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No Afghan ‘reintegration’ without progress on rights: UN

AFP
Saturday, Jun 22, 2024

UNITED NATIONS, United States: Restrictions on women´s rights continue to prevent Afghanistan´s “reintegration” into the international community, a senior UN official said on Friday, noting the Taliban´s participation in upcoming talks in Doha is not legitimization of the isolated government.

Since their 2021 return to power, Taliban authorities have not been formally recognised by any nation and apply a rigorous interpretation of Islam, leading to suppression of women´s freedoms that the United Nations has described as “gender apartheid.”

Restrictions on women and girls, particularly in education, “deprive the country of vital human capital” and lead to a brain drain that undermines the impoverished country´s future, Roza Otunbayeva, head of the UN mission in the country, UNAMA, told the Security Council.

“By being deeply unpopular (the restrictions) undermine the de facto authorities´ claims to legitimacy,” she said.

“And they continue to block diplomatic solutions that would lead to Afghanistan´s reintegration into the international community.”

Last year marked the start of a process to consider strengthening the world community´s commitment to Afghanistan. A third round of talks, to include foreign special envoys to Afghanistan and representatives from its civil society, including women, is set for June 30 and July 1 in Doha.

“For this process to truly begin, it is essential that the de facto authorities participate at Doha,” Otunbayeva said, warning however that high expectations “cannot realistically be met in a single meeting.”