UN closes without Taliban, Myanmar speeches

September 28, 2021

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) — The United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York ends Monday but without speeches by those in power in Afghanistan and Myanmar, one of many quirks at this year’s diplomatic marathon that saw 100 leaders defy coronavirus fears to meet in person.

The UN representative of Afghanistan’s former regime was expected to defy the Taliban with an address Monday after the group requested its new foreign minister be allowed to speak instead.

The Taliban wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last Monday requesting that Amir Khan Muttaqi be allowed to “participate.”

The letter noted that Ghulam Isaczai, Afghanistan’s UN envoy under Ashraf Ghani, who was ousted last month, “no longer represents” Afghanistan at the United Nations.