Rome, 2 November 2023 (TDI): A Meeting of Special Representatives and Envoys for Afghanistan from Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States took place on Tuesday in Rome, Italy.

They noted their regret that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) has not taken serious steps towards initiating an inclusive political process for the country’s future. They emphasized that legitimacy should primarily come from the Afghan people.

The participants called for the adoption of a new constitution through a transparent, inclusive, and meaningful national consultative dialogue. They encouraged the Taliban and other Afghans to seek advice from the UN and OIC regarding this process.

The meeting expressed grave concern about the human rights situation in Afghanistan, particularly the Taliban’s policies that exclude women and girls from various aspects of life, violating the rights of Afghans and international obligations. They urged the IEA to immediately reverse their restrictive educational policies and ensure equal access to quality education based on international standards.

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The participants called on all states, including Afghanistan’s neighbors, to fulfill their obligations regarding the protection of refugees, the right to seek asylum, and the development of a registration system for undocumented Afghans while ensuring the protection of vulnerable individuals in need of international protection.

This joint statement reflects the shared concerns and recommendations of the participating countries regarding the situation in Afghanistan.

Since the Taliban’s return to power, women and girls have been banned from attending secondary school, pursuing employment, appearing on television, or even just going to the park. Hard-fought gains in equality and human rights for Afghan women over the past two decades are now being systematically eroded by the Taliban.