UN delays giving seats to Myanmar junta, Taliban | News | DW | 02.12.2021

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UN delays giving seats to Myanmar junta, Taliban

The announcement comes as Myanmar's junta and the Afghan Taliban seek international recognition. It means the UN ambassadors from the former governments of both countries will remain in their jobs for now.

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing at an army parade

Myanmar's junta wants to replace the country's current ambassador with their own pick

A key United Nations committee has decided to delay action on requests by Myanmar's military junta and Afghanistan's Taliban rulers to take their countries' seats at the UN.

The announcement from the UN Credentials Committee means that ambassadors from the former governments of Myanmar and Afghanistan will remain in their jobs.

Armed riot police in Naypyitaw, Myanmar

Myanmar's junta siezed power from Aung San Suu Kyi's government in February

Who has Myanmar's junta appointed?

Myanmar's military junta is seeking to replace the country's current ambassador to the UN, Kyaw Moe Tun, with army veteran Aung Thurein.

Myanmar's junta seized power from civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government in February, and has since put ousted officials on trial with various charges.

Kyaw Moe Tun had opposed the coup against Suu Kyi. Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin said in July that he had been terminated, although the envoy has asked for his UN accreditation to be renewed.

Who has Afghanistan's Taliban appointed?

The Taliban want to replace the ambassador representing the former Afghan government, Ghulam Isaczai, who has asked to keep his UN seat. Instead, they have appointed Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, who served as a Taliban spokesman during peace negotiations, for the position.

Suhail Shaheen at a press conference in Moscow, Russia

Suhail Shaheen served as a Taliban spokesman in peace negotiations

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August and have since been seeking international recognition for their rule. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the Taliban's desire for recognition is the only leverage other countries have if they want to press for respect for human rights in Afghanistan.

Sweden's UN representative, Anna Karin Enestrom, said the committee's report will be made public "once it has been issued for the consideration of the general assembly."

The committee is made up of three of the five permanent Security Council members: the United States, Russia and China. Other members include Sweden, the Bahamas, Bhutan, Chile, Namibia and Sierra Leone.

sdi/nm (AP, Reuters)