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UN urges Taliban to adhere to global norms

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KABUL – In a recent UN briefing, Roza Otunbayeva, the UN’s representative for Afghanistan, emphasized the importance of the Taliban adhering to “international norms” for the country’s inclusion on the global stage. This is as the lack of progress in addressing human rights issues is a major hurdle in Afghanistan’s relations with the world.

Otunbayeva highlighted serious human rights concerns in Afghanistan, including discrimination against women and girls, restrictions on free speech, and instances of violence. She stressed that for Afghanistan to have a seat at the UN, it must uphold international standards outlined in UN treaties.

While acknowledging a UN-mandated assessment of the challenges in Afghanistan, Otunbayeva expressed worries about the Taliban’s preference for dealing with issues bilaterally rather than through international cooperation. Internal matters, such as bans on girls’ education and women’s employment, continue to be a point of contention.

She urged for a clearer global consensus on Afghanistan and called for more direct talks with the Taliban, emphasizing that dialogue is a way to express disapproval and encourage positive changes.

In terms of security, Otunbayeva noted ongoing concerns, including unexploded ordnance and targeted attacks on the Shia community. She also highlighted regional worries, particularly from Pakistan, which feels the Taliban hasn’t done enough to curb the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, responsible for recent terrorist attacks.

The UN representative emphasized the need for a balanced approach, urging the Taliban to align with international expectations while fostering open dialogue with the global community.

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