Taliban requests to address UN; names Suhail Shaheen as envoy

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.


Taliban requests to address UN; names Suhail Shaheen as envoy
Taliban requests to address UN; names Suhail Shaheen as envoy

22 Sep 2021: Taliban requests to address UN; names Suhail Shaheen as envoy

The Taliban has reportedly sent a request letter to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, asking to address world leaders at the ongoing UN General Assembly. According to Reuters, the group has also nominated its Doha-based spokesperson, Suhail Shaheen, as Afghanistan's new UN ambassador. The move reflects the desperation of the Taliban for international recognition since it overthrew the Afghanistan government last month.

Details: Taliban's request sent to 9-member committee: Guterres

The letter was sent by the Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi on Monday. Confirming Muttaqi's letter, Guterres' spokesperson, Farhan Haq, told Reuters that the Taliban's request had been sent to a nine-member credentials committee. However, the committee is unlikely to meet before Monday, the last day of the General Assembly, making it doubtful that the Taliban's desire to address the UN would succeed.

Fact: Credentials committee traditionally meets in October or November

The members of the credentials committee include the US, China, Russia, Bahamas, Bhutan, Chile, Namibia, Sierra Leone, and Sweden. The committee usually meets in October-November to assess the credentials of UN members and submits a report for the General Assembly's approval before the year ends.

Implications: Move implies replacement of ousted government's Afghan envoy

The appointment of Suhail Shaheen as the new Afghan envoy to the UN would indicate the replacement of Ghulam Isaczai, the UN ambassador representing Ashraf Ghani's ousted Afghanistan government. The Taliban, in their letter, made it clear that Isaczai's mission is "over and he no longer represents Afghanistan." However, there is no threat to Isaczai's position until the credentials committee makes any decision.

Fact: Isaczai to address UN General Assembly on September 27

Meanwhile, Isaczai will be addressing the UN General Assembly on the last day of the high-level meeting, September 27. It is still not clear if any countries would object to his address in the wake of the Taliban's letter.

Context: Taliban desperate for international recognition

The Taliban's request to address the UN reflects the desperation of the group for international recognition. International recognition of their new regime can only help the country get badly needed funds for the cash-strapped Afghan economy. Secretary-General Guterres maintained the Taliban's desire for international recognition is the only leverage other countries have to press for an inclusive government and respect for rights in Afghanistan.

Past: Taliban didn't get Afghanistan's UN seat during last regime

During the Taliban's previous rule from 1996-2001, the credentials committee didn't allow the group to take over Afghanistan's UN seat. The UN envoy of the Afghan government they had toppled remained in his position after the committee postponed the decision "on the understanding that the current representatives of Afghanistan accredited to the UN would continue to participate in the work of the General Assembly."

The news article, Taliban requests to address UN; names Suhail Shaheen as envoy appeared first on NewsBytes.

Also see: No women included in Taliban's new list of Cabinet members
Taliban infighting: Deputy PM, top minister involved in 'major row'
Classified documents from Afghanistan transferred to Pakistan in three aircraft
Read more on World by NewsBytes.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting