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Ambassador Ebrahimkhel Meets with UNIDO Director-General Li Yong

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel met with UNIDO Director-General Li Yong on Friday, the 16th of October. In this productive meeting, both sides discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest, particularly regarding steps to strengthen support of COVID-19 funds from UNIDO member states and the establishment of online training programs for young Afghan diplomats.

Additionally, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel discussed the possibility of extending UNIDO’s Country Programme for Afghanistan by one-year, and proposed a phone call between Director-General Li Yong and Ms. Karima Hamid Faryabi, Minister of Economy for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will commit to properly describe what priorities must be considered in the formulation of a new Country Programme for Afghanistan.

Lastly, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel expressed gratitude for the new cooperation between Afghanistan and UNIDO in the framework of the International Gender Champions initiative. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel will be co-leading the ICG Vienna Representation Impact Group, together with the UNIDO Director-General Li Yong and the Ambassador of Finland.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel Calls for Stronger International Cooperation in addressing Terrorism on 10th Session of the Conference of the Parties

Ambassador H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel delivered a statement at the tenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) held from the 12th to the 16th of October.

The tenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNOTC was opened by H.E. Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), who called for the COVID-19 crisis to be viewed as an accelerating factor of criminal activity, and for governments to use a multilateral approach in combating organized crime. The opening session was also addressed by Alessandro Cortese, Permanent Representative of Italy, and outgoing President of the 9th session, Mohamed El-Molla, Permanent Representative of Egypt, and other high-level speakers.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel stated that the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan upholds international cooperation and multilateralism as a way of finding global solutions to various forms of organized crime and enhance cooperation with international partners, such as the UNODC, to deal with issues like terrorism, corruption, trafficking of persons, smuggling of migrants and trafficking of cultural property.

On the topic of terrorism, the Ambassador stated that terrorism, in its various forms and manifestations, continues to threaten the security and stability of our societies. Because Afghanistan has been the prime victim of terrorism for many years now, intensified efforts are required to strengthen border cooperation, information sharing, and judicial cooperation, including in the areas of extradition, and legal assistance at the sub-regional, regional, and international levels. Due to the transnational nature of terrorism, international cooperation remains key in addressing various aspects of terrorism, and in this context, we believe that countering terrorism needs to remain an area of focus within the United Nations, including under the Conference of Parties to the UNTOC, the Crime Congress and the CPPCJ.

In her closing statement, the Ambassador reiterated that the UNTOC remains an important international instrument in addressing various forms of transnational organized crime, but a shortage of capacity in the implementation of the convection remains a major challenge for most states. The Ambassador stated that a well-established review mechanism would be able to assist State parties in identifying capacity-building needs in the implementation of the convection.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel Urges for Genuine Partnerships and Multilateral Responses as a Means to Respond to Global Security Challenges

Ambassador H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel delivered a statement at the 2020 OSCE Asian Conference on Multilateral Responses to the Global Security Challenges held on the 12th and 13th of October. The conference was co-hosted by the Republic of Korea and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) with the participation of Lee Taeho, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and Ingrid Brocková, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia. The conference also hosted the participation of Mr. Ahmad Shuja Jamal, Director-General for International Affairs and Regional Cooperation at the Office of National Security in Kabul, as a panelist. This event celebrated the 25th anniversary of the OSCE Asian Partnership.

In her statement, the Ambassador stated that regional cooperation remains key in addressing regional challenges and threats in Asia. Afghanistan, being located on the Eurasian land bridge, possesses, historically and contemporarily, a key strategic geographical position connecting Central and South Asia to Europe. Afghanistan’s strategic position and geography allows for the opportunity of integrating Central, West, East and South Asia into a network that supports stability and prosperity over a vast area of the world’s surface.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel affirmed that only by reinvigorating our cooperation and multilateral responses will we [Asian Partners for Co-operation in the OSCE] be able to stay relevant in this rapidly changing global, political, economic, social and humanitarian landscape. She continued by commending the progress achieved so far by the Asian Partners for Co-operations group in the OSCE, and stated that Afghanistan is committed to developing and strengthening long-term cooperation with the OSCE to better tackle global security challenges.

Director-General Ahmad Shuja Jamal participated as a panelist under “Session 1: Regional Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and Exchanges of Best Practices between Europe and Asia”. He particularly covered one dimension of security: regional confidence and security-building measures, a recurring theme for the OSCE Asian Partnership.

Ambassador H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel attends the 64th IAEA General Conference

Ambassador H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel attended the sixty-fourth session the IAEA General Conference together with the participation of Dr. Tahir Shaaran, Director-General of Afghanistan Atomic Energy High Commission.

The 64th IAEA General Conference started with the opening statement of the IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi, which stated that the IAEA continues to work arduously to prevent the misuse of nuclear material during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted the equipment contributions the IAEA has made for combating the coronavirus.

