UN special envoy appointment to top agenda of upcoming Doha meeting

The appointment of a United Nations special envoy for Afghanistan is set to dominate discussions at next month’s meeting in Doha, Afghanistan’s representative at the United Nations Geneva office, Nasir Andisha, stated. The meeting, scheduled for February 18-19, will convene special envoys from various countries to address Afghanistan’s issues.

Participants will also deliberate on establishing a contact group and review recommendations from Special Coordinator Feridun Sinirlioglu regarding his assessment of Afghanistan, Andisha revealed. Sources informed Amu of the emphasis on appointing the UN special representative before the Doha meeting, ensuring their attendance at the event.

A significant part of the agenda, according to Andisha, involves discussions on all independent evaluation proposals by the organization. “The major political process will continue once decisions are made about the special representative’s appointment, the formation of the contact group, and the implementation of proposals, including commitments by the Taliban,” Andisha summarized.

Seats for both Taliban and non-Taliban political figures are allocated for the Doha meeting, but their participation details remain unconfirmed. Andisha noted that the involvement of these groups is still under negotiation, with their presence likely being more symbolic.

Recent efforts by G7 countries’ special envoys and initiatives from Iran and Russia suggest potential significant regional and international interactions at the upcoming meeting, Andisha added.

Taliban’s deputy chief minister for political affairs, Abdul Kabir, confirmed his invitation to the event after meeting with the Norwegian chargé d’affaires. Kabir expressed hope for positive relations with America, Europe, and other nations.

The United Nations is currently finalizing the details and arrangements of the meeting. Afghan women have voiced their concerns, urging that the Doha meeting should meaningfully address women’s rights, including work, education, and freedom of speech. Women’s rights activist Masouma Ahmadi appealed to participating countries not to support or recognize the Taliban.

While the potential meeting between the UN Secretary-General and the Taliban delegation remains uncertain, the primary focus of the event is the appointment of a special envoy for Afghanistan. This step aims to reintegrate the country into the international community, including the Taliban, resume peace talks, and ensure women’s participation in political structures, following the Security Council’s December resolution.