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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.

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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 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.

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.


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.


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.

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.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attends the United Nations Office on Drugs Briefing session for new UNODC focal points at Permanent Missions

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attended the UNODC Briefing session for new UNODC focal points at Permanent Missions.  The briefing provided an insightful overview of all UNODC departments and their respective mandates and strategic planning. Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attendance showed gratitude to all UNODC Departments and staff for their efforts and cooperation.

During the briefing, Mr. Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director in the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, in his introductory remarks and overview spoke of his positive personal experience in Afghanistan and recognized his and UNODC’s close cooperation with Ambassador Ebrahimkhel.

A large number of delegations were present, including many new UNODC focal points at Permanent Missions.

The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime UNODC hosts Tripartite meeting of the project “Monitoring of opium production in Afghanistan”

The Tripartite meeting of the project “Monitoring of opium production in Afghanistan” (project AFGF98) took place on 17 September 2019 at the Vienna International Centre.

This technical meeting was hosted by representatives of the National Statistics and Information Authority (NSIA), Afghanistan, and involved representatives of donor countries, experts from the Member States that contribute financially to the implementation of the opium survey, and relevant UNODC staff.

Ambassador Ebrahimkhel attended the meeting to personally thank the donor countries for their contribution and the joint efforts being made by UNODC and Afghan counterparts and stakeholders.

As per agreement in the publication plan of the AFGF98 project, UNODC will soon launch the Afghanistan Opium Survey Report 2019.