11 Countries Demand Taliban’s Accountability For Human Rights Abuses

Tuesday, 02/27/2024

After a significant UN Security Council session on Afghanistan held on Monday, 11 countries issued a strong statement condemning the Taliban's ongoing gender discrimination and systemic oppression of women and girls.

These nations insisted on the Taliban's accountability for perpetrating human rights violations and targeting women.

The closed-door session featured a presentation by the UN's Deputy Secretary-General, covering various topics, including the crucial appointment of a special representative for Afghanistan.

The joint statement, backed by France, Japan, Switzerland, the UK, the USA, Ecuador, Malta, Slovenia, Sierra Leone, South Korea, and Guyana (the current rotating president of the Security Council), was publicly shared at the session's conclusion.

Highlighting the pathway to Afghanistan's stability and sustainable progress, the statement underscored the importance of an inclusive political process, adherence to the rule of law, and the upholding of human rights, with a special focus on women's rights. The countries denounced the Taliban's discriminatory and systematic abuses against women and girls, demanding the immediate cancellation of all women-suppressive policies, including restrictions on education, employment, and freedom of speech.

While the UN spokesperson withheld specific details about the discussions, it was noted that there was a clear division among the council's permanent members over handling the situation in Afghanistan, particularly between China and Russia versus Western nations. The latter group prioritised the respect for women's rights as a critical condition for any normalisation of relations with the Taliban, more so than some regional powers.

The statement also highlighted the acute humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan during the winter, calling on the Taliban to allow women's participation in aid organisation activities.

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