The United Nations Security Council has expressed deep concern over a decision by Afghanistan's Taliban rulers to deny girls access to high school education and called on the group to reopen schools for female students without delay.
"The members of the Security Council ... reaffirmed the right to education for all Afghans, including girls," a statement from the United Nations on Sunday said.
Last week, the Taliban backtracked on an announcement that high schools would open for girls, saying they would remain closed until a plan was drawn up in accordance with Islamic law for them to reopen.
The United States abruptly cancelled meetings with the Taliban in Doha that were set to address key economic issues because of the decision, U.S. officials said on Friday.
The Security Council asked Deborah Lyons, the U.N. Special Representative for Afghanistan, to engage with relevant Afghan authorities and stakeholders on the issue and report back on progress.