Afghanistan and Burma deprived of speech at the UN

On the last day Monday of the UN General Assembly, Afghanistan and Burma were cut off following international negotiations aimed at preventing a cacophony as officials from these two countries clashed to claim the annual speech of their state. Of the 193 UN members, two will thus escape the rule giving everyone a right of expression. A curiosity among others of the marathon which will have seen in New York a hundred leaders and dozens of ministers braving the Covid-19 pandemic.

The program broadcast by the UN still featured for Monday evening the Afghan ambassador Ghulam Isaczai, a member of the cabinet of ousted President Ashraf Ghani, although he was dismissed by the Taliban. But in the morning, surprise, Afghanistan is no longer registered. “This country has withdrawn its participation in the general debate”, announced the spokesperson of the General Assembly, Monica Grayley, specifying that“No reason was given” on this decision taken in extremis.

Asked by AFP to know if this withdrawal linked to a double contradictory request for intervention was due to an agreement – between Washington, Beijing and Moscow – similar to that recently concluded for Burma, several diplomats suggested that such had been the case. «J’imagine» that there was an agreement between these powers, indicates on condition of anonymity an ambassador member of the Security Council. “This is a wise decision”, adds another diplomat, while the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov spoke this weekend of an active and concerted cooperation of Russia, China, Pakistan and the United States with regard to the Taliban.

In power since August, the Taliban, in search of international recognition, only asked the United Nations last week that their new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, be able to intervene at the UN. This request has been made “too late” to be taken into account, a UN official told AFP.

For Burma, the junta in power since the coup of February 1 and the rebel Burmese ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, chosen by the former Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi and still accredited to the UN, all demanded two to speak on behalf of this country. “An agreement has been reached between the United States, Russia and China” so that the latter does not speak, had recently explained under anonymity an ambassador of one of these three powers. «Profile bass», Kyaw Moe Tun confirmed to AFP, supported by a majority of the international community and recently the target of an alleged plot to resign him, even if it means killing him if he refuses. In May, the junta appointed an ex-soldier to replace him, but this designation has still not been endorsed by the UN.

The appointment of new representatives for both Afghanistan and Burma goes through a UN commission made up of the United States, Russia and China in particular. Consensus is the rule, but for these two countries “There is none, so there will be a vote” in the coming months of the General Assembly, predicts a UN official.

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