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UN Secretary-General António Guterres attends a press conference on Afghanistan in Geneva on Sept. 13, 2021. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council on Friday authorized a six-month extension of the UN's political mission in Afghanistan.

Why it matters: The move will allow Secretary-General António Guterres to compile the necessary information to determine "strategic and operational recommendations" in light of the Taliban's takeover.

  • The annual mandate for the mission was set to expire on Friday. But the resolution unanimously adopted by the council acknowledges "the need for strengthened efforts to provide humanitarian assistance" and says it requires "all parties to allow full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access."  
  • "The territory of Afghanistan should not be used to threaten or attack any country, to plan or finance terrorists acts, or to shelter and train terrorists, and that no Afghan group or individual should support terrorists operating on the territory of any country," the resolution states.
  • It also calls for "the full, equal and meaningful participation of women, and upholding human rights, including for women, children and minorities."
  • Guterres is charged with briefing the council on the situation every two months until March 17, and will prepare a report with recommendations for the mission's mandate by Jan. 31.

The big picture: Several UN human rights officials have expressed alarm about the future of Afghan girls and women as the Taliban reinstates its rule.

  • The UN ambassador representing Afghanistan's ousted government has asked to remain in the country's UN's seat in New York, a UN spokesperson told Reuters.
  • Guterres said last month that the Taliban's desire for international recognition is the only leverage other countries can use to push for inclusive government and human rights, particularly for women, Reuters reports.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Trump's war with his generals

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Axios' "Off the Rails" series documents the end of the Trump administration, from election night 2020 through the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol.

One important piece is only now beginning to emerge: Former President Donald Trump's last-minute bid to pull U.S. forces from Afghanistan and swaths of the Middle East, Africa and even Europe ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration — and why he blinked.

John McEntee, one of Donald Trump's most-favored aides, handed retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor a piece of paper with a few notes scribbled on it. He explained: "This is what the president wants you to do."

1. Get us out of Afghanistan.

2. Get us out of Iraq and Syria.

3. Complete the withdrawal from Germany.

4. Get us out of Africa.

California’s abortion providers intro plan to expand care, funds if Roe goes

The crowd outside the Supreme Court during the oral arguments for Dobbs v. Jackson Womens Health Organization. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Abortion providers and supporters in California, including the leader of the state's Senate, on Wednesday unveiled a series of recommendations to make the state a haven for people seeking abortions in the state if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Why it matters: The Supreme Court is considering a Mississippi case that has thrown Roe's survival into question. Without it, abortion would immediately become illegal in 12 states, and more would likely follow suit.

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Combination images of former President Trump and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York's attorney general filed a motion Tuesday seeking to compel former President Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump, to appear for sworn testimony in her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

Why it matters: Attorney General Letitia James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding alleging the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."