UN plans to attend a global summit on Afghanistan in Doha
UN plans to attend a global summit on Afghanistan in Doha

UNO: A UN official told AFP on Wednesday that an international meeting on Afghanistan will take place in the coming weeks in Doha, where envoys will attempt to "clarify expectations" on a variety of issues, including Taliban restrictions on women.

"The meeting with international envoys that will take place in Doha in a few weeks will offer an opportunity to discuss and clarify expectations on a range of issues," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Following a ban on Afghan women working for the UN, the UN mission in Afghanistan has started an evaluation of its operations.

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UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed referred to the upcoming event as a meeting of envoys at all levels, from the region and internationally, including Guterres, in a speech she gave on Monday at Princeton University.

She also spoke about the possibility that the meeting would cover the "baby steps" necessary to put the Taliban's hard-line Islamist government "back on the pathway to recognition" by the international community, albeit with "conditions" attached.

Some people think this will never happen. Others believe that it must occur, according to Mohammed. There is no doubt that the Taliban want to be recognised, and that gives us leverage.

Following the Taliban's return to power in August 2021, the UN General Assembly approved a decision by its credentialing committee last December to postpone any approval of Kabul's request to accredit a new ambassador to the organisation.

According to Dujarric on Wednesday, recognising the Taliban is "a matter that can only be decided by member states."

He emphasised that the UN deputy secretary-general, who is heavily engaged in the matter, spoke at Princeton only about "reaffirming the need for the international community to have a coordinated approach regarding Afghanistan."

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Finding consensus on the country's long-term goals and communicating with the de facto leaders on the necessity of ensuring women have their proper place in Afghan society are two examples of how to do this. According to a UN source, the meeting is being held at the secretary-general's initiative and is scheduled to begin around May 1. At this point, it was unclear if the Taliban would be represented at the negotiations.

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On April 4, the Taliban outlawed Afghan women from working for UN offices nationwide, drawing condemnation from the West and prompting a UN review of the international organization's operations in Afghanistan.

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