UN General Assembly President Dennis Francis on Thursday urged the Afghan authorities to reconsider their decision to ban women and girls from proper education.
Afghan women and girls, like men, have inalienable rights - human rights that must be upheld and honored, said Francis.
"So I would urge the Afghan authorities to reconsider the policy and allow girls to go to school, to get an education, so that they can play a role in the development of their communities and society," he told a press briefing.
"They can add value in making Afghanistan a strong, cohesive state, which I'm sure they want to become, and not create this sense of hopelessness by keeping girls out of school. It is not a behavior that is going to strengthen the country. If anything, it is likely to weaken the country," he said. "So I entreat them to reconsider this policy, sooner rather than later."
He noted that Afghanistan is the only country in the world where girls are not allowed in education.
"It's inconceivable, really, that this should be the case. It is an anachronism. It is a global anachronism. And anachronisms need to be fixed," he said.