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H.E. Ambassador Erfani makes statement at British Embassy Vienna on Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

H.E. Ambassador Erfani makes statement at British Embassy Vienna on Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

Vienna, 12.06.2014

 

Ambassador Ayoob M. Erfani today took part in an event hosted by the British Embassy Vienna to coincide with the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict that is taking place in London this week.

 

On this occasion, Ambassador Erfani issued a short statement offering Afghanistan’s appreciation of the United Kingdom’s efforts to tackle this serious issue.

 

In his statement, Ambassador Erfani thanked H.E. Foreign Secretary William Hague and the Special Envoy for the UN High Commissioner of Refugees, Ms. Angelina Jolie for their continued efforts. Furthermore, he stated that that “Afghanistan is committed to reducing violence against woman, as evidenced by President Karzai’s signing of the ‘End violence against woman’ law (EVAW) in August 2009”

 

Ambassador Erfani continued by expanding on Afghanistan’s commitment to gender equality, and reminded the distinguished guests that Afghanistan is signatory to all major treaties to promote human rights, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

 

Before ending his remarks, Ambassador Erfani also extended his deepest appreciation and gratitude to the Government of Australia who recently announced that they will donate 3.3 million Australian Dollars to the Afghan Women’s Network.

 

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Brainstorming for the G-77 Santa Cruz summit on youth employment and women’s empowerment

 H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani participates in a brainstorming –panel discussion for the G-77 Santa Cruz summit to discuss youth employment and women’s empowerment

Vienna, 10.06.2014

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Ambassador Ayoob M. Erfani participated today in a panel discussion at part of the Vienna chapter of the Group of 77’s brainstorming session for the upcoming Santa Cruz summit this June.

 

Ambassador Erfani sat at the panel with Ambassadors from Zimbabwe, Costa Rica, India and Chair of the group, Sri Lanka, to discuss and give introductory remarks on the two primary topics of discussion at the panel: Youth employment and women’s empowerment.
With regards to Afghanistan’s national objectives and prospects on the two issues, Ambassador Erfani commented, “Afghanistan is one of the founding members of the Group of 77 and as a committed member, youth employment and women’s empowerment remain key priorities, including as a major part of our National Priority Programs. Afghanistan has one of the world’s youngest and fastest growing populations, with 70% of our people below the age of 25. It is critical that we address these issues, both on a national, regional and global level, in order to realize our full potential by engaging our youth and women.”

 

The panel discussion was a productive session contributed to by presentations from numerous G-77 member states, which was followed by a question and answer session, where Ambassador Erfani expressed some existing achievements and challenges to youth employment and women’s empowerment in Afghanistan. For the full statement, please see:

 

The Santa Cruz summit will take place between the 14-15 June 2014 and will organize discussions with high level participants including 30 heads of states under the subject heading “Living Well – towards a prosperous new world order”.

 

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Ambassador Ayoob M. Erfani delivers a statement on Technical Co-operation with the IAEA, at the IAEA Board of Governors

 

Ambassador Ayoob M. Erfani delivers a statement on Technical Co-operation with the IAEA, at the IAEA Board of Governors

 

Ambassador Ayoob M. Erfani delivered a statement today at the IAEA Board of Governors regarding technical co-operation between Afghanistan and the IAEA. Ambassador began by expressing Afghanistan’s interest in further co-operation with the IAEA, especially in regards to the four main priorities for co-operation: health, education, agriculture and providing clean water sources. In this regard, although Afghanistan and the IAEA are perhaps unlikely partners, these areas of co-operation will remain vital to the reconstruction and development efforts of the post-2014 agenda.

 

Ambassador Erfani noted the efforts Afghanistan has made for enhancing co-operation: through establishing the Afghan Atomic Energy High Commission (AAEHC), nuclear experts from Afghanistan have been given access to IAEA laboratories and expert training sessions in Vienna.

