Taliban probably wont get speaking time at UN General Assembly

The Taliban is unlikely to have speaking time at the United Nations General Assembly next week. The Muslim extremists had asked for this after their seizure of power in Afghanistan, but according to a UN spokesman, an envoy from the ousted government was officially notified to represent his country.

The Taliban walked under foot with a lightning offensive Afghanistan last month as foreign forces withdrew. They are now pushing for international recognition of their regime and want to represent their country at the General Assembly, among other things.

That consultative body, which all UN Member States are part, will hold the annual speeches of world leaders during this period. This is how Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke last Friday. He then talked about the situation in Afghanistan, where the Netherlands has also been active over the last two decades.

The likelihood that a Taliban representative will be able to speak in New York next Monday seems to have been lost. Envoy Ghulam Isaczai of the former Afghan government has already been allocated speaking time, according to the UN.

A committee with representatives from nine Member States should ultimately decide which ambassador it recognizes: that of the Taliban or the current envoy Isaczai. That committee has not planned a meeting to discuss that as far as we know. That means Isaczai can stay on for now.