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.