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Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presents Letters of Credence to H.E. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)

Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presented her Letters of Credence to H.E. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. The Ambassador now also serves as Permanent Representative to the CTBTO-PrepCom, an independent international organization within the UN family, having signed a Relationship Agreement with the UN in 2000.

Our partnership with the CTBTO results in vital capacity and technical-building workshops and training courses. These initiatives will propel Afghanistan towards further development. Afghanistan is strongly committed to the goals and verification regime of the CTBTO. Of course, Kabul intends to fully participate in all CTBTO’s activities. We highly value all efforts of the PTS toward the advancement of the technical capabilities of State Signatories. Though COVID-19 has dampened our ability to organize these activities, it has not affected our will to transform and prepare Afghanistan for a post-conflict period. Yet, this desire goes beyond our domestic goals as we firmly support the allocation of appropriate resources to capacity-building to expand the engagement of different State Signatories, in particular developing countries.

We look forward to bringing additional technical experts from Afghanistan to participate in the important meetings and training workshops organized by the CTBTO. Training programmes for Afghan stakeholders greatly contribute to bolstering our national capacity to handle state-of-the-art technology and equipment. Of course, this capacity is vital for our national re-development efforts. We wish to make full use also of the potential scientific and civil uses of CTBTO’s data and technologies.

The OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek announces two initiatives aimed at supporting Afghanistan

We are grateful to the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek for two initiatives aimed at supporting Afghanistan. These initiatives are built upon the ExB project from 2009 to 2015. Similar to that project, the “Enhancing Border Management and Operating Capacities of Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan” and “Capacity Building of Customs Offices from Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan” aim to enhance the capacity of and cooperation between the border and customs agencies of Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. Through academic and field training sessions, the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek will aid the professional development of our customs officers.

As a developing country, the optimization of our border and customs agencies significantly impacts the trajectory of Afghanistan’s advancement. Therefore, we attach great importance to these projects. We are hugely grateful for the continued support and collaboration of the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek with our government. The OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek can expect full participation from our side to ensure the success of these initiatives.

Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presents her Letters of Credence to H.E. Li Yong, Director General of UNIDO

Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presented her Letters of Credence to H.E. Li Yong, Director General of UNIDO, introducing Ambassador as Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to UNIDO.

UNIDO has a long history of supporting Afghanistan towards poverty reduction, rural development, strengthened export and trade capacities, agro-business, creation of employment opportunities, industrial governance, private sector development and environment management.

Mr. Yong’s capacity as the DG of UNIDO and his valuable experience in creating economic opportunities that reduce poverty and promote gender equality align with the Ambassador’s primary objectives during her tenure in Vienna. Together they will help advance inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Afghanistan. More importantly, they will empower women and improve the standard of living for Afghans. The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan remains committed to this shared vision.

H.E. Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presented Credential Letters to Mr. Thomas Stelzer, Dean of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA)

H.E. Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presents her Letters of Credence to Mr. Thomas Stelzer, Dean of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), based in Laxenburg/Lower Austria. Ambassador Bakhtari now also serves as Permanent Representative of the I.R. of Afghanistan to IACA, which was established in 2010. In this meeting, she detailed Afghanistan’s anti-corruption efforts and acknowledged IACA’s invaluable contributions to this fight. She also reiterated Afghanistan’s high regard for multilateral cooperation. Together, Ambassador Bakhtari and Mr. Stelzer brainstormed new cooperative efforts. In particular, they focused on better tailoring IACA services and programs to Afghan nationals.

H.E. AMBASSADOR MANIZHA BAKHTARI PRESENTS CREDENTIAL LETTERS TO THE IAEA DIRECTOR GENERAL, H.E. RAFAEL MARIANO GROSSI

Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presented her credentials to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General, H.E. Rafael Mariano Grossi on the 30th of March 2021, in Vienna. In this meeting, Ambassador Bakhtari reiterated her appreciation of the IAEA, its projects, and its investment in Afghanistan.

The cooperation framework between Afghanistan and the IAEA hinges on four important investments—Radiation Safety Infrastructure, Food and Agriculture, Human Health and Nutrition, and Human Capital Development. Concerning health, Ambassador Bakhtari commended the Director-General for initiating the ZODIAC Project. This project preemptively organizes a global response if another pandemic should ever occur. The IAEA demonstrated its commitment to this goal in the last year. In fact, the IAEA provided vital support to Afghanistan throughout this global health crisis.

