Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan on August 15, the country has been struggling with drought and severe poverty after decades of war, and its economy has almost collapsed, triggering the specter of refugees fleeing.
Draghi told reporters at the end of the video conference: “There is basically a consensus on the necessity of resolving humanitarian emergencies.”
US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many European leaders attended, but Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin did not interject, indicating that the international community has different positions on emergencies.
Draghi said that the absence of the latter two leaders did not diminish the importance of the meeting organized by the current G20 presidency, Italy.
“This is the first multilateral response to the Afghan crisis… Multilateralism is making a comeback, and despite the difficulties, it is making a comeback,” Draghi said.
Participants agreed that it is necessary to alleviate the crisis in Afghanistan, where banks have run out of funds, civil servants have no salaries, and food prices have soared, putting millions of people at risk of severe starvation.
Draghi said: “It’s hard to see how to help the Afghan people without involving the Taliban… but it doesn’t mean to recognize them.”
He said that it is not their words and deeds that judge the Taliban, but their words and deeds. The world pays special attention to the plight of women in this impoverished country.
“At the moment we are not seeing progress,” Draghi said.
The White House stated that leaders have discussed the “urgent need to focus on our sustained counter-terrorism efforts, including responding to threats from ISIS-K.”
In a joint statement after the meeting, G20 leaders called on the Taliban to crack down on militant organizations operating abroad. They said that future humanitarian plans should focus on women and girls and should allow safe passage for Afghans who wish to leave the country.
Before the meeting, China demanded that the economic sanctions on Afghanistan be lifted, and Afghanistan’s billions of dollars of international assets should be unfrozen and returned to Kabul.
The United States and the United Kingdom, which hold many assets, are resisting this effort, and the event was not mentioned in the final statement.