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Tag Archives: Ambassador Ayoob M. Erfani

Afghanistan reiterates its support for the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue

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Vienna, 04.03.2015

Today, Ambassador Erfani addressed the meeting of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), taking place in Vienna from 2-6 March, 2015, where he praised the Director General of the IAEA, H.E. Yukiya Amano for his continued efforts and welcomed the progress mentioned in the report on the “Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement and relevant provisions of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

Ambassador Erfani also stated that Afghanistan remains convinced that all outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear programme can be solved in the foreseen timeframe and that a sustainable compromise can be reached, with restored international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.

The Ambassador expressed Afghanistan’s “strong support for the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free-zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East, as well as all other steps aimed at elimination of all weapons of mass destruction and global nuclear disarmament.” He also stated that “we welcome the continued cooperation between the Agency and the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the latest meeting that took place between Director General Amano and authorities of the IR of Iran, where it was agreed to continue dialogue with a view to resolving all outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear programme.”

The Ambassador concluded his remarks by welcoming the application of Turkmenistan for membership of the IAEA: “We look forward to welcoming our sisters and brothers from Turkmenistan to the IAEA family, and we will closely cooperate with Turkmenistan in the spirit of our excellent neighborly relations,” he said.

The Board of Governors is composed of 35 of the 163 members of the IAEA and generally meets five times per year to make recommendations to the IAEA General Conference. Afghanistan was a founding member of the IAEA in 1957.

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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani to the IAEA Board of Governors on Agenda Item 6 (d): “Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement and relevant provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran”

Madam Chairperson,

Let me start by thanking the Director General, Mr. Yukiya Amano, for his report under the agenda item 6 (d) “Implementation of the NPT safeguards agreement and relevant provisions of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran”, as contained in document GOV/2015/15.

We fully associate ourselves with the statement of the Non-Aligned Movement delivered by the distinguished Ambassador and Resident Representative of the IR of Iran but wish to make the following remarks in our national capacity:

We welcome the continued cooperation between the Agency and our brotherly nation the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the latest meeting that took place between Director General Amano and authorities of the IR of Iran, where it was agreed to continue dialogue with a view to resolving all outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear programme.

Afghanistan underscores the inalienable right of all states for access and use of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, reiterates its traditional position and expresses its strong support for the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free-zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East, as well as all other steps aimed at elimination of all weapons of mass destruction and global nuclear disarmament.

Afghanistan supports the Agency’s continued efforts to undertake monitoring and verification of the Joint Statement on the Framework for Cooperation and of the Joint Plan of Action, and commends all parties involved in the ongoing negotiation process; we are positive that with continued political and diplomatic means from all sides a sustainable compromise can be reached.

Afghanistan welcomes the achieved progress and remains hopeful that all outstanding issues, past and present, can be solved in the foreseen timeframe, which is essential to fully restore international confidence toward the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme. We encourage all IAEA Member States to contribute positively to diplomacy and dialogue on this and all other matters important for all of us.

Let me also take this opportunity to welcome the application of Turkmenistan for membership of the IAEA. We look forward to welcome our sisters and brothers from Turkmenistan to the IAEA family, and we will closely cooperate with Turkmenistan in the spirit of our excellent neighborly relations.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson

Afghans Lost in Tragic Avalanche

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The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna wishes to express its profound sorrow and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of the over 300 Afghans lost or injured in the avalanches triggered by severe blizzards in several of Afghanistan’s provinces, among them Panjshir, Badakhshan, Baghlan and Faryab.

In a meeting of the Council of Ministers headed by Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah this morning, all government agencies have been instructed to redouble their efforts to help those affected in order to overcome the crisis. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, in a televised address, stated that there is a need for massive assistance, announced the opening of an international relief fund, and announced three days of national mourning.

Our hearts go out to all those who been affected by this natural catastrophe. May God rest the souls of those lost in peace and give strength to their family and friends to bear this huge loss.

.إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون

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H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani and the Permanent Mission are awarded medals by Parliamentary Delegation

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Vienna, 23.02.2015

From 18-20 February a parliamentary delegation comprised of members of the Meshrano Jirga, headed by H.E. Mohammad Alam Izidyar, and of the Wolesi Jirga, headed by H.E. Erfanullah Erfan, visited Vienna and actively participated in the 14th Winter Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, UN sessions, bilateral meetings, and media interviews. During separate ceremonies at the end of the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly, H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani was awarded two medals of the Meshrano Jirga and the Wolesi Jirga by the heads of both houses in recognition of his achievements and contributions to the engagement of Afghanistan with the international community, as well as his pursuance of active diplomacy on behalf of the country. The Wolesi Jirga also gave an award to the Permanent Mission and team for their teamwork in representing Afghanistan to the international community in Vienna and for facilitating the participation of the Afghan delegation in meetings and conferences.

