As Afghanistan enters a perilous and uncertain future, the United Nations has promised to “stay and deliver.” To be sure, the needs are immense. The country’s humanitarian emergency is worsening by the day. On September 1st, the top UN official remaining in Afghanistan warned that food supplies are running low, even as the UN resumes some humanitarian relief flights in parts of the country.
Meanwhile, the Security Council’s role in managing the political transition in Afghanistan is also unclear. One the one hand, the Council did pass a resolution on Afghanistan. On the other hand, the resolution did little more than call for the Taliban to give Afghans safe passage out of the country — and even so, China and Russia abstained from the resolution.
On the line with me to the UN’s role in the new Afghanistan is Mark Malloch Brown. He is the President of the Open Society Foundations and had long career at the United Nations, including as administrator of the UN Development Program and as the Deputy UN Secretary General.
We kick off discussing the Security Council’s approach to Afghanistan, including some key questions in may face: like whether to deploy a peacekeeping mission and how to deal with the fact that many Taliban leaders are under Security Council sanction. We then have a broad discussion discussing the emerging contours of the UN’s role in Afghanistan.
If you have 25 minutes and want to learn what comes next for the United Nations and broader international community in Afghanistan, have a listen.