LONDON: Simon Manley, UK Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, delivered the UK statement, calling on the Taliban to honour the amnesty it announced last August for all Afghans.
We are worried. High Commissioner, we share your many concerns, especially about the rights of women and girls. Educated, empowered women will contribute to Afghanistan’s economic development, as well as peace and stability. Yet their ability to work, to move freely and to access education has been severely restricted. We welcome the return of some women to university, and the Taliban’s recent commitment that all girls can return to schools in March. But the world will be watching. We will judge the Taliban by their actions, not their words.
Without greater inclusion, moreover, the Taliban’s narrow approach to governance risks instability. The administration is predominantly Pashtun, civil society and women’s voices are supressed, and members of some minority groups have been subject to arrest, persecution and forced displacement.
There are allegations of extra-judicial killings, detentions and disappearances of former security forces and government officials. We call on the Taliban to honour the amnesty it announced last August for all Afghans and to carry out transparent investigations into allegations of targeted killings and disappearances.
To ensure that the international community is coordinated in our approach to the Taliban, which of your recommendations should we prioritise?