 

Additionally, the proposal for the ‘Comprehensive Cancer Centre’ in Aliabad hospital in Kabul, has been supported by the IAEA and, if successful, will become the first cancer related diagnostic and therapeutic service centre in Afghanistan.

 

Ambassador Erfani concluded by reiterating the importance of the IAEA and especially its Technical Co-operation Department for Afghanistan’s future and communicated the need for continued co-operation both with the IAEA and International Community beyond 2014.

 

 

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Ambassador Erfani on the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat – 1002nd PC

Ambassador Ayoob Erfani responds to the presentation by Ambassador Ivo Petrov of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat At the 1002nd Permanent Council meeting of the OSCE

 

Ambassador Erfani made a brief statement at the 1002ND OSCE Permanent Council Meeting this morning, in response to the presentation of Ambassador Ivo Petrov, head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat. Ambassador Erfani congratulated him on his comprehensive report and lauded the excellent work being undertaken at the Centre in Ashgabat, especially in the areas of border management.

 

Ambassador Erfani expressed the Government of Afghanistan’s gratitude towards the country of Turkmenistan, which has shown constant support for Afghanistan over the past 12 years, during its transition. Through working together on the TAPI pipeline and cooperation through the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan are engaging proactively together over a variety of projects.

 

Ambassador Erfani concluded that the recent meeting between President Karzai and Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, HE Rashid Muradov, is demonstrative of the ever-evolving relationship and healthy relationship between the two countries.

 

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HE Ambassador Erfani on the the work of the IEC/IECC and gender issues in Afghanistan at the OSCE

HE Ambassador Erfani delivers a statement updating on the outcome first round of elections in Afghanistan, the work of the IEC/IECC and gender issues in Afghanistan at the OSCE

HE Ambassador Ayoob Erfani gave a statement during the meeting of the Asian Contact Group at the OSCE, in which Ambassador Erfani briefed participating states on the outcome of the first round of the April 5th election in Afghanistan and to discuss gender issues in the ACGM. He noted that due to the results with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah and Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzi as the sole contenders, a runoff election is to be held in order to determine the new President on June 14. Ambassador Erfani stated that despite premeditated challenges by anti-governmental elements within the country, over 7 million men and women, approximately 36% of whom were women, came to the polls and cast their votes, which showed a direct representation of the will of the Afghan people to achieve full-fledged democracy, stability and security in their country.

HE Ambassador Erfani, underlined the importance of a peaceful democratic transfer of Presidential power, which will take place in the coming weeks. He reiterated that the steps taken and the support given during the election process by the OSCE, ODIHR and the international community were key during Afghanistan’s decade of transformation in aiding the country in overcoming domestic challenges and for allowing the establishment of secure elections resulting in a more transparent and democratic Afghanistan.

Ambassador Erfani announced that he will return to the OSCE to deliver a presentation of the final election results and to give another briefing on the overall election process in order to maintain and encourage a high level of transparency between Afghanistan and OSCE participating states.

He contributed to the ACGM discussions on gender equality by reiterating the efforts of his government to enhance the protection of both women and children, who represent those most affected by conflict in the country. Additionally, the Afghan Government has made changes to its constitution which reflects the will of the Afghan Government to create a balance between men and women and to guarantee women basic human rights under the confines of international law. Ambassador Erfani noted that gender equality is at the center of Afghan political policies and will remain a priority in 2014 and beyond.

Ambassador Erfani concluded at the ACGM with his gratitude to those present and in the international community for their continued support.

