Latest News
Home / 2019 / March

Monthly Archives: March 2019

H.E. Mr. Edress Zaman, Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan, takes part in the Ministerial Segment of the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), Vienna, Austria, March 14-15, 2019.

Vienna, 19 March 2019

At the Ministerial Segment of the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) which was held from 14 to 15 March 2019 in Vienna, Austria, the Head of the Delegation of Afghanistan, Deputy Foreign Minister Zaman, delivered a statement on the progress made and the challenges remaining in Afghanistan in counter narcotics efforts. The need for a full-fledge strategy that brings all the Afghan counter-narcotic efforts into one framework was emphasized. It was noted that the World Drug Problem requires a comprehensive, multifaceted, and concerted actions by all Member States at national, regional, and international level.

In his statement Deputy Foreign Minister Zaman highlighted that illicit production, manufacture, trafficking in and diversion of drugs and precursors as well as state-sponsored narco-terrorism, transnational organized crime and the growing drug market are the most pressing issues of our time that continue to destabilize international peace and security. He also underscored that in Afghanistan, a country facing imposed conflict for over four decades, the nexus between narcotics and insecurity is well reflected in various UNODC and INCB reports.

On the margins of the Ministerial Segment the delegation of Afghanistan held several bilateral meetings with Dr. Viroj Sumyai, President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB); Mr. Christian Leffler, EEAS Deputy Secretary Gene; Mr. Sherkhon Salimzoda, Director of the Drug Control Agency and a trilateral meeting with the heads of the delegations of the USA and Pakistan.

On Monday 18 March The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan hosted high level Side-Event entitled “The Symbiotic Relationship between Insecurity and Opium Production in Afghanistan and the Peace Process as a Potential Solution” chaired by H.E. Khojasta Fana Ebrahimkhel, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan in Vienna, became an important forum for the presentation of the latest efforts in the peace negotiations with the Taliban with a focus on the consequences on the future of counter narcotics activities.

In the meanwhile, the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna together with Japan and the Russian Federation co-sponsored, another High-Level Side-Event entitled the“Trilateral Partnership in support of counter-narcotics efforts of Afghanistan.”

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the International Organizations in Vienna chaired a Side-Event hosted by the Government of Afghanistan on the margins of the 62nd Session of the UNODC Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Vienna, 19 March 2019

The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan hosted a Side-Event entitled “The Symbiotic Relationship between Insecurity and Opium Production in Afghanistan and the Peace Process as a Potential Solution” on the margins of the 62nd session of the UNODC Commission on Narcotic Drugs on Monday 18 March 2019 at the Vienna International Centre in Vienna.

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel, Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the International Organizations in Vienna, chaired the panel and highlighted insecurity as one of the main root causes of the drug problem in Afghanistan and the nexus between drug production and insecurity. Considering the link between insecurity and drug production, recent efforts to bring peace is giving Afghanistan a glimpse of hope.

Deputy Foreign Minister H.E. Edress Zaman presented the latest efforts in the peace negotiations with the Taliban with a focus on the consequences on the future of counter narcotics activities. Most importantly, he outlined the dividends peace in Afghanistan would bring not only in the country but also regionally and internationally. However, as good as peace may sound in Afghanistan, H.E. Edress Zaman clarified how the Constitution of Afghanistan and the gains of the Afghan society are the red lines of the Afghan government in this peace process.

 

Mr. Jawid Ahmad Qaem, Senior Advisor for the Office of National Security Council of Afghanistan, highlighted the importance of incorporating the drug component in the post-peace talks with the Taliban. In order to solve the drug problem, the post-peace approach will have to focus on the categories of landowners and farmers. He emphasized that drug trafficking in Afghanistan is not a national but a regional and international issue that should be tackled under the principle of shared responsibility. He called for creating a clear and complete picture of the situation of the drug problem in the Region, especially with regard to trafficking routes, to be able to create suitable solutions and policies to counter this international menace.

Lastly, Mr. Mark Colhoun, UNODC Regional Representative for Country Office in Afghanistan, stressed the need to include rule of law, development and health issues relating to illicit narcotics in the peace process. The illicit financial flows generated and the harm to society are simply too large for these not to be included in the process. At the same time, the regional dimensions need to be considered as well, particularly when it comes to interdiction efforts.

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel concluded the session by saying that ‘we – Afghanistan and our partners – must convince all those neighbors of Afghanistan still skeptical about positive developments in Afghanistan and Central Asia and must send a clear message to them that it would be also in their own interests to border a secure and prosperous Afghanistan.’

Afghan Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs met Minister of Interior Affairs of Austria

20 March 2019, Lieutenant general Abdul Khalil Bakhtyar, Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel, met with H.E. Herbert Kickl, Minister of Interior Affairs of Austria.

In this meeting, both sides discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interests including, the establishment of a mechanism to tackle the problems of Afghan Migrants and Asylum seekers, prevention of human smuggling, countering narcotic drugs and strengthening bilateral cooperation between two ministries

The Delegation of Afghanistan takes part in the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND),

17 March 2019, H.E. Idrees Zaman , Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan leading high-level delegates from Afghanistan attended the 62nd Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime held on March 14-15, 2019, at the headquarter of UNODC in Vienna, Austria.

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel Message on International Women’s Day

On behalf of my colleagues here at the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna, I would like to offer my best wishes to you all on International women’s day.

