UN meets in Qatar for crucial meeting on Afghanistan
The UN wants to bring together the positions of the international community on human rights and women's rights, in particular. Here in Kabul, December 26, 2022. © AP - Ebrahim Noroozi
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will meet with special envoys for Afghanistan from Monday 1 May in Doha. The aim is to look at the approach to be taken towards the Taliban government at a time when the UN mission in that country is becoming more complicated.
In Doha, talks with representatives of about 25 countries and international organizations will be held in an undisclosed location in the absence of the Taliban government, which took power in August 2021. So far, the United Nations has given little information on the agenda of the meeting. The aim is to "reinvigorate international engagement around common objectives towards a sustainable path regarding the situation in Afghanistan," Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said on Friday.
Ahead of the May 1 meeting, a group of women demonstrated in Kabul on Saturday to oppose any international recognition of the Taliban government. The UN and the Western powers are adamant that this issue is not on the agenda. But the United Nations and other parties have been in increasingly intense discussions about how to engage with the Taliban and possibly offer incentives for change.
During the meeting, the UN secretary-general is also expected to provide an update on his organization's crucial humanitarian operations in Afghanistan, following the ban on Afghan women working with UN agencies, diplomats said. The UN, which considers women essential to its work in Afghanistan, says it has been condemned to an "awful choice": whether or not to continue its operations in this country of 38 million people. The United Nations also wants to bring together the positions of the international community on human rights, women's rights, the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.
The fifteen members of the Security Council voted unanimously on Thursday a resolution condemning in particular the decision taken in early April by the Taliban authorities to extend to the United Nations a ban preventing NGOs from employing Afghan female staff, which "compromises human rights and humanitarian principles". The Taliban government rejected the resolution. For him, it was an "internal social issue of Afghanistan".
► Read also: Women in Afghanistan: return to hell under the yoke of the Taliban
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