UNAMA chief intensifies diplomatic efforts ahead of Doha meeting

Roza Otunbayeva, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, has held at least six meetings with representatives of member states and foreign diplomats in the past six weeks, focusing primarily on the upcoming third Doha meeting.

In the latest instances, Otunbayeva met with the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates and the Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations.

The Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations stated on the social media platform X that China will assist Afghanistan in achieving sustainable development.

The third Doha meeting, organized by the United Nations, is set to take place in Qatar in less than 10 days. In the lead-up to this meeting, Otunbayeva’s engagements with permanent representatives and foreign diplomats have intensified.

Since May 14, Otunbayeva has held discussions with Iran’s former Foreign Minister and the country’s Deputy Foreign Minister, a Turkish diplomat, the Permanent Representative of China, and the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations. These talks have all centered around the Doha meeting.

The UAE’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations wrote on X that Mohamed Abushahab discussed the third Doha meeting with Otunbayeva. “We discussed the latest developments in the country, the Doha meeting, and UNAMA’s efforts towards a more prosperous Afghanistan for women and girls,” the mission stated.

Recently, China’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Fu Cong, also mentioned his discussions with Otunbayeva regarding Afghanistan. “I am pleased to have had a deep and fruitful discussion with Rosa Otunbayeva about Afghanistan. As a friendly neighbor, China will continue its strong support for UNAMA,” Fu Cong said.

However, earlier this week, AFP reported that Afghan civil society activists had not been invited to participate in the third Doha meeting. Some civil society activists argue that human rights and women’s rights should be central to the discussions at the Doha meeting.

The Taliban have agreed to participate in the Doha meeting. One of their preconditions for participation was their recognition as the sole representative of Afghanistan. This condition appears to have been accepted, as the Taliban confirmed their attendance.

Other preconditions set by the Taliban include the inclusion of the private sector, discussions on narcotics, and climate change. The Taliban have stated that they will withdraw from the meeting if there are any changes to the composition or agenda.

The United Nations has not yet announced the composition and agenda of the meeting.