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Ghulam Isaczai. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Afghanistan will not have anyone address the UN General Assembly on Monday, in a last-minute reversal following a dispute about which official — from either the Taliban or the ex-government — should be allowed to address the assembly, AP reports.

Driving the news: Afghanistan's UN seat was the subject of competing claims following the Taliban's takeover of the country.

  • Earlier this week, the Taliban nominated a new envoy to the UN, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen, and asked that he address the assembly in place of currently accredited ambassador Ghulam Isaczai, an appointee of the previous government.
  • As of Friday, Isaczai was still scheduled to give the gathering's final address on Monday.

Of note: When a UN seat is disputed, the General Assembly's nine-member Credentials Committee is tasked with making a decision, but the group has not been able to meet to discuss the issue in time.

The big picture: “We were notified Saturday by the Afghan Mission that they would no longer be speaking," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told AP Monday morning.

  • Afghanistan is no longer listed on the lineup of speakers for the assembly meeting.
  • However, for the time being, Isaczai remains in his position as the country's official envoy. "This does not change the fact that the representative of Afghanistan remains the same," Dujarric told CNN.

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2021 - World

WHO, UNICEF to launch polio vaccine drive in Afghanistan

Afghan boys return to their homes after attending school in Chashma Dozak area of Badghis province on Oct. 16. Photo: Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will launch a house-to-house vaccination campaign to inoculate children in Afghanistan against polio, the UN announced Monday.

Why it matters: The campaign, which begins Nov. 8 with the Taliban's backing, is the first such vaccine drive in over three years to reach all Afghan children, the press release noted.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers — New York Supreme Court strikes down Gov. Hochul's mask mandate for public areas — Sarah Palin tests positive, delaying defamation trial — Virginia school boards sue Gov. Youngkin for lifting mask mandate.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

The Robinhood M&A rumor mill churns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Robinhood's valuation is now just over $11 billion, a fraction of where it traded in August and below that of its last private round of funding. Cue the M&A mongers.

Why it matters: It's not just Robinhood—falling values of growth-oriented tech stocks have raised speculation that formerly high-flying fintechs could be snapped up by more well-capitalized buyers.