 

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Ambassador Erfani delivers a message of condolence for the Badakhshan landslide tragedy at the OSCE

 Ambassador Erfani delivers a message of condolence for the Badakhshan landslide tragedy at the OSCE

Ambassador Erfani delivered a message of condolence at the 999th OSCE PC for the victims of the landslide tragedy in Badakhshan proviince, Afghanistan. The Ambassador began by updating his colleagues at the OSCE on the situation on the ground in Badakhshan:

“Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen for your condolences and for keeping the families and victims of the landslide tragedy in Badakhshan province in your thoughts, during this difficult time. The Government of Afghanistan is doing all it can to assist the family members of those who lost their lives in the devastating tragedy which occurred Friday, 2 May, in the village of Abi Barak, Badakhshan province. The National Disaster Management Authority, headed by Vice President, Mohammad Youns Qanooni, has flown in a number of provisions; however, Afghanistan is still in urgent need of assistance. On Friday, Mother Nature stole the lives of more than the yearly average death toll in Afghanistan in one day; reportedly over 2,500 people are either dead or missing.

Regretfully, on Sunday, May 4, a national day of mourning was declared for Afghanistan, as rescue workers were forced to give up the hope that survivors would still be found. However, in addition to the devastating loss of life, more than 14,000 people have been displaced through the disaster. Housing and shelter, access to clean drinking water and food have been eliminated. These displaced persons are in desperate need of assistance.

A crisis is known to unite a nation: President Karzai visited Badakhshan yesterday to meet those who have been affected by the landslides, to discuss their needs and to reassure them. The Afghan Government has established a High Commission to facilitate aid distribution and has created a foreign bank account to receive donations worldwide. Here in Vienna, the Afghan community has come together to mourn the loss and has been working tirelessly in fundraising efforts, with our own account established to support the victims.”

The Ambassador concluded by thanking his colleagues in the International Community who have been so forthcoming in expressing sympathy, solidarity and support for the victims of the disaster. He continued “We are grateful for all those who have been so generous in contributing humanitarian relief thus far for the victims and assisting with the resettlement of the displaced persons.”

 

For further information on how you can assist the people in Badakshan, please contact the Embassy at: embassy@afghanistan-vienna.org

 

Should you wish to contribute, the bank details are as follows:

Vienna, Austria, Local account no.: 36200345019, BLZ: 43000, Volksbank Wien, Kennwort: Badachshan

All donations will then be collectively transferred to the Government’s special donations account in Kabul (Da Afghanistan Bank, AFGBAFKA, 3000209050055, Afghanistan Government Disaster Contribution Committee Bank Account).

 

 

Afghan community members in Vienna gather to mourn the victims of the landslides in Badakhshan province

Members of the Afghan community in Vienna gathered yesterday at the Embassy&Permanent Mission to mourn and offer their support and solidarity for the victims of the landslides in Badakhshan province.

The Embassy&Permanent Mission in Vienna, along with the community members discussed initiatives to assist in delivering aid to the families of the victims in the remote, poverty stricken province. The community members have offerred financial assistance and in coordination with the Embassy have set up a bank account for donations.

A double landslide, caused by flooding, struck Argo district in northern Badakhshan province, killing more than 2,500 Afghans on May 2, 2014. Many of Afghanistan’s international partners offered condolences and emergency assistance for Badakhshan in response to the disaster. The survivors are in desperate need for food, water and shelter. The Afghan Government, the international community and the private sector flew in aid since the landslide, yet dramatic shortages persist. We also seize this opportunity to express our condolences to the families of the victims in Badakhshan and in other northern provinces that were recently hit by floods.

Should you wish to contribute, the bank details are as follows:

Vienna, Austria, Local account no.: 36200345019, BLZ: 43000, Volksbank Wien, Kennwort: Badachshan

All donations will then be collectively transferred to the Government’s special donations account in Kabul (Da Afghanistan Bank, AFGBAFKA, 3000209050055, Afghanistan Government Disaster Contribution Committee Bank Account).

For any further information and possible assistance, please contact us:

embassy@afghanistan-vienna.org

Tel: +43-1-4021006

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Afghan community members gather to mourn the loss of the victims of the Badkhshan landslides

Afghan community members gather to mourn the loss of the victims of the Badkhshan landslides

The Embassy & Permanent Mission of Afghanistan mourns the victims of a terrible landslide

Major disaster struck the Afghan northern province of Badakhshan on Friday. After an initial landslide which resulted in the loss of 117 lives, a second landslide occurred, which is feared to have buried more than 2,000 people.

