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THE GOVERNMENT OF AFGHANISTAN AND THE AFGHAN OPIATE TRADE PROJECT OF UNODC RESEARCH AND TREND ANALYSIS BRANCH ORGANIZED A SIDE EVENT UNDER THE 63RD SESSION OF THE CND

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, in conjunction with the UNODC Research and Trend Analysis Branch organized a side event in the margins of the 63rd session of the CND, on the 5th of March in Vienna. The event took the form of an insightful presentation of the key findings within a UNODC report titled “Voices of the Quchaqbar: Understanding Opiate Trafficking in Afghanistan from the Perspective of Drug Traffickers”.

In his opening speech, Deputy Minister Aurtuq expressed his appreciation for the unique structure of the UNODC Report. The Deputy Minister, moreover, emphasized his hope that the Report will serve to open up future avenues of collaboration between the UNODC and the Afghan counter-narcotics police.

The Deputy Vice Minister on Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan, Mr. Mohammad Fazel Wasit was also a panelist in the side event. He presented to the attendees the achievements of Afghanistan’s Counter-Narcotics Police in the last decade, which are significant and numerous.  During his presentation, Mr. Wasit specifically highlighted the growing numbers of operations, seizures and the dismantling of labs the Afghanistan Counter Narcotics Police has successfully carried out from 2009 until 2019. Mr. Osman remains hopeful that the current achievements of the Counter Narcotics Police Force will be amplified in the years to come.

Ambassador Fana Khojesta Ebrahimkhel attended the side event, showcasing, thus, her gratitude for the continuous collaboration between the Government of Afghanistan and the UNODC Trend and Analysis Branch.

AMBASSADOR KHOJESTA FANA EBRAHIMKHEL MET WITH THE IAEA DIRECTOR GENERAL, H.E. RAFAEL MARIANO GROSSI

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel met with the IAEA Director General, H.E. Rafael Mariano Grossi, on the 4th of March, in Vienna. The Director-General was appointed in his current role on the 3rd of December, 2019.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel expressed her gratitude for the support of the IAEA to Afghanistan with regard to technical assistance and cooperation activities. As the project which currently defines the cooperation of Afghanistan with the IAEA, Afghanistan’s Country Framework Programme for the period 2019-2023 should define future technical cooperation. Amidst the four main areas in which the Programme is expected to make a difference, human health was specifically mentioned during the meeting.

In the area of health, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel sheds light on the efforts of Afghanistan to combat cancer, which is showcased by the country’s efforts to establish a Radiology Diagnostic Center and a Radiotherapy Center. A faster advancement of these ongoing projects requires the continuous collaboration of all stakeholders in Afghanistan.

As two International Gender Champions, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel and H.E. Grossi delved into women’s rights issues at great length. The contribution of the Marie Curie Fellowship Programme in the further empowerment of Afghan women was specifically discussed. In light of this programme, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel expressed her support for educational and training programs for all Afghan stakeholders.

The meeting reiterated once again the deep-seated collaborative spirit between Afghanistan and the IAEA. It introduced new ideas for future cooperation initiatives between the two entities and cemented the commitment of Afghanistan and the Agency for their ongoing projects.

THE AFGHANISTAN DELEGATION, LED BY Mr. MOHID HASHEM AURTAQ, PARTICIPATED IN THE 63RD SESSION OF THE CND

A delegation from Afghanistan, led by the Deputy Minister for Counter-Narcotics in Afghanistan, Mr. Mohd Hashem Aurtaq, participated in the 63rd session of the Commission for Narcotic Drugs, CND, on the 2nd of March, in Vienna. The delegation was also comprised of H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel.

During the general debate section of the CND conference, Deputy Minister Aurtaq delivered a statement on the progress Afghanistan has already made as well as the challenges it still faces with regards to counter-narcotics efforts. He particularly emphasized the link between insecurity in Afghanistan and poppy cultivation. The Deputy Minister expressed his appreciation of the current work of Afghan Counter-Narcotics Authorities, who have, in recent years, managed to significantly decrease the amount of land hectors used for poppy cultivation. In this way, three more provinces in Afghanistan have become opium-free. The Deputy Minister further expressed his optimism that the operations, arrests and lab seizures by the Afghan Counter-Narcotics Authorities will continue to increase in future years.

