The members of the UN Security Council have expressed their deep concern regarding the inability of girls beyond grade six in Afghanistan to return to their schools, as they were promised.
In a joint press statement released on Sunday, the UN Security Council members have reaffirmed the right to education for all Afghans and called on the Islamic Emirate to “respect the right to education and adhere to their commitments to reopen schools for all female students without further delay.”
On Friday, the UN Secretary General special envoy for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons, briefed the Security Council on girls’ education in Afghanistan. The council has tasked Lyons to continue engaging with all relevant Afghan political actors, including the relevant authorities, on girls’ education and keep the council informed of any progress.
“The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of efforts by the international community to support Afghanistan, including on education, and highlighted the coordinating role of UNAMA in this regard,” the statement reads.
Based the previous commitments and announcements by the Islamic Emirate, all girls’ schools were set to reopen on Wednesday. Girls beyond grade six, however, were not allowed to attend school on Wednesday and were told to wait until further notification.
This decision met sharp reactions from inside and outside Afghanistan.
In a joint statement on Friday, ten members of the UN Security Council also called on the Islamic Emirate to reopen all girls’ schools across Afghanistan.
The joint statement was released by Albania, Brazil, France, Gabon, Ireland, Mexico, UK, US, Norway and UAE.
“Our message is clear: All girls in Afghanistan should be able to go to school,” the statement reads.
The US Special Representative for Afghanistan said on Saturday he is hopeful that there will be a reversal of the Islamic Emirate’s u-turn on girls' education in the coming days.
“I am hopeful that we will see a reversal of this decision in the coming days" Thomas West, US special representative for Afghanistan, said at the Doha Forum.