Afghanistan, Myanmar will not address UN General Assembly

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United Nations: Afghanistan and Myanmar will not address the UN General Assembly’s high-level General Debate on Monday as both the countries are not listed as speakers to address the 76th session of the world body.

According to the latest list of speakers for the last day of the General Debate of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, Afghanistan and Myanmar are not listed as speakers to address the session.

On Friday, spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Stephane Dujarric had said that as for now, the Afghanistan representative inscribed on the list for Monday is H.E. Mr. Ghulam M. Isaczai.

Following the coup in Myanmar, its military rulers have said the country’s Ambassador at UN Kyaw Moe Tun has been dismissed and they want Aung Thurein to replace him.

Last week, the Taliban had written to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres nominating their spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s ambassador to the UN and had asked to participate in the high-level 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

On September 20, on the eve of the commencement of the high-level UN General Debate, the Secretary-General received a communication with the letterhead Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs dated September 20, 2021, signed by Ameer Khan Muttaqi as Minister of Foreign Affairs , requesting to participate in the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on September 21-27 2021 .

Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General, said that the letter also indicates that as of August 15, 2021, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is ousted and [countries across the world] no longer recognise him as president .

Ghani, who had fled the country as the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, had appointed Ghulam Isaczai as Kabul’s envoy to the UN in June 2021.

The Taliban letter further indicates that the mission of the Permanent Representative is considered over and that Isaczai no longer represents Afghanistan.

The Taliban have nominated the Doha-based spokesman Shaheen as Afghanistan’s new Permanent Representative to the UN.

“A new Permanent Representative, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, is nominated,” according to the Taliban letter.

Haq said that on September 15, the Secretary-General had received a communication from the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations signed by Ambassador Ghulam Isaczai, the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations in New York, containing the list of delegation of Afghanistan for the 76th session of the General Assembly. Isaczai is listed as the head of the delegation.

These two communications have been sent by the UN Secretariat, after consultation with the Office of the President of the General Assembly, to the members of the Credentials Committee of the 76th session of the General Assembly, Haq added.

The Credentials Committee will decide on who represents Kabul at the UN and the two communications have set the stage for a showdown over who sits at Afghanistan’s seat in the 193-member world organisation.

The Credentials Committee, appointed at the beginning of each regular session of the General Assembly, consists of nine members, who are appointed by the General Assembly on the proposal of the President.

The Committee is currently chaired by Sweden and includes the US, China, Russia, Bahamas, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Bhutan and Chile.

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