In reiterating the commitment of Afghanistan to the work of the Commission of Counter Narcotics, the Deputy Minister called for further multifaceted, comprehensive and concerted actions by all Member States at the national, regional and international levels. In the same vein, Deputy Minister Aurtaq called for the continued support of the international community to Afghanistan’s tireless efforts in completely eradicating its national drug problem.

Through her attendance, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel conveyed her appreciation for the work of the Commission and her wish for a successful 63rd session. Her participation, moreover, points to the determination of Afghanistan to take on an active role throughout the week-long conference.

AMBASSADOR KHOJESTA FANA EBRAHIMKHEL HEADED THE DELEGATION OF AFGHANISTAN AT THE IAEA’S INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON NUCLEAR SECURITY (ICONS 2020)

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel headed the delegation of Afghanistan at the IAEA’s International Conference on Nuclear Security: Sustaining and Strengthening Efforts (ICONS 2020) on February 10, 2020 in Vienna.

The conference, which attracted an unprecedented number of attendees, was the third in its kind that the IAEA organizes. It served as a forum for the facilitation of international dialogue on matters of nuclear security. One of the achievements of the conference was the unanimous adoption of a Ministerial Declaration, which reiterated all ratifying countries’ support to strengthen and sustain national and global nuclear security.

In her statement, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel highlighted some of the most impressive achievements the Government of Afghanistan has made in the area of nuclear security. The latest feat in this direction has been the signing of a new Country Programme Framework for the 2019-2023 period, a framework which was greatly facilitated by the ongoing technical cooperation between the Government of Afghanistan and the IAEA.

As pertaining to health, the Ambassador reiterated that Cancer remains at the forefront of Afghanistan’s health agenda. She expressed her hope that a further collaboration between the Agency, its member states as well as all other stakeholders in Afghanistan can facilitate Afghanistan’s efforts in establishing a Radiology Diagnostic Center at Aliabad hospital.

The Ambassador further emphasized her commitment to gender equality and women empowerment, a commitment which has recently been crowned by the Ambassador’s membership in the International Gender Champions. Among other gender-related initiatives, the Ambassador has recently spearheaded the establishment of Gender Task Force within the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna. This latter initiative stands perfectly in line with the Director General’s Mariano Grossi commitment on gender parity, a commitment Ambassador Ebrahimkhel fully supports.

H.E KHOJESTA FANA ERAHIMKHEL MET WITH AMBASSADOR OF THAILAND H.E. MS. MOROKAT SRISWASDI ON THE MARGINS OF THE 29TH SESSION OF THE CCPCJ

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel, in her capacity as Vice-Chair of the extended Bureau of the 29th Session of the CCPCJ, met with the Ambassador of Thailand H.E. Ms. Morakat Sriswasdi, in her capacity as the Chair of Asia Pacific Group to the same extended Bureau, on the 9th of February , in Vienna.

The Ambassador placed women empowerment issues at the core of their discussion, focusing primarily on a potential cooperation between the Permanent Missions of Afghanistan and Thailand on Women, Peace and Security. Moreover, the Ambassadors delved further into issues pertaining to the upcoming CND and CCPCJ sessions. The Ambassadors brainstormed and considered various ways in which Afghanistan can improve its future cooperation of the APG, with a heightened focus on alternative development projects.

Throughout the discussion, H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel congratulated H.E. Morakat Sriswasdi on the initiative of Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA) in offering training courses under the Annual International Training Courses (AITC) Programme 2020.

The meeting between the Ambassadors was successful and highly constructing, opening up a lot of avenues for future cooperation and support between the two countries.

