The Taliban, who have a notorious history of oppression and violence toward women, are poised to seat a representative on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women should they form a recognized Afghan government, a former U.N. ambassador says.
After a swift takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban terror group, as well as deposed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s escape to the United Arab Emirates, the future of Afghanistan’s leadership, and by extent its representation in global organizations, is uncertain, says John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
“You have a new crew that comes in, and the U.N. has to decide, ‘Do we accept the credentials of a new ambassador?'” Bolton told the Washington Examiner Tuesday. “It’s certainly possible to challenge that and deny them a seat. You can say they’re not legitimate.”
TALIBAN WORDS ON WOMEN BELIE DECADES OF ATROCITIES
However, incoming governments, even those that were established in less-than-diplomatic methods, typically inherit their predecessor’s posts, the former ambassador added, noting rejection is rare.
“It’s unusual and hasn’t often been successful,” Bolton, a controversial figure who served as U.N. ambassador under former President George W. Bush and national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, continued. “I think the most likely outcome is the Taliban gets seated.”
Of particular concern is the Afghan seat on the Commission for the Status of Women. Afghanistan secured the seat in 2020, receiving a sufficient 39 votes.
The U.N. describes the Commission for the Status of Women as the “principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.” The commission’s stated goal is to “agree on further actions to accelerate progress and promote women’s enjoyment of their rights in political, economic, and social fields.”
The Taliban’s treatment of women has attracted scrutiny internationally despite attempts to ease fears of Afghanistan’s future as a fundamentalist, totalitarian regime. Though the Taliban promised on Aug. 17 that they are “ready to provide women with environment to work and study, and the presence of women in different (government) structures according to Islamic law and in accordance with our cultural values,” a senior Taliban leader indicated the next day that women’s right to education is up for debate.
“Our scholars will decide whether girls are allowed to go to school or not,” Waheedullah Hashimi, a senior Taliban leader, said on Aug. 18.
As the United States spent decades supporting the previous Afghan government in combating the spread of the Taliban, the group committed a series of terror attacks on girls’ schools, which they targeted due to their belief that women should not receive education nor take roles in society outside the home.
Additionally, recent reports from Afghans in now-occupied districts describe forced marriages between local girls and Taliban leaders, as well as violent executions of combatant soldiers.
The current Afghan Mission to the U.N. has been vocal in its desire for an “inclusive” administration under the Taliban while seeking international support for a democratic state — something the Taliban has been opposed to for decades.
“Today, I am speaking on behalf of millions of people in Afghanistan whose fate hangs in the balance and are faced with an extremely uncertain future,” current Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the U.N. Ghulam Isaczai said on Aug. 16. “I am speaking for millions of Afghan girls and women who are about to lose their freedom to go to school, to work, and to participate in the political, economic, and social life of the country.”
Isaczai urged the U.N. to stress that “the Council and the United Nations will not recognize any administration that achieves power through force or any government that is not inclusive and representative of the diversity of the country.”
The ambassador additionally begged the U.N. to push the “immediate establishment of an inclusive and representative transitional government that includes all ethnic groups and women representatives; which can lead to a dignified and lasting solution to the conflict, bring peace, and preserve the gains of the last twenty years, especially for women and girls.”
“As we face difficult times ahead, the Permanent Mission remains steadfast in supporting the principles of a free and democratic Afghanistan that respects the traditions and cultures of our diverse people and protects the hard-won human rights of all women and men in Afghanistan,” the Afghan Mission to the U.N. said in a statement on Aug. 19, the 102nd anniversary of the independence of Afghanistan. “As a proud member of the United Nations, we are determined to remain united and work with our international friends and allies to achieve a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.”
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Following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul on Aug. 14, the U.S. has evacuated or helped facilitate the evacuation of approximately 37,000 people, and a total of roughly 42,000 people over the last month.
The situation has led to poignant images of those attempting to flee, including Afghan people plummeting to their deaths after clinging to departing U.S. planes, and one mother imploring President Joe Biden, who has vowed to evacuate all U.S. citizens who wish to be repatriated, to “help” those who are “stranded” in Afghanistan.
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Tags: News, Women’s Rights, UN, United Nations, Afghanistan, Taliban, John Bolton
Original Author: Timothy Nerozzi
Original Location: EXCLUSIVE: Taliban seat on UN Commission on the Status of Women is ‘likely,’ John Bolton says