On this important day, which strongly reminds us of persisting deficiencies in terms of gender equality, gender parity and the elimination of discrimination and violence against women, we see a remarkable unity among women across the globe, speaking with one voice and demanding our rights. Most importantly, we also watch many men joining us. At the same time, there is a wide range of issues to be tackled, today and on all other days of the year, ranging from child marriage, sexual abuse and harassment, female genital mutilation and femicide, to equal rights, equal representation and equal pay.

I and the entire delegation of Afghanistan in Vienna will contribute to the empowerment of women, addressing existing disparities and working towards gender equality. We will seize each and every opportunity to closely co-operate with colleagues, men and women, to advance women’s rights and to tackle violence against women. We will not shy away from making any effort to inspire and convince men and women about the advantages, necessity and justness of gender equality and parity, as pre-requisite for peace and security, development, human rights, prosperity and well-being for all, also against the background of the SDGs.

Let us express our hope that we all can use this important day to generate momentum towards realization of what should be normalcy: an equal status of men and women.

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel met with Dr. Heinz Fischer former President of Austria and Board Member of the Ban Ki-Moon Centre and Ms. Viola Christian, Program and Organizational Associate

Tuesday 5th March 2019, Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel met with Dr. Heinz Fischer former President of Austria and Board Member of the Ban Ki-Moon Centre and Ms. Viola Christian, Program and Organizational Associate for the Ban Ki-Moon Centre.

In this meeting, a wide array of topics were discussed and key areas of focus were identified. Dr. Fischer attached great importance to the rule of women in the society and identified women empowerment programs as an extremely important tool for social and economic development in Afghanistan. He also gives an update on Ban Ki-Moon Centre’s WOMEN EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM-ASIA which is scheduled to take place in September 2019 where a group of five Afghan women is invited to take part from Afghanistan.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel expressed her gratitude to Ban Ki-Moon Centre for providing such kind of opportunities to Afghan women in their programs and initiatives, and stated that there is great potential for future joint action and co-operation through on going partnership in development projects. In light of this, the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna will continue to follow-up the issues discussed in the meeting and to strengthened and expand the co-operation framework in the future.

Visit of Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel to Linz, Austria

28 Februrary2019, Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel had received an invitation by State Minister Rudi Anschober, in charge of Integration, Environment, Climate Protection and Consumer Protection in Upper Austria, to participate in a day-long Conference concerning Afghan citizens in Linz.

In the morning, the Ambassador had a fruitful meeting with the Mayor of Linz, Mr. Klaus Luger. During the meeting, a number of joint initiatives were contemplated in the area of health and education to foster relations and collaboration between the City of Linz and the City of Kabul and a follow-up meeting will be organized in the near future.

Mr. Anschober invited the Ambassador and her colleagues to visit two Austrian companies, ABC Dachlackierer- & Maler GmbH and TopRein Gebäudereinigungs-und Handels GmbH, which together have hired a total of five enthusiastic Afghan apprentices. They are the living example of a good integration of Afghan citizens into Austria. The Ambassador was really proud of their achievements and was pleased to hear that the owners of the company were highly satisfied with their performance.

Thereafter, during a visit to an Asylum-Seeker Quartier, which offered a home to 30 Afghan citizens, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel thanked the primary care quarter team for their support and continued dedication in helping Afghan refugees and pledged her personal and the Embassy’s support in providing assistance whenever required.

In the evening, the Ambassador participated in a Conference on Afghanistan with the strong motto ‘Wir sind Oberösterreich’ (We are Upper Austria), outlined in her speech to the audience of the Conference the bilateral relations which so happily exist between the two countries and thanked Austria for its continued support for Afghanistan and Afghan refugees. She further stressed that Afghanistan should not be perceived in a development context only, but should be recognized also in terms of holding significant economic, trade and investment opportunities. Afghanistan is located on the Eurasian land bridge and possesses a key strategic geographical position connecting Central and South Asia and leading to Europe. Afghanistan has the potential to serve as an important hub for regional and inter-regional trade, transit, and transport. She concluded by saying that ‘We have good prospects in Afghanistan and you are invited to participate in realizing them, at the toehold of the Eurasian land bridge at the heart of Asia’.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel expressed her gratitude to State Minister Anschober and Upper Austria for the integration efforts established in Linz for the Afghan refugees.

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel met with Mr. Gerald TATZGERN, head of the Central Unit for Combating Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking of the Criminal Intelligence Service Austria.

 

Friday 1st March 2019, Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel met with Mr. Gerald TATZGERN, head of the Central Unit for Combating Human Smuggling and Human Trafficking of the Criminal Intelligence Service of Austria. In this meeting they discussed their respective efforts in combating human smuggling and trafficking and delved deep into further potential areas for joint cooperation, as combating this harmful practice that destroys to many lives is of grave importance.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel said that the integration process is very crucial for the engagement of new arrivals into society and both sides conversed, outlining the different and varied strategies necessary for comprehensive success of the integration process. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel also emphasised that the harmful activities of a limited number of individuals should not be allowed to harm and impair the narrative and perception of a whole community and nation.

As the meeting concluded Ambassador Ebrahimkhel was given a tour around the Joint Operation Office, and expressed gratitude and wished the unit continued success in their on going work.

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel met with Dr. Hubert Fuchs, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Austria.

February 26, 2019. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel met with Dr. Hubert Fuchs, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Austria. In this meeting both side discussed wide range of issues of mutual interest comprising Investment in Afghanistan, Austrian development projects and the expansion of future framework for deepening bilateral relationship.