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Ambassador Ayoob Erfani met Dr. Ernst Vitek, Director of Botany at Vienna’s Museum of Natural History

Vienna, 23.09.2013

H.E. Ayoob M. Erfani today visited Vienna’s Museum of Natural History (NHM) where he met Dr. Ernst Vitek, Director of Botany, who showed the Ambassador around the museum, in the spirit of the museum’s fine tradition of strong external cooperation. The Museum regularly conducts external collecting expeditions, hence its Department of Botany holds specimen from all over the world, with its herbarium possessing numerous historically important collections.

Remarkably, it also holds the world’s largest collection of Afghan plant materials. Dr. Vitek explained his work in the library of the museum, where countless boxes can be found, each containing a dried and preserved plant, which has been identified and labelled, including information about its locality. In the 1960s, a botanist established a herbarium for Kabul University and another one for NHM. Ever since, Asia has ranked among NHM’s geographical focuses: The Orient, The Caucasus and the region of Flora Iranica. Mr. Ambassador Erfani emphasized the importance of enabling Kabul University with access to that database so that both academics and students can utilize it, with a view to adding new information as they continue to study the ecology of the country. There are about 20,000 plants of the Kabul University Herbarium, with a total of 70,000 plants from around the globe – all available online with images, presenting a great potential resource for the Agriculture Faculty, the Botany Faculty and other related faculties. Dr. Vitek generously indicated the Museum’s readiness to assist with instructions, by stating that he and his team would either be willing to travel to Kabul University to run a workshop on how to use the database, or else host a team from Kabul in Vienna to become conversant with the system.
Mr. Ambassador Erfani thanked Dr. Vitek for his time and both pledged to remain in close contact.
Link: www.nhm-wien.ac.at
– END –

Ambassador Ayoob Erfani discusses Afghanistan’s priorities in its cooperation with the IAEA

Vienna, 20.09.2013

H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani, Resident Representative of Afghanistan to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is heading the Afghan delegation to the IAEA’s 57th General Conference (16-20 September 2013). At the margins of the conference, Mr. Ambassador met with a team of the IAEA to discuss Afghanistan’s priorities in its fruitful partnership with the Agency, concerning relevant matters of technical cooperation and safeguards. With regards to the issue of safeguards, Ambassador Erfani stressed Afghanistan’s commitment to meet its international obligations and briefed the IAEA team on measures, which have been taken by the Government of Afghanistan, including the finalization of a National Nuclear Law, as well as ratifications of conventions, and providing reports to the IAEA.

As to matters of technical cooperation., Ambassador informed the IAEA team on the ongoing progress at the national level , in particular the establishment of Comprehensive Cancer Center as well as a radiotherapy center at the Aliabad Hospital in Kabul, and emphasized the importance of the Agency’s role in building national capacities inside Afghanistan with a view to proactively addressing the needs of the country, but also to enhance effectiveness of response mechanisms in line with the country’s international obligations . Furthermore, Ambassador Erfani expressed Afghanistan’s commitment to its continued cooperation with the IAEA and stressed the Government’s pursuit towards increased efficiency of the IAEA programs in the country. The delegations of Afghanistan and the IAEA both noted the importance of close future partnership to be outlined in the technical cooperation programme for the years 2016-2017. Ambassador Erfani stressed that “Kabul expects the Agency to play an active role in the implementation of approved projects”. Among other issues discussed were the development of a fellowship program for Afghan experts and co-hosting training workshops and seminars aimed at improved implementation of agreements. Ambassador Erfani highlighted the previous achievements and stressed the need for close future collaboration, and concluded the meeting by thanking the IAEA team for their commitment and readiness to support Afghanistan.       Link: www.iaea.org   – END –

Ambassador Ayoob Erfani addresses the OSCE Permanent Council

Vienna, 19.09.2013

H.E. Ambassador Erfani warmly welcomed the Head of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan, H.E. Ambassador Markus Mueller to the Permanent Council meeting and thanked him for his briefing, in clouding OSCE’s engagement with Afghanistan. Ambassador highlighted the important work of the Border Staff Management College (BSMC) – created by the OSCE and hosted by Tajikistan, in particular BMSC’s efforts towards capacity building for Afghan border officers.

Ambassador Erfani noted, “We believe that Ambassador Mueller’s personal knowledge about the region including Afghanistan will greatly contribute to the success of the OSCE’s work in our region.”

He also pointed out that “Afghanistan is strongly committed to the principle of good neighborhood and dedicated to close co-operation with our neighbors, both bilaterally as well as through regional mechanisms” and that those means of co-operation constitute “core elements of our foreign policy”. Ambassador Erfani also reiterated the “excellent relations Afghanistan enjoys with its neighboring OSCE participating States, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan”.

Mr. Erfani also stressed that “the involvement of the OSCE through the BMSC in Dushanbe and the OSCE Academy in Bishkek remains vital to help Afghanistan and its neighboring OSCE participating States to effectively address today’s common challenges”. Afghanistan actively plays its part to become an even stronger contributor for stability, connectivity and development in our region, and continues to appreciate the role of the OSCE in supporting Afghanistan through its Transition to the decade of Transformation”.

Mr Ambassador Erfani concluded by wishing Ambassador Mueller success in his important mission to serve the cause of stability of that region.     LINK:   http://www.osce.org/tajikistan

Ambassador Ayoob Erfani addresses IAEA General Conference

H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani, Permanent Rep to the UN and Resident Representative of Afghanistan to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is heading the delegation of Afghanistan to the IAEA’s 57th annual regular session of the General Conference, held in Vienna from 16 to 20 September, 2013.

In his address, Mr. Ambassador Erfani stressed the importance of the IAEA General Conference as both key international forum to reflect on today’s challenges, and venue for dialogue on secure and peaceful uses of nuclear applications and technologies, and he added that “Afghanistan, on the basis of its policy of multilateralism through strong regional and international cooperation, is ready to do its part for the success of the IAEA mandate”. Furthermore, Mr. Ambassador outlined future priorities of the Government of Afghanistan in its cooperation with the Agency, ranging from technical cooperation, in particular in the area of human health, capacity-building, and nuclear and isotopic applications in the fields of agriculture and water resource management.

Also, Mr. Ambassador emphasized that Afghanistan will remain a strong advocate of strengthened nuclear safety regimes: “Potential trans-boundary impacts of nuclear accidents remind us of the universal nature of the issue of nuclear safety.” At the same time, Afghanistan recognizes the danger of nuclear or similar radioactive materials being used in terrorist attacks and therefore supports all measures geared at reinforced global nuclear security. Ambassador Erfani also noted that robust safeguards and verification mechanisms are a prerequisite for nuclear disarmament and invites all concerned IAEA Member States to “take further steps towards nuclear disarmament”, while pledging Afghanistan’s continued commitment towards regional and international cooperation. In closing, Mr. Ambassador Erfani extended his appreciation to all those IAEA Member States which have generously contributed to the technical cooperation fund, thereby enabling implementation of vital projects in Afghanistan.

Links:
www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2013/gc57convenes.html
www.afghanistan-vienna.org                                                                                        -END-

سفارت و نمایندگی دایمی افغانستان مقیم ویانا از هفته شهدای کشور و سالروز شهادت قهرمان ملی وطن تجلیل بعمل اورد

 ویانا ـ اتریش ‪,۱۲ سپتامبر ۲۰۱۴

 photo 1سفارت و نمایندگی دایمی افغانستان مقیم ویانا ‪, از روز  همه شهدای کشور و سالروز شهادت قهرمان ملی  وطن  اخمد شاه مسعود‪, با برگزاری مراسم ختم قران و سخنرانی ها تجلیل بعمل اورد . درین محفل ملی که  بعد از ظهر پنجشنبه مورخ  ۱۲ سپتامبر ۲۰۱۳ توسط سفارت و نمایندگی دایمی  افغانستان در ویانا ترتیب گردید ‪, عده زیادی از نمایندگان  و شخصیت های محترم افغانهای مقیم اتریش ‪, حضور بهم رسانیدند .

مراسم با ختم سپاره های قران و دعا به روح شهدا و ثابت کشور اغاز یافت . متعاقبا ‪,  جناب محترم محمد ایوب عرفانی سفیر در اتریش و نماینده دایمی افغانستان در ملل متحد و دیگر سازمانهای بین المللی مقیم ویانا‪, با یاد خاطره های عده از شهدای وطن ‪, پیرامون  اهمیت یادبود ازین روز مهم صحبت نموده ‪, افتخارات  ‪, ارمانها و داعیه مبارزات شهدای کشور را ‪,  بحیث انگیزه و سرمشق امید وار کننده یی برای سمتدهی نسل جوان کشور در راستای خدمت بخاطر ثبات ‪, استقلال و عمران  افغانستان ‪, با اهمیت بیان کرد .

سفیر افغانستان ضمن اشاره به نامهای عده از شهدای وطن تاکید نمود که ‪, همه اقوام و اقشار افغانستان برای حفاظت از اسقلال کشور ‪, در برابر تجاوزات بیگانگان متحدانه با هم ایستاده اند ‪, قربانی ها داده اند  ‪, مساویانه  در افتخارات مبارزات برای  ازادی و ابروی وطن سهیم بوده اند و به افتخارات شهدای راه ازادی خود شریک هستند.  محترم محمد ایوب عرفانی افزود ‪: ‪” به مقصد احترام به روح شهدا کافی نیست که تنهااز طریق برگزاری محافل و مراسم ختم قران  به روح انها دعا کنیم . این رواح یک محفل یاد و گرامیداشت خاطره ها نه بلکه حاوی پیام روشن برای خدمت به اینده باشد ‪”  . اقای سفیر ضمن اشاره به ارزو های شهدای وطن برای ایجاد یک افغانستان مرفه و با ثبات  افزود که ‪” ارواح شهدای جاودانه خاطر افغانستان به حق از ما توقع دارند  تا همه مساعی خود را برای تحقق ارمانهای مقدس انها در راستای  ایحاد یک افغانستان مستقل ‪, با ثبات ‪,  مقتدر و مرفه  به خرج دهیم  و انگاه است که  روح انها از ما راضی خواهد بود‪”. سفیر افغانستان تاکیذ نمود ‪” افغانستان بعد از همکاری ۱۲ ساله با جامعه جهانی دست اورد های زیادی را کسب نموده و در یک مرحله حساس تاریخ  خود  که دارای فرصت های پیشرفت و چالش های نگران کننده می باشد‪, قرار گرفته است . در جنین احوال ‪, مردم افغانستان  و از جمله هموطنان  محترم ما در خارج از کشور ‪, همه مسئولیت دارند تا حتی الامکان مساعی خود را در راه تقویت دست اوردهای موجود بخرج داده و در مسیر حرکت بطرف  یک افغانستان با ثبات و مرفه  همکار شوند ‪.  انگاه است که مردم ما از ما ممنون و شهدای ما از ما راضی خواهند یود ‪”.

  مراسم با دعای ختم قران ‪, سخنرانی ها  ‪,و صرف غذا به پایان رسید .

 

Ambassador of Afghanistan H.E. Ayoob Erfani re-emphasizes his country´s continued commitment to strongly cooperate with the OSCE for the stability and prosperity of the region

Press Release

Vienna, 11 September 2013: H.E. Jean Asselborn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg briefed the OSCE’s Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) at the opening session of Luxembourg’s chairmanship of the FSC about the agenda for the upcoming three months, among them the holding of two security dialogue sessions where the transition and the post-2014 situation in Afghanistan will be high on the agenda.

Mr. Asselborn emphasized the importance of Afghanistan in OSCE´s engagement for the security and stability in the region.

H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani thanked Mr. Jean Asselborn for his encouraging commitment to keep Afghanistan prominently on the FSC working agenda during the upcoming months and stated:

“Afghanistan is committed to the goals of the OSCE and will make every effort for a safe, stable and prosperous region”

He added that “The regional cooperation has become a central element of the foreign policy of Afghanistan, which remains crucial for our success during the Transition to be followed by the decade of Transformation (2015-2024). H.E. Ambassador Erfani praised “the ongoing engagements of the OSCE to address the common challenges and improve the stability of our region”, and stated that “Afghanistan is committed to do its part  for the stability and prosperity of the region in strong cooperation with the OSCE.”

H.E. Ambassador Ayoob M. Erfani addresses the annual session of the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch Field Experts

H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani was invited to make a keynote presentation at today’s annual session of field experts from UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch, in order to share Afghanistan’s experiences and efforts at the national, regional, and international level to combat terrorism.

In his opening remarks, H.E. the Ambassador commended the work of UNODC’s counter-terrorism experts against the global threat of terrorism and, in particular, appreciated the continued efforts and partnership of UNODC with Afghanistan in this field.

H.E., the Ambassador, provided a comprehensive picture of Afghanistan’s experiences. He outlined Afghanistan’s successes and challenges, achievements and ongoing progress, and made general remarks on how terrorism impacts his country, the region and the world as a whole. “Afghanistan was once a stable and peaceful nation, until it became a prime target and victim of terrorism, which has had detrimental consequences to the country’s political and security institutions, society and economy”.

Ambassador Erfani stated that since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, Afghanistan has come a long way, from being a lawless country, an epicenter of international terrorism and a source of regional instability. Afghanistan has begun re-building its national institutions, has established the foundations of democratic society and moved to a market economy, and has adopted a constitution that protects the rights of all its citizens, especially women and children. He added that a successful counter-terrorism strategy needs a comprehensive approach, including economic, security and political aspects. Such an approach requires sincere cooperation among all States, in particular in the region surrounding Afghanistan. The Ambassador talked about the ongoing transition process in the country, as the beginning of a new era of equitable partnership between sovereign Afghanistan and its partners in the international community.  The upcoming 2014 presidential elections will be a milestone in Afghanistan’s democratization process, and the government is doing its upmost to guarantee a free and fair election, and ensure a successful transition to a decade of transformation.

Additionally, the reconciliation process remains one of Afghanistan’s most urgent priorities and the government of Afghanistan is strongly committed to an Afghan led and Afghan owned peace process. This includes all Afghans who are ready to renounce violence, denounce terrorism, accept the constitution, and respect human rights, especially those of women and children. “Without the active participation of Afghan women, which constitute more than 50% of Afghanistan’s population, there will not be a stable, just and prosperous Afghanistan”.

The Ambassador concluded his presentation by urging the global community to keep in mind that Afghanistan is a moderate society, which remains at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and extremism; and urges the international community to remain committed in their support of Afghanistan for the cause of peace and stability. He reminded attendees that terrorist networks and ideological centers are not present in Afghan towns and villages, terrorism operate primarily from its centers based outside Afghanistan.

“In order to contribute to the fight against terrorism, Afghanistan is party to all relevant regional and international legal instruments, and strongly encourages other States to commit to the same degree”. The Ambassador encourages States which are using terrorism as a foreign policy instrument to desist from doing so. Ambassador Erfani also recommended that UNODC further enhance its efforts in building national capacities.

Following the presentation, Ambassador Erfani answered questions raised by participants.

-END-

International Conference on Nuclear Security

H.E. Mr. Ayoob Erfani, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan and other international organizations in Vienna, is heading the delegation of Afghanistan to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) High-Level International Conference on Nuclear Security: “Enhancing Global Efforts”, taking place in Vienna from 1-5 July, 2013.

Nuclear security issues are increasingly becoming a growing concern for the international community. Previous summits on nuclear security were held in Washington D.C. in 2010 and in Seoul in 2012, to be followed up by the 2014 summit in The Hague. This week’s conference – open to all 159 IAEA Member States – marks the first ministerial-level conference on nuclear security, with more than 40 Ministers among the 1300 high-level participants.

Today, Mr. Ambassador Erfani presented his statement on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan, which focused on the growing threat of nuclear and radiological material diverted to terrorist organizations; Afghanistan’s commitment to multilateral cooperation concerning all matters of nuclear security; the prospect of the IAEA’s Nuclear Security Plan 2014-2017; as well as the technical assistance offered by the IAEA.

Ambassador Erfani insisted that “the Government of Afghanistan calls upon all countries, and specifically those in our region, to join and implement all anti-terrorism international instruments, to maintain most effective, meticulous security of all nuclear material under their control.”

Reflecting on the fruitful cooperation between the IAEA and Afghanistan, Mr. Ambassador expressed his conviction that “Afghanistan … as a landlocked, least developed and war-torn country … with enhanced technical assistance provided by the IAEA … shall be able to build its necessary capacities and to attain full implementation of our prioritized technical cooperation programme.”

A Ministerial Declaration was adopted by Ministers and other Heads of Delegation including the President of the conference, H.E. János Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary. The Declaration is the first of its kind for nuclear security and: highlights national responsibilities while emphasizing international cooperation; affirms the central role of the IAEA towards global nuclear security; and recognizes the threat posed by the smuggling of nuclear material. Consultations of the Declaration were coordinated by the Ambassadors/Resident Representatives of Brazil and Hungary.

Ambassador Ayoob M. Erfani chairs Vienna+20 side event organized by ACUNS on Harmful Traditional Practices and Accusations of Witchcraft

Two days before the Vienna+20 high-level expert conference, which will take place on June 27 and 28 at the Hofburg, with the participation of a large number of international experts, NGO representatives and diplomats, H.E. Ambassador Erfani chaired a side event, organized by the Vienna Liaison Office of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) at the Vienna International Centre, in the framework of the Vienna+20 Conference, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Vienna Conference on Human Rights. Speakers in the side event included Ms. Farida Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights, and Ms. Katharina Thon, former collaborator, SRSG-Violence against Children.

In his statement, H.E. Ambassador Erfani explained that violence against women is a global challenge with extensive negative and lasting consequences for societies around the world. He  stated  that  “Harmful   Traditional  Practices  (HTPs)  are  serious  crimes  against  the fundemental rights of citizens, particularly in traditional, underdeveloped and post-conflict societies with extreme poverty and lack of rule of law, where women and children remain the main targets of these gruesome actions”.

Concerning this  problem  in  Afghanistan,  H.E.  clarified  “The  issue  of harmful  traditional practices,  unfortunately became the legacy of two decades of conflict, in some parts of country, coupled with a number of unacceptable and imposed century-old traditions, where dark-minded elements, along with  regional and international extremists and other fanatic goups … imposed their harmful practices against  our citizens, in particular women and children.”

With regards to currents developments in Afghanistan, Mr. Ambassador conveyed that, “although the women of Afghanistan still have to face many challenges, they have come a long  way  and  are now actively  participating  in  all  spheres  of the  increasingly  inclusive Afghan society, and gender equality is guaranteed by Afghanistan’s constitution”

Ambassador Erfani stated that, “the HTPs are an impediment to any country’s development and must be  publicly condemned and eliminated from the cultural fabric through every possible ways and means,  including through  realization of women’s cultural, economic, social and political rights and their empowerment … and the government of Afghanistan is commited to fight any  practices that undermine the human dignity of women and infringe upon their human rights”

The Ambassador also referred to the “Empowerment of women as proactive members of Afghan society – as parliamentarians, peace-builders, government officials, and as the most vibrant members of civil society”  as one of the proudest achievements of Afghanistan for the last 12 years -END-

Ambassador Ayoob M. Erfani presents keynote address at OSCE’s Annual Security Review Conference

The 2013 Annual Security Review Conference (ASRC) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in  Europe (OSCE) took place on June 19-20, at the conference centre of the OSCE, Vienna’s Hofburg. The main focus was on transnational threats and challenges, trends in  early  warning,  the  conflict  cycle,  matters   related  to  arms  control  ,  security-  and confidence-building measures, and the fourth working session  was  focused on the “the draw down of international military forces in Afghanistan and its possible  implications for Afghanistan, its neighbors, and the OSCE community as a whole”.

 

H.E. Ambassador Erfani participated as the panelist on the fourth session and presented a keynote address,  focusing on the present situation in the country and analyzing future politico-security, economic and human aspects of Afghanistan in post 2014.

 

At the begining of his keynote address, Ambassador Erfani shed some light on achieved progress  and   remaining  challenges,  issues  related  to  transition,  the  peace  process, strengthening  regional   co-operation,  holding  presidential  election,  fighting  terrorism, extremism  and  narcotics,  Afghanistan’s  vision  of  decade  of  transformation,  needs  for strengthening  of  the  Afghan  National  Security  Forces,   protection  of  citizens  rights, empowerment of women, as well as the country’s relationship with the OSCE.

 

H.E. Ambassador Erfani stressed that “Afghanistan back in 2001 was a failed state … for the last 12 years, Afghanistan supported by its partners, spent enormous resources, sacrificed tens of thousands of lives to fight terrorism and  extremism for the cause of justice, peace, democracy,  human  rights  and  development   in  the  country,  and  achieved  substantial

 

progress … and now Afghanistan is ready for full Transition to Afghan ownership, leadership toward the Decade of Transformation for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan”.

 

The Ambassador highlighted the important role the OSCE has played in Afghanistan since the country become an Asian Partner for Co-operation in 2003, while stressing that there is still room for expanded co-operation between the OSCE and Afghanistan.

 

Mr.  Ambassador  also  asserted  that  the  peace  process  continues  to  be  an  urgent  and exceptionally high priority for the Afghan government, a rightful aspiration and urgent need of the Afghan people and that  the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process will be negotiated  with  all  those groups  “who  are  ready  to  renounce  violence,  denounce terrorism, accept the Constitution of Afghanistan … in particular women’s rights” and all of the people of Afghanistan, particularly women, must be part of this process.

 

Referring  to  the  transition,  the  Ambassador  mentioned  that  the  draw-down  of  the international forces from Afghanistan, at the end of the transition in 2014, would potentially lead to new problems in the country and he added “… however, in contrast to the negative views portrayed in the media, the majority of  Afghans are generally optimistic about the future  of  their  country  …  and  ambitious  to  grasp  every   opportunity  of  education, modernization, global connectivity, democratic values, liberty and prosperity …. we have an emerging young generation and promising realities and today, everywhere in the country, you can sense this irresistible urge for progress”.  Several delegations delivered statements expressing their  support for Afghanistan during transition and beyond. Ambassador Erfani also responded to the questions raised by delegations from the floor.