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Guterres: No Progress in Human Rights and Counterterrorism in Afghanistan

Bayan News – Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, announced at the conclusion of the Doha meeting that no progress has been made in the situation of human rights and counterterrorism in Afghanistan, and the situation for women in the country has worsened.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday afternoon, Guterres described the two-day Doha meeting as constructive and useful, emphasizing that the participants in the meeting had reached consensus on key issues concerning Afghanistan.

He highlighted the need for a UN-led Afghan government that is inclusive and engages with its neighbors for peace, reiterating that the current Afghanistan should be able to fulfill its international commitments as an independent and sovereign nation.

According to the UN Secretary-General, a broad-based government in Afghanistan requires the presence of representatives from Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, and other ethnic groups, but such a government has not yet been formed.

Guterres further stated that there has been no progress in the situation of human rights and counterterrorism in Afghanistan, and the situation for women has become even more severe.

Appointment of a UN Special Representative for Afghanistan

The UN Secretary-General also mentioned the appointment of a UN Special Representative for Afghanistan during part of his remarks, stating that consultations and discussions on this matter will begin immediately.

He stated that in the two-day Doha meeting, it was agreed to determine the Special Representative through in-depth consultations with other members of the United Nations, the Taliban interim government, and other civil society members.

He added, “It has been decided to initiate a series of consultations and examine the conditions for appointing a Special Representative who not only has the responsibility of coordinating global community interaction but can also effectively engage with the Taliban.”

The proposal to appoint a UN Special Representative for Afghanistan was put forward in a UN Security Council meeting. The Security Council confirmed the appointment through Resolution 2723, suggesting that the appointment be discussed and negotiated during the Doha meeting.

However, the Taliban opposes the appointment of a Special Representative for Afghanistan and the acting Kabul government officials have consistently stated that it is unnecessary and inappropriate in the presence of UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan).

Guterres Receives a Letter from the Taliban

During the press conference, the UN Secretary-General clearly stated that he had received a letter from the Taliban, and the conditions outlined in the letter were unacceptable.

He stated, “These conditions, above all, deprived us of the right to engage with other representatives of the Afghan community, and demanded a behavior that I can say is largely akin to recognition.”

Guterres further expressed that the Taliban’s non-participation in the Doha meeting did not harm the meeting’s outcome, which was constructive and productive.

On the other hand, the UN Secretary-General mentioned that it has been agreed to hold the third round of the Doha meeting in the future, with an expectation that Taliban representatives will participate in it.

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