Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the United States representative to the United Nations, reaffirmed the UN’s non-recognition of the Taliban and emphasized the importance of allowing girls to return to school and women to resume work in Afghanistan.
Addressing a press conference in New York on Tuesday, she said that the issue of human rights in Afghanistan during her presidency will remain a priority for the UN Security Council.
“Our position on Afghanistan has been unequivocal. Afghan girls must have the right to an education, and Afghan women should have the opportunity to work. We have continuously exerted pressure on the Taliban,” she asserted.
Thomas-Greenfield underscored that the United Nations does not lend support to the Taliban following their decision to ban girls’ education. The engagement with the Taliban is intended to push for the protection of human rights in the country.
The envoy further raised concerns about the Taliban’s actions, including crackdowns on press freedom and restrictions on girls’ education and women’s employment. These issues have been communicated to the Taliban during the course of negotiations.
While acknowledging some of the measures taken by the Taliban, such as their decision to restrict the growth of poppy, Thomas-Greenfield stressed that significant work remains to ensure the group honors its international commitments and respects the rights of all citizens, especially women and girls.
Amid the ongoing challenges in Afghanistan, the US envoy at the UN recounted her recent interactions with Afghan refugees who have been resettled in the United States. Despite their resettlement, many still worry about their family members remaining in Afghanistan. Thomas-Greenfield reassured that the US will continue to strive for a secure and stable environment for Afghan civilians.
This comes as US special envoys for Afghanistan, Thomas West, and Rina Amiri, held two-day talks with representatives of the Taliban in Doha, a meeting that has sparked reactions concerning the US’s approach to the Taliban.