As Afghanistan continues to slip into a devastating economic and humanitarian crisis, there is one global actor that can help the country pull through: the United Nations. While its member states continue to debate whether to recognise the Taliban’s government, the UN can still play a significant role in supporting the Afghan people. In fact, as an international institution, it often takes on the responsibilities that no single nation wants to bear.
Despite the fact that it was excluded from the US-Taliban talks and intra-Afghan peace process, the UN is now seen as the primary avenue for humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. If individual states overpower and undermine the UN by preventing the institution from engaging with the Taliban, glaring weaknesses in the UN system will inevitably come to the surface. As the world waits for the Taliban to prove that it has changed, the UN also needs to change its approach and would do well to consider the following messages.