Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

UN: Impossible to recognise the Taliban without respect for women’s rights

The head of the United Nation’s Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Roza Otunbayeva, declared on Wednesday that it is “nearly impossible” for the Taliban to be recognised as long as they continue to restrict the rights of women and girls.”

Speaking a a UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan, she said that the Taliban has created obstacles for itself by enacting decrees and restrictions against women and girls, including banning them from attending school beyond the sixth grade and barring them from working in government.

“We have conveyed to them that as long as these decrees are in place, it is nearly impossible that their government will be recognized by members of the international community,” Otunbayeva said.

She also said that the Taliban has broken its promises to be more inclusive, sever ties with terrorist groups, respect universal human rights, and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a security threat to other nations.

“The Taliban ask to be recognised by the United Nations and its members, but at the same time, they act against the key values expressed in the United Nations Charter,” Otunbayeva said.

Naseer Ahmad Faiq, the Chargé d’Affaires of Afghanistan Permanent Mission to the UN, also expressed in the meeting that dialogue and engagement with the Taliban alone have proven ineffective. He urged the international community to engage with democratic political forces to find a concrete solution to the crisis.

“The claims of counterterrorism and counter-narcotics are a paradox and self-contradiction by the Taliban,” Faiq said. “Taliban’s senior leaders are involved in narcotics and the production and smuggling of drugs, including opium, heroin, and methamphetamine, have become a significant part of Afghanistan’s illicit economy under Taliban rule.”

He highlighted the list of war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law committed by the Taliban, including torture, extrajudicial executions, hostage-taking, intentional burning of civilian homes, forced evictions, and arbitrary deprivation of liberty.

“Beyond each individual act designed to install fear, this conduct in sum constitutes collective punishment, which in itself is a war crime,” Faiq said.

Nearly two years have passed since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, yet no country has officially recognized their government.