Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will host a special summit of the Group of 20 largest economies (G20) on Tuesday (12/10) to discuss the issue of Afghanistan, given the growing fears of a humanitarian catastrophe after the Taliban return to power.
Since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, the country, already struggling with drought and severe poverty caused by decades of war, has experienced an economic meltdown that has raised the specter of an exodus of refugees from the country.
The videoconference meeting will focus on aid needs, security concerns and ways to ensure safe travel abroad for the thousands of Western-allied Afghans still in the country.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will join the summit, underscoring the UN’s central role in tackling the crisis as many countries do not want to establish direct ties with the Taliban.
Italy, which is rotating president of the G20, is working hard to convene the meeting as countries in the group differ on how to handle Afghanistan after the chaos that erupted when the United States pulled its troops out of Kabul.
Tuesday’s meeting comes less than three weeks before the official summit of the G-20 leaders in Rome on October 30-31. The summit will focus on climate change, global economic recovery, tackling malnutrition and the COVID-19 pandemic. (ka / ah)