Canberra, 6 November 2018
H.E Ms. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan along with Mr. Hassan Sorrosh, Head of Economic Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan took part at the OSCE Asian Conference hosted by the Government of Australia on 5-6 November in Canberra, Australia.
The conference was attended by high-level delegates from the OSCE Secretariat, Participating States, the Asian Partners for Cooperation, as well as representatives from the Embassies and Permanent Missions based in Canberra. In her speech Ambassador Ebrahimkhel emphasized the important role of women in promoting economic development and social welfare. She stated that regional connectivity and trade facilitation within the context of regional co-operation is the main pillar of Afghanistan’s foreign policy and called upon broader regional co-operation with a view to enhancing the role of women and enabling them to participate in security, social and economic activities in Afghanistan, the OSCE region and beyond. In this context, a women’s economic empowerment component has been recently integrated into the agenda of the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA) with a view to facilitate market access for women from Afghanistan and the region at both, the regional and the international level.
Mr. Soroosh contributed to the 2nd session of the conference focusing on Trade Facilitation and highlighted the recent bilateral and trilateral trade initiatives and agreements between Afghanistan, Central and South Asia. He also emphasized the regional economic cooperation as an important tool to enhance peace and security in the OSCE region and beyond. Overall, the Asian Conference in Canberra provided fruitful discussions and valuable insights on common opportunities and challenges for the OSCE region and beyond.