G-20 Summit on Afghanistan

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    In News

    • Recently, an extraordinary meeting of G20 leaders on Afghanistan was held under Italy’s Presidency of the G20.

    About

    • G20 held the first Afghan meeting after the Taliban takeover.
    • The summit was convened by Italy and was chaired by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
    • The US President, Indian Prime Minister and many European leaders took part in the summit.
    • This meeting comes less than three weeks before the formal G20 leaders summit in Rome on Oct. 30-31, which is due to focus on climate change, the global economic recovery, tackling malnutrition and the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Key Points

    • Global:
      • The Group of 20 is determined to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
      • The G20 leaders called on the Taliban to tackle militant groups operating out of the country. 
      • The future humanitarian programs should focus on women and girls, and that safe passage should be given to those Afghans who wished to leave the country.
      • There was unanimous agreement among the participants about the need to alleviate the crisis in Afghanistan, leaving millions at risk of severe hunger.
      • This was the first multilateral response to the Afghan crisis. Thus, multilateralism is coming back, with difficulty, but it is coming back.
    • India:
      • The Prime Minister of India called on the international community to forge a unified response based on UNSC Resolution 2593 to bring about desired changes to the situation in Afghanistan. 
      • He also stated that Afghanistan’s territory must not become a source of radicalisation and terrorism, regionally or globally.
      • India also pressed for “urgent and unhindered” humanitarian assistance to Afghan citizens and underlined the need for having an inclusive administration that includes women and minorities.
      • India has contributed to promoting socio-economic development and capacity building of youth and women in Afghanistan over the last two decades.
      • India conveyed support for the important role of the UN in Afghanistan and called for a renewed backing of the G-20 for the message contained in the UNSC resolution on Afghanistan.

    Image Courtesy: Britannica

    Challenges

    • Continuing Struggles: Afghanistan, already struggling with drought and severe poverty following decades of war – has recently seen its economy all but collapse, raising the spectre of an exodus of refugees.
    • Inclusive Administration: At present, it is difficult to achieve an inclusive administration in Afghanistan which includes women and minorities in order to preserve the socio-economic gains of the last 20 years and to restrict the spread of radical ideology.
    • Taliban Involvement: It is very hard to see how the world can help people in Afghanistan without involving the Taliban.
    • Ideological Differences: The Chinese President and Russian President skipped the call, suggesting differing international positions on the emergency.
    • Chinese Pressure: Ahead of the meeting, China demanded that economic sanctions on Afghanistan be lifted and that billions of dollars of Afghan international assets be unfrozen and handed back to Kabul.

    Way Ahead

    • There is an urgent need for upholding human rights in Afghanistan and to ensure that Afghan territory should not be used for terrorism.
    • The efforts have to be made for a negotiated political settlement for the crisis.
    • Without a unified international response, it would be difficult to bring about the desired change in Afghanistan’s situation.
    • The time has come to enhance our joint fight against the nexus of radicalisation, terrorism and the smuggling of drugs and arms in the region.
    • Also, there is a need for direct country-to-country assistance, despite a refusal by most states to officially recognise the hardline Taliban government.

    UNSC Resolution 2593

    • It was adopted on 30 August 2021, following the Fall of Kabul and the subsequent Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. 
    • According to the resolution, the Afghan territory should not be used to threaten or attack any country or to shelter or train terrorists or to plan or finance terrorist acts.
    • It reiterated the importance of combating terrorism in Afghanistan, including those individuals and entities designated pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999).

    Source: IE