Pajhwok Afghan News

UN envoy lauds IEA crackdown on drugs, Daesh

KABUL (Pajhwok): The UN’s top diplomat in Afghanistan has reiterated her call for the caretaker government to reverse the restrictions imposed on women and girls.

The longer the curbs remained in place, the more damage they would result in, warned Roza Otunbayeva, special representative of the secretary-general (SRSG).

Briefing the UN Security Council on Wednesday, she slammed recent arrests of Afghan women for alleged Islamic dress code violations.

“The denial of women’s and girls’ access to education and work and their removal from many aspects of public life has caused immense harm to mental and physical health, and livelihoods,” she commented.

Otunbayeva recalled the second meeting of national and regional special envoys for Afghanistan, held in Doha on February 18 and 19.

Although the interim government stayed away from the meeting, it welcomed the secretary-general’s statement on the need for deeper consultations, the UN envoy said.

In a statement from the UN, Otunbayeva voiced concerns over “numerous negative trends” witnessed recently in Afghanistan.

She claimed UNAMA’s monitoring and advocacy, including on human rights, had highlighted the denial of the civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights of the population.

The UNAMA chief criticised public displays of violence, including corporal and capital punishment, a lack of inclusive governance and the marginalisation of minorities.

“It is true that day-to-day security has improved for millions of people since the Taliban takeover, but this has come at an enormous cost,” she observed.

Afghanistan remains a persistent challenge for the global fraternity, according to the diplomat, who referred to instability, terrorism and opium production in Afghanistan.

Otunbayeva acknowledged the current state of relative stability and commended efforts by the current government in cracking down on opium cultivation and battling Daesh.

“But if the other issues I have mentioned are not addressed, these achievements will not be enough to assure long-term sustainability,” she cautioned.

Following the political change in October 2021, the UN envoy said:

More than 500,000 Afghans repatriated from Pakistan were helped to restart their lives, with the international community supporting an effective response strategy put in place by the de facto authorities.

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