World ‘Out of Patience’ With Taliban, Says UN Envoy


UN Representative Warned Security Council

The Taliban are losing support worldwide, a UN representative warned the Security Council on Tuesday, as the Islamist government shows no signs of allowing girls to attend school and its ties to Al Qaeda remain unclear. 

Although there have been some positive improvements since the Taliban came to power last year, Markus Potzel, the United Nations deputy representative in Afghanistan, told the council that “they have been too few and too gradual and are overwhelmed by the downsides.” 

He remarked, “I fear that many in the international world are losing patience about a strategy of engagement with Afghanistan’s Taliban. 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres

The Taliban have been “ambiguous as to the extent to which they would like to interact externally, absent formal acknowledgment and dependent on being in conformity with their interpretation of the sharia,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said as Potzel spoke. 

According to Guterres, this year’s US drone strike in Kabul that killed Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri “brought to the fore the continuing ties between the terrorist group and the Taliban, which would be contrary to the latter’s counterterrorism commitments,” according to his quarterly report, which was released on Tuesday. 

The report also criticised the “severe constraints” that continue to be put on women’s and girls’ rights, such as the prohibition on secondary education. 

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Non-Permanent Members of Security Council

The 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council and the five nations that will take seats on the council the following year urged the Taliban to “immediately rescind this decision” in an unified statement that focused on girls’ education. They said that “the international community has not forgotten Afghan women and girls and will not do so.” 

However, one envoy made the implication that at least one of the permanent Security Council members, who have veto power, might be opposed. 

Norwegian Ambassador Mona Juul told reporters, “We have worked hard to secure a statement from the entire council, but we were not able to. 

Release of Afghan Assets

A diplomatic source claims that China and Russia rejected an unified statement if it did not also call for the release of Afghan assets that have been blocked since the Taliban’s takeover of power. 

The assets that had been frozen abroad, according to Chinese Ambassador Geng Shuang, “should be utilised swiftly for the improvement of Afghan life and economic reconstruction,” emphasising the importance of protecting girls’ rights.

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