UNSC members call for opening of schools for all girls in Afghanistan, send unified message to Taliban

New York: Members of the United Nations Security Council, in a joint statement on the Taliban`s reversal of their promise on girls` education, said that all the girls in Afghanistan should be allowed to go to school.

Notably, on March 21, the Taliban said they would lift a seven-month-old de facto ban on girls` education from Class 6 onwards and reopen schools on the first day of Afghanistan`s new academic year however two days later the regime backtracked on its decision.

In a joint statement delivered by the Permanent Representatives of The United Arab Emirates and Norway, on behalf of Albania, Brazil, France, Gabon, Ireland, Mexico, UK, US, Norway and UAE, the members said the decision is a reversal of the commitments the Taliban themselves have made in recent weeks and months as part of the ongoing engagement with the international community.

This afternoon, the Security Council will hear an important briefing by the UN Secretary-General`s Special Representative for Afghanistan, on the Taliban`s reversal of their earlier promise for girls to be able to return to school beyond the 6th grade, the statement read.

“This week – more than a million Afghan girls were getting ready to finally be able to return to school. Their hopes were dashed at the last minute when they learned that their right to an education will continue to be denied,” it added.

The members said that the recent decision by the Taliban is a profoundly disturbing setback.

“Education is a universal right for all children. That includes girls in Afghanistan. Some may ask, why education is a matter for the Security Council? The answer is simple. Afghanistan is at the brink of collapse,” it asserted.

All the members noted that “in order for Afghanistan to secure a safe and stable future, it simply cannot miss out on the talent and potential, and deprive half its population of education. Education is a key building block of every society.”

They called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to provide a safe learning environment for all children and youth in the country.

“Last week, the UNAMA mandate was extended for one year. And the UN and the international community stand ready to continue supporting the Afghan people – including education for all children. More than one million girls in Afghanistan were left at home in tears this week. We cannot let them down,” the joint statement added.

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