UNSC to discuss Afghanistan’s situation in closed-door meeting

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The UN Security Council is holding a closed-door meeting on Friday about Afghanistan’s situation including the recent bans imposed by the caretaker government on women’s access to work and education.

Chargé d’Affaires of the Afghanistan Permanent Mission to the UN, Naseer Ahmad Faiq, said that the meeting is due to be held on 13 January New York time.

“The UN special envoy for Afghanistan, Roza Otunbayeva, Catherine Russell, UNICEF’s executive director, David Miliband, head of the International Rescue Committee will give speeches. The meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the negotiations and evaluation of the Taliban’s decision on humanitarian aid in Afghanistan,” Faiq said.

The Islamic Emirate reacted to the meeting, saying that without the presence of its representative, the meeting will not bring any result.

“We call on international organizations to respect the rules and values of the people of Afghanistan. All areas that they are concerned about are negotiable and they may come and talk with the Islamic Emirate closely so that they are convinced. Without the presence of the Islamic Emirate representing the people of Afghanistan, these decisions will not be helpful,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, the spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that “systemic attacks on women’s and girls’ rights and the flouting of international obligations are creating gender-based apartheid.”

“This deliberately undermines the development of a country that desperately needs the contributions of all in order to return to sustainable peace,” he said.

Amnesty International in a statement said that the UN Security Council (UNSC) closed-door meeting on Afghanistan “must focus on how to reverse the stifling ban by the Taliban on women and girls from accessing work, education, sports and public spaces.”

“The Security Council that asses the issue of the Afghan women’s rights should also consider the issue of Afghanistan. It can be done when major powers reach an agreement,” said Suraya Paikan, a human rights defender.

“Women have never been banned from education or politics and whatever is ordered for men, women are also beside it,” said Sayed Abdullah Ihsani, a member of the Assembly of Scholars.

This comes as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation also held an extraordinary meeting on Afghanistan this week.—Tolo news