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Friday, February 3, 2023

‘Significant lapses’: UN sorry for photo of its official in front of Taliban flag

World News'Significant lapses': UN sorry for photo of its official in front of Taliban flag

The United Nations has apologized for a “significant lapse in judgment” after photos of some of its officials appeared in court. Taliban flag. Afghanistan’s deputy secretary-general, Amina Mohammad, visited the war-torn country this week when she met with de facto officials and expressed concern about violations of women’s rights.

Khatun Muhammad, the highest-ranking woman in the United Nations, completed a four-day visit to Afghanistan on Friday, along with UN Women Executive Director Seema Bahous and Assistant Secretary-General for Political, Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations Khalid Khairi.

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During the visit, the delegation met with Taliban leaders in Kabul and Kandahar and expressed their concern over recent restrictions on women and girls’ education and work across the country.

However, pictures of some UN security personnel in front of a Taliban flag while Mohammad was meeting with the group’s leaders drew criticism.

“That photo should never have been taken. It clearly shows a significant lapse in judgment. It was a mistake and we apologize for it. And in that sense, I believe the supervisors of these officers Have discussed it with him,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters here on Friday when asked about the visit and the photos.

Haq said the photo was taken when the Deputy Secretary General was meeting with the de facto leaders in Afghanistan. She said her security escorted her to the meeting and was waiting next door.

In a post on Twitter, Ali Maysam Nazi, head of foreign relations for the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, said that “photographing of UN officials in Kabul with the terrorist group’s flag would call into question the neutrality and integrity of the UN.” Is.

“We kindly ask @antonioguterres to investigate this matter and stop @UNAMAnews from taking insensitive actions that tarnish its reputation,” Nazri said, referring to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). can.”

Nazri also posted two photos showing UN officials standing in front of a Taliban flag.

Leading a high-level UN delegation on behalf of the Secretary-General, Mohammad expressed concern over the Taliban’s recent decree banning women from working for national and international non-governmental organizations. The move, the United Nations said, has harmed the work of several organizations helping millions of people. Weak Afghans.

“My message was very clear: while we recognize the important concessions that have been made, these restrictions present Afghan women and girls with a future that imprisons them in their homes, their rights,” Mohammad said. violates and deprives communities of their services,” said Muhammad.

“Our collective desire is for a prosperous Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and its neighbors, and on a path to sustainable development. But right now, Afghanistan is facing a terrible humanitarian crisis and one of the most vulnerable countries on earth to climate change.” “Isolating myself in the middle of one,” he said. “We must do everything we can to bridge that gap.”

The Taliban have ordered the closure of universities for female students across the country until further notice, barring girls from attending secondary school, restricting the movement of women and girls, making women the majority of the workforce. Excluded from areas and barred women from using parks, gyms and public baths.

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Mohammad and Bahous also met with affected communities, humanitarian workers, civil society and other key actors in Kabul, Kandahar and Herat.

“What is happening in Afghanistan is a serious crisis for women’s rights and a wake-up call for the international community. It shows how quickly decades of progress on women’s rights have been reversed in a few days. can be replaced,” said Bahous, expressing UN Women’s solidarity with Afghan women and girls and vowing to raise their voices to regain all their rights.

“We have witnessed extraordinary resilience. Afghan women have left us in no doubt about their courage and refusal to be erased from public life. They will continue to advocate and fight for their rights, and to support them in doing so.” We have a duty to,” Bauhaus said.

In a press release issued here, the United Nations said it and its partners, including national and international non-governmental organizations, are helping more than 25 million Afghans who rely on humanitarian aid to survive. are, and are committed to stay and deliver.

Recent decrees issued by the Taliban banning women from working for NGOs have forced many partners to halt operations that are now safe and meaningful, the UN said. Cannot be delivered.

The UN said that while recent relaxations in the ban introduced by de facto authorities are opening up spaces for humanitarian – and in some cases resuming – operations, they are limited to a few sectors and activities.

“Effective delivery of humanitarian aid is predicated on principles that require full, safe and unhindered access for all aid workers, including women,” Mohammed said.

The visit of top UN leaders to Afghanistan followed a series of high-level consultations on Afghanistan in the Gulf and Asia. The delegation met with the leadership of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Islamic Development Bank, Afghan women’s groups in Ankara and Islamabad, and a group of Afghan ambassadors and special envoys based in Doha.

The delegation met with government leaders and religious leaders in the region to advocate for the role and full participation of women and rally support for the Afghan people, the release said.

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He added that throughout the visits, countries and partners recognized the important role of the United Nations in building bridges to find lasting solutions, as well as providing life-saving assistance led by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. Recognized the urgent need to engage and sustain effective engagement.

He said that efforts should be stepped up to show the fragility of the situation and stressed the importance of a united response by the international community. The need for a viable and realistic political path was constantly highlighted and all held to fundamental principles, including the rights of women and girls to education, work and public life in Afghanistan.

There was broad consensus that regional and OIC leadership on these issues is important. A proposal for an international conference on women and girls in the Muslim world in the month of March 2023 was also considered and agreed in principle, the release said.

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