Taliban asks to address U.N. Assembly in New York this week
The Taliban have asked to address world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly this week in New York City. The U.N. committee will rule on the request but it is unlikely to happen during the current session of the body.
Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi made the request in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday. Muttaqi asked to speak during the annual high-level meeting of the General Assembly, which finishes on Monday.
Eventual U.N. acceptance of the ambassador of the Taliban would be an important step in the hardline group’s bid for international recognition, which could help unlock badly needed funds for the cash-strapped Afghan economy.
Afghanistan is scheduled to give the last speech on the final day of the high-level meeting on September 27. It wasn’t clear who would speak if the committee met and the Taliban were given Afghanistan’s seat.
In cases of disputes over seats at the U.N., the official protocol says that the General Assembly’s nine-member credentials committee must meet to make a decision. The committee’s members are the United States, Russia, China, Bahama, Bhutan, Chile, Namibia, Sierra Leone, and Sweden.