G20 (Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy)
G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting on Afghanistan
On September 22, from 3:00 p.m. (local time; September 23, around 4 a.m. Japan Time) for approximately 150 minutes, Mr. MOTEGI Toshimitsu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, who is visiting New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, attended the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Extraordinary Meeting on Afghanistan. The overview of the meeting is as follows (The meeting was attended by foreign ministers or acting foreign ministers of the G20 members, Spain, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Qatar, the UN Secretary-General, and others).
- The meeting began with opening remarks from H.E. Hon. Luigi Di Maio, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic, which holds the G20 presidency in 2021, followed by remarks from UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who called on the international community to come together to address the challenges facing Afghanistan, including a serious humanitarian situation.
- Each country then expressed candid opinions regarding the issues surrounding Afghanistan, such as safe departures of their nationals and partners from Afghanistan, avoiding a humanitarian crisis, and countering terrorism. Participants confirmed the importance of the G20 members aligning with each other and sending a unified message so that the Taliban takes steps in the right direction.
- Minister Motegi urged that the unified message demands the Taliban to respect political processes, which include diverse ethnic and sectarian groups, as well as the rights of women and girls. In addition, Minister Motegi noted that the most immediate challenge was the safe departure of those who wish to leave Afghanistan. In light of the growing need for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan and neighboring countries, Minister Motegi reiterated that the Government of Japan stood ready to offer assistance totaling 200 million USD (approx. 22 billion yen) by the end of this year, including 65 million USD (approx. 7.1 billion yen) in new assistance through international organizations.
- Lastly, Minister Motegi stated that it was essential not only to tackle the immediate issue of saving lives but also to maintain economic activities and basic services in Afghanistan so as not to turn the country into a “hotbed of terrorism,” and that Japan will work together with G20 members and partners while closely following the actions of the Taliban.