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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani to the OSCE Security Committee on the Co-operation between OSCE and UNODC in the context of the UNODC Joint Action Plan 2013-2014, as extended for 2015

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for organizing this morning’s meeting. Let me start by offering my heartfelt condolences for the victims of the Copenhagen terrorist attack and my strong solidarity with the people of Denmark. My hearts and thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those we have lost in recent terrorist attacks.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I welcome UNODC Deputy Executive Director Aldo Lale-Demoz and his colleagues to today’s OSCE Security Committee and I thank him and Secretary General Lamberto Zannier for their comprehensive presentations.

Afghanistan highly appreciates co-operation with both UNODC, which has started long before 2001 and, as a partner for co-operation since 2003, with the OSCE.

We welcome the joint initiative of OSCE and UNODC that was formalized in 2010, to co-operate and co-ordinate their activities and mandates, adding value to the work of the two organizations, exploring synergies and making best use of comparative advantages. Afghanistan, as a recipient of assistance from international and regional organizations for the last decade’s stabilization process in the country, realizes the importance of optimized co-ordination, avoiding of duplication of efforts. In this context, I wish to thank the OSCE Secretary General for his personal efforts toward initiation of OSCE co-operation with other relevant regional organizations.

We welcome the extension of the Joint Action Plan for 2015. Afghanistan continuously benefitted from programmes, projects and assistance provided by both organizations, in numerous areas. We pledge our commitment to further consolidate our alliance in addressing transnational threats such as organized crime, terrorism, corruption, as well as illicit narcotics and chemical precursors, while fostering rule of law issues and good governance.

We are ready to actively participate in joint and integrated regional co-operation programmes, a main pillar of Afghanistan’s foreign policy, and would greatly appreciate continued deliverance of practical action and technical assistance, also inside Afghanistan. Capacity- and institution-building, for government and legislative structures, and civil society organizations, will be crucial during our Decade of Transformation (2015-2024). In particular, we seek your support for the empowerment of women.

The global illicit narcotics economy and international terrorism have had a disastrous impact on Afghanistan. The people of Afghanistan are prime victims of these transnational threats, and although there has been limited progress in addressing these menaces, the problems remain virulent and extensive. In order to effectively tackle these threats, we must address all forms of organized crime, based on our shared responsibility and applying a holistic approach, and we should focus on curtailing illicit financial flows. Follow the money and you will find the villain.

Mr. Chairman,

As I mentioned before, Afghanistan has benefitted from its partnership with the international community for the past decade and we remain strongly committed to our continued partnership with the OSCE and UNODC, for the success of our Decade of Transformation (2015-2024). Afghanistan makes every effort on national, regional and international levels to fight all forms of organized crime. Last week, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani during a meeting with the OSCE Secretary General also emphasized the importance of our partnership with the OSCE, and this week, a parliamentary delegation from Afghanistan will participate in the Winter Session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and will address our future partnerships here at the Hofburg and also at the Vienna International Centre. The Afghan delegation in Vienna actively participates in the preparatory process for the OSCE Security Days events, as well as at the UN with preparations for the upcoming Commission on Narcotic Drug session, the Crime Congress in Doha, and the UNGASS-2016 on the World Drug Problem.

Earlier today, I heard also the terminology of “Afghanistan-originated drugs”. While I realize the commitments of our partners, as my EU colleague mentioned, I would like to reiterate the importance of addressing the world drug problem as a global challenge and of applying the principle of shared responsibility. As you know, caused by the cold war and related foreign interventions, Afghanistan became a breeding ground for terrorist activities and organized crime, including illicit drugs. To this day, we remain a prime victim and we pay a heavy price in doing our part in fighting against these transnational, global threats. We believe that no country should be singled out when we discuss global challenges, but we all should join forces and do our part in addressing these transnational, universal threats.

 

Thank you

MPs from Afghanistan addressed a UN panel on the “Parliamentary Perspective on Consolidating Democracy during Afghanistan’s Decade of Transformation”

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Vienna, 18.02.2015

On the occasion of the Vienna visit of a high-ranking parliamentary delegation from Afghanistan, the Permanent Mission, together with UNODC and ACUNS-Vienna Liaison Office, co-organized a panel discussion at the United Nations Office at Vienna today, entitled “A Parliamentary Perspective on Consolidating Democracy during Afghanistan’s Decade of Transformation (2015-2024)”.

On the panel were members of the Lower House (Wolesi Jirga) of the National Assembly of Afghanistan, headed by H.E. Erfanullah Erfan, Deputy Secretary; Mr. Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs at UNODC; Mr. Stefan Schocher, journalist with Kurier daily newspaper; Dr. Michael Platzer of ACUNS-Vienna (moderator); and H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani.

