of civilians and rights and freedoms of Afghan people -- in particular women and children -- must be a "priority."
"This is a sine qua non of sustainable peace and inclusive development," he added.
Bozkir also stressed that the UN "must lead the way" in assisting the people of Afghanistan at this "crucial juncture."
"More than ever, the Afghan people need the support of the international community to preserve hard gained achievements and overcome the many challenges facing security, sustainable development and the economy," he concluded.
While the US says it will continue to carry out evacuations until Aug. 31, many countries are wrapping up efforts to evacuate people at Kabul airport following a terror threat.
US President Joe Biden confirmed Thursday that attacks outside Kabul airport in Afghanistan were carried out by the ISIS-K terrorist group, the Afghan affiliate of Daesh/ISIS, and promised to respond with "force and precision."
The Taliban have declared the war in Afghanistan over, saying efforts to form an "inclusive" government are underway.