'UN doesn't engage in recognition of governments': Official on new Taliban administration
The Taliban on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, unveiled a hardline interim government led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, with key roles being shared by high-profile members of the insurgent group.
UNITED NATIONS: As the Taliban announced a hardline interim government in Afghanistan, a spokesperson for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN does not engage in recognition of governments and reiterated that only a negotiated and inclusive settlement will bring sustainable peace to the conflict-torn country.
The Taliban on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, unveiled a hardline interim government led by Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, with key roles being shared by high-profile members of the insurgent group, including a specially designated global terrorist of the dreaded Haqqani Network as the interior minister.
Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will be Akhund's deputy in the "new Islamic government".
"The UN Secretariat and the UN doesn't engage in acts of recognition of governments. That is a matter that's done by the member states, not by us," Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said at the daily press briefing on Tuesday as he was asked equations about the Taliban announcing the caretaker government.
"From our standpoint, regarding today's announcement, only a negotiated and inclusive settlement will bring sustainable peace to Afghanistan."
"The United Nations remains committed to contributing to a peaceful solution, promote the human rights of all Afghans, notably women and girls, promote sustainable development in line with Agenda 2030, and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and critical support to civilians in need," Haq said.
The announcement of key figures in the caretaker government in Afghanistan comes weeks after the Taliban seized control of war-torn Afghanistan, ousting the previous elected leadership which was backed by the West.
UN-designated terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani is also part of the interim Taliban government.
Haqqani, a specially designated global terrorist and son of the famous anti-Soviet warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani who founded Haqqani Network, is the new acting interior minister in the 33-member Cabinet that has no woman member.
Haqqani has been one of two deputy leaders of the Taliban since 2016 and has a USD 10 million US bounty on his head.
Khalil Haqqani, Sirajuddin's uncle, was appointed as acting minister for refugees.
Two other members of the Haqqani clan were also named to positions in the interim government.
In response to a question that those named to the government by the Taliban include individuals designated under the UN sanctions regime and whether the UN will recognise the Taliban government, Haq reiterated that "the UN doesn't engage in recognition of governments. That's an issue for member governments to do. Regarding the sanctions list, as you know, under resolution 1267, there is a sanctions list. And it's up to the members of the Security Council and the relevant 1267 Sanctions Committee to see whether names are added or omitted or dropped from those lists. The list has changed over the years and names have been dropped, but that has to follow a procedure in the Security Council itself."
Hasan Akhund, Baradar and Sher Abbas Stanekzai, who has been named deputy to acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, are all listed under the UNSC 1988 Sanctions Committee, also known as the Taliban Sanctions Committee.
The Committee, which comprises all 15 members of the Security Council and makes its decision by consensus, is currently chaired by India's Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador T S Tirumurti, while Russia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines are the two Vice-Chairs for 2021.
On Sunday, at the request of the Secretary-General, the United Nations humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths had met Baradar and other leaders of the outfit in Kabul "to engage with the authorities on humanitarian issues".
Speaking to reporters at the UN through video call, Griffiths said he had a "very long conversation" with Mullah Baradar, the Taliban and his advisers.
"My message to him was actually rather simple. I said we need to work together for a reason because we need to deliver humanitarian assistance the people of Afghanistan urgently need," Griffiths said, elaborating on his meeting with the Taliban leader.
"You really need to understand us, I said and of course we need to understand you. So I set out to the Taliban very clearly what humanitarian agencies around the world in every country need to operate anywhere in the world," he said.
Griffiths said he told Baradar that humanitarian agencies need independence of assessment, delivery and monitoring of assistance, security and safety of national and international humanitarian workers, both male and female, and of their families as well as guarantees that humanitarian facilities will not be occupied or used for military purposes.
He also discussed with the Taliban leader "the fundamental requirement for the freedom for women and girls for movement for work, education."