UN Security Council calls for Afghan special envoy appointment


The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on Friday calling for the appointment of a special envoy for Afghanistan to increase engagement with the country and its Taliban leaders.
It followed an independent assessment report issued in November which called for greater engagement with Afghanistan following the return to power of the Taliban in August 2021.
The resolution calls on the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to name a special envoy to promote the independent report’s recommendations, particularly regarding gender and human rights.
The resolution was adopted after 13 members of the Security Council voted in favor, while Russia and China abstained.
“The UAE and Japan firmly believe the independent assessment serves as the best basis for discussions going forward,” said Japan’s UN ambassador Yamazaki Kazuyuki ahead of the vote.
“The resolution highlights the need to increase international engagement in a more coherent, coordinated and structured manner, as the independent assessment states.”
The United Arab Emirates and Japan have responsibility for raising the situation in Afghanistan at the Security Council as so-called “pen-holders” for the issue.
The Taliban government is not officially recognized by any country or world body and the United Nations refers to the administration as the “Taliban de facto authorities”.
Officials initially promised a softer version of the strict Islamic rule that characterized their first stint in power from 1996 to 2001, but restrictions have gradually been reintroduced – particularly affecting women.
Teenage girls have been banned from attending most secondary schools and women from universities, prompting global outrage and protests in some Afghan cities.
In November 2022 women were prohibited from entering parks, funfairs, gyms and public baths.
“The United States strongly supports this resolution’s call for a UN Special Envoy for Afghanistan. A Special Envoy will be well positioned to coordinate international engagement on Afghanistan, including with relevant Afghan political actors and stakeholders,” said the United States’ representative following the adoption of the resolution.