It is improbable that the committee meeting of the United Nations will allow the representation of their countries at the 193-member world body by Afghanistan’s Taliban or Myanmar’s junta on Wednesday according to diplomats.

Ambassadors appointed by the governments that were ousted last year are being pitted against the Taliban and Myanmar’s junta, claiming seats of both the countries. UN acceptance of the Taliban or Myanmar’s junta would be a significant step that paves the way for international recognition sought by both.

A nine-member UN credentials committee, including Russia, China, and the United States, is scheduled to meet at UN headquarters to discuss the credentials of all 193 members for the current session of the UN General Assembly.

Four diplomats shared with Reuters that the committee is expected to defer its decisions regarding the representation of Afghanistan and Myanmar on the pretext that the current ambassadors for both countries remain in the seats.

The committee also includes the Bahamas, Chile, Namibia, Bhutan, Sierra Leone, and Sweden will proceed to send its report on the credentials of all members to the UN General Assembly for approval before the year ends.

According to the diplomats, the committee and also the General Assembly by tradition take decisions on credentials via consensus.

The Taliban seized power from the internationally recognized government in August and has nominated its Doha-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN ambassador. On the other hand, the current UN ambassador appointed by the ousted government, Ghulam Isaczai, has also asked to keep the seat.

It must be noted that in the past when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 the ambassador of the government, they collapsed continued serving as the UN representative after the credentials committee deferred its decision on rival claims to the seat.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the Taliban’s wish to gain international recognition is the only leverage other countries have to push them towards inclusive government and respect for rights, particularly for the women of Afghanistan.

Earlier this month, the Taliban nominated UN envoy Shaheen took to Twitter and shared, “We have all the conditions needed for occupying the seat of Afghanistan at U.N. We hope legal requirements will supersede political preferences.”

Myanmar’s junta seized power from Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in February and has nominated military veteran Aung Thurein to be its UN envoy.

Current ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun who was appointed by Suu Kyi’s government has also asked for the renewal of his UN accreditation, despite being the target of a plot to kill or injure him owing to his opposition to the coup.

The former UN special envoy on Myanmar stepped down last month and warned that no country should recognize or legitimize the junta, while Guterres pledged in February to mobilize pressure “to make sure that this coup fails.”

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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