Security Council to discuss new UN special envoy for Afghanistan

File-Photo United Nations Security Council

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is set to discuss the appointment of a new UN special envoy for Afghanistan in a closed-door meeting this week.

Sources from Afghanistan’s permanent mission at the UN told Amu that Secretary-General Antonio Guterres would present a report on this appointment.

During a recent two-day meeting in Doha, the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan’s human rights and women emphasized the international community’s “largely united” support for the Afghan people. The UNSC, in December 2023, adopted Resolution 2721 on Afghanistan, requiring Guterres to report his consultation on the special envoy appointment within 60 days.

Shah Gul Rezai, a Doha meeting participant, indicated a desire among attendees for the special envoy appointment. “But it will be clear over time whether this intention is agreed upon in the upcoming meeting,” she said, noting the UN’s role in finding a solution for Afghanistan’s issues.

The Taliban has opposed the appointment, which is a key aspect of the UN’s Resolution 2721. The special envoy is expected to lead efforts toward forming an inclusive government representing women and all societal segments.

Zarqa Yaftali, head of a women’s and children’s rights network, stated that an inclusive government representing all ethnicities and women is only possible without the Taliban. “An inclusive government… will be formed when the Taliban does not exist… but it is impossible in the current situation,” she said.

The U.S. special envoy for Afghan women and human rights reiterated the community’s commitment to supporting the Afghan people. Meanwhile, China’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Yue Xiaoyong, expressed dissatisfaction over the Taliban’s absence from the Doha meeting, which focused on ensuring Afghanistan does not become a haven for terrorists.

Afghan women’s rights activist Najiba Ayoubi stressed the need for consensus against the Taliban’s actions. “One of the major problems at the international level is the contrast of interest of the countries regarding Afghanistan’s matter,” she said.

The Taliban did not attend the Doha meeting, citing unmet conditions by the UN. Guterres called the Taliban’s conditions for participation in the Doha meeting “unacceptable.”