UN chief urges inclusive government in Afghanistan that respects human rights

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, addressing the 24th meeting of the heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), emphasized the necessity of peace in Afghanistan and the establishment of an inclusive government that upholds human rights.

In less than three years after seizing power, Taliban has imposed various restrictions on the rights and freedoms of women and girls in Afghanistan. Moreover, based on a research by Middle East Institute, at least 90 percent of Taliban leadership is made of people from one ethnic group and there is no woman in their cabinet.

“We need peace in Afghanistan, and an inclusive government that respects human rights and is integrated into the international community,” Guterres reiterated.

He stressed that “all countries should unite to prevent Afghanistan from ever again becoming a hotbed of terrorism.”

Guterres affirmed the U.N.’s readiness to collaborate with the Shanghai Cooperation Council in combating terrorism globally.

“The Shanghai Cooperation Council – the largest regional organization in the world – has the power and the responsibility to push for peace,” Guterres said.

Other participants in the meeting echoed the call for an inclusive government in Afghanistan. Some countries, including Pakistan, urged the Taliban to prevent the use of Afghanistan’s territory by terrorist groups.