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H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel presents Letters of Credence to His Excellency Mr Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia

On Thursday, 04 July 2019, H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel presented her Letters of Credence to His Excellency Mr Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia. This marked the establishment of official diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of Slovenia and the starting point of her tenure as non-resident Ambassador of Afghanistan to Slovenia.

H.E. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel conveyed H.E. President Ghani’s strong commitment for enhancing the bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Slovenia and pledged her full cooperation to strengthen their friendly relations. The Republic of Slovenia was honored to have the first Afghan women Ambassador to their country.

Afghanistan is an important country for Slovenia, especially in the area of security. Slovenian High-Level representatives from the Ministry of Defense paid numerous visits to Afghanistan and a new visit is planned soon.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel spoke at length on the achievements of Afghanistan in the past 17 years.  The last years have delivered Afghanistan at the doorstep of peace. Afghanistan is giving huge importance in guaranteeing women’s rights in this process and reiterates its continued support to an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. Afghanistan is optimist about a prosperous future in the country.

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel attends OSCE Asian Contact Group Meeting on Countering Trafficking in Human Beings and Modern Slavery

On Friday 28 June 2019, H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel attends the OSCE Asian Contact Group Meeting demonstrating Afghanistan’s commitment to fight human trafficking and modern slavery on domestic, regional and global levels.

The problem of human trafficking in human beings is not foreign to Afghanistan. As a victim of this global challenge, Afghanistan has made tremendous progress to tackle the challenge of trafficking of human beings. For the last one decade, Afghanistan supported by its partners in the international community, adopted national legislation, implemented regional and international legal instruments, created relevant institutions and law enforcement capacities at its borders and airports and became part of bilateral, regional and international mechanisms, to combat human trafficking.

Human trafficking is particularly prevalent in countries stricken by conflict and strife, especially those who continue to suffer at the hands of terrorists and extremists. The inextricable link between human trafficking and terrorism remains a serious source of concern, demanding urgent attention of the international community.

 

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel meets with Ms. Ingeborg Geyer from the ZONTA International United Nations

On Thursday, June 27, 2019, Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel met with Ms. Ingeborg Geyer from the ZONTA International United Nations.

In their meeting, they discussed women empowerment issues and how the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan and ZONTA can promote ending child marriage.

Since 2001, Afghanistan has secured tremendous gains towards promotion and protection of human rights, particularly of women.

Afghanistan’s core efforts in advancing the rights of women are primarily based in the National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325. As a result of all these efforts, women in Afghanistan are now writing history – they actively participate in civil society structures, as well as in politics and business. Today, many women are vibrant voices of society.

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel attends the Special Event of the 62nd Session of the CND devoted to the launch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime World Drug Report 2019

On Wednesday 26 June 2019, H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel attends the special event of the sixty-second session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, devoted to the commemoration of the United Nations International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and the launch of the UNODC World Drug Report 2019.

Afghanistan thanked the UNODC and all its researchers’ team for their yet again excellent effort in preparing another detailed overview of the drug situation in the world, with the innovative idea of grouping drugs by their psychopharmacological effect.

Afghanistan acknowledges the World Drug Report as one of the most important sources aiming at improving our understanding of the world drug problem alongside some other very important reports such as European Drug Report 2019 from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, which is a fantastic reliable source of data analysis.

In particular, Afghanistan values the efforts of the UNODC Research Team on increasing information on drug usage, contributing towards fostering greater international cooperation on countering the impact of the world drug problem on health.

Better understanding of drug problems is also needed. Research and analysis are necessary to inform policy and enable international cooperation around evidence-based solutions.

Afghanistan remains committed to supporting the work of UNODC and promote balanced, health- and rights-based approaches to drug challenges, building on the international drug control conventions, human rights obligations and the Sustainable Development Goals.

