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Tag Archives: Decade of Transformation

Director General for Border Affairs and Security Cooperation addresses OSCE’s Security Committee

Vienna, 18.12.2015

Ms. Farishta Sakhi, the Director General for Border Affairs and Security Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan delivered a presentation at this week’s Security Committee of the OSCE. Ms. Sakhi discussed the implications of political and security transitions in Afghanistan and briefed participants about the reform agenda of the National Unity Government and shared her views regarding the latest developments concerning the Resolute Support Mission and the Government’s response to current and emerging security threats. The Director General also briefed the committee about renewed efforts toward peace and reconciliation, while highlighting the regional dimension of the security architecture. Ms. Sakhi highlighted the importance of Afghanistan’s collaboration with the OSCE for the past twelve years, including in the area of border affairs and security cooperation and shared her perspective of areas that can be further expanded under this partnership in view of the needs and priorities associated with the Decade of Transformation. Afghanistan has been an OSCE Partner for Co-operation since 2003.

In closing, Ms. Sakhi thanked the OSCE and all donors for both implementation of the projects and programmes and generous contributions provided, and looked ahead to next year’s Warsaw NATO Summit as well as the international conference on Afghanistan in Brussels, to be held in July and October, respectively. Ms. Sakhi visited Vienna as a member of a ministerial delegation attending high-level meetings at UNODC.

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Ambassador Erfani Delivers Remarks at Europe – Eurasia Leadership Conference 2015

IMG_8003Amb Erfani_ Eu Eurasia conference

Vienna, 30.10.2015

From Friday, October 30th to Saturday, October 31st, the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna hosted the Europe-Eurasia Leadership Conference titled “Eurasia and Europe Dialogue: Building Trust and Securing Cooperation for Sustainable Development”. H.E. Ambassador Erfani was invited to the conference and delivered a statement at the close of Friday’s session. Ambassador Erfani spoke on Afghanistan’s 15 years achievements and focused on “Engaging Women and youth in Afghanistan’s Transformation”. He noted that women and youth in Afghanistan will continue to play an important role in Afghanistan becoming a prosperous and peaceful country. The National Unity Government of Afghanistan is committed to bringing women full equality and security and increasing their involvement in development, government and society. Ambassador Erfani remarked on the importance of the work to be done during Afghanistan’s Decade of Transformation (2015-2024), which will be successful due to the commitment of the men and women of Afghanistan. The goals to be tackled include implementing the constitution for a new agenda and reshaping the country and its status in the region and the world. Ambassador Erfani also remarked on Afghanistan’s importance as a bridge connecting the region and beyond for promoting trade, transit and most importantly connecting people and civilizations.  Ambassador Erfani concluded by saying that women and youth are the best hope for peace, sustainability and development in Afghanistan so that Afghanistan is reedy to play its important role as a bridge in the region.

IMG_8002Panel on women and youth

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Ambassador Erfani speaks at OSCE Asian Contact Group Meeting

11225348_1632973403652128_7738566875833571843_nVienna, 16.10.2015

On October 16th, Ambassador Erfani delivered a presentation on “Afghanistan’s Decade of Transformation and Gender Dynamics” at this year’s final meeting of the OSCE Asian Contact Group. After thanking the group’s Chairperson, Ambassador Claude Wild of Switzerland, for the warm welcome and introduction, Ambassador Erfani provided a brief overview about the historical perspective concerning the situation of women in Afghanistan. The Ambassador then highlighted accomplishments achieved since 2001, including a solid framework of both domestic and international legal instruments, institutional building, political commitment, democratic structures and elections, the role of media, and civil society engagement.

“Despite challenging security conditions in some areas of the country, due to terrorists’ activities, we have managed to enable women to regain their historic role as a powerful force for change and progress in our society,” the Ambassador said. Ambassador Erfani also emphasized the remaining and emerging challenges in the empowerment of women noting that, “Work to improve the situation of women in Afghanistan is in progress, but we accept that there is much more to do.”12111954_1632973400318795_8963704946664707409_n

The Ambassador stated that there is strong commitment by the President of Afghanistan, H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, by the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, H.E. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, and as a matter of fact by the entire cabinet, to continue the work in improving the situation for women in Afghanistan. Ambassador Erfani also made reference to the important role of the First Lady of Afghanistan, Rula Ghani, in encouraging participation of women in Afghan politics by forming the Women Advisory Board.

Ambassador Erfani noted the important role of the OSCE in advancing women’s rights in Afghanistan and appealed to the international community to continue and expand the support in implementing the legal and political commitments. He concluded with a request to the OSCE and all present to, “Please continue your assistance and we look forward to further broadening and deepening our collaboration with all of you and with a view to accomplishing a stable, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan for all Afghans. Women constitute more than 50% of Afghan society and without their active participation Afghanistan will not be able reach its goal for a stable, democratic and prosperous future”.


