UN Security Council to hold meeting on Afghanistan on June 21

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. Security Council has scheduled a meeting on Afghanistan for June 21, where the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) will present a report to the council members.

This meeting will take place nine days before the third round of talks in Doha. The Taliban have not yet announced their decision on whether they will attend the Doha meeting, and the U.N. has not disclosed the agenda or participants for the event.

In response to the upcoming Doha meeting, the Center for American Security has urged the U.N. to hold the Taliban accountable for human rights in Afghanistan. Human Rights Watch also called for the U.N. and Security Council to take a firm stance on human rights with the Taliban.

“We’re asking urgently for the U.N. to rethink their plans for this meeting. We’re very concerned that the reason that things are happening in this way is because the U.N. is desperate to get the Taliban to join the meeting and is willing to make unacceptable accommodations to try to make that happen. The United Nations needs to remember that one of the key purposes is to uphold human rights and that cannot be compromised,” said Heather Barr, Associate Director at Human Rights Watch.

The Center for American Security emphasized the importance of the Doha meeting, particularly given the ongoing human rights violations in Afghanistan and the emerging threat from ISIS. The center warned that if the U.N. does not continue its human rights initiatives in Afghanistan, the international community will lose a valuable opportunity to align the Taliban with human rights standards.

Some women’s rights activists remain skeptical about the Doha meeting. Raheel Talash, a women’s rights activist, said, “The Taliban are a terrorist and occupying group. The direction of the meeting should change to involve the Afghan people so that we can move towards an inclusive and elected government.”

A senior diplomat told Amu TV that human rights are not on the agenda for the third Doha meeting, and it is unclear if representatives of women and civil society will be present. Some citizens are calling for the Doha meeting to address human rights, especially women’s rights, and to improve the overall situation in Afghanistan.

A Kabul resident stated, “Our request to the U.N. is that the meeting should discuss human rights, restrictions on women, and an inclusive government to improve Afghanistan’s situation.”

The Taliban have mentioned that they will discuss the private sector, climate change, and counter-narcotics as their agreed-upon agenda items for the Doha meeting. However, the U.N. has not confirmed these topics. The Taliban have also indicated that contentious issues, including the appointment of a special envoy for Afghanistan, will not be discussed.