OSCE Asian Contact Group Meeting held at the
Hofburg Conference Center
Vienna, May 17, 2016
Today, the 2nd OSCE Asian Contact Group Meeting in 2016 was held at the Hofburg, chaired by the Ambassador of Serbia, H.E. Vuk Zugic. The Deputy Director General of the European Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Mr. Toshihiro Aiki, made a presentation on “Japan´s Enhanced Contribution to Peace, Security and Stability in Asia”
In a brief intervention, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan, Mr. Hassan Soroosh, made reference to Japan´s role in international efforts in supporting peace and stability and commended Japan as one of Afghanistan’s largest donors, supporting the country with more than USD 5 billion of assistance since 2001. The funds were invested in key areas such as agricultural and rural development; infrastructure; human resources development and education; and health and gender. Mr. Soroosh also expressed his appreciation for the role of Japan in mobilizing international support behind the reconstruction and development process in Afghanistan including through hosting a number of important international conferences on Afghanistan such as the Tokyo Conference on the Reconstruction of Afghanistan held in January 2002 as well as the 2012 Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan co-hosted by the Japanese and Afghan governments, as well as supporting several Afghanistan-focused regional economic co-operation projects.
During the Asian Contact Group Meeting, the German Chairmanship and a number of delegations expressed their sympathy and condolences with regard to the terrorist attack that took place in Kabul on April 19th this year claiming many lives and injured many others, and also with regard to the victims of the recent earthquake hitting Japan. Mr. Soroosh thanked delegations for their words of sympathy and condolences while highlighting the fact that Afghanistan remains a prime victim of terrorism and that intensified regional and international co-operation is needed to address this menace. In this context he thanked the OSCE for relevant counter-terrorism training and capacity-building opportunities offered for participants from Afghanistan.
The meeting also included briefings by H.E. the Thai Ambassador and the OSCE Secretariat on the ongoing preparations for the 2016 OSCE-Asian Conference, to be held from 6th-7th June, 2016 in Bangkok as well as an overview by the US delegation on a planned side event on cyber security at the Bangkok OSCE-Asian Conference.
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