December 2, 2021
ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN — Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban criticized the United Nations Thursday for postponing a decision on who would represent the country at the world body.
“This decision is not based on legal rules and justice because they have deprived the people of Afghanistan of their legitimate right,” Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s permanent representative-designate to the U.N., said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“We hope that this right is handed over to the representative of the government of Afghanistan in the near future so that we can be in a position to resolve issues of the people of Afghanistan effectively and efficiently and maintain positive interaction with the world,” Shaheen wrote.
The U.N. Credentials Committee, which approves each member state’s representation, held closed-door discussions Wednesday on the requests by the Taliban and military junta ruling Myanmar to replace the envoys of the governments they had ousted.
“The committee has decided to defer its decision of the credentials in these two situations,” Swedish U.N. Ambassador Anna Karin Enestrom, who heads the nine-member committee, told reporters following members’ closed-door discussions.
The decision means the Taliban and Myanmar’s junta will not be allowed to represent their countries for now at the United Nations.
The Islamist Taliban seized power in mid-August from the Western-backed previous Afghan government as the United States and allied troops withdrew from the country after two decades of war.
Myanmar’s military junta seized power in a coup in February.
Neither regime has received international recognition as both are considered pariahs by the world at large.
The international community is pressing the Taliban to install an inclusive government and protect rights of women as well as Afghan minorities.
The interim all-male Taliban government mostly consists of members of the hardline group and some of them are on U.N. sanctions lists. The hardline group dismisses criticism of its government as unjust and calls it representative of all Afghans.
The United States and European countries imposed stringent economic sanctions on the Taliban after they took control of the country and blocked the group’s access to billions of dollars in Afghan foreign assets.
The punitive action has plunged Afghanistan into economic upheavals, worsening a humanitarian crisis that stems from years of war, poverty and a prolonged drought.
The lack of legitimacy recognition of the Taliban government is hampering global efforts to send urgently needed humanitarian assistance to the country where the U.N. estimates nearly 23 million Afghans will suffer from acute hunger this winter.