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A UN monitoring group highlighted the possibility that Taliban-controlled Afghanistan could secure a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in October.

UN Watch tweeted a press release discussing Maldives’ intention to run for a seat on the Human Rights Council and noted that other candidates vying for open Asian seats include South Korea, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan.

The UN Human Rights Council is no stranger to controversy, and having undemocratic and dictatorial members on the council is nothing new. Earlier this year, Russia was excluded from the Council by the UN General Assembly.

Other controversial members include China, Cuba, and Venezuela.

Taliban say it was unaware that al-Qaeda leader al-zawahri was in AFGHANISTAN before the US drone attack

Afghanistan would occupy one of the fourteen seats up for grabs for the elections. The former government of Afghanistan retains control of the UN permanent mission, but the Taliban has appointed one of its spokespersons to take up the post of ambassador, a decision left to a nine-member credentials committee that includes China, Russia and states. United. The committee has yet to comment on the Taliban’s request.

UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer called it “two steps” for the Taliban to get a seat on the board.

The Human Rights Council scorecard on Afghanistan has more votes in favor than in support. The current Afghan government has not ratified the nine basic international human rights treaties, nor has it developed or published a plan for implementing the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review.

Ambassador of Afghanistan Nasir Ahmad Andisha speaks during a special session of the Human Rights Council on the situation in Afghanistan at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, 24 August 2021.
(Reuters / Denis Balibuse)

The UN called an “urgent debate” on Afghanistan on July 1, addressing concerns over Taliban control of the country. A report by the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan, released just weeks later, confirmed the validity of many of the concerns raised in the aftermath of this change of power.

THE FAILED AFGHANISTAN RETREAT IN BIDEN HAS MADE THE TALIBANS TRANSFORM THE NATION INTO A TERRORIST STATE

The report notes that the Taliban have “limited dissent by cracking down on protests and curtailing media freedoms”, also noting the erosion of the rights of women and girls, including restrictions on access to education and the workplace and participation in public life.

Taliban fighters stand guard next to a Taliban flag during a rally where Afghan Hazara elders pledged support to the country's new Taliban rulers in Kabul on November 25, 2021.

Taliban fighters stand guard next to a Taliban flag during a rally where Afghan Hazara elders pledged support to the country’s new Taliban rulers in Kabul on November 25, 2021.
(Aref Karimi / AFP via Getty Images)

The report raised concerns that the Taliban are acting “with impunity” and that the national economic, financial and humanitarian crisis has exacerbated the situation.

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“Education is not only a basic human right, but the key to the development of a nation,” said Markus Potzel, UN Special Representative for Afghanistan.

Taliban forces block roads around an airport as a woman in a burqa passes by in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 27, 2021.

Taliban forces block roads around an airport as a woman in a burqa passes by in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 27, 2021.
(REUTERS / Stringer)

“It is beyond time for all Afghans to be able to live in peace and rebuild their lives after 20 years of armed conflict,” he added. “Our monitoring reveals that despite the improvement in the security situation since then (15 August), the Afghan people, especially women and girls, are deprived of the full enjoyment of their human rights.”

At least 59 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance, a significant increase of six million since the start of 2021, according to the report.

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A spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Council stressed that the Taliban have no representation in any UN body and that Afghanistan retains a representative on the permanent mission. A spokesperson for the General Assembly did not answer questions about the UN’s position on the pending decision.

The United States turned away from the Human Rights Council in 2018 due to concerns that the group protected human rights abusers and was “a cesspool of political prejudice.” President Biden called for re-election to the council shortly after taking office, securing a seat for the 2022-2024 term.



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