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Ambassador Erfani congratulates the new G-77 + China Chairmanship, The Philippines

Vienna, 16.07.2014

 

Ambassador Erfani first expressed his gratitude to Her Excellency Ambassador Yparraguirre, Permanent Representative of the Philippines, incoming Chairperson of the G-77 and China, as well as to His Excellency Ambassador Azeez, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, outgoing Chairperson of the G-77 and China.

 

He continued by stating: “I congratulate the Philippines for taking on this responsibility and pledge our full cooperation. Let me thank you, dear Ambassador Yparraguirre for your insightful remarks and comprehensive presentation of the work programme for the rest of this year”.

 

The Ambassador then reminded about pressing economic, social and environmental challenges in some of the G-77 regions: “I applaud our shared efforts to eliminate extreme poverty and hardships”. But he also highlighted that a number of G-77 and China countries are among the emerging economies and have become drivers of global growth, and added: “Afghanistan, given its rich natural resources, young and capable workforce, and our upcoming Decade of Transformation (2015-2024), will hopefully be able to join them in the near future. I have the feeling that this will be a decade for the Afghan people, who had to suffer so incredibly much over the past three decades, and we reach for the stars.”

 

The Ambassador encouraged his fellow Permanent Representatives to sustain the momentum concerning the Millennium Development Goals, promote the empowerment of women in order to ensure full participation of women in all spheres of society.  “We believe that the women and youth are decisive forces for Afghanistan’s future development and we are committed to this end”, he noted.

 

The Ambassador also proposed the creation of an informal working group for the ongoing negotiation between G-77 and developed countries on the budget, in particular the increase of the fund for Technical Cooperation.

 

The Ambassador closed by reiterating Afghanistan’s full support to the new Chairmanship.

 

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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani at the ceremony marking the handover of Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China (Vienna)

16.07.2014

Your Excellency, Ambassador Yparraguirre of the Philippines, incoming Chairperson of the G77 and China, Your Excellency Ambassador Azeez Amb and PR of Sri Lanka, outgoing Chairperson of the G77 and China, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very much pleased to join you for today’s ceremony marking the handover of the chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China. Let me commend Sri Lanka, and especially you, dear Ambassador Azeez and your good team, for your successful leadership of the Group.

I congratulate the Philippines for taking on this responsibility and pledge our full cooperation. Let me thank you, dear Ambassador Yparraguirre for your insightful remarks and comprehensive presentation of the work programme for the rest of this year.

Afghanistan appreciates the support and cooperation of the Group in tackling continuing economic, social and environmental challenges in our regions. I applaud our shared efforts to eliminate extreme poverty and hardships. A number of G77 and China countries are among the emerging economies and have become drivers of global growth. Afghanistan, given its rich natural resources, young and capable workforce, and our upcoming Decade of Transformation (2015-2024), will hopefully be able to join them in the near future. I have the feeling that this will be a decade for the Afghan people, who had to suffer so incredibly much over the past three decades, and we reach for the stars.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

These are changing times and we are ready to participate in necessary reforms. We will also contribute to sustain the momentum concerning the Millennium Development Goals. Empowerment of women will remain a top priority on our agenda. We will make every effort to ensure full participation of our women in all spheres of our society. At the same time, we will vigorously combat gender discrimination and violence against women.  We believe that the women and youth are decisive forces for Afghanistan’s future development and we are committed to this end. Also, Afghanistan has always been a great champion of multilateralism and we hope that the Group can further enhance its efforts in this area. Let’s join our efforts and let’s try to take the broader view on matters of mutual concern.

Afghanistan looks forward to working with the Philippines Chairmanship. With regards to the working program, which you presented, I would like to support the proposal of increasing the fund of technological cooperation, and to achieve this let me encourage considering the establishment of an informal working group. I am of the view that it seems timely to examine the means and ways of negotiations with developed countries and to address the concerns of contributors, as we just heard from the delegation of South Africa. There is the serious outstanding issue of budget and we must be actively engaged with all sides in order to find a desirable solution. You will have our full cooperation in this regard.

Thank you.

G-77 + China celebrates their 50th Anniversary

G-77 + China  Group of Ambassadors

G-77 + China
Group of Ambassadors

Photo of the G-77 +China Ambassador’s on the opening day of the week-long 50th Anniversary celebrations

G-77 + China 50th Anniversary Celebrations

PERMANENT MISSION OF AFGHANISTAN MARKS 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA

 

Mr Baktyra on Rabob and Mr Anwar on the Tabla

Mr Baktyra on Rabob and Mr Anwar on the Tabla

Vienna, 24 June 2014 

Today the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the G-77 continued at the Vienna International Centre. Ambassador Erfani inaugurated this second day with an introductory statement on the achievements made and the goals ahead of the Member States. He addressed the importance of gender equality, youth participation and cooperation across borders and among G-77 Members.

