Doha Meeting to Focus on Private Sector, Finance, Banking & Drug Menace

Friday, 06/21/2024

Zakir Jalali, a Taliban Foreign Ministry official, stated that the United Nations has shared the agenda for the third Doha meeting with the group, focusing on the private sector, finance, banking, and drug menace.

Jalali did not mention human rights, especially women's rights. On Friday, Jalali posted on the social media platform X that the conditions for the Taliban's participation in the Doha meeting had been met.

Previously, it had been indicated that women's rights would be the primary focus of this meeting. However, recent criticisms suggest that the UN might have agreed to the Taliban's request to exclude women's rights from the agenda of this international meeting on Afghanistan.

The Women's Forum for Afghanistan, a women's rights advocacy group, criticised that any UN-led meeting on Afghanistan without comprehensive women's representation would lack legitimacy.

Recently, Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, wrote in a note shared by Heather Barr, a Human Rights Watch official, that if the UN yields to the Taliban's conditions, including the exclusion of women, it would be a blatant violation of the UN Charter and would legitimise a "gender apartheid regime”.

Previously, Barr also wrote on X that the UN had removed the issue of Afghan women from the Doha meeting's agenda.

The UN, the organiser of the third Doha meeting, is yet to officially announce the meeting's agenda. This meeting is expected to be held in Qatar's capital, with the participation of special representatives from several countries under the supervision of senior UN officials.

The Taliban announced that a delegation from the group would attend the meeting, but details about this delegation are still unclear. The Taliban also warned that any changes in the composition or agenda of the Doha meeting would affect their decision to participate.

The group did not attend the previous Doha meeting, although some civil society representatives, including several women, were present.

Earlier, AFP reported, citing diplomatic sources, that civil society representatives would not be invited to the third Doha meeting.

The Taliban have been under international pressure for excluding women from public life and banning their employment and education, yet they have not lifted these restrictions. Recently, there have been growing calls to recognise the Taliban's systematic policies against women and girls as "gender apartheid”. However, the UN has so far refrained from accepting this designation.

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