UN decision on special envoy unaffected by Taliban opposition, says Faiq

Nasir Faiq, Afghanistan’s Chargé d’Affaires at the United Nations, stated that the Taliban’s opposition would not influence the United Nations’ decision on appointing a special envoy for Afghanistan.

In an interview with Amu, Faiq revealed that the UN is in consultation with all relevant parties regarding the envoy’s appointment, but no candidate has been finalized yet. He noted that the Taliban’s declaration of non-cooperation aims to hinder the UN’s new process for Afghanistan, potentially perpetuating the country’s current crisis.

A key focus of the upcoming Doha meeting on February 18 and 19, facilitated by the UN Secretary-General and special representatives from various countries and regional organizations, is selecting the special envoy for Afghanistan.

“The Secretary-General’s office is actively engaged in consultations. As the objective is to gather input from all interested parties, no names have been finalized,” Faiq explained.

A Western diplomat told Amu that candidates from Turkey, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, and Norway are under consideration.

Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, at a regional meeting in Kabul with representatives from Iran and China, stated that an additional special envoy is unnecessary given the presence of UNAMA. The Taliban have expressed their opposition to a special representative and their intention not to cooperate.

Faiq asserted that the Taliban’s stance would not alter the international community’s resolve to appoint a special envoy. He suggested that the Taliban’s opposition might be a tactic to extract concessions.

“If the Taliban resist, they are prolonging the crisis themselves. The international community’s position will remain firm, aiming to present a unified message and approach to the Taliban through the appointment of a special representative,” Faiq said.

Afghanistan’s mission at the United Nations noted that the participant list for the Doha meeting, including Taliban and Afghan civil society representatives, has yet to be finalized. Women’s protest movements are advocating for the prominent inclusion of Taliban opposition groups, particularly women protestors.

Taranum Saeedi, a women’s rights activist, stressed the importance of opposition group representation, stating, “Without qualified opposition representatives, the meeting’s outcomes will be deemed unacceptable and ineffective for the Afghan people.”

The selection of the UN special envoy is expected to play a pivotal role in shaping Afghanistan’s political future, with the Doha meeting aiming to break the political deadlock and offer a new perspective for reintegrating Afghanistan into the global community. This includes forming an inclusive, legitimate government with meaningful female participation in power structures.