Special session demanded by UN Human Rights Council after Taliban seizes Afghan capital

A special session is set to be hosted by the UNHRC on August 24 to discuss "serious human rights concerns and the current situation in Afghanistan."

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On Tuesday, the UN Human Rights Council announced that a special session will be held on August 24 to address “the serious human rights concerns and situation in Afghanistan.”

According to the council’s statement, the meeting will take place at Geneva’s Palais des Nations in a hybrid format. The meeting comes amid a joint request by Pakistan, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and Afghanistan.

The call was supported by 89 countries and came a day after the Taliban, which is designated by the UN Security Council as a terrorist group, seized control of Kabul.

In order for a special session to convene, the support of one-third of the 47 council members is required.

Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Gabon, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Libya, Mauritania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, the UK, and Uzbekistan are the 29 members that have supported the request.

Among 60 observer states in support of the session include Turkey, Albania, Egypt, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Sweden, Tajikistan, and the United Arab Emirates.

Karima Bennoune, a UN Special Rapporteur, warned of a cultural disaster after Kabul fell and urged states to provide urgent assistance to human rights defenders, those working on women’s and cultural rights, as well as artists, trying to flee, shortly before the meeting was called.

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