The United Nations and Afghanistan’s Taliban are figuring out how to negotiate the latter for global recognition


Kabul: It’s been a little over a month since Kalashnikov-toting Taliban fighters in their heavy beards, hightop sneakers and shalwar kameez descended on the Afghan capital and solidified their takeover.

Now they are vying for a seat in the club of nations and want what no country has offered them as they attempt to rule for a second time: international recognition of their rule.

The Taliban wrote to the United Nations requesting them to address the ongoing UN General Assembly meeting of leaders in New York.

They argue that they have all the requirements needed for government recognition.

The United Nations has effectively responded to the Taliban’s request by indicating: not so quickly.

Afghanistan, which joined the United Nations as an early member state in 1946, is scheduled to deliver the final speech at the General Assembly’s leaders’ session on Monday.

With no meeting yet by the UN committee deciding challenges to credibility, it is almost certain that Afghanistan’s current ambassador will deliver a speech this year, or none at all.

The United Nations can withhold or confer formal sanction on the Taliban, and use this as a significant advantage for accurate assurances on human rights, girls’ education and political concessions.

This is where the power and relevance of the 76-year-old world body still lingers.

Rohinton Medhora, president of the Center for International Governance Innovation in Canada, said Afghanistan is a good, and perhaps extreme, representative case study of why the United Nations was established after World War II.

“If you’re the United Nations and you want to represent a family of nations, you want everyone in the family there, even you know, the distant cousin that not everyone is proud of.” ,” They said.

“Therefore the United Nations needs Afghanistan and other countries to demonstrate the value of its many missions.”

In Afghanistan, the United Nations can deploy the weight of its vast aid and development programs to demonstrate how important its often under-funded agencies are in providing stability and security.

Due to the political situation the country is facing many humanitarian crises and almost complete poverty.

There is already a growing demand for assistance to ensure girls have access to education.

Despite promises of being inclusive and open, the Taliban have yet to allow older girls to go back to school, curtail local media freedom and return to cruel practices such as hanging bodies in public in city squares. have come.

“The Taliban does not represent the will of the Afghan people,” Nasser Andisha, Afghanistan’s currently recognized ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, told the Associated Press.

If the UN recognizes the Taliban’s claim to power, Andisha said, it sends a corrosive message to others, whether in Yemen or Myanmar, that they can take up guns, incite violence, May associate with terrorist groups designated by the US.

“I think for the world, for the United Nations, it’s time to use that as a leverage,” Andisha said.

The Taliban’s appointed UN representative, Suhail Shaheen, a former negotiator and political spokesman, told The Associated Press that his government should be included in the club of nations and that “all borders, territories and major cities of Afghanistan are under our control.” “.

“We have the support of our people and because of their support, we were able to continue a successful struggle for the independence of our country, which culminated in our independence,” he said.

“We have all the requirements necessary for government recognition. We therefore hope that the United Nations will recognize the current government of Afghanistan as a neutral world body.”

More than a dozen GoM foreign ministers in the pan-Taliban cabinet are on the UN blacklist, whom Andisha and other Afghan diplomats abroad are refusing to talk to.

Andisha was serving in Geneva under the US-backed government of Ashraf Ghani when the president fled Afghanistan on August 15 to seek refuge in the United Arab Emirates as the Taliban surrounded the capital.

After this Ghani’s government fell rapidly.

Andisha is still holding meetings with representatives from countries around the world, urging them to resume intra-Afghan peace talks.

He wants the United Nations to make it clear that joining its ranks isn’t just about putting a country under the barrel of its guns and taking a substantial population hostage.

Meanwhile, Qatar has urged countries not to boycott the Taliban, and Pakistan called on nations to refrain from isolating the Taliban and to renounce terrorism and keep their promises of being inclusive. Is.

During the Taliban’s repressive time in power in the late 1990s, only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recognized their legitimacy.

During that era, the United Nations refused to recognize his government and gave the seat of Afghanistan to the previous, warlord-dominated government.

The group was ousted from power in 2001 by a US-led coalition to harbor al-Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks.

The United States, which withdrew all its forces from the country last month in a chaotic airlift ending America’s “forever war”, says it is important that the Taliban be given legitimacy or support before they can Stayed united to fulfill many commitments. beyond humanitarian aid.

Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said he had conveyed the message to the UN Security Council and others during the General Assembly this week.

“The US has a significant advantage when it comes to the Taliban,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Friday.

“But we have more leverage when we work in coordination and harmony with our partners and partners around the world,” he said.

Medhora of the Center for International Governance Innovation said the United Nations has access through its various agencies, such as UNICEF, which focuses on children, UNHCR, which helps refugees, and the World Food Program, All “where the real work is done of the United Nations.”

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, this is another area where the United States continues to dominate as the largest donor to the United Nations, contributing about one-fifth to the body’s collective budget in 2019.

In several UN speeches last week, several world leaders mentioned Afghanistan, including US President Joe Biden and Afghanistan’s neighbors such as Pakistan, Iran and Uzbekistan.

Inayat Najafizada, who runs an independent think tank in Kabul that oversees security issues in Afghanistan’s provinces, said the UN should facilitate dialogue between Afghan groups and those with a history of interference in the nation for regional security. Different countries should be brought on board. .

“Without forming an inclusive government, the country will head towards a civil war,” said Najafizada, founder of The Institute of War and Peace Studies.

While what comes next for Afghanistan is not certain, it is clear that the Taliban does not want to be seen as a global pariah, said Kamal Alam, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

“They want a seat at the United Nations, they want to go to Davos. They like the private jet lifestyle,” he said, referring to the group’s political elite, who live in exile in Qatar.

“But it is only political leaders. There is no such thing as foot soldiers on the ground, the new Taliban,” he said.

“There is no new Taliban. What they are doing is a strategy of not being isolated while gaining recognition.”

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