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UNAMA Extension Essential for Afghan Stability



The UN Security Council established the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in March 2002 Resolution 1401. Reviewed annually, this mandate has been altered over time to reflect the needs of the country and was extended for one year, on 17 March 2022, by the UN Security Council Resolution 2626 (2022) and thus is due for renewal this week.


Over the Years, United Nations has focused on assisting Afghans lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development. However renewal of the mandate is essential given the critical work that the UNAMA is doing in the humanitarian field with the requirement to support 27 million Afghans who are in distress over the past 19 months after Taliban took over administration in the country.


Since 2008, and following a directive of the UN Secretary-General, UNAMA is an integrated mission.


This means that the Special Political Mission, all UN agencies, funds and programmes, work in a multidimensional and integrated manner to better assist Afghanistan according to nationally defined priorities.


The UNAMA is performing an important task in Afghanistan under the Taliban by coordinating the humanitarian assistance of the large number of UN agencies in action thus providing relief to over 27 million people in the country on a day to day basis, thus renewal of mandate is essential.


This comes even as Taliban is struggling to seek a voice in the United Nations and therefore it is all the more important that the UNAMA which is accepted as a fair authority even by the Taliban looks after its interests.


Taliban Seeks Voice in UN


Almost a month after it took over the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a letter from the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” – which the Taliban by Amir Khan Muttaqi the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs with a formal request by the Taliban to participate in UN General Assembly (UNGA) and to inform the world body that it had nominated Suhail Shaheen, its Doha-based spokesman, as its new ambassador to the UN.


“Regarding the Afghan seat in the UN, it is our right to be represented in the UN. Also, Afghanistan’s assets which are frozen by the US also belong to Afghans. It (US) in exchange for ending its war and invasion is now using hateful policies,” he said as per Tolonews,


The Islamic Emirate in September 2021 appointed Suhail Shaheen, who is currently heading up the political office in Qatar, as Afghanistan’s ambassador to the UN.


As per the al Jazeera, UN General Assembly’s nine-member credentialing committee that includes the United States, Russia and China considered the question of who will represent Afghanistan.


Meanwhile the existing representative also filed a claim then and is continuing as the representative of the country. Almost 19 months after the Taliban have come to power in Kabul, the question of recognition of a UN rep remains.

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