UNAMA: Taliban are forcing the United Nations to make an “appalling” choice

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in its recent statement released on Tuesday, has once again criticized the Taliban’s decision of banning women from working for the organization’s mission in Afghanistan, stating the group force the UN to make a terrible choice between staying in Afghanistan and adhering to its principles.

The UN mission in Afghanistan called the Taliban’s actions “illegal” and a clear violation of international laws, including the United Nations Charter.

The UNAMA is currently undergoing an operational review by the UNAMA head, Ms. Roza Otunbayeva, during which it will carry out necessary consultations until 5 May 2023.

The United Nations has pledged to maintain principled and constructive engagement with the Taliban authorities at all levels, as mandated by the United Nations Security Council.

UNAMA has currently instructed all its male and female employees to stay away from the UN offices, but the organization has vowed to continue its essential and vital humanitarian activities in accordance with humanitarian principles and standards.

UNAMA calls the ban an intentional act of discrimination against women, saying it challenges the ability of the people to access sustainable and life-saving aid. It further emphasized that its interaction in Afghanistan has been carried out extensively and in good faith, and in compliance with the United Nations Charter.

Notwithstanding, the UNAMA office’s undertakings in Afghanistan have been met with censure. The Jamiat-e-Islami Party led by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs Salahuddin Rabbani, recently alleged that the organization was providing a cover-up for the Taliban actions in the country.

In a separate incident on Monday, women’s rights activists called for the closure of the UNAMA office, criticizing its effectiveness in protecting the rights of its female employees and being flexible in their dealing with the Taliban.