Possible topics at Doha meeting on Afghanistan

The venue of the second Doha meeting on Afghanistan in Feb. 2024.

As the third round of the Doha meeting on Afghanistan approaches, attention is turning to its potential agenda.

A senior diplomat has confirmed to Amu that Rosemary DiCarlo, the Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, will lead the meeting. Unlike the previous round, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will not be attending.

Expected Agenda
According to a source familiar with the matter, the meeting will begin with an introductory dinner on the evening of June 29, followed by official talks on June 30. The first day’s discussions are expected to focus on the private sector, counter-narcotics efforts, and climate change.

On the second day, participants will meet with representatives from Afghanistan, including a group of women. However, the selection process and composition of these representatives remain undecided.

Human Rights Concerns
Human rights, particularly the situation of women and girls, have not been officially included in the agenda. Nonetheless, Rina Amiri, the U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan’s Women and Human Rights, tweeted about her productive meeting with DiCarlo, advocating for the inclusion of civil society in the discussions.

There is also significant domestic expectation for human rights to be prioritized. “We expect the Doha meeting to prioritize women’s right to work and education, and for the government to be inclusive of all Afghan people,” said a resident of Kabul.

Tentative Agenda and Taliban Response
The agenda remains tentative, with the appointment of a special UN envoy for Afghanistan, a key topic in previous meetings, not currently included. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed receipt of the agenda and stated that it is under review.

Geopolitical Dynamics
Analysts suggest that the Doha meeting has become a competitive platform for regional and Western countries regarding Afghanistan, with the Taliban aiming to leverage this competition to their advantage.

This upcoming meeting in Doha is viewed as a critical juncture for Afghanistan, with various international and domestic stakeholders keenly watching its outcomes.