Vienna Conference calls for responsible UN action on Afghanistan

Participants of the fourth Vienna conference criticized the announcement made today, June 26th, regarding the upcoming Doha conference and urged the United Nations to handle this matter responsibly.

They criticized the upcoming third Doha conference, scheduled for June 30th to July 1st, labeling it as a unilateral meeting organized according to the Taliban’s representatives.

Furthermore, the agenda of the third Doha conference indicates that the United Nations has departed from its primary mission in this conference, and the organization should not engage in talks with the Taliban as representatives of the people of Afghanistan.

Anarkali Honaryar, a former member of the Afghan Senate, addressed the Doha conference in her speech at the Vienna meeting today, stating, “The United Nations has organized this conference, and it must include women, civil society, political forces, and the people of Afghanistan, including the Taliban, in every session, as dialogue, in my opinion, is the only solution for Afghanistan.”

Ahmad Massoud, leader of the anti-Taliban group known as the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, also emphasized in the concluding speech of the conference that the purpose of holding such meetings is to strive to map out a way out of Afghanistan’s crises.

He stated that Afghanistan is no longer a priority on the world stage, and it is time for Afghans themselves to make final efforts to pull their country out of the crisis.

During discussions in the past day’s fourth Vienna conference, two major views were debated. Some participants stressed the final efforts to resume intra-Afghan talks and negotiations as the sole solution, while others, alongside negotiations, also pressed for military options.

However, Mohammad Moheqiq, one of the former jihadist leaders, said in his speech today at this meeting, “It is time for them {Taliban} not to listen to the truth and peace talk; we have been waiting for three years for them to listen to the world and countries for peace, but they did not.”

The United Nations and the Taliban government have yet to comment on the statements of the participants of the fourth Vienna conference. But before that, Zakir Jalali, head of the third branch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Taliban government, implicitly referred to the fourth Vienna conference and called its participants a “wandering assembly.”

So far, three rounds of these conferences have been held in Vienna, with the presence of some politicians from the former republican system and some activists from the capital of Austria.

The first Vienna conference was held in September 2022, the second in April 2023, and the third in December 2023.

Amidst a dire humanitarian and human rights crisis in Afghanistan, the Vienna Conference concluded with participants urging the United Nations to act responsibly towards the country’s ongoing challenges.

They emphasized the urgent need for international cooperation and support to address the worsening situation, including severe restrictions on women’s rights and escalating security concerns.

The participants highlighted the critical importance of humanitarian aid and protection of human rights in Afghanistan, calling for immediate action to alleviate suffering and uphold fundamental freedoms amidst the escalating crisis.

Vienna Conference calls for responsible UN action on Afghanistan