UNITED NATIONS: The committee responsible for approving nominations of ambassadors to the UN met Wednesday without reaching consensus on competing claims to represent Afghanistan and Myanmar, diplomats said.
"The committee has decided to defer its decision of the credentials in these two situations," said Anna Karin Enestrom, Sweden's UN envoy and chairwoman of the credentials committee, whose nine members include the United States, Russia and China.
The committee had received competing requests from the old and new regimes of the two states over who should represent them at the United Nations.
The committee is due to submit its report next week to the General Assembly, which will be left to decide via a possible vote if its 200 members fail to reach a consensus, diplomats said.
There was "consensus" within the committee to refer the two cases to the assembly, two diplomats told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"China, Russia and the United States were in the same position," said one of them. "Consensus was very clear and quickly achieved."
For several months, the United States, Russia and China had shown little appetite for organizing a meeting of the UN credentials commission, which had initially been scheduled for November, despite pressure from the Taliban to obtain international recognition.
In power since mid-August, and having gone without an ambassador to the UN when they had ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban in September asked the UN to accept as a new representative its former Doha-based spokesperson Suhail Shaheen to succeed Ghulam Isaczai, a cabinet member of ousted President Ashraf Ghani.
Isaczai continues to occupy Afghanistan's offices at the UN Headquarters in New York, and even participated in a recent Security Council meeting in which he openly criticized the Taliban. .
As for Myanmar, shortly after the military coup of February 1, the junta dismissed ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun, chosen by the former leader Aung San Suu Kyi. But the diplomat still sits at the UN in New York, even though an agreement was reached in September between Washington, Beijing and Moscow for him not to address the annual General Assembly as had been initially planned.
At the beginning of the summer, the junta appointed a former soldier, Aung Thurein, to succeed Kyaw Moe Tun, but for him to take office, the UN must ratify the application, as is the case for Afghanistan.