In particular, Afghanistan greatly appreciates the IAEA’s initiatives to expand comprehensive cancer care for women affected by cervical and breast cancer in the world’s poorest countries. Ambassador Bakhtari discussed the importance of the continuation of our joint efforts in addressing breast cancer and cervical cancer in Afghanistan by providing appropriate treatments through IAEA’s projects and technical cooperation.

With the gaining momentum in the Afghan peace process, Afghanistan increases its capacity to undertake joint initiatives. Afghanistan intends to take concrete measures and plan for the future. In particular, Ambassador Bakhtari plans to facilitate women’s participation in these projects and achieve full gender parity. Achieving this goal depends on frameworks such as the Group of Friends for Women, the International Gender Champions, and the ICG Vienna Representation Impact Group.

The technical assistance and cooperation initiatives provided by the IAEA remain vital for Afghanistan. In this meeting, this partnership was further cemented.

Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presented her credentials to H.E. Ms. Ghada Waly, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV)

On the 15th of March 2021, Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presented her Letters of Credence to Ms. Ghada Waly, Executive Director of UNODC and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna. Madam Ambassador thanked the United Nations and specifically the UNODC on behalf of Afghanistan. We are grateful for their tireless counter-narcotic efforts, which have greatly contributed to our country’s progress. The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Vienna pledges full support to all Vienna-based organizations and with UN-programs based in Vienna aimed at bolstering Afghanistan.

The UNODC has provided valuable protection and support to the people of Afghanistan in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, while continuing to support the country in the areas of alternative development, anti-corruption, and counter-narcotics. Among these efforts are law enforcement, criminal justice, curbing drug use, addressing HIV/AIDS among drug users, and providing alternative livelihoods. These are only a few of the critical joint initiatives between UNODC and Kabul. Ms. Ghada Waly and the UNODC can count on our unwavering dedication to this partnership.

In this meeting, they discussed ways to strengthen the coordination of initiatives between Afghanistan and the UNODC. This meeting reiterates both Ambassador Bakhtari and her country’s commitment to eradicating narcotics in Afghanistan.

Read more here:

https://unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/pressrels/2021/unisbio1295.html

 

Japan Contributes $475,000 to the New UNIDO Project in Afghanistan

On February 19th, 2021, Japan announced that it would contribute $475,000 to the new UNIDO project in Afghanistan entitled “Emergency assistance for improving the livelihoods through skills training for returnees, internally displaced people and host communities in Herat”. The contribution aims to reaffirm Japan’s commitment to fortifying the societal resiliency of countries in the face of crisis. Japan’s contribution comes at the backdrop of the humanitarian crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left already at-risk populations in a particularly vulnerable position.

Japan has a distinguished history of providing assistance and aid to Afghanistan in its times of need. During the last years, Japan has provided generous support in implementing projects on women’s education, health and economic empowerment.

The Permanent Mission and Embassy of the I.R. of Afghanistan expresses utmost gratitude to Japan for its contributions to this new UNIDO Project. Afghanistan treasures its relationship with Japan, and appreciates the country’s continued support of the peoples of Afghanistan within the UNIDO framework.

The United States Contributes $3.4 Million to UNODC’s Container Control Programme (CCP) in Afghanistan

On January 31st 2021, the United States Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN) announced that it would contribute $3.4 million to the UNODC’s Container Control Programme (CCP). The contribution has the aim of continuing to support CCP projects in Afghanistan, including those in Herat International Airport and Afghan Port Control Units in Hairatan, Jalalabad, Shirkhan Bandar, Islam Qala, Aquina, and Zaranj.

These programmes have the purpose of training Afghan authorities in identifying and stopping the distribution of illicit goods, while facilitating the movement of legitimate merchandise. In 2019, Afghan port control units trained by CCP staff conducted 131 significant seizures. This includes over 6,000 grams of heroin, 75 metric tons of precursor chemicals, 100 kilograms of explosives, four rocket launchers, 2,000 boxes of falsified medicines, and over 650,000 USD, 90,000 Euros, 128,300 Saudi Riyals, 75,800 AED, 140,000 Indian Rupees in undeclared currency.

The Permanent Mission and Embassy of Afghanistan expresses utmost gratitude to the United States for its continued contributions to peace and security in Afghanistan. Afghanistan attaches great importance to the strong relationship with the United States of America, and appreciates its support to Afghanistan within the UNODC framework.

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.