UN relief chief vows guidance on women, humanitarian rights in Afghanistan

Sep 08, 2021

UN relief chief vows guidance on women, humanitarian rights in Afghanistan

United Nations, September 8: The United Nations will assist the fledgling Taliban government on paving the way for international aid delivery in war-torn Afghanistan and the rights of women and girls, the UN relief coordinator said on Tuesday.
"The movement we face here today, as many, many other people have told me, is not the movement that we saw (in 1998)," said UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths on his meeting with Mullah Baradar and the Taliban leadership. "It certainly has links in ideology but it's different to the one then."
"It's suddenly a great power in the very early stage," he said. "One senior leader of the movement said to us, 'We need guidance; we need guidance,' and therefore we will provide guidance."
Griffiths spoke from Doha on his two-day visit to Kabul via video link for correspondents at a regular briefing at the UN headquarters in New York.
He talked about his discussions on humanitarian issues and the rights of women with the Taliban leadership.
Griffiths said that he told them "very clearly what humanitarian agencies around the world in every country need to operate anywhere in the world."
The relief chief said he also set out values and principles on the fundamental requirements for the freedom of women and girls for work, education and their rights to be full members of society.
The undersecretary-general said he had spoken to some senior Afghan women who advised him to be very clear with the Taliban, welcome their statements on the issue of women and girls and then talk about "how we can turn that into reality."
Baradar agreed but "he did add that the rights of the people in Afghanistan were subject to the culture and religion of Afghanistan," Griffiths said, indicating it was an area that needs some work.
Also on Tuesday, Griffiths' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a consolidated 606-million-U.S.-dollar Flash Appeal for Afghanistan to address the immediate response gaps in Afghanistan.
Basic services in Afghanistan are collapsing and food and other life-saving aid is about to run out, OCHA said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe. He will host a high-level meeting on Monday, Sept. 13, in Geneva on the Afghanistan humanitarian situation.
Source: Xinhua