U.N. clarifies Doha meeting is not an ‘intra-Afghan dialogue’

UN-hosted meeting on Afghanistan in Doha in May 2022. File Photo.

United Nations Secretary-General spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric stated that the upcoming third Doha meeting is not intended to be an intra-Afghan dialogue or to legitimize the Taliban.

Dujarric, referencing a meeting between Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, emphasized Guterres’s deep respect for Yousafzai. He assured that Afghan women and human rights activists will meet with all Afghan envoys.

“To lay out very clearly what this meeting is and what this meeting isn’t: it is not about moving forward with recognition or legitimization of the de facto authorities. Rosemary DiCarlo and others have explained that women’s groups and human rights groups will be meeting with all Afghan envoys. This is not meant to be an intra-Afghan dialogue,” Dujarric said.

Malala Yousafzai, a Nobel Prize laureate, condemned the Taliban’s treatment of women and girls in Afghanistan as a systematic erasure of rights, dignity, and livelihood, equating it to “gender apartheid.”

In a statement issued yesterday, Yousafzai expressed her concerns after discussing the situation of Afghan women with Guterres. She voiced her apprehension and disappointment over the invitation extended to the Taliban and the exclusion of women from the Doha meeting.

Deeming the Doha meeting “unacceptable,” Yousafzai stressed that any dialogue about Afghanistan’s future is illegitimate without the full participation and leadership of women.

The Doha meeting is scheduled for June 30. According to UN, women activists and civil society representatives from Afghanistan will meet with special envoys on July 2.