AMBASSADOR KHOJESTA FANA EBRAHIMKHEL RECEIVED A COURTESY CALL FROM THE NEW AMBASSADOR OF JAPAN TO AUSTRIA AND OSCE, H.E. MR. AKIRA MUZITANI

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel received a courtesy call from the newly-appointed Ambassador of Japan to Austria and the OSCE, H.E. Mr. Akira Muzitani, who was eager to acquaint himself with his colleagues within the Asian Contact Group, on the 5th of February, in Vienna.

Throughout the meeting, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel expressed her gratitude at the unprecedented help and support the Government of Japan has provided Afghanistan with throughout the years. The Ambassador specifically highlighted the contributions Japan has made with regards to Afghan-led projects on women’s education, health and empowerment.

Within the framework of the OSCE, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel reiterated the benefits deriving from the increasing cooperation between the five Asian Partners i.e Afghanistan, Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and Thailand. In this regard, the Ambassador suggested that a further maintenance and strengthening of these relations would only happen if additional effort was put in joint initiatives and multi-year planning.

H.E. Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel takes part in OSCE Ambassadorial visit to Central Asia

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel participated in the Ambassadorial Trip to the three OSCE participating States of Central Asia, namely Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. Joint efforts in achieving common goals like addressing transnational threats and challenges, promoting economic prosperity and connectivity, advancing the rule of law, as well as contributing to the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan, remain as key priorities of Central Asian states.

In Dushanbe, the programme included meetings with the Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda and the Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Sirojiddin Muhriddin, as well as a visit to the OSCE Border Management Staff College. Over recent months and years, Afghanistan and Tajikistan have stepped up their co-operation in a broad range of areas, both bilaterally and in the multilateral framework of the OSCE.

During her visit, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel commended Tajikistan for hosting the fifth Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit in Dushanbe. The resulting Dushanbe Declaration pledged support to the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. Furthermore, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel thanked all the efforts carried out by both the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe and the Border Management Staff College (BMSC) towards essential technical assistance and capacity building for Afghan stakeholders.

The visit to Nur-Sultan was enriched by a Roundtable on Afghanistan that provided an excellent opportunity to facilitate discussion on a multi-year strategic perspective for enhancing the OSCE partnership with Afghanistan. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel greatly welcomed Kazakhstan’s efforts in bringing back Afghanistan to the OSCE Agenda, in line with the 2010 OSCE Kazakhstan Chairmanship. H.E. Idrees Zaman, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was also in attendance and reached out to friends of Afghanistan and High senior officials to promote regional cooperation. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel thanked the OSCE, Central Asian permanent delegations, the international and regional organizations for their cooperation and support and was grateful to the friends and allies for their contribution and assistance towards the stability and prosperity in Afghanistan.

In Tashkent, meetings with the Chairperson of the Senate, representatives of National Center on Human Rights, National Electoral Commission, Agency of Information and Mass communication, as well as a round table on freedom of the media in Uzbekistan in Samarkand were panned.  Ambassador Ebrahimkhel thanked Uzbekistan for hosting a high-level international conference on Afghanistan on 26 and 27 March 2018 entitled “The peace process, security cooperation, and regional cooperation”, as conducting such a multilateral event for the first time in Uzbekistan shows President Mirziyoyev’s interest in engaging more closely with Afghanistan, not solely on a bilateral basis.

 

Youth Leaders from Afghanistan at ‘Educating for the Rule of Law’ international conference at UNODC Headquarters

Youth leaders from Afghanistan participated today at the high-level conference ‘Educating for the Rule of Law’ launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Organized by the Education for Justice initiative (E4J), the three-day conference will showcase, explore and discuss the numerous educational tools developed together with academics around the world, which contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically SDG 4, SDG 16 and SDG 17.

Three youth leaders represented the NGO Hope for Education and Leadership in Afghanistan (HELA). An NGO exclusively dedicated to organizing Model United Nations conferences in Afghanistan. The purpose of participation for HELA delegation at the E4J high-level conference is to work on creating a global network of organizations that have missions aligned to the mission of HELA organization. Implementing new projects in Afghanistan that will help achieving the sustainable development goals is of the highest priority.

