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Majority of the UN Security Council asks the Taliban to rescind decrees against women

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Majority of the UN Security Council asks the Taliban to rescind decrees against women

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — More than two-thirds of the members of the United Nations Security Council on Monday demanded that the Taliban rescind all policies and decrees that oppress and discriminate against women and girls, including a ban on further study of primary education and the right to work and move freely.

The statement by 11 of the 15 members of the Council condemned the Taliban’s repression against women and girls since it took power in August 2021, and once again insisted on their equal participation in public, political, economic, cultural and social, especially at decision-making levels, to advance international engagement with Afghanistan’s de facto rulers.

Guyana’s ambassador to the UN, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, read the statement surrounded by representatives of the other 10 nations, before a closed-door Council meeting on Secretary-General António Guterres’ conference with more than 25 envoys. to Afghanistan which was held on February 18 and 19 in the capital of Qatar, Doha.

Representatives of Afghan civil society, including women, participated in the Doha meeting, which was welcomed by the Council. The Taliban refused to attend and its Foreign Ministry indicated in a statement that its participation would only be “beneficial” if it were the country’s only official representative in the talks.

Despite her absence, the political head of the UN, Rosemary DiCarlo, met with representatives of the group based in Doha, said the institution’s spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric. DiCarlo also briefed the Council during Monday’s closed-door meeting.

The Taliban has not been recognized by any country and the UN envoy for Afghanistan warned de facto rulers last year that international recognition as a legitimate government would be “almost impossible” unless they lift restrictions against women.

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The 11 nations that signed the declaration — Ecuador, France, Guyana, Japan, Malta, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States — stressed that there can only be sustainable peace in Afghanistan if the political process is inclusive and respects the human rights of all citizens, including those of women and girls.

The four Council members that did not support the statement were Russia, China, Mozambique and Algeria.

Guterres told reporters in Doha that among participants — who included representatives from the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization — there was “complete consensus” about the requirements for Afghanistan to join. the international community.

To achieve that “ultimate goal,” he explained, Afghanistan cannot be “the hotbed of terrorist activities that impact other nations,” its institutions must include diverse groups such as Uzbeks, Tajiks, Pashtuns and Hazaras, and human rights must be respected. , especially those of women and girls.

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