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Don’t give up on Afghanistan, UN urges global fraternity

Don’t give up on Afghanistan, UN urges global fraternity

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7 Oct 2023 - 14:13
Don’t give up on Afghanistan, UN urges global fraternity
author avatar
7 Oct 2023 - 14:13

KABUL (Pajhwok): The secretary-general’s special representative and UNAMA head has urged the international community not to turn its back on Afghanistan.

Roza Otunbayeva is hopeful the caretaker government will reverse curbs on women’s employment and girls’ education.

“I don’t feel any discrimination. I think we have a normal working relationship,” she told UN News during a recent visit to UN Headquarters in New York, where she briefed the Security Council.

“I talk to the Taliban ministers all the time, and they are engaged in dialogue. Everyone understands the value of international contacts,” she said.

“They were all mujahideen in the past, they fought. One in three of them were detained in Guantanamo. They have such a biography. And yet, we are working on all fronts.

“I tell them, listen, women can do anything; they can lead missions, not to mention dozens and hundreds of women ministers in Muslim countries, women presidents.”

So far, it has not been possible to convince the Taliban, but the senior UN official has not lost hope. “It takes patience, patience and patience again,” she remarked.

In her briefing to the UNSC at the end of September, the diplomat said the international community should not turn its back on Afghanistan despite all that was happening there. “The country has just a whole bunch of problems.”

Arguably, according to her, one of the most pressing issues is the lack of food necessary to survive the upcoming winter season.

Winters in Afghanistan, she noted, were very severe, and the people were destitute and hungry, and many were sick.  Because there was war in the country for 40 years, every family has suffered losses.

Otunbayeva regularly visits clinics where malnourished children are treated, homemade prostheses are constructed for amputees, and drug-addicted Afghans are trying to get clean.

“There is intractable poverty all around,” she said. “And there is not enough money for adequate assistance.”

At the same time, the UN representative added, the IEA wanted the international community to recognise it and lift sanctions on government leaders.

sa/mud

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