Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presented her Letters of Credence to H.E. Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. The Ambassador now also serves as Permanent Representative to the CTBTO-PrepCom, an independent international organization within the UN family, having signed a Relationship Agreement with the UN in 2000.
Our partnership with the CTBTO results in vital capacity and technical-building workshops and training courses. These initiatives will propel Afghanistan towards further development. Afghanistan is strongly committed to the goals and verification regime of the CTBTO. Of course, Kabul intends to fully participate in all CTBTO’s activities. We highly value all efforts of the PTS toward the advancement of the technical capabilities of State Signatories. Though COVID-19 has dampened our ability to organize these activities, it has not affected our will to transform and prepare Afghanistan for a post-conflict period. Yet, this desire goes beyond our domestic goals as we firmly support the allocation of appropriate resources to capacity-building to expand the engagement of different State Signatories, in particular developing countries.
We look forward to bringing additional technical experts from Afghanistan to participate in the important meetings and training workshops organized by the CTBTO. Training programmes for Afghan stakeholders greatly contribute to bolstering our national capacity to handle state-of-the-art technology and equipment. Of course, this capacity is vital for our national re-development efforts. We wish to make full use also of the potential scientific and civil uses of CTBTO’s data and technologies.
We are grateful to the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek for two initiatives aimed at supporting Afghanistan. These initiatives are built upon the ExB project from 2009 to 2015. Similar to that project, the “Enhancing Border Management and Operating Capacities of Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan” and “Capacity Building of Customs Offices from Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan” aim to enhance the capacity of and cooperation between the border and customs agencies of Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. Through academic and field training sessions, the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek will aid the professional development of our customs officers.
As a developing country, the optimization of our border and customs agencies significantly impacts the trajectory of Afghanistan’s advancement. Therefore, we attach great importance to these projects. We are hugely grateful for the continued support and collaboration of the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek with our government. The OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek can expect full participation from our side to ensure the success of these initiatives.
Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presented her Letters of Credence to H.E. Li Yong, Director General of UNIDO, introducing Ambassador as Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to UNIDO.
UNIDO has a long history of supporting Afghanistan towards poverty reduction, rural development, strengthened export and trade capacities, agro-business, creation of employment opportunities, industrial governance, private sector development and environment management.
Mr. Yong’s capacity as the DG of UNIDO and his valuable experience in creating economic opportunities that reduce poverty and promote gender equality align with the Ambassador’s primary objectives during her tenure in Vienna. Together they will help advance inclusive and sustainable industrial development (ISID) in Afghanistan. More importantly, they will empower women and improve the standard of living for Afghans. The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan remains committed to this shared vision.
H.E. Ambassador Manizha Bakhtari presents her Letters of Credence to Mr. Thomas Stelzer, Dean of the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA), based in Laxenburg/Lower Austria. Ambassador Bakhtari now also serves as Permanent Representative of the I.R. of Afghanistan to IACA, which was established in 2010. In this meeting, she detailed Afghanistan’s anti-corruption efforts and acknowledged IACA’s invaluable contributions to this fight. She also reiterated Afghanistan’s high regard for multilateral cooperation. Together, Ambassador Bakhtari and Mr. Stelzer brainstormed new cooperative efforts. In particular, they focused on better tailoring IACA services and programs to Afghan nationals.
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.