President Hamid Karzai has offered his heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims. The President has ordered recovery efforts and immediate assistance to the areas affected by the catastrophe. A high-ranking Government delegation is travelling to the province. According to the United Nations, more than 350 bodies have been recovered thus far.

Rescue teams were sifting through the mud which had buried hundreds of homes, when part of a mountain collapsed following torrential rains. Tragically, this second mudslide killed early responders to the scene. Nonetheless, people from surrounding districts and provinces continue to rush to the area to help with the rescue.

Due to the sheer size of the affected area and its remote location, heavy machinery and modern equipment will be desperately needed in the rescue.

For further information regarding possible assistance or donations,
please contact the Embassy & Permanent Mission:
embassy@afghanistan-vienna.org

Ambassador Erfani responds to address of the UN Special Representative for Afghanistan, at the OSCE

Ambassador Erfani responds to address of the UN Special Representative for Afghanistan, at the OSCE

Credit: Micky Kroell, OSCE

Credit: Micky Kroell, OSCE

Vienna, 30.04.2014     On April 30 at the 998th Permanent Council meeting of the OSCE, Ambassador Erfani sat on the head table panel of the OSCE with H.E. Ján Kubiš, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Afghanistan and Head of UNAMA, who gave a presentation on the ongoing elections in Afghanistan. Ambassador Erfani responded to his address, thanking Mr. Kubiš for the continued support he has shown to the Afghan Government and people, and for the reassuring words of his presentation. Ambassador Erfani followed by giving a brief update on the elections in Afghanistan, which have been marked as a milestone in Afghanistan’s history.

 

Ambassador emphasized that the new government will continue the successful path into the Decade of Transformation (2015-2024) and that the achievements in areas, such as: Women’s rights; Education; Media and Civil Society; Governance and democratization; Security; Foreign policy; Economy; Infrastructure; Repatriation of refugees; and Health, demonstrated the Afghan peoples’ determination to achieve a successful, stable and democratic nation. H.E. Kubiš concurred: “The Afghan people once again proved all the sceptics wrong,” he said. “You must witness a situation like this to believe in the stamina, in the courage, in the endurance of the Afghan people.” he said.

 

Ambassador Erfani stated that the elections may head to a second round. He expressed:  “Regardless of the outcome, the Afghan people already consider the 2014 elections as a national treasure, demonstrating the will of the people to overcome all obstacles in support of a democratic and peaceful Afghanistan. The newly elected President of Afghanistan will take office based on 1) the constitution 2) the results of the elections and 3) the free will of the Afghan people.” Ambassador Erfani reiterated that the new Government, whichever it may be will consolidate Afghanistan’s strategic partnership with the International Community; will enhance regional co-operation and will build on recent achievements, based on thirteen years of experience and will lead Afghanistan to a better future, where all Afghans can enjoy fundamental rights and freedoms. He concluded: “I wish to assure the International Community of Afghanistan’s commitment to emerge from this transition as a healthy member of our global family.”

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Ambassador Erfani’s Condolence Message for the victims of the hospital attack in Kabul

On behalf of the Government and the people of Afghanistan, and my colleagues at the Permanent Mission in Vienna, I wish to express my deepest grief and sorrow for the loss of three American citizens in a shooting at CURE hospital in Kabul on April 24. The three doctors were devoted to helping the needy people of Afghanistan and their selfless commitment to this noble cause will never be forgotten. We are deeply saddened by this brutal attack and wish to offer our heartfelt sympathy and condolences.  Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones.

The Government of Afghanistan is committed to fighting such acts of terrorism and is investigating the incident, to ensure that offenders will be brought to justice.

Ambassador Ayoob M. Erfani