The Taliban have asked to address the world stage at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The General Debate is taking place from 21 to 27 September in New York. According to reports, the Foreign Minister of The Taliban, Amir Khan Muttaqi sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and asked to speak at UN General Assembly.
The militant group has nominated Doha-based spokesperson Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN Ambassador. Also, the ambassador of the ousted government Ghulam Isaczai has requested to speak at the meeting. The Taliban who ousted the civil leadership and seized control of the country in lightening offense said that the previous government can no longer represent Afghanistan. This has left the UN undecided about who should be representing Afghanistan at the international forum.
UN General Assembly Considering to Meet Taliban
Taliban’s request is reportedly being considered by the United Nations Credentials Committee. It has 9 member countries i.e., the US, Russia, China, Sweden, Chile, Bhutan, Bahamas, Namibia, and Sierra Leone. No country has yet recognized the Taliban government, demanding the group to meet human rights commitments first.
Meanwhile, there are doubts about the Taliban joining the ongoing session as experts believe that the committee is likely to meet on the matter after the end of convocation on 27 Sept.
According to reports, US officials said that they were aware of the Taliban’s request but they refrained from making any predictions about the committee’s decision. However, one of them mentioned that they required time to discuss some issues regarding the Taliban envoy speaking among the “high-level” world leaders at UN General Assembly.
Impossible to Isolate Afghanistan
On the other hand, the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, whose country played a central role in Afghanistan’s relationship with the West, has warned the world leaders to not turn against the Taliban. Addressing the UN General Assembly on 21 September, he urged the importance of continuing dialogue with the Taliban because boycotts would only lead to polarization and reactions. The Emir said Qatar agreed to host the Taliban leader years ago because it believed in dialogue more than war.
The diplomats of countries like the US and Japan, who were extracted from Afghanistan, have been relocated to Qatar to continue diplomacy in the country. Uzbekistan also reportedly, resumed its supply of oil and electricity in the region. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev urged the UN to not isolate Afghanistan with its series of issues.
Pressure to Form Inclusive Government
Until the committee makes the final decision, Isaczai is scheduled to address the gathering on the final day of the session. Guterres suggested the world leaders use the Taliban’s desire to earn international recognition as leverage and pressure the group to form an inclusive government in Afghanistan; that respects human rights especially for women.
Pakistan said that the Taliban leaders must understand that if they want recognition and global help to rebuild Afghanistan then they have to be more open and sensitive towards the norms and opinions of the rest of the world. Pakistan also helped broker the infamous US-Taliban peace deal which ultimately saw the exit of military troops from Afghanistan.
If the Taliban get recognized then it would also allow the financial aid in Afghanistan, which the worn-torn country desperately needs.