Today Ambassador Erfani was invited by the Albertina Rotary Club, an international service group, to give a presentation on Afghanistan. Speaking to a big number of Vienna based members the Ambassador expressed his appreciation for having the opportunity to talk at the occasion. He provided a brief background picture on the peaceful and also the wartime history of Afghanistan, and then focused on Afghanistan’s transition since 2002 and Afghanistan’s vision for a democratic future through the new Decade of Transformation (2015-2024).
Highlighting the improvements made since 2002, the Ambassador spoke of the areas in which progress has been made in the country, including in the areas of education, women’s participation, civil society, media, communication, institutions, security, foreign policy, infrastructure, and legislations. He pointed to these improvements as important signs of success for Afghanistan’s ongoing Decade of Transformation. The Ambassador further emphasized Afghanistan’s commitment, as well as that of its international partners, to consolidate on the current progress in response to the remaining and emerging challenges for a stable and prospering Afghanistan.
The Ambassador also engaged with the participants in an open discussion and responded to questions raised. He briefed the participants about the short, medium and long term economic visions of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan to reclaim the historic geographic role of Afghanistan, as a connecting bridge between Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East, to enhancing trade, transit and investment opportunities. He called on the Rotary Club to continue their good work: “I can assure you that there are plenty of opportunities in the emerging market and economy of Afghanistan. At the same time, we still need the support of our international partners to build our capacities and implement our national priority programs (NPPs).”
Responding to a question from the audience about possible seizure of power of Daesh (“Islamic State”) terrorist group in Afghanistan, Ambassador Erfani acknowledged that the ongoing one year has been a difficult year for Afghanistan: “The drawdown of international forces, the completion of security transition to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), Presidential and Provincial Councils elections and the first democratic transfer of power and the country. At the same time, the strong determination of the Afghan people for democracy and freedom through their participation in the last year’s elections, the visions and commitments of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan and the excellent performance of the capable Afghan National Security Forces against terrorists and enemies of the Afghan people, provide a guarantee that there is no chance for terrorist victory in Afghanistan, and we are confident that we will succeed in our goal for a stable and democratic Afghanistan, which is equally important for the regional and international peace and stability.”
Rotary International was formed in 1905 with the service-oriented aim of applying leadership and expertise to social issues to create lasting change. The club is made up of 1.2 million members, all working to improve their communities and the world.
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