Ambassador Erfani welcomed the participants, introduced the panelists and provided a brief overview on the topic. Mr. Erfan then presented his assessment and discussed possible developments, highlighting what has been accomplished over the past thirteen years, but also making reference to remaining challenges and obstacles. The MPs highlighted the evident differences between life in Afghanistan under Taliban rule as compared to today, pointing to specific examples including the increased participation of women and the freedom of the media. Praising the new constitution, they discussed the success and consistent improvements of previous parliamentary, presidential and provincial council elections. They also indicated that 17 of 102 seats in the Upper House and 64 of 249 seats in the Lower House are reserved for women. Looking to the future, Mr. Erfan spoke on the urgency of encouraging electoral reform and providing for entirely fair elections. With 2015 marking the start of Afghanistan’s Decade of Transformation, Mr. Erfan seemed confident that Afghanistan would continue to move in the right direction.

Both Mr. Erfan and Ambassador Erfani responded to the remarks by the panelists before Dr. Platzer opened the Q&A session.

A large audience from various UN offices and Permanent Missions actively participated in a lively debate. In his closing remarks, Ambassador Erfani noted that Afghanistan, after having suffered for decades, had started its journey to democracy thirteen years ago. “The establishment of a democratic system ranks among our biggest achievements,” the Ambassador said.

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Ambassador Erfani addresses the IAEA’s meeting with National Experts

 Ambassador Erfani addresses the IAEA’s meeting with National Experts 

Ambassador Erfani with IAEA experts and the Afghan Delegation

Ambassador Erfani with IAEA experts and the Afghan Delegation

Vienna, 06/02/2015

Ambassador Erfani addressed the organisers and Afghan delegation in Vienna for the IAEA National Experts Meeting to Design and Formulate Technical Cooperation National Projects of Afghanistan for 2016-2017, at the VIC today. The meetings were held from 2-6 February and it was a great opportunity for the delegates to discuss furthering technical cooperation in Afghanistan. Ambassador Erfani addressed the closing session noting the important achievements Afghanistan has made for the past decade, such as the establishment of the Independent Nuclear Energy Commission and how far Afghanistan has come in terms of capacity building in the country, with the assistance of the IAEA, especially in the areas of safety, agricultures and human health. He mentioned that Afghanistan’s priority of strengthening the quality control of X-Ray equipment; radiological monitoring; energy planning; using atomic energy in water, soil and crop improvement; and the Aliabad teaching hospital telemedicine program, among others, are all of great importance as we moved towards improved capabilities and capacities in the country. We appreciate the active cooperation and partnership of the IAEA with Afghanistan in these fields.

Additionally, this week Ambassador Erfani was kept busy with a number of pressing issues: He met with academic Ms. Edit Schlaffer (Women without Borders, Sisters against Violent Extremism) to discuss empowerment of women in Afghanistan, making reference to the successful women’s employment project in Kunduz. They discussed her organisations and possibilities for cooperation with Afghanistan in the future; and the OSCE’s engagement with Afghanistan and neighbouring countries.

On Tuesday Ambassador Erfani met with Ambassador Launsky, head of the Austrian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Development Cooperation to discuss Austria’s furture possible involvement for development projects in Afghanistan and they also discussed including the issues related to the Kunduz project on womens empowerment.

On Wednesday, Ambassador Erfani attended a brainstorming session at the OSCE to prepare for a Security Days discussion on how the OSCE could enhance its efforts to promote tolerance and non-discrimination, as one way to help to prevent the growing challenge of religious related violence in the OSCE region and expressed Afghanistan’s position. Ambassador Erfani noted the importance of the sensitisation of all people to religious diversity and promotion of tolerance and respect for all people. At the meeting he condemned the brutal killing of the Jordanian pilot this week at the hands of extremists.

On Friday, Ambassador Erfani met with the head of the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB) and his team, to discuss UNODC projects in Afghanistan and how the UNODC can be more actively implement these projects in the country. They exchanged views on the future of cooperation and the mandate of the UNODC and Afghanistan’s National Priority Programs. He thanked the UNODC’s continued participation in  Afghanistan’s stabilisation process.

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Embassy Internship Program – recruiting now!

Dear friends,

The Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan is currently looking for new interns.

To apply, please send your CV and motivation letter to embassy@afghanistan-vienna.org.

In order to qualify for the position, you must be enrolled in tertiary education at a University and be under 30 years of age.

The internship is 3 months, full time and unpaid.

Fluency in English is required, due to our work with the international organisations in Vienna.

We look forward to hearing from you.

The Embassy team

Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani to the OSCE Security Committee

Mr. Chairman,

We thank you, Ambassador Vuk Žugić, for organizing today’s meeting and for outlining the priorities of the 2015 Chairmanship of Security Committee.

