By John Ikani
The Taliban have asked to address world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) this week in New York City.
The request made by Taliban Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, comes as the group nominated their Doha-based Spokesman, Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan’s UN Ambassador.
Although the request to participate in the high-level debate is being considered by a credentials committee, whose nine members include the US, China and Russia, it is unlikely to happen during the current session of the body.
No government has formally recognised the Taliban as Afghanistan’s new government and for the UN to agree to its nominee for ambassador, would be an important step towards international acceptance.
When the Taliban last ruled between 1996 and 2001 the ambassador of the Afghan government they toppled remained the UN representative after the credentials committee deferred its decision on rival claims to the seat.
The decision was postponed “on the understanding that the current representatives of Afghanistan accredited to the United Nations would continue to participate in the work of the General Assembly,” according to the committee report.