The other good thing is that Secretary General Guterres immediately recognized that the humanitarian situation is the most immediate and pressing issue, and he organized an international conference on humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan on the 13th of September. There has been a large amount of pledge, over a billion dollars.
At the same time, the Taliban accepted the visits of the heads of leading UN agencies, including the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). All of these people have been assured of full cooperation and full security for the work of the United Nations.
It sounds good, but the issue is whether they can deliver on their words. With the confusion and difficult security situation, we really hope that the Taliban can help the work of the UN staff, including – and I stress – important Afghan staff who can actually reach the people on the ground.
On August 31, you were a panelist for an urgent seminar co-organized by SPF. During your remarks, you noted that the Taliban’s statements at the time were encouraging, but urged the Taliban show that their actions match their words so that they can gain the trust of the people. Since then, we’ve seen the formation of a caretaker government where the promises of inclusivity and diversity have not been seen through and seem to be setting the tone for what Taliban control may mean for Afghanistan. What are your expectations for the UN and international community to approach working with the Taliban government?
The performance is mixed. There have been some positive signs, but there have been some disappointing signs, and sometimes worrying signs. I think the important thing is for us to make sure that the Taliban leaders who have made statements of commitment to be inclusive and to reach out to different groups of people, including women, can actually deliver.
The Taliban is a large organization, and it includes people who have different thinking and ideas. There may be people who have very traditional ideas and who may not understand the international implications or long-term implications to society of what they’re doing.
Interview with Mr. Eisuke Kudo, Senior Advisor and Mr. Takeshi Mizunari, Research Fellow at Ocean Policy Research Institute
Fostering future leaders in maritime and ocean-related fields Over 700 WMU Sasakawa Fellows from 81 countries World Maritime University (WMU) Sasakawa Scholarship Program celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2022