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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.

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel presented Letters of Credence to H.E. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel presented her Letters of Credence to H.E. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO-PrepCom). 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.  The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) was created to guarantee a world free forever of nuclear testing. Afghanistan fervently supports this goal and signed and ratified the CTBT in 2003 and continuously promotes the entry-into-force of the Treaty, which needs to be signed and ratified by 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries, with 8 of them still pending — hence the appendix “Preparatory Commission”. Nonetheless, the CTBT has already created a de facto norm against nuclear testing: While more than 2,000 nuclear test explosions were carried out between 1945 and 1996, including in the neighborhood of Afghanistan, only half a dozen tests took place since the CTBT was created in 1996. Afghanistan has profited from the organization’s training workshops and similar programmes for stakeholders from developing countries. Furthermore, the International Monitoring System of the CTBTO-PrepCom can also be used for civilian purposes, such as early-warning in the event of earthquakes and similar natural disasters. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel and the entire team at the Permanent Mission look forward to strengthened cooperation between the CTBTO-PrepCom and Afghanistan.