Afghanistan’s UN representative Ghulam Isaczai, appointed by the country’s former democratic government, which collapsed under the Taliban advance last month, was expected to address world leaders on Monday. His staff informed the UN over the weekend that he would no longer speak, according to UN Secretary-General’s spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.
“This does not change the fact that the representative of Afghanistan remains the same,” Dujarric said.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, Isaczai has continued to advocate for his country, meeting with foreign envoys and even calling on the UN Security Council to pressure the Taliban to form a more democratic government.
Kyaw Moe Tun was also scheduled to speak on Monday, but confirmed to CNN that he had withdrawn.
“Last week we informed the secretariat of the withdrawal of Myanmar from the list of speakers. We will not speak today, according to the revised list,” he said.
He declined to comment on the motive, but cited a Foreign Policy report outlining a negotiated deal between the United States and China to delay granting UN credentials to the board.
There is an agreement between Russia, China and the United States that Myanmar will not speak while Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun remains in office, a UN diplomat told CNN separately.
“I withdrew from the speaker’s list to keep the seat for the people of Myanmar,” Kyaw Moe Tun said.