KABUL: Addressing the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) meeting at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday, Deborah Lyons, the UN secretary general’s special representative for Afghanistan, said that if there is no progress in the peace talks, the world will not work with the Taliban.
“If there is no movement at the negotiating table, and instead human rights abuses and worse still atrocities occur in districts they control, the Taliban will not be seen as a viable partner for the international community,” said Lyons.
Lyons said that the meeting takes place in extraordinary circumstances, with work to preserve the gains never more urgent or challenging.
“With the territory they have taken the Taliban have inherited responsibilities. The world is watching closely how they are acting, especially towards civilian populations, women, and minorities. The Taliban have gained a certain legitimacy in recent years through their negotiations in Doha, but this legitimacy is premised on their commitment to a political negotiation with the Government of Afghanistan, a commitment which their battle-focused strategy casts into doubt,” said Lyons.
“No major donor will finance the repression of women, let me say that again, no major donor will finance the repression of women, nor any major donor will finance the discrimination of minorities, the denying of education to girls, or the decrees of an authoritarian government,” said Lyons, adding: “They cannot do so, not only because these are against the norms of the United Nations and international community, but because a society built on these restrictions cannot and will not function for its citizens.”
She added: “Eighteen million Afghans today are facing dire humanitarian needs. That is twice the number of the same category last year. It represents half the country. As we sit in this room today, we must have foremost on our minds these 18 million Afghans, who in the height of a hot summer, endure a fourth wave of COVID (like so many other countries around the world) endure a persistent drought, and intensified fighting that has killed among the highest number Afghans ever —as reported in our recent UNAMA Mid-term review on Protection of Civilians.”
She also said that: “donors seek reassurance from Afghanistan government that it recognizes the nature of the current crisis and that it has a strategic outlook that addresses it.”
The Kabul Times