AMBASSADOR KHOJESTA FANA EBRAHIMKHEL MEETS WITH MS. GABRIELE HEINISCH-HOSEK, MEMBER OF THE PARLIAMENT (SPÖ)

On Tuesday 7 May 2019, H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel met with Ms. Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, Member of the Parliament (SPÖ) and the chairwoman of the Social Democratic Women Movement.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel received Ms. Gabriele Heinisch-Hose at her office. The thematic of women empowerment in Afghanistan was taken into depth discussion. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel underlined that Women Empowerment is a key pillar of the Foreign Policy of Afghanistan, and the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna likewise puts it as one of the main priorities of its strategic plan. Ms. Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, who previously served as the Minister for Women Affairs welcomed the initiatives of the Government and the Embassy of Afghanistan in Vienna on women and pledged her support in that regard.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel further highlighted the recent developments and achievements in the area of Women Empowerment in Afghanistan. She stated that “today, women work together with men and are active agents of peace and change. Women are the majority and the moving reality for the future of Afghanistan. Furthermore, significant efforts to increase women’s participation in official peacebuilding initiatives and the peace process have been made. Afghan women will not go back to the Taliban’s dark era.”

During the meeting, they have agreed on a framework of cooperation to guide the future engagements and to strengthen collaboration on the issues discussed.

AMBASSADOR KHOJESTA FANA EBRAHIMKHEL MET WITH H.E. MINISTER DR. JULIANE BOGNER-STRAUß, FEDERAL MINISTER FOR WOMEN, FAMILIES AND YOUTH OF THE REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA

On Thursday, 2 May 2019 Ambassador Ebrahimkhel met with H.E. Minister Dr. Juliane Bogner-Strauß, Federal Minister for Women, Families, and Youth of the Republic of Austria. In this productive meeting, both sides discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interests, in particular, the ways to strengthen women empowerment and support youth and families.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel emphasized that woman empowerment is an important strategic objective for Afghanistan and significant progress toward the promotion and protection of human rights, especially women rights, has been made in the past years. Furthermore, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel regarding the women’s participation in the Peace Process stated that the Government recognizes that sustainable peace and security in Afghanistan cannot be built without another half of the population; it can only be achieved through a participatory process where both men and women are active participants in peacebuilding and peace process. In this context, one of the main objectives of Afghanistan’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security is to increase women’s participation in the Peace Process.

For future engagements, they have promised to strengthen collaboration on the issues discussed and look forward to further contribute to the long-standing bilateral cooperation between their respective countries.

Ambassador Khojesta Fana pays visit to Salzburg, Austria

1 April 2019, Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel accompanied by Mr. Azizurahman Safawi Consular of the Embassy pay visit to Salzburg in order to attend a  Migration Dialogue where Ambassador Ebrahimkhel was invited to deliver a speech on Afghan migrants and asylum seekers in Austria. This was later followed by a plenary discussion with Dr. Andrea Holz-Dahrenstaett, Youth and Child Lawyer and Dr. Josef Mautner, founder and member of Platform for Human Rights (Plattform für Menschenrechte).

The event was organized by the Bildungszentrum St. Virgil and the Integration Department of the Government of Salzburg. The meeting was attended by government representatives, including State Councillor Andrea Klambauer, and by more than 200 lawyers, students, professors and academics from different Universities and NGOs.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel outlined in her speech 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 stated that the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna is always eager to provide the best services to Afghan migrants and asylum seekers in Austria. Serving the needs of migrants have always been the highest priority in our work, therefore we have established a legal platform within the Embassy to fully monitor the implementation of the Joint Way Forward agreement, which indicates the obligation of both sides dealing with migrants and deportees. We will make sure that in the overall asylum seeking and deportation processes the agreement and other international legal and humanitarian norms and principles are observed. Nonetheless, we also share no sympathy to those Afghan migrants detained and convicted for criminal and illegal actives in Austria. In these cases we are always ready to work with the Austrian Ministry of the Interior to help with deportation process.

The next day, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel was invited to visit the Berufsförderungsinstitut (BFI) Salzburg, an educational institution of the Salzburg Chamber of Labor that allows its customers a low-threshold, broad and attractive access to vocational education and training. Mr. Werner Pichler, Director of BFI Salzburg, and Mr. Wolfgang Schick, Head of Section Youth, Generations, Integration of the Office of the Salzburg Provincial Government, gave a presentation of the BFI and opportunities for Afghan people in Salzburg. Afterwards, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel met the many Afghans present at the BFI, who are engaged or have completed various training courses.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel expressed her thanks for the warm welcome in beautiful Salzburg and the interesting exchange, which will be deepened in the near future.

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