Security Council unanimously slams Taliban ban on UN women workers

Ahead of an international meeting convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on dealing with the Taliban, the UNSC in a rare show of unanimity has voted unanimously to condemn Taliban

IANS United Nations
Photo: AP

Photo: AP

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Ahead of an international meeting convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on dealing with the Taliban, the Security Council in a rare show of unanimity has voted unanimously to condemn the regime's ban on women working for the world organisation in Afghanistan.

The Council resolution adopted on Thursday also expressed "deep concern at the increasing erosion of respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls" and demanded that the Taliban "swiftly reverse" the restrictions placed on them.

Special representatives for Afghanistan from several countries are scheduled to convene on May 1-2 in Doha for the meeting to be chaired by Guterres to work out a united approach to deal with the Taliban.

India was one of about 20 countries from Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America invited to the meeting.

The unanimous adoption of the Council resolution proposed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Japan and co-sponsored by about 90 countries underlines the Taliban regime's isolation and signals international unity before the Doha meeting.

The UAE's Permanent Representative Lana Zaki Nusseibeh said: "This cross-regional support makes our fundamental message today even more significant: the world will not sit by silently as women in Afghanistan are erased from society.

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"The resolution also makes it clear that stability, economic recovery, and political reconciliation is not possible in Afghanistan without the inclusion of Afghan women and girls."

The US Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs Robert Wood called the Taliban's edicts on women "indefensible" and said, "Muslim-majority countries have spoken out against the Taliban's rationale for these decisions".

The Taliban invokes the Islamic Sharia law to justify its actions.

"In January, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation emphasized that Islamic law calls for women's education, work, and participation in public life," Wood said.

The Taliban extended its ban to about 600 Afghan women working for the UN earlier this month.

In protest, the UN asked all its employees -- about 2,700 Afghan men and 600 international workers, including 200 women who were exempt from the ban -- to stay home, disrupting the humanitarian work in the country.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Russia's Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia, who presided over the Council meeting said: "We are happy that we were unanimous, but we were not completely happy because there is the resolution did not reflect all the issues relating to Afghanistan."

Russia's reservation, also shared by China, was that the resolution did not demand that the US release the $7 billion Afghan Central Bank money frozen by it after the August 2021 Taliban takeover of the war-torn nation.

Washington has set up a $3.5 billion trust fund for Afghanistan out of the frozen accounts in Switzerland to allow some of it to be used for that country.

(Arul Louis can be contacted at and followed at @arulouis)



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Apr 28 2023 | 12:16 PM IST

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