During the plenary session of the IAEA General Conference, Dr. Tahir Sharan, Director-General of Afghanistan’s Atomic Energy High Commission delivered a statement thanking the IAEA, and its Director-General H.E Rafael Mariano Grossi, for the efforts made in supporting the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of the IAEA, the Afghanistan National Nuclear Regulatory Authority has managed to finalize three regulations on licensing, transportation, and nuclear waste. Additionally, Dr. Tahir Sharan spotlighted that Afghanistan, with the support of its main implementing partner, Afghanistan Nuclear Energy Agency, has started to implement the projects defined in the Country Programme Framework signed at the IAEA’s 63rd General Conference last year.  The projects will last until 2023 and center around Radiation Safety Infrastructure, Food and Agriculture, Human Health and Nutrition, and Human Capital Development.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel participated in a plethora of Side Events scheduled at this year’s General Conference. The event “A Global Voice on Gender Equality in Nuclear: The Role of the IAEA” illustrated the importance of equal representation in the nuclear sector and of challenging the status quo to build a better future for all. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attended this important event to support and speak to the new generation of Afghan women leaders in nuclear science and technology and assured Afghanistan’s full support to the launch of the IAEA Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellowship Programme.

Additionally, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attended the IAEA-IsDB’s (Islamic Development Bank) event on the initiative “Saving Women’s Lives From Cancer”. The initiative expands comprehensive cancer care for women affected by cervical and breast cancer in the world’s poorest countries. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attended this side event to state the importance of providing technical support to developing countries to combat breast cancer. One of the main priorities of the strategic plan of the Embassy and the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna is strengthening technical cooperation in the area of health, health for Afghan women, and general cancer support treatments for Afghanistan. IAEA support for Afghanistan in the areas of capacity building and training in areas related to cervical and breast cancer is of utmost importance.

OSCE Chairmanship Counter Terrorism Conference on Effective Partnership against Terrorism and Violent Extremism, Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism

Ambassador H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel attended the 2020 Albanian Chairmanship OSCE-wide Counter-Terrorism Conference together with the remote participation of Mr. Ahmad Shuja Jamal, Director General for International Relations and Regional Cooperation, on behalf of Dr. Hamdullah Mohib National Security Advisor of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

 

The conference was opened by several high-level key-note speakers, such as Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, H.E. Gent Cakaj; UN Under-Secretary-General, Office of Counter-Terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov; Minister of State for Security, UK Home Office, Rt Hon James Brokenshire and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy Marina Sereni.

The conference offered five sessions on different approaches to strengthening co-operation on counter-terrorism matters and violent extremism; among government agencies, with international partners, as well as engaging the business community and civil society.

Director General Ahmad Shuja Jamal, in the first session, delivered his statement virtually via Zoom on behalf of Dr. Hamdullah Mohib National Security Advisor of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In his statement, he stated that in Afghanistan, our problem with radical extremism is more from the threat of imported ideologies of radicalism and the inflow of already radicalized, violent individuals from other geographies. Afghanistan has increased regional cooperation and entered into dialogue with its neighbors in order to improve compliance and counter the proliferation of not just violent ideologies but also violent means and methods. Mr. Ahmad Shuja Jamal reminded the audience that terrorism is transnational in nature and needs solutions at the regional and global level. The OSCE is an important forum to address counter-terrorism efforts and its root causes.

 

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel Participates at the 1279th OSCE Meeting of the Permanent Council dedicated to the Review of OSCE Co-operation with OSCE Asian Partners for Co-operation

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel expressed high appreciation to Ambassador H.E. Mr. Igli Hasani and the Albanian Chairmanship for their initiative in dedicating a Permanent Council Meeting to the OSCE Asian Partners for Co-Operation. The Permanent Council Meeting was an opportunity to review the OSCE Cooperation with Asian Partners and to take stock and discuss our achievements as well as to collectively identify our common prospects.

Afghanistan appreciates the close relationship and partnership with the OSCE since being granted the status of partner State in the year 2003. This partnership has been continuously expanded and Afghanistan has greatly benefited from its engagement with the organization.

Afghanistan strongly believes in the relevance of a stronger OSCE’s partnership with Afghanistan. Afghanistan stands ready to further look into a more strategic approach to the OSCE’s co-operation with Afghanistan. Establishing more continuity and a more long-term strategic outlook in our relationship will help us achieve sustainable development and comprehensive security.

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel commends the progress achieved so far by the Asian Partners for Co-operation group in the OSCE and Afghanistan is committed to develop and strengthen long-term cooperation with the OSCE.

Photo: Micky Kroell/OSCE.

A Kind Farewell to OSCE Secretary General H.E. Thomas Greminger on the occasion of the completion of his tenure

On the occasion of the completion of H.E. Thomas Greminger’s term as OSCE Secretary General, let us express our deep gratitude for your excellent service. For the past years, you have guided the OSCE Secretariat with panache and enthusiasm and navigated the organization through challenging times.

You have initiated significant positive change within the organization and have sharpened the profile and international standing of the OSCE, while ensuring continuity. Under your able leadership of the Secretariat, the OSCE has raised its capacities across all three dimensions of the work of the OSCE. The partnership between the Asian Partners and the OSCE has steadily strengthened over the years and has proved to be essential in guaranteeing a comprehensive and sustainable security in the OSCE region.

We would like to express our gratitude for your personal support to Afghanistan.  You have been a true friend of Afghanistan and we thank you for supporting the many initiatives for our country. Afghanistan and its people will never forget what you have done for them. Our gratitude also goes to the OSCE Secretariat and distinguished colleagues from the External Cooperation’s teams for their continuous engagement and cooperation in strengthening our partnership with the OSCE.

We thank you for your hard work and commitment and wish you every success for your future endeavors.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Spain co-sponsor event on Expert Consultation on Model Provisions Regarding Victims of Terrorism

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel in her capacity of the Co-Chair of the Group of Friends of Victims of Terrorism co-sponsored the event on Expert Consultation on Model Provisions Regarding Victims of Terrorism together with Spain. H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel virtually-delivered her opening remarks on behalf of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan emphasizing the commitment and the priorities of Afghanistan in combatting terrorism and protecting the rights of victims of terrorism.

In her remarks, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel stressed that peace and stability are the pre-requisites for sustainable development. There is no development without peace and we must make sure to achieve peace and stability in the globe. Today the threat of terrorism and extremism have negatively impacted the lives of people globally and specifically in Afghanistan. The loss of civilians in barbaric terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and all over the world tells us that terrorism does not recognize borders or boundaries and we must all stand against those enemies that threaten the lives of our civilians and innocent people. Also, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel emphasized that addressing the growing links between terrorism, narcotics and other forms of organized crime should remain on top of our counter-terrorism agenda at all levels. She stated “the people of Afghanistan stand with you for a prosperous and peaceful world.”

The event served to map areas that could be covered by model legislative provisions regarding victims of terrorism. The event brought together a group of experts from governments, academia, victims associations, United Nations entities and other international organizations, including the Inter-Parliamentary Union High-Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism. Participants took part in the expert consultation in their individual expert capacity.

Ms. Razia Sayad, Commissioner of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) participated in the online expert consultation and to the Working Groups on Specific Areas of Potential Legislation.

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel, second vice-chair of the CCPCJ at its 29th session, addresses the integration segment of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

 

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel in her capacity as Second Vice-Chair of the 29th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) has been invited to participate in this year’s ECOSOC integration segment, as a panelist in the session on “Leaving no one behind in the context of COVID-19 and the decade of action and delivery”.

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel states that in a time of this global unprecedented crisis, we should be guided first and foremost by the principle of “leaving no one behind”. The need for a coordinated and joint multilateral response to prevent and counter transnational crime has never been more compelling. It is essential that the international community takes a joint response to ensure that efforts in the area of crime prevention mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular focus on vulnerable members of society.

Recovering from the pandemic offers a unique opportunity to revisit the existing inequalities in the current development model that feed marginalization, gender-based violence and trafficking in persons – and we should most certainly make full use of this opportunity.

High-level conference on Good governance and the fight against corruption in the digital era – hosted by OSCE Albania Chairmanship

Ambassador H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel attended the high-level conference together with the remote participation of Ms. Ghezal Haris, Inspector General of the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Good governance and the fight against corruption in the digital era was the focus of the OSCE Albanian Chairmanship high-level conference that took place on 6 and 7 July in Vienna.

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Albania’s Prime Minister and Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Edi Rama, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger and the Albanian Minister of Justice Etilda Gjonaj opened the conference.

Ghada Fathi Waly, the Director-General/Executive Director of the UN Office at Vienna/United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), addressed the high level panel.

Ms. Ghezal Haris delivered her statement on behalf of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan virtually via Zoom commending the Albanian 2020 Chairmanship for putting the fight against corruption a top priority in the OSCE’s agenda. She emphasized the commitment and the achievements of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in combatting corruption. She outlined both legislative and structural reforms implemented by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan that helped significantly contain corruption in Afghanistan. She also underlined that digital technology has been at the core of Afghanistan’s anti-corruption reforms and will remain so in the next five years. The OSCE, through its field operations, is well-positioned to contribute to both national and regional efforts towards anti-corruption in Afghanistan.

Relevant high-level representatives from OSCE participating States, Partners for Co-operation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other international organizations, academia and civil society discussed the main challenges and share best practices and lessons learned. The conference helped identify and implement anti-corruption approaches which strengthen democracy, the rule of law, economic development, stability and security with a focus on the use of new technologies.