LONDON, England – Prime minister Boris Johnson will call on G7 leaders to continue to stand by the Afghan people and step up support for refugees and humanitarian aid when they meet this afternoon, Tuesday, August 24.
Chairing the meeting, he is expected to urge international partners to match the UK’s commitments on aid and the resettlement of those most in need, in order to protect human rights and contribute to the stability of the region.
Leaders are also expected to reiterate their commitment to safeguarding the gains made in Afghanistan over the last 20 years – in particular on girls’ education and the rights of women and minorities. Discussions are set to cover ongoing collaboration on evacuation efforts at Kabul airport and longer-term work to secure a more stable future for Afghanistan and ensure any new government is inclusive and abides by its international obligations.
Ahead of the meeting, prime minister Boris Johnson, said: “Our first priority is to complete the evacuation of our citizens and those Afghans who have assisted our efforts over the last 20 years – but as we look ahead to the next phase, it’s vital we come together as an international community and agree a joint approach for the longer term. That’s why I’ve called an emergency meeting of the G7 – to coordinate our response to the immediate crisis, to reaffirm our commitment to the Afghan people, and to ask our international partners to match the UK’s commitments to support those in need. Together with our partners and allies, we will continue to use every humanitarian and diplomatic lever to safeguard human rights and protect the gains made over the last two decades. The Taliban will be judged by their deeds and not their words.”
The meeting will take place by video conference and the NATO and UN Secretaries-General have also been invited to join the discussion.
Earlier this week the prime minister set out his five-point plan for addressing the risk of humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
The plan has five parts:
- Immediately helping those to whom we have direct obligations;
- Protecting ourselves against any threat from terrorism;
- Supporting Afghan people in the region through humanitarian and development assistance;
- Creating safe and legal routes to resettle Afghans in need;
- Developing a clear plan for dealing with the new Afghan regime in a unified and concerted way.
The meeting of G7 leaders comes after the prime minister chaired a meeting of COBR on Monday afternoon where ministers discussed the latest situation on the ground. As of the morning of Monday 23, the UK had secured the evacuation of almost 6,000 people out of Kabul since Operation PITTING began last week, which includes British Nationals and their dependants, embassy staff, and Afghan nationals under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (ARAP) programme.
The UK has already doubled the amount of humanitarian aid to the region, committing up to £286 million with immediate effect, and last week we announced a new bespoke resettlement scheme. This programme will be one of the most generous in British history and is set to relocate up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghans.