Envoys from EU, Central Asia meet on Afghanistan


Special envoys from Europe, European Union, Central Asia and United Nations met in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday, May 31, as a follow-up to their meetings in Tashkent and Brussels to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and provide their suggestions about the way forward.

A statement by the European Union office in Kazakhstan reads that special representatives of the European Union, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan attended the meeting in Almaty.

Reaffirming their joint ambition for a peaceful, stable and prosperous Afghanistan that will assume its role as a partner in regional economic cooperation, the envoys “expressed strong concern about the recent and repeated announcement of policies affecting the rights and freedom of women and girls in Afghanistan and encouraged the Taliban to ensure that all women and girls can attend school, work and participate fully in public life,” the statement read.

The envoys “unanimously encouraged the Taliban to fulfill the commitments made to the Afghan people and the international community,” the statement said.

Referring to the meeting, the EU special envoy for Afghanistan, Tomas Niklasson, efforts need to be made to provide education and job opportunities to Afghan women.

Meanwhile, Heather Barr, the associate director for women’s rights at Human Rights Watch, told TOLOnews that a joint letter from 24 organizations, including the HRW, was sent a letter to the UN on Wednesday, requesting urgently that the human rights council hold a special during its 50th meeting to discuss the urgent crisis for women’s rights in Afghanistan.

“In our view, the recent rollbacks of women’s rights by the Taliban are so severe that it is a global emergency and it requires urgent, urgent attention from this group of countries that say they are taking responsibility for upholding human rights,” Barr said, referring to countries whose representatives attended the meeting on Afghanistan.

The UN Human Rights Council is expected to hold its 50th session on June 25.

Some women’s rights activists said that more pressure is required on the current government in Afghanistan to ease restrictions on girls’ education in particular.

“We ask all human rights organizations to put a lot of pressure on the Taliban to give women and girls their rights and respect them,” said a women’s rights activist.

This comes as the Islamic Emirate has often reiterated that it respects women’s rights within the framework of Islamic law.—Tolonews