Asia - Pacific

Afghan Taliban welcome UN Security Council resolution; says ban on women working is ‘internal’ issue

Foreign ministry spokesman says bans do not affect outside states

Islamuddin Sajid  | 29.04.2023 - Update : 29.04.2023
Afghan Taliban welcome UN Security Council resolution; says ban on women working is ‘internal’ issue Afghan women stage a protest for their right to education and work in Kabul, Afghanistan in October, 2021. ( Bilal Güler - Anadolu Agency )


The Taliban welcomed Friday a recent resolution by the UN Security Council that acknowledged Afghanistan faces multifaceted challenges.

But the group did, however, call the ban on women working as an "internal social matter."

The Afghan Foreign Ministry said the Taliban administration welcomes parts of the resolution reaffirming the Security Council's strong commitment to Afghanistan’s sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity.

"The resolution’s acknowledgement that Afghanistan faces multifaceted challenges is welcomed,” said ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi. “Afghanistan has suffered from decades long conflict often imposed by foreign powers. The path to post-conflict recovery requires the unconditional removal of UN, multilateral, & unilateral sanctions & restrictions, in addition to the provision of humanitarian & development. assistance to the country.”

Balkhi noted the Council’s condemnation of the decision to restrict women from working with the UN in Afghanistan.

"We stress that, in line with International Law & the strong commitment made to respect sovereign choices of Afghanistan, this is an internal social matter of Afghanistan that does not impact outside states,” he said. “We remain committed to ensuring all rights of Afghan women while emphasizing that diversity must be respected & not politicized.”

The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday that condemned the ban on Afghan women working for the UN in Afghanistan and urged the Taliban to "swiftly reverse" policies and practices that restrict the fundamental freedoms of women and girls.

The resolution, drafted by the United Arab Emirates and Japan -- non-permanent members of the Council -- and co-sponsored by more than 90 countries, expressed deep concern about the ''increasing erosion of respect'' for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of women and girls in Afghanistan by the Taliban.

It said the recent decision by the Taliban to ban women from working for the UN in Afghanistan, in addition to earlier restrictions that banned women from working for international and national non-governmental organizations, will negatively and severely affect UN operations in the country, including the delivery of life-saving assistance and basic services to the most vulnerable.

The UN called the bans unlawful.

On April 11, the UN said it was being forced to make an "appalling choice" about its presence in Afghanistan following the bans.

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