With its Women’s Empowerment Program, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens also brought young female Afghan leaders to the Conference, addressing challenges women face in facilitating women’s empowerment and women involvement is decision-making processes that impact the world sustainably.

Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel who is a strong promoter of gender equality has been actively involved to explore initiatives for Afghan youth. Her discussion with relevant authorities and officials to focus on Afghan youth brought groups of girls and boys to get educated and take part in the fellowship programmes, such as the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s first women empowerment program with a regional focus on Asia.

This fellowship is a platform for Afghans youth to be heard and join other female change-makers from Asia on global citizenship. It gives the opportunity to share experiences related to gender equality as a global agenda and a cross-cutting topic.

The conference was also attended by Mr. Sayed Zaman Hashemi, Legal Director General from the Ministry of Justice in Afghanistan. Ministries of Justice, Education and Interior have the important task to promote a culture of lawfulness and the rule of law and building the capacity of educators to equip students with the ability to address issues that can undermine the rule of law.

Exhibitions by Member States during the 63rd IAEA General Conference

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel actively participated in the many Side Events and Exhibitions scheduled during the 63rd IAEA General Conference.

Numerous exhibitions were organized by the IAEA Member States, organizations and the IAEA Secretariat. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel took an active role in personally visiting each booth and shared the needs and priorities of Afghanistan and advised the Mission team to follow-up the cooperation and the offered services by each Member States. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel commended their efforts for ensuring the peaceful and safe use of nuclear science and technology for global sustainable development.

The IAEA 63rd General Conference and the achievements of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Afghanistan

The 63rd IAEA General Conference started with the successful completion of a new Country Programme Framework for Afghanistan for the next six years, which was signed by Ambassador Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel and Deputy Director-General Dazhu Yang on the margins of the General Conference. The new Country Programme Framework represents a key success for this Conference and for Afghanistan.

During the plenary session of the IAEA General Conference, Dr. Tahir Sharan, Director-General of Afghanistan Atomic Energy High Commission, delivered the National statement to thank and appreciate the efforts of the IAEA for their cooperation and support to Afghanistan. In this occasion, Dr. Tahir Sharan, paid tribute to the late Director-General, Mr. Yukiya Amano for his strong leadership over the past years and express our heartfelt condolences for his passing away. Afghanistan is grateful to IAEA, under the Director General Amano’s leadership, for its significant support to the country. Afghanistan was among the first founding members of IAEA in 1957, and since then has benefitted from the Agency’s Technical Cooperation Programme in different priority areas. The new Framework will serve as a key instrument for strengthening technical cooperation between the Government of Afghanistan and the Secretariat.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel actively participated in the many Side Events scheduled during the General Conference. The event on Improving the Management of Cardiovascular Diseases in Women provided an insightful review on the pivotal role of nuclear techniques in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, particularly in women. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attended this important event to stand for women empowerment, health equality and to discuss IAEA support for Afghanistan priorities.

Furthermore, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attended and spoke at the Side Event on The IAEA’s Legislative Assistance Programme. In her intervention, Ambassador Ebrahimkhel emphasized the importance of the IAEA technical cooperation programme and the Office of Legal Affairs’ support for Afghanistan in developing and maintaining national legal frameworks for the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear technology. As a founding member of the IAEA in 1957, Afghanistan has started to benefit from the Agency’s excellent cooperation as early as its establishment. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel called on all Member States to share their views on past experiences, benefits, and lesson learned from the IAEA technical cooperation activities.

The IAEA General Conference was enriched by exhibitions organized by the numerous Member States, organizations and the IAEA Secretariat. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel took an active role in personally visiting each booth and shared the needs and priorities of Afghanistan and advised the Mission team to follow-up the cooperation and the offered services by each Member States. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel commended their efforts for ensuring the peaceful and safe use of nuclear science and technology for global sustainable development.