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For A Second Year, UN General Debate Concludes With Afghan Silence

Afghanistan's seat remains empty at the UN General Assembly in 2022.

The UN General Assembly's leaders' meeting has concluded for a second year in a row without addresses from Afghanistan or Burma, both of whose representation is stuck in limbo after the toppling of UN-recognized governments in the past two years.

The United Nations has delayed actions on both the Afghan and Burmese leaderships' bids for seats since December, with diplomats citing objectionable actions by those rulers.

The hard-line fundamentalist Taliban group has controlled most of Afghanistan since U.S.-led international troops and an elected government fled in August 2021, but remains unrecognized amid accusations of widespread rights abuses against women and minorities.

The Taliban-led government in Kabul has not been recognized by any country, which has complicated humanitarian efforts to help a desperately poor population of around 39 million hard-hit by decades of war.

The war in Ukraine, climate change, and food and fuel crises were some of the most frequent topics of speeches by leaders and other envoys to the 77th UN General Assembly's General Debate on September 20-26.

Its declared theme under UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was "A watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges."

Based on reporting by AP