Andrew Mitchell calls on the Prime Minister to use the UK’s experience, membership of the UN Security Council and its G7 chairmanship to ensure the whole international community focuses on supporting the people of Afghanistan through the mechanism of the United Nations.
Certainly the last months have seen the shattering of many illusions. Does my right hon. Friend agree that, if we are tonight to help the people of Afghanistan, millions of whom are out in the open and will not be fed, we need to ensure that the whole international community focuses on doing so through the mechanism of the United Nations and probably through the traditional mechanism of a regional contact group, and that Britain—through its experience on these matters, its membership of the UN Security Council and its G7 chairmanship—is now in a pivotal position to help the people I mentioned?
My right hon. Friend is completely right to raise the contact group in addition to the other forums that I have described, and to pay particular note of the role of the UN; my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has just talked to Jean Arnault, the UN Secretary-General’s special representative to Afghanistan. The contact group is a vital part of the way in which we should co-ordinate our efforts.