G-20 holds emergency summit on Afghanistan amid humanitarian crisis
Written by tokyoclub on October 12, 2021
Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies began an emergency summit Tuesday to discuss ways of responding to a deepening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s return to power.
Afghanistan’s economy has all but collapsed following the Islamist militants’ takeover on Aug. 15, and there are concerns over the regression in human rights, particularly for women and minorities, and fears the country could revert into a hotbed of terrorism.
Afghan women, holding placards, gather to demand the protection of Afghan women’s rights in front of the Presidential Palace in Kabul on Aug. 17, 2021. (Anadolu Agency/Getty/Kyodo)
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is hosting the virtual summit ahead of an in-person gathering of G-20 leaders at the end of the month in Rome.
The Taliban, which controlled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 before being ousted by the United States in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, is not recognized by the international community as a legitimate government.
French President Emmanual Macron said in an interview that the G-20 should set conditions for formally acknowledging Taliban rule, and that his country would push for ensuring gender equality.
While building consensus within the G-20 is often difficult given the United States remains at odds with China and Russia over economic and security issues, the countries share concerns over Afghanistan and will likely seek to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.
The emergency summit is also being attended by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who has said the country is at a “make-or-break” moment, as well as the heads of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
“Without food, without jobs, without their rights protected, we will see more and more Afghans fleeing their homes in search of a better life,” Guterres said Monday.