Non-Recognition of Taliban

The United States and the United Nations must not recognize the Taliban regime

The Taliban is a group of militants and terrorists actively enforcing gender apartheid in Afghanistan, through imposing misogynistic policies built to forcibly install a legal patriarchy that strips away the rights and freedoms of Afghan women and girls. Since taking power for a second time in August 2021, the Taliban has issued regular edicts that systematically eliminate access to education, jobs, public spaces and services, and free mobility of Afghan women and girls. The Taliban does not respect the rights of half its population – women – and should not be recognized as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

Until the Taliban took power, Afghan women had steadily been gaining equal rights.

Afghanistan won its independence from Britain in 1919, and soon civil rights activists began winning social reforms and progressive policy declarations, including basic rights for women. 

Recognition is a critical designation that must not be awarded. 

U.S. recognition of a new nation or government brings with it access to financial resources, trade advantages, international peer status and diplomatic relations. The President of the United States can confer formal recognition at will; the decision becomes binding on later administrations if approved by two-thirds of the Senate. 

Despite crimes and violations, the group is seeking recognition as the official Afghan government. This must not happen for the current Taliban regime or any regime that is against the will of the Afghan people and systematically violates human rights.

The first Taliban regime (1996-2001) became an international outcast for its involvement in the drug trade, for providing sanctuary for terrorist groups, including al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, and especially for its treatment of women and girls.

The Taliban is not currently recognized. It deserves its pariah status

In the wake of the U.S. invasion in 2001, the Taliban was declared — and remains — a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group under Executive Order 13224.

Today, with the withdrawal of the U.S. and its NATO allies from Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban has returned to power with the same and even more repressive policies of its first regime. Its harsh limits on freedoms for women and girls are a clear violation of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Recognizing the Taliban regime would violate that Declaration and many of the other legal frameworks of the international community as well as Afghanistan’s national laws. 

Women’s rights are human rights. The United States and the international community have a 20-year record of promoting gender equality in Afghanistan. Supporters of human rights must mobilize to prevent the abandonment of those principles and of Afghan women and girls, by preventing formal recognition of the second Taliban regime by the United States and the United Nations. 

The US and the UN must continue to stand for Afghan women’s rights.  

Human rights are universal, not a Western value; religion and culture cannot be used as a justification for human rights violations. Mechanisms of accountability and justice must be re-established to ensure human rights monitoring.

The Taliban took power by force and has no legitimacy with its constituents. Given our decades-long involvement in Afghanistan, it is also our moral obligation to continue to stand with our Afghan allies in their quest for human rights, justice, and democracy.

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