United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres led an emergency session of the UN Security Council amid “chilling” reports from the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.

British troops are racing against the clock to get people out of Afghanistan following the dramatic fall of the Western-backed government amid a rapid advance across the country by the Taliban.

Last week, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced Up to 600 UK troops are to be deployed in Afghanistan to help Britons leave the country.

In an emergency session of the UN Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan, Mr Guterres urged the Taliban to uphold human rights, especially for women and girls.

He told the meeting: “We are receiving chilling reports of severe restrictions on human rights throughout the country.

“I am particularly concerned by accounts of mounting human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan, who fear a return to the darkest days.

“The international community must unite to make sure that Afghanistan is never again used as a platform or safe haven for terrorist organisations.”

He added: “Afghans are a proud people with a rich cultural heritage. They have known generations of war and hardship. They deserve our full support. The following days will be pivotal, the world is watching. We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said on Monday there would be “significant numbers flying out day by day” and that the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy was “open-ended”.

He said the British ambassador, Sir Laurie Bristow, was working from the airport in Kabul alongside Home Office staff, diplomatic workers, and the armed services, to process visas.

He told a Westminster briefing: “We will continue to do everything we can, our offer is open-ended, we haven’t put an end date on that and we will continue to do all we can including – as the Defence Secretary said – should individuals manage to get to other countries and be brought in from those other countries.”

US President Joe Biden has said he will make a statement about the situation in Afghanistan at 3.45pm eastern time (8.45pm BST).

In a tweet, Mr Biden said: “I will be addressing the nation on Afghanistan at 3.45pm ET today.”