On Monday, UN chief Antonio Guterres will hold a meeting with international envoys in Doha to find ways to influence Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers. The UN considers the situation in Afghanistan to be the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis. The Taliban administration has recently stopped girls from going to school and most women from working, even for UN agencies, which has deepened the UN’s quandary. Representatives from about 25 countries and international organisations will attend the talks, but the Taliban government will be absent.
A small group of women in Kabul staged a protest on Saturday opposing any international recognition of the Taliban government. However, the UN and Western powers have said that recognition of the Taliban will not be discussed. The UN has not provided any specifics about the meeting, including the location in Qatar’s capital or who will join Guterres.
The UN secretary-general will also provide an update on a review of the world body’s critical relief operation in Afghanistan. The UN faces an “appalling choice” over whether to maintain its huge operation in the country of 38 million. The United Nations has given few indications of what proposals could be made at the meeting.
The global body also wants “unity or commonality of message” on women’s and human rights, countering terrorism and drug trafficking. Whether the Taliban government takes up Afghanistan’s UN seat is for the UN General Assembly to decide. Suggestions have been made that the US administration should consider easing sanctions.