Sunday, September 24, 2023

OIC Has Moral Responsibility to Help Afghan People: Indonesia

December 20, 2021 | 8:29 pm
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, second right, meets with representatives of the Taliban in Islamabad on December 18, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Affairs Ministry)
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, second right, meets with representatives of the Taliban in Islamabad on December 18, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Foreign Affairs Ministry)

Jakarta. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, also known as the OIC, has a moral responsibility to help the Afghan people, according to Indonesia’s top diplomat.

“For that, … OIC has the moral responsibility ... and to take concrete steps to help the Afghan people,” Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said in a press statement on Monday, as quoted by news outlet Antara.

Retno spoke of this at the extraordinary session of the OIC foreign ministers in Islamabad over the weekend.

“This OIC meeting serves as a good momentum to deal with three issues … as one unity,” Retno said.


She then listed three necessary steps to help the Afghan people. First, OIC must be able to mobilize its support and resources to address the Afghan humanitarian crisis.

“In this regard, I have conveyed Indonesia’s readiness to contribute. Indonesia is currently preparing food aid, in coordination with the UN agencies on the ground,” Retno said.

Second, Retno called for a roadmap to ensure Taliban’s commitment to inclusive government, respect for human rights including those of women and girls, and not making Afghanistan as a breeding ground for terrorism.

She added, “all OIC initiatives will be hard to implement without any significant progress from the Taliban to keep their promises. [...] The ‘Help-Us-to-Help-You’ approach with the Taliban is a must.”

Thirdly, OIC can become a bridge to donor countries.

“A roadmap on humanitarian aid and the channeling of financial assistance can be discussed with donors in various related fora. [...] I stressed again once more that these three things are crucial for a peaceful, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan,” Retno said.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths earlier warned of the dire humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan with 23 million people facing hunger. Health facilities are overflowing with malnourished children. As many as 70 percent of teachers are not getting paid, and millions of students —Afghanistan’s future— are out of school.

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