We congratulate the Romanian SC Chairmanship and wish you, Mr. Chairman, every success!

Afghanistan remains committed to its close co-operation with the OSCE in 2015, across all three dimensions, and security clearly continues to be one of our priorities in our collaboration with the OSCE. In particular, border management and security are vital issues.

2014 was a special year for Afghanistan, with the completion of the transition process, and the elections. We accomplished advancements in a number of areas, including economy, security and politics – with the generous assistance of our international friends and partners.

With the completion of the security transition and the drawdown of NATO/ISAF, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are now fully in charge of the security in the country. They have shown their professional capability during the 2014 elections, and also in recent months. As it was previously done by women and youth organizations, as well as by both houses of the parliament, more than 5000 religious leaders from across the country gathered in Kabul last week to express their resolute support for the ANSF, using the slogan of “long live the ANSF”.

We stand now at the beginning of our Decade of Transformation (2015-2024) and we will be looking to seize every opportunity while vigorously tackling all remaining challenges. Here, we continuously require the strong support of the international community, with a view to consolidating and expanding on what has been achieved so far. I thank all colleagues who emphasized this morning the necessity of OSCE’s continued support for Afghanistan.

Let me also thank Mr. Alexey Lyzhenkov, OSCE’s Co-ordinator of Activities to Address Transnational Threats (Transnational Threats Department – TNTD)  for presenting the TNTD’s strategic outlook 2015, Afghanistan has taken good advantage of TNTD’s programmes  through participation in all its sessions and workshops, and I am confident we will be able to further strengthen our close co-operation this year.

Thank you!

 

 

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani at the OSCE Security Committee meeting in response to the presentation by UK Ministry of Defence Representative, Mr Steven Flavell

Mr. Chairman,

I thank you Mr. Chairman for chairing the OSCE SC and appreciate your good work and excellent leadership during this difficult year for the OSCE.

I would like to warmly welcome Mr. Flavell to the OSCE and thank him for his presentation.

Let me also welcome Ms. Raihana Azad, a member of the Afghan parliament, who will also briefly address this meeting.

We are grateful to the Government of the United Kingdom for their continued commitment in helping the Afghan people to consolidate democracy, freedom and security in Afghanistan. Training provided by UK servicemen and servicewomen has enabled the ANSF to become a reliable actor in providing security, promoting the rule of law and strengthening our national law enforcement capability.

Our new government, under the leadership of President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah, will have an ambitious set of goals for the future of our country, including tackling corruption and terrorism, as well as finding solutions to the menace of illicit narcotics. However, the National Unity Government believes in a comprehensive and transnational strategy to tackle these intertwined issues and continues to stress the importance of economic development and promotion of women’s rights in Afghanistan.

2014 has been a crucial year for Afghanistan, a country which has long suffered as the victim of conflict and warfare. We began our transition process in 2001, when our partners in the international community started helping the people Afghanistan, right after the UN Security Council unanimous resolution no. 1378. They provided us with the opportunity to get rid of the threat of terrorism and to have a stable and peaceful future, which we were denied in the previous decade.

This year we have completed our political, security and economic transition. Transition has taken place in our government, through the historic presidential and provincial council elections of the first ever-democratic transfer of power to the new elected president, and soon the cabinet of National Unity Government will be presented to the parliament. The Afghan Government submitted its post-2014 economic priority program entitled “Implementation of Self-Sufficiency” to our donors in London on December 4. The ISAF mission will come to an end on December 31, and in 16 days the ANSF will assume full responsibility for the security of the country.

The strengthening of co-operation with NATO and our regional and international partners remains an utmost priority of the NUG. The new President of Afghanistan has signed the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States and the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with NATO, and we also have signed strategic partnership agreements with many of the countries present here today. These agreements provide a basis for the training and equipping of the ANSF, as well as for the effectiveness of further economic development in the country.

Taking this opportunity I would like to emphasize the following three key points:

  1. As the Transformation decade begins, we are grateful to our NATO and other international partners for their sacrifices and for their commitment to train, advice and assist the ANSF, which remains essential for a better future for the Afghan people.
  2. We wish to assure our partners and friends that, while realizing the seriousness of remaining challenges, pertaining to both security and the economy, we are determined to take a brave step forward to overcome these challenges. We seek to provide Afghanistan’s strategic location as an opportunity for trade, transit and connectivity in our region and beyond. Let me also reassure that we will not accept anyone using our soil to pose a threat to anyone.
  3. Our continued partnership, including through the NATO Resolute Support Mission and with the determination of the new government of Afghanistan, our joint efforts will guarantee our success.

Once again we would like to thank Mr. Flavell for his comprehensive presentation and insights on the future Afghan Security.

Likewise, I wish to thank all of today’s speakers who expressed their countries’ support to Afghanistan in the years to come.

Thank you.