HE Ambassador Erfani Presents at the Austro-American Society


Vienna, 30.09.2015

On September 30, 2015, HE Ambassador Erfani delivered a presentation on “Afghanistan’s Decade of Transformation (2015-2024): empowerment of women and transnational security aspects”, as part of the 7th Annual Webster/Austro-American Society Distinguished Speakers Series. After giving a brief overview of Afghanistan’s rich history, Ambassador Erfani discussed the challenges of the past few decades that Afghanistan has been working to overcome. He then went on to discuss the achievements made by Afghanistan in the last 15 years. He noted, “Afghanistan, supported by our partners in the international community, has accomplished tremendous achievements including but not limited to: the creation of equal opportunities for all Afghan citizens, men and women; the establishment of a democratic government; holding of democratic elections on all levels; assumption of responsibility from the international forces; expansion of friendly long-term strategic relations with countries in our region and beyond; progress in the health sector and in the infrastructure; provision of education for millions of kids, 40% of whom are girls.”

Ambassador Erfani noted the important role of women and that while challenges still remain to bringing them full equality and security, the National Unity Government of Afghanistan is committed to the equality of women and increasing their involvement in elections, government and society. He went on to say that, “With the beginning of Afghanistan’s Decade of Transformation 2015-2024, we have entered a new era, and we the men and women in Afghanistan are committed to implement the constitution for a new agenda, reshape our country and our status in the region and in the world.” In conclusion, Ambassador Erfani said that, “With the beginning of Afghanistan’s Decade of Transformation 2015-2024, we have entered a new era, and we the men and women in Afghanistan are committed to implement the constitution for a new agenda, reshape our country and our status in the region and in the world… Our women are the best hope for peace, stability and development in our country and without their active participation no one will be able to guarantee Afghanistan’s Transformation to a democratic and properties future.” Ambassador Erfani followed his presentation by holding a question and answer session.


Ambassador Erfani addressed the conference of Afghan diaspora, titled “What is our Role in the Future of Afghanistan?”

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Vienna, 24 August 2015

On Saturday, August 22, 2015, AKIS (afghanische Kultur, Integration, Solidarität) and the Organization for Solidarity with Afghan Refugees in Europe (Verein Solidarität mit afghanischen Flüchtlingen in Europa) in collaboration with Afghan associations and NGO’s in Vienna, organized a conference, titled “What is our Role in the Future of Afghanistan?”.

In his opening statement to participants, H.E. Ambassador Erfani, praised the organizers of the conference for bringing together the Afghan diaspora to discuss the situation in Afghanistan and the role of the Afghan diaspora in the future of the country. He welcomed the wide variety of participants, including a delegation from Afghanistan, Afghans living in Austria, and other Afghan expatriates, commending their interest to do their part for the future of Afghanistan.

During his statement, H.E. Ambassador Erfani briefed the participants on the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, referring to the decade long achievements made in Afghanistan, gained thanks to the sacrifice of Afghan people in combination with support from the international community. He also emphasized the important role of Afghan expatriates to contribute in strengthening the current achievements and progress made in the country and to support the National Unity Government of Afghanistan to implement its programs for the success of the Decade of Transformation, and among them the ongoing efforts to preserve peace, achieve stability and promote economic development for the country.

The key note speakers of the conference delivered their comprehensive statements which created an opportunity for an open question and answer session followed by the adoption of the findings of the conference. Diplomats from the Embassy and Permanent Mission of Afghanistan in Vienna also attended the conference.

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H.E. Ambassador Erfani invited to present Afghanistan’s prospects for the Decade of Transformation at the Albertina Rotary Club





