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Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Washington Examiner Tuesday that she believes the U.N. may recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, citing the organization's "horrendous track record" of legitimizing "the world's worst regimes."
Haley, who served as ambassador to the U.N. under the Trump administration, told the Washington Examiner that she hopes the U.N. will refuse any attempts by the Taliban to represent Afghanistan internationally, calling the terror group "barbaric."
"The U.N. should refuse to allow the Taliban to represent Afghanistan," Haley said. "The U.N. already has a terrible track record when it comes to giving human rights abusers a seat at the table, but this would be a new low. A barbaric group like the Taliban that harbors some of the world’s worst terrorists and sets off suicide bombs in marketplaces has no place in an organization founded to maintain international peace and security."
But the former South Carolina governor expressed skepticism that the international body would refuse to recognize the Taliban due to its willingness to recognize other regimes accused of human rights abuses.
"The U.N. has a horrendous track record of putting human rights violators on human rights committees, so I don't put it past them to promote the Taliban," Haley added. "If a group that throws acid on schoolgirls and is known for rape, abduction, and forced marriage is placed on the Commission of the Status of Women, we should have nothing to do with it. It would be yet another disgrace for the U.N. That's why it's so important we make sure they never get a seat at the table."
The overthrow of the Afghan government on Aug. 14 was met with widespread condemnation and concern from nations around the world. Despite the near-universal criticism, the former ambassador stated that her time in office leads her to believe that the U.N. will be diplomatic with the Taliban, their record of human rights violations and terrorism notwithstanding.
"At the U.N., I had to sit and listen to some of the world's worst regimes lie about atrocities they were committing against their own people," Haley said. "But this is a different situation — this was a violent overthrow by the Taliban of a legitimate, democratically elected government. There should be no recognition."
The Taliban are poised to seat a representative on the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women if they form a U.N.-recognized Afghan government.
"The U.N. General Assembly will likely make this decision," Haley said. "We are seeing this play out now with Burma, where the military wants to take the seat away from the sitting U.N. ambassador after its coup earlier this year."
The U.N. describes the Commission on the Status of Women as the "principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women." The commission's goal is to "agree on further actions to accelerate progress and promote women’s enjoyment of their rights in political, economic, and social fields."
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan after a rapid and aggressive campaign through the country, conquering nearly every district. Despite efforts by the Afghan army and scattered resistance forces to reclaim several districts, the Taliban have been able to quash opposition attempts to build momentum against the regime.
The Taliban's treatment of women has attracted scrutiny internationally despite attempts to ease fears of Afghanistan's future as a fundamentalist, totalitarian regime. Though the Taliban promised on Aug. 17 that they are "ready to provide women with environment to work and study and the presence of women in different [government] structures according to Islamic law and in accordance with our cultural values," a senior Taliban leader indicated the next day that women's right to education is up for debate.
"Our scholars will decide whether girls are allowed to go to school or not," Waheedullah Hashimi, a senior Taliban leader, said on Aug. 18.
Haley called on President Joe Biden's administration to lead efforts in denying legitimacy to the Taliban on an international level, citing the White House's series of mistakes in Afghanistan as a reason the administration must step up to raise support for denying the Taliban recognition.
"The United States should lead the charge rallying the free countries of the world in not recognizing the Taliban. The Biden administration must step up after such a disastrous lack of leadership so far," the former ambassador concluded.
The U.N.'s Afghanistan Mission pledged its commitment to continue serving its mission, regardless of the chaos in its homeland.
"The mission will continue its work as usual and represent the Afghan state and its people during these difficult times," Camilo Jose Lopez Delgado, Afghan senior technical adviser on Security Council issues, told the Washington Examiner in a statement.
Haley's assessment echos prior speculation from another former U.N. ambassador, John Bolton, who told the Washington Examiner that he also believes U.N. acceptance of Taliban rule is probable.
"You have a new crew that comes in, and the U.N. has to decide, 'Do we accept the credentials of a new ambassador?'" Bolton told the Washington Examiner Tuesday. "It's certainly possible to challenge that and deny them a seat. You can say they're not legitimate."
"It's unusual and hasn't often been successful," added Bolton, a controversial figure who served as U.N. ambassador under former President George W. Bush and national security adviser to former President Donald Trump. "I think the most likely outcome is the Taliban gets seated."
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Original Author: Timothy Nerozzi