G7 Leaders Ask Taliban to Protect Human Rights in Afghanistan

G7 Leaders Plenary Session Building Back Better from Covid-19 during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK on 11th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021 (file photo)
G7 Leaders Plenary Session Building Back Better from Covid-19 during the G7 Summit in Cornwall, UK on 11th June 2021. Photo: Karwai Tang/G7 Cornwall 2021 (file photo)

The leaders said that Afghanistan must never again become a safe haven for terrorism, nor a source of terrorist attacks on others. 

Under the Presidency of the United Kingdom, the Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) met virtually on Tuesday (August 24) to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. They were joined by the Secretaries General of the United Nations (UN) and NATO. 

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the people of Afghanistan, and supported the UN Security Council statement of 16 August. Expressing grave concern about the situation in Afghanistan, they called for calm and restraint to ensure the safety and security of vulnerable Afghan and international citizens, and the prevention of a humanitarian crisis. 

The G7 leaders also called for adherence to obligations under international human rights law, including the rights of women, girls, and minority groups, and that international humanitarian law is upheld in all circumstances. 

The leaders said that Afghanistan must never again become a safe haven for terrorism, nor a source of terrorist attacks on others. Working with partners, in particular NATO allies, the G7 nations say they will continue to fight terrorism with resolve and solidarity, wherever it is found. 

Any future Afghan government must adhere to Afghanistan’s international obligations and commitment to protect against terrorism; safeguard the human rights of all Afghans, particularly women, children, and ethnic and religious minorities; uphold the rule of law; allow unhindered and unconditional humanitarian access; and counter human and drug trafficking effectively, the G7 leaders said in a statement.

The leaders reaffirmed that the Taliban will be held accountable for their actions on preventing terrorism, on human rights in particular those of women, girls and minorities and on pursuing an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan. 

“The legitimacy of any future government depends on the approach it now takes to uphold its international obligations and commitments to ensure a stable Afghanistan,” the G7 statement added.

The Group of Seven (G7) is an inter-governmental political forum comprising seven countries: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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Rakesh Raman