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UN pushes for inclusive future in Afghanistan at Doha talks

Speaking in the Qatari capital Doha after the Third Meeting of Special Envoys on Afghanistan, UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo expressed deep concern about the situation of women and girls in the country.

“In all our discussions, my envoys and I expressed deep international concern about the severe and ongoing restrictions on women and girls,” she said.

Afghanistan cannot rejoin the international community or develop fully economically and socially if it is deprived of the contributions and potential of half of its population.,” Ms. DiCarlo asserted, Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peace-Building Affairs of the United Nations.

Consultations follow negotiations. May 2023 And February 2024They build on recommendations made in an independent review of an integrated and coherent approach undertaken by Feridun Sinirlioğlusuitable for Security Council Resolution 2679.

In-depth discussions with Afghan women and civil society are expected to take place on Tuesday.

The ‘legitimate role’ of civil society

Ms. DiCarlo further emphasized that the concerns and perspectives of Afghan women and civil society remain “central.”

For the United Nations, the meaningful inclusion of women in political and peace processes is a guiding principle.,” she speaks.

“And while women and civil society have not sat face to face with the actual government over the past two days, they have spoken out. Civil society has a legitimate role to play in shaping Afghanistan’s future,” she asserted.

‘Heartbreaking’ ban

Since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in August 2021, women and girls have faced systematic discrimination, including a ban on girls’ education.

Ms DiCarlo said the ban was “heartbreaking”.

“If you prevent half the population from being educated, from participating in the economy and other professions, it only means slowing down the development of Afghanistan,” Ms. DiCarlo told a female reporter.

Imagine if you only had a sixth grade education, you wouldn’t be sitting here as a journalist, I will not be here as a United Nations official. [It is] It hurts but let’s see and move on, that’s all I can say. We have to be clear about its importance and how it will be better for Afghanistan.”

A difficult choice

She explained that in holding the meeting, the United Nations “faced a very difficult, even impossible, choice” to bring the Taliban and the envoys together for direct negotiations.

“Unfortunately, the authorities will not actually sit down with Afghan civil society in this format. But they have heard very clearly the need to include women and civil society in all aspects of public life,” she said.

Participation is not recognition

She added that the meeting and engagement process “does not mean normalization or recognition” of the de facto Taliban government.

Ms. DiCarlo expressed hope that the discussions on various issues during the meeting would “bring us a little closer” to resolving some of the problems that are devastating the people of Afghanistan.

“In conclusion, I would like to reiterate the United Nations’ commitment to continue supporting this principled engagement process for the benefit of all Afghans,” she said.


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