Photo: UNAMA via X

UN Security Council to Discuss Afghanistan on Wednesday

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES – The United Nations has announced that the UN Security Council (UNSC) is scheduled to hold a meeting on the situation in Afghanistan on Wednesday, March 6th.

In a social media post on Monday, March 4th, the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA)   said that Roza Otunbayeva, the head of the UN mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), will brief the council on the current situation in Afghanistan.

Additional details about the upcoming event have not yet been disclosed. However, it will be the second UNSC meeting on Afghanistan in less than two weeks.

The first UNSC meeting on Afghanistan in 2024 occurred on February 26 behind closed doors, with the participation of the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres. During the session, he provided council members with updates regarding the UN-chaired meeting of special envoys to Afghanistan, which took place last month in Doha, Qatar.

The UN and other participants have not yet disclosed specifics regarding the discussions and decisions from the previous meeting. Nevertheless, human rights organizations have voiced criticism over the closed-door nature of the deliberations.

Hours before the previous UNSC meeting on Afghanistan, the majority of council members issued a joint statement condemning the Taliban’s ongoing gender discrimination and oppression against women and girls in Afghanistan. They emphasized the necessity of ensuring that women and girls have full exercise of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

UNSC member states said that Afghanistan is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and various human rights conventions. Thus, it must uphold its international obligations.

Last December, the UNSC adopted a resolution on Afghanistan with 13 votes in favor, while China and Russia abstained. The resolution calls for the appointment of a UN special envoy to Afghanistan, as recommended by UN Special Coordinator Feridun Sinirlioğlu in November.

While the UN, Western countries, and opposition groups to the Taliban have supported a potential new UN envoy, the unrecognized regime in Afghanistan, along with China and Russia, have criticized the proposal.

The Taliban deemed the appointment of a UN special envoy in the presence of UNAMA as “unnecessary,” while Russia and China conditioned their approval of the proposal on the Taliban’s agreement.

In the upcoming event, it will be the second time the head of UNAMA briefs the UNSC on the situation in Afghanistan in less than three months. In a similar meeting in late December 2023, the UNAMA chief called for more dialogue with the Taliban to address the mounting challenges facing Afghanistan.

The Taliban has not yet met any of the UN’s conditions, and there is no indication of their willingness to do so. The majority of their leaders do not uphold human rights values, particularly those of women and girls, viewing them as Western concepts conflicting with their interpretation of Islamic values and Afghan culture.