Vienna, 06.05.2015

Today Ambassador Erfani was invited by the Albertina Rotary Club, an international service group, to give a presentation on Afghanistan. Speaking to a big number of Vienna based members the Ambassador expressed his appreciation for having the opportunity to talk at the occasion. He provided a brief background picture on the peaceful and also the wartime history of Afghanistan, and then focused on Afghanistan’s transition since 2002 and Afghanistan’s vision for a democratic future through the new Decade of Transformation (2015-2024).
Highlighting the improvements made since 2002, the Ambassador spoke of the areas in which progress has been made in the country, including in the areas of education, women’s participation, civil society, media, communication, institutions, security, foreign policy, infrastructure, and legislations. He pointed to these improvements as important signs of success for Afghanistan’s ongoing Decade of Transformation. The Ambassador further emphasized Afghanistan’s commitment, as well as that of its international partners, to consolidate on the current progress in response to the remaining and emerging challenges for a stable and prospering Afghanistan.
The Ambassador also engaged with the participants in an open discussion and responded to questions raised. He briefed the participants about the short, medium and long term economic visions of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan to reclaim the historic geographic role of Afghanistan, as a connecting bridge between Central Asia, South Asia and the Middle East, to enhancing trade, transit and investment opportunities. He called on the Rotary Club to continue their good work: “I can assure you that there are plenty of opportunities in the emerging market and economy of Afghanistan. At the same time, we still need the support of our international partners to build our capacities and implement our national priority programs (NPPs).”
Responding to a question from the audience about possible seizure of power of Daesh (“Islamic State”) terrorist group in Afghanistan, Ambassador Erfani acknowledged that the ongoing one year has been a difficult year for Afghanistan: “The drawdown of international forces, the completion of security transition to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), Presidential and Provincial Councils elections and the first democratic transfer of power and the country. At the same time, the strong determination of the Afghan people for democracy and freedom through their participation in the last year’s elections, the visions and commitments of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan and the excellent performance of the capable Afghan National Security Forces against terrorists and enemies of the Afghan people, provide a guarantee that there is no chance for terrorist victory in Afghanistan, and we are confident that we will succeed in our goal for a stable and democratic Afghanistan, which is equally important for the regional and international peace and stability.”
Rotary International was formed in 1905 with the service-oriented aim of applying leadership and expertise to social issues to create lasting change. The club is made up of 1.2 million members, all working to improve their communities and the world.

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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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National Ulema Council expresses support and solidarity with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF)

Afghanistan’s National Security Forces (ANSF) received overarching support and expressions of solidarity from the country’s largest religious body, the National Ulema Council on Thursday.  This comes as a significant step for the ANSF, as decisions taken by the Council are honoured across the nation. Over 5,000 religious scholars from across the country gathered in Kabul for the declaration, udner the slogan ‘Long live Afghan Forces’.

Concurrently, Afghanistan’s Youth Union also came forward in an ever increasing trend of national support for the ANSF, signing an agreement with the Ministry of Defence, to encourage Afghan youth to join the ranks of the security forces.

Similar expressions of support were given by both houses of Parliament and women’s’ organizations. Following the drawdown of the NATO led ISAF, the Afghan ANSF are responsible for the country’s security. The ANSF has demonstrated their capability for the task ahead over the past year and it is this trust of the Afghan people which remains essential to them succeeding at their mission.


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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!



Ambassador Erfani delivers remarks in response to Foreign Minister of Guatemala, Carlos Morales

Remarks by H.E. Ayoob M. Erfani in response to the presentation by H.E. Carlos Morales Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Guatemala on the outcome document of the 46th Special Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States, entitled “Reflections and Guidelines to Formulate and Follow-up on Comprehensive Policies to Address the World Drug Problem in the Americas”

Monday, 19 January 2015


H.E. Ambassador Arthayudh Srisamoot, we wish to welcome you to the Vienna family and congratulate you on assuming your role in the chairmanship of the CND, in this regard we wish you every success.


Let me join previous speakers in welcoming you, Mr. Minister Morales, to the VIC and I wish to thank you for sharing your experiences which is equally important for Afghanistan. We welcome your initiative and pledge our full support.


Afghanistan has been a prime victim of the global menace of illicit narcotics for more than a decade, addressing this menace remains one of our National Priority Programs and the newly formed National Unity Government is committed to contribute our share in combatting this transnational threat.


We believe that illicit narcotics are a global challenge, which require a global approach by all countries in a holistic, balanced and integrated manner, to effectively combat this menace.


We expect from all countries in our region, beyond and the IC as whole, to do their part based on the shared-responsibility principle.


The Government of Afghanistan has taken practical measures at the national level to create a strong legal foundation, to build institutions, to develop policies in key areas of alternative livelihood, law enforcement, demand reduction and public awareness. At regional level we are expanding our efforts on bilateral, trilateral, quadrature as well as other mechanism including the Istanbul Process and at the International level, Afghanistan has joined all relevant regulations and instruments to join the international community addressing the World Drug Problem.


We consider the 2016 UN GASS to be a timely and crucial event to address the World Drug Problem and we are dedicated to play an active part in the preparations for this historic event. The drug problem stands as one of the major challenges for us at the cusp of our Decade of Transformation 2015-2024. The new Government of Afghanistan has particularly high stakes in this process and are dedicated to playing an active part in this historic opportunity to achieving a global consensus to address this global challenge.


Thank you, Mr Chairman.