United Nations, Sep 27 : Ghulam Isaczai, the Permanent Representative of the elected government of Afghanistan, has withdrawn from speaking at the high-level General Assembly meeting, Secretary General Antonio Guterres's Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric confirmed on Monday.
Myanmar, which continues to be represented by Kyaw Moe Tun, the nominee of the democratically elected government, was also dropped from the published list of speakers for Monday.
Both of them had been expected to deliver scorching criticisms of the regimes that ousted democratically-elected governments as they had been doing when speaking to UN bodies.
Neither the Taliban nor the Myanmar military regime will be able to speak at the session, which concludes on Monday, because their representatives have not been recognised by the accreditation committee.
Isaczai, who continues to officially represent the country at the UN, was scheduled to speak at the last meeting of the general debate where representatives of countries, most of them Presidents or Prime Ministers, lay out their priorities before a global audience.
Kyaw Moe Tun, the nominee of the ousted government of Aung San Suu Kyi, is officially the country's representative.
The representative of the military government that removed the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, has not been recognised by the UN.
Dujarric said that the mission of Afghanistan sent an email over the weekend that it was withdrawing from the meeting.
He said that the decision was the mission's own.
Asked about Afghanistan not speaking at the meeting, he said it would have been "an opportunity to address the world".
The Taliban had laid claim for the speaker's slot for Afghanistan but could not get it because the accreditation committee had not met to consider the question of who represents the country.
The accreditation committee is not scheduled to meet before next month at the earliest, if not later, and till it decides the current representatives will continue in office at the UN.
The nine-member accreditation committee, which includes the US, China, and Russia, is likely to be embroiled in a protracted dispute over the representation of Afghanistan and Myanmar.
China backs the Taliban and Myanmar's military regime, while the US opposes them.
Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban's Foreign Minister, unsuccessfully asked to speak at the high-level meeting of the Assembly.
Many leaders spoke to the Assembly remotely with pre-recorded speeches because the Covid-19 epidemic discouraged in-person participation.
Muttaqi appointed Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen as Afghanistan's Permanent Representative.
(Arul Louis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed @arulouis)