Working with the Taliban?

Examining the dilemmas of working in Afghanistan two years after the Taliban’s return to power.

Members event, Panel Recording
5 July 2023 — 6:00PM TO 7:00PM
Chatham House and Online

Working with the Taliban

— Examining the ethical dilemmas of working in Afghanistan today.

After the West’s hasty and chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban government have spent the past two years in Kabul. While they continue to grapple with the new reigns of power, the country’s woes endure.

Millions are in poverty and aid agencies are providing only limited support with only nine per cent of the $4.6 billion required by the United Nations (UN) raised so far.

Social repression has returned to much of the country, particularly in regard to women’s rights, and jihadi terrorism remains a persistent plague across country.

Largely closed to the world, rule under the Taliban 2.0 means life for the Afghan people is as difficult as ever. But with these problems and more mounting, policymakers and leaders cannot ignore engagement with Afghanistan for much longer.

Although embassy staff fled Kabul, diplomatic outreach to the Taliban has started to quietly return. Widespread global rejection of the Taliban government remains strong, but recognizing and working with the regime is starting to enter discussions.

Around two years after their return, and with millions desperate for help, a delicate path is to seek an end to international isolation while also ensuring oppression is condemned.

Key questions discussed by the expert panel include:

  • Are Western countries starting to adjust their stance towards Afghanistan?

  • What relationships have NGOs and charities currently got with the Taliban?

  • How do they work in practice?

  • Will opening up to the international community see desired change in Afghanistan?

As with all member events, questions from the audience drive the conversation.

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