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UN postpones decision on Taliban membership

The United Nations (UN) said on Wednesday it was “postponing” the decision to allow the Afghan Taliban to enter the intergovernmental organization’s General Assembly, effectively denying the group’s membership in the UN at the moment.

The Taliban had called for a change in Kabul’s representation at the UN after taking control of Afghanistan on August 15 by removing the country’s government backed by the United States.

“The Taliban want to replace the ambassador representing the former Afghan government, Ghulam Isaczai, who asked to keep his seat at the UN,” Deutsche Welle recalled on December 2. “Instead, they appointed Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, who served as the Taliban spokesman during the peace negotiations, for the post.

The UN had appointed in recent weeks a special committee to decide on the entry of the Taliban into the institution. The chairman of the committee, Swedish Ambassador to the UN Anna Karin Enestrom, told reporters on December 1 that “the decision has been postponed” to an undisclosed date. Ambassador Enestrom declined to say whether the current Ambassador of Afghanistan would still represent his country at the UN

The panel tasked with determining the fate of the Taliban at the UN also includes representatives from Sweden, Chile, Bhutan, Bahamas, Namibia and Sierra Leone. The board “will now send its report on the credentials of all members to the United Nations General Assembly for approval before the end of the year,” Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The former Afghan government was supported by the United States and thus enjoyed international recognition from around 2001 to August 15, 2021, during the period of the American occupation of Afghanistan. The Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, seized control of Kabul for the second time in mid-August. The reconquest represented the culmination of a month-long ground offensive led by Taliban fighters. The militants wrested a series of strategic Afghan territories from Afghan government troops for about 30 days from May before settling in Kabul, which is the Afghan national capital and seat of government. The Taliban have since re-imposed a system of power in Afghanistan centered on Islamic law, or Sharia. The system is based on the group’s harsh interpretation of Sunni Islam.

“There will be no democratic system at all because it has no base in our country,” Taliban commander Waheedullah Hashimi told Reuters on August 17.

“We will not discuss what kind of political system we should apply in Afghanistan because it is clear. It’s Sharia law and that’s it, ”he said.

The Taliban’s decision not to adopt a democratic system of government in Afghanistan has led the international community to flee the state.

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