Today marks two years since the forced takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban. That tragic
event was a painful turning point in Afghanistan’s recent history. It pushed the country and the
people into a dark and dangerous trajectory marked by the world’s most severe humanitarian
crisis, a worrying economic outlook, a grave human rights situation, and an increased threat of
international terrorism and political instability. These factors led to a significant brain drain and
forced more Afghans to leave their country and seek refuge abroad.
In the past year, the international community continued engagement with the Taliban, in hopes
that the group would deliver on commitments they made. However, the situation in Afghanistan
remains dire and the hardships endured by the people of Afghanistan have deepened. Women
and girls are still denied the right to education, employment, justice, and freedom of movement
and face widespread and deliberate elimination from different layers of society and systematic
discrimination prejudice which amounts to gender apartheid.
As mentioned in the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in
Afghanistan: “Nowhere else in the world has there been an attack as widespread, systematic and
all-encompassing on the rights of women and girls as in Afghanistan.” Meanwhile, arbitrary
detentions and targeted extra-judicial killings continue in different parts of the country.
The humanitarian situation has not improved by any measure. The absence of rule of law has led
to the increased threat of international terrorism. The June 2023 report of the United Nations
cites an increase in the presence of international terrorist groups, a strong and symbiotic link
between the Taliban and such groups, and that “the threat of terrorism is rising in both
Afghanistan and the region.”
Meanwhile, the Taliban have persistently refused any meaningful dialogue and negotiations with
political and social forces for a comprehensive political settlement and formation of an inclusive,
legitimate, and accountable system as the best formula to stabilize the country. On the contrary,
they have remained adamant on the unilateral rule, in contradiction to the people’s wishes and
Clearly, the deteriorating political, economic, security and humanitarian situation makes it evident
that despite international engagement, outreach and compromise with the Taliban, the group has
not been able or willing as a group to deliver on their commitments.
Thus, the two year-mark after Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan is an occasion for the
international community to reflect on the nature of its engagement with the Taliban, and its
impact on the group’s actions in relation to the people’s demands and expectations. This
assessment should inform adjustments in the international community’s approach to Afghanistan
for positive change to the situation on the ground.
We wish to highlight the following in the context of a renewed international approach:
- We urge the international community to maintain a unified position in avoiding international recognition to and unconditional engagement with the Taliban.
- Coordination and consensus in international efforts to begin a political process through a credible national dialogue under the supervision of the United Nations, with the participation of all Afghan stakeholders, particularly democratic political forces – civil society, women and youth groups, political parties aimed at moving the country towards a legitimate, representative and accountable system that reflects the rights and will of the people of Afghanistan.
- We urge the international community to significantly increase its engagement with democratic political forces and support their convergence under a common national political agenda that is based on the national interests of the people of Afghanistan.
- New measures are needed to move from monitoring to investigation and ensuring accountability for regarding human rights violations in Afghanistan. Violations of the fundamental rights of Afghan women and girls should be recognized as gender apartheid by the international community. Moreover, increased platforms should be given for the empowerment of Afghan women as a matter of priority.
- Enhanced role of the United Nations to strengthen international consensus on Afghanistan. The convening of the UN Conference in Doha in May, with participation by Secretary General and special representatives of the region and broader international community was an important first step. This new focus should gain momentum and result in the development of a “political road-map” to achieve a comprehensive political settlement,
- Enhancing the scale and efficiency of humanitarian assistance to meet the urgent and growing life-saving needs of the people of Afghanistan. There are worrisome reports of some cases in which humanitarian assistance is being reduced to some degree. Mechanisms should also be put in place to ensure aid is not diverted and misappropriated,
- Adopting more coordinated and effective measures to address the dangerous threat emanating from the presence of various foreign terrorist groups as well as the production and trafficking of narcotics, which constitute a significant security threat for Afghanistan, our region, and the wider world.
The diplomatic and consular missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan remain committed
to continue meeting the needs of our growing diaspora community, including through provision
of essential consular services.
Likewise we also remain committed to working closely with the host countries, international
organizations, all friends of Afghanistan, and our diaspora worldwide to overcome the deepening
crisis in our country and bring real peace to a democratic, stable and united Afghanistan.
We convey our gratitude to all international friends and partners of Afghanistan around the
world for their continued commitment to and support for the people of Afghanistan during this
tragic and most difficult time in our nation’s history.