UN Sidelines Taliban, Myanmar Junta Envoys After Key Meeting


After both governments argued that their current ambassadors don’t represent them, a UN committee decided on Wednesday not to recognize envoys put forward by Taliban militants in Afghanistan and the military junta in Myanmar, maintaining for the time being the current diplomatic status quo regarding the representation if the two countries.

UNGA’s international body responsible for approving the diplomatic representation of each member state, the nine-nation Credentials Committee, decided in a closed-door meeting on Wednesday to defer its decision of the credentials, leaving the Taliban and Burmese junta out of the organization.

The acceptance of these governments into the UN, as Reuters noted, would have been a step further towards their international recognition- something the international body is obviously not ready yet to do.

According to Karin Enestrom, Sweden’s ambassador and chairwoman of the committee that currently consists of the US, Cameroon, China, Iceland, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, Tanzania, and Uruguay, noted that it likely means that the Taliban and Myanmar will not have a voice in the UN until September 2022, when the issue is brought before the next UNGA session.

The Credentials Committee also allowed Afghanistan and Myanmar’s current ambassadors Ghulam Isaczai and Kyaw Moe Tun to continue serving as envoys of their countries despite the fact that their governments were overthrown.

According to the Zaw Min Tun, a spokesperson for the military government that seized power in Myanmar in February after detaining President Win Myint and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Ky, the Committee’s decision does not reflect the reality on the ground and existence of their country.

Myanmar’s junta, who has put forward military veteran Aung Thurein to be its UN envoy, has previously faced accusations of targeting Kyaw Moe Tun to kill or injure him over his opposition to the coup

Taliban militants, which said in a letter to the UN in September that Isaczai no longer represents Afghanistan, overran the country a month earlier, capturing its capital, Kabul, and forced President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country.

According to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, other countries can use as leverage- probably the only one they have – the Taliban’s desire for international recognition to pressure them for inclusive government and respect for human rights, particularly for women, in Afghanistan.

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