Taliban Must Uphold Women’s Rights: UN Chief

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said that the Taliban must uphold women’s rights, expressing concern about the arbitrary arrest and abductions of Afghan women social activists.

Briefing the UN Security Council meeting, Guterres said the Taliban should seize this moment and garner international trust and “goodwill by recognizing, and upholding the basic human rights that belong to every girl and woman.”

“I am concerned and strongly appeal for the release of the detained Afghan women from Taliban custody,” Guterres added.

Guterres also called on the international community to release frozen Afghan aid to prevent families from selling their babies to buy food.

Guterres warned that “Afghanistan is hanging by a thread” as millions of impoverished citizens struggle to survive amid deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

“I appeal to the international community to step up support for the people of Afghanistan, including by releasing aid funds in Washington that remain frozen by the World Bank and the US government,” Guterres said.

Guterres told the council that over half of all Afghans face extreme levels of hunger, with “some families are selling their babies to purchase food.”

Meanwhile, the UN envoy to Afghanistan Deborah Lyons told the council via video link that the United Nations continues to call for “a relaxation of those sanctions” which squeeze the economy and prevent the full delivery of essential services.

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