Taliban names Suhail Shaheen as UN Afghan Envoy, asks to address UN General Assembly
The nomination of Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN Ambassador by Taliban sets up a showdown with Ghulam Isaczai, the UN Ambassador in New York representing Afghanistan’s government which was ousted from the country after the Taliban take over in August 2021.
The Taliban in Afghanistan have asked to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. They have also nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN Ambassador.
Reportedly, Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi made the mentioned request in a letter to the UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres on September 20, 2021. Muttaqi has asked to speak during the annual high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly.
The latest move by the Taliban sets up a showdown with Ghulam Isaczai, the UN Ambassador in New York representing Afghanistan’s government which was ousted from the country after the Taliban take over in August 2021.
The Taliban have nominated their Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan's UN ambassador after being asked to address world leaders at the United Nations in New York this week: Reuters— ANI (@ANI) September 21, 2021
The spokesperson of Antonio Guterres, Farhan Haq said that the rival requests for Afghanistan’s UN seat have been sent to a nine-member credentials committee, whose members include China, the US, and Russia.
However, the committee is unlikely to meet on the issue before September 2, so it is doubtful that Taliban foreign minister will address the world body.
UN acceptance of the ambassador of Taliban: What will it mean?
The eventual acceptance by the United Nations of the ambassador of Taliban will be a significant step in the hardline Islamist Group’s bid for international recognition. It will help the terrorist militant group to unlock badly needed funds for the cash-strapped Afghan economy.
According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Taliban’s desire for international recognition is the only leverage that the other countries have to press for the inclusive government as well as respect for the rights, particularly for women in Afghanistan.
Taliban opposes Ghulam Isaczai representing Afghanistan’s government in UN
The letter sent by Taliban to the UN said that Isaczai’s mission of representing Afghanistan in the UN is considered over and that he no longer represents the country.
Isaczai has been representing the former government of Afghanistan which was overthrown by Taliban in August 2021.
As per the General Assembly Rules, until the decision is being made by the credentials committee Isaczai will remain in the seat. He is also currently scheduled to address the final day of the United Nations General Assembly meeting on September 27, 2021.
However, it is still not clear if any of the countries might object to Isaczai’s address to UNGA in wake of the Taliban letter.
The credentials committee traditionally meets in October or November to assess the credentials of all the UN members before it submits the report for General Assembly approval before the end of the year.
The other members of the committee include Bhutan, Bahamas, Namibia, Chile, Sierra Leone, and Sweden.
UN General Assembly High-level segment
The 76 United Nations General Assembly’s High-level segment, a general debate has started on September 21, 2021.
The week-long UN segment is set to see many top leaders speaking on crucial issues around the world. Afghanistan is going to be one of the central agendas on the discussion table among the world leaders.
The leaders will include Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden as well as China’s Premier.
While US President has already addressed the UNGA, PM Modi is scheduled to address the general debate on September 25, 2021.