HRW urges special envoys to stand by the people of Afghanistan at Doha meeting

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on the special envoys of UN member states for Afghanistan affairs to take a decisive stance in supporting the rights of Afghan people during the Doha meeting.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Patricia Gossman, HRW’s Associate Asia Director, stressed the importance of reversing the Taliban’s oppressive policies to open the door to further engagement.

Furthermore, the statement revealed divisions among the envoys on approaches to the Taliban, which according to the statement, also reflects the differences in the UN Security Council. China, Russia, and Japan want the UN to focus on aid and the country’s economic crisis, while the US, UK, and France push a hard line on human rights.

Recently, The head of UN Development Program (UNDP), Achim Steiner warned that unless the Taliban revoked its ban on Afghan women working for the UN, the organization was ready to pull out of the country in May. The following day, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed suggested member states explore “baby steps” that could put the Taliban “on the path to recognition.”

However, HRW said that there should be a solution between the threat of total UN withdrawal and the group’s recognition, and the special envoys are expected to find it at the Doha meeting.

The meeting with the presence of special representatives of countries on Afghanistan affairs, hosted by the UN Secretary-General, will take place on May 1 for two days. It aims to find a single approach to prevent instability and deal with the situation in Afghanistan.