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G20 Extraordinary Leaders’ Meeting on Afghanistan (12 October 2021): Chair’s Summary

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Shared goals and principles

  • All Afghans are entitled to live in peace, dignity and security. The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan should be respected.

  • Humanitarian support is urgent, and in many cases vital, to most Afghans, especially to groups in conditions of vulnerability, such as women, children and people with disabilities, and it becomes even more so as winter approaches.

  • Humanitarian assistance is essential to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and consequently uncontrolled migrant flows from Afghanistan to regional countries and beyond.

  • The collapse of the economic and financial system in Afghanistan would impact heavily on the lives of Afghans and on the stability of the country, the region and beyond.

  • The UN plays an essential role to address the crisis in Afghanistan. Its continued presence in the country must be preserved. Full, safe, unconditional and unhindered access must be ensured to UN staff and all humanitarian workers, regardless of their gender.

  • Humanitarian aid should be delivered in accordance with internationally agreed humanitarian principles on the basis of independent needs assessments and in support of the pledges announced on 13 September. Timely and flexible contributions are critical.

  • Human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially the rights of women, children, minorities and vulnerable people in Afghanistan must be respected, according to the principles enshrined in the UN Charter and other relevant international instruments.

  • Preserving access to education for Afghan children - girls and boys - is an essential element of a resilient, inclusive and peaceful society.

  • Security, including counter-terrorism, and development are intertwined. Afghanistan must not be a safe haven for terrorists and a threat for international security.

  • Illegal trafficking – including of human beings, narcotics and weapons – is a serious crime and a source of instability and financing for terrorist groups. It must be prevented and tackled by both the Afghan authorities and the international community.

  • It is essential that Afghanistan remains open. Its borders and points of access must be functioning. Freedom of movement must be guaranteed for both international humanitarian workers and for Afghans.

  • Fully operational airports are a crucial gateway for humanitarian access, trade, evacuations and sustainability of the country.

  • The Taliban will be judged on their deeds. They must guarantee the full access to humanitarian assistance by all those in need, wherever they live in Afghanistan.

Lines of action

  • The G20 will play an advocacy role within the international community to fully support UN activities and respond to UN appeals on humanitarian assistance.

  • Winterisation requires the expansion and acceleration of as much humanitarian assistance as possible, on the basis of updated assessments by the UN.

  • The G20 strongly supports the presence of UNAMA in Afghanistan in carrying out its mandate, including its role of coordination of international aid.

  • The G20 calls on the Afghan authorities to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of all UN and associated personnel, as well as all the Diplomatic Missions staff and humanitarian workers throughout the country.

  • G20 countries strongly call on the Taliban to rescind their links with terrorist groups and tackle their presence on Afghan soil.

  • The G20 will advocate international support to the UNODC strategy to eradicate the production of narcotics in Afghanistan and provide counter terrorism assistance in order to promote security and stability in the area.

  • The G20 will continue supporting Afghan women and girls both in their immediate needs and to enable them to contribute to a durable peace and an inclusive development to the benefit of all Afghans.

  • Specific actions and funding targets in humanitarian assistance should be focused on programs in favour of women and girls in Afghanistan.

  • The G20 urges the Taliban to fully respect their own commitment to allow the safe passage to Afghans who wish to leave the country.

  • Solutions must be identified to guarantee the provision of basic services - in particular in education and health – that go beyond delivering emergency aid, provided those services are open to all. The functioning of the payment system and the overall financial stability should also be addressed. G20 countries will cooperate with the International Organizations, International Financial Institutions, including Multilateral Development Banks, and humanitarian actors in this field.

  • G20 countries invite the World Bank to explore possible ways to redirect support to international agencies with presence in the country for humanitarian efforts.

  • G20 countries call for a rapid vaccination campaign in Afghanistan to fully administer previously donated vaccines via COVAX and stand ready to provide more.

  • In coordination with UN Agencies and local authorities in the region, substantial relief should be provided to migrants and refugees in these countries - with a special focus on women and children - and the resilience of hosting communities should be supported.

  • To relieve pressure on countries in the region, options of safe and legal pathways from these countries for Afghan refugees could be explored, in cooperation with the UNHCR.

  • The G20 recalls the importance of avoiding any action that could undermine Afghanistan’s cultural heritage, in particular its destruction and illicit trafficking, and calls for its preservation.

  • The G20 fully supports – also financially – current and future technical efforts to keep the Kabul international airport wholly operational.

  • Support for the reopening of other Afghan airports to commercial flights will also be ensured.

  • G20 countries will support initiatives aimed at improving border management capacities in the region with a view to prevent illicit trafficking and irregular movements.

  • Outreach to neighbouring countries is key to a more stable security and economic environment in the region. Consultations with Afghanistan’s neighbouring and other regional countries could be explored in order to further improve the coordination of activities and initiatives.