Once the festivities were declared open, two Afghan musicians provided an insight into the traditional music. The Tabla, a musical drum, and the Rabob, a lute-like musical instrument, are traditional key instruments of Afghanistan. Thereafter, Sri Lanka joined in the festival and introduced its culture with dances, costumes and music. Many guests watched and enjoyed the cultural performances.

At the same time, Afghanistan offered a stand with a variety of traditional handcraft, artefacts and food. The participants appreciated the unique opportunity to see Afghan jewellery, stones and tableware. One of the highlights was a selection of traditional Afghan food, including sabzi and pilaw. Egypt, Cuba, Oman, Qatar, Sudan and the Vienna branch of G77 also had their own stands and provided food and brochures.

In conclusion, the 50th anniversary of the G-77 was a great success for Afghanistan and His Excellency Ambassador Erfani. The whole delegation, as well as friends from the Afghan community here in Vienna enjoyed celebrating the ceremony together and showing their commitment to the objectives of the G-77, namely assuring joint action for economic and social development.

 

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Statement by Ambassador Erfani – Brainstorming for Santa Cruz panel discussion on 10th June 2014

STATEMENT BY

H.E. AMBASSADOR AYOOB ERFANI

at the G-77 “Living Well: Celebrating Unity for Prosperity”

Brainstorming for Santa Cruz panel discussion 0n 10th June 2014

 

Mr. Chairman,

Excellencies,

Dear Members of the Panel,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I would like to thank all Members of the Group for coming in such a great numbers to today’s G77+ China  plenary discussion on ‘Living Well: Celebrating Unity for Prosperity’.

I am pleased to be a member of today’s panel to prepare ourselves for the upcoming summit in Santa Cruz, at such a time when the international community is making efforts to negotiate the Post–2015 Development Agenda  and  to formulate a new global development framework.We are all equally committed to the long-standing ideals of the G77 + China, which has proved itself to be a powerful voice for the majority of today’s global population, and to expressing our collective position on the direction of the global development agenda.

We are also realistic on the divergence of views in our group, of over one hundred and thirty States, on matters which are considered to be important to particular national or regional interests, and such divergence is not unexpected. However, we must work to ensure a possible common position, for the interests of every member of this group. We should emphasize the need for the United Nations’ more active participation in international economic and financial affairs, as well as its role in financing for development.

The upcoming summit in Santa Cruz will provide us with  an excellent opportunity  for discussion and  dialogue on some of the most pressing development issues of our time such as youth employment, women’s empowerment and inclusive and sustainable development, particularly towards the achievement of ISID.

Let me express our congratulations to Sri Lanka for its proactive efforts as the current chair of the Group. Our dear friend Ambassador Abdul Aziz, we thank you, for initiating such a timely panel discussion on such issues that are highly important for all of us, including the elements contained in our today’s agenda:

– Sustainability and Development Challenges:   Prospective  of  Youth for the post_2015 Development Agenda,

– What Living Well means for Women: A Development Path: Empowerment, Eradication of Poverty and Shared Prosperity”.

Based on last year’s estimated reports there are about 73 million unemployed young people, which make up around 40% of the world’s unemployed.

Youth unemployment, men and women, affects developed and developing countries alike. In such a time when the global impact of youth unemployment is rising, it is more urgent than ever for the G77 + China to play its role as global decision-maker to take effective and coordinated measures to establish youth employment and empowerment as national priorities.

The Santa Cruz summit will be a timely opportunity for the  G77 + China to  address  the integration of youth issues into global, regional and national development priorities, especially during this critical time when youth unemployment  continued to rise in our countries.

I’m truly delighted to be here to focus on the empowerment of young people, boys and girls – men and women, and ensuring their inclusive participation in the decision-making process and the implementation of the post-2015 Development Agenda.

While discussing the essential role of youth for our future and the role of woman  in the post 2015 development agenda, we  need to focus on:

Youth:

  • The critical role and courage of young people, their concerns, their energies, in the post-2015 development agenda process.
  •  Smart policies and investments, as well as the need to change some traditional habits to empower youth.
  • To promote employment and income opportunities for young people, and to provide young people with the skills and competencies they require to be able to take advantage of these opportunities.
  • To provide comprehensive yet occupation-orientated education as part of national education strategies.

Women :

  • The advancement and protection of the rights of women.
  • Mitigation of female poverty, through combating gender discrimination and full integration of women into the job market.
  • Effective implementation of gender equality and the women’s rights agenda.
  • Ensuring that gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment are regulated by law.
  • Providing Job opportunities for women.
  • Address concerns of lack of access to education and health, and lacking an equal voice in decision-making.
  • Eliminating discrimination in laws, policies and practices,
  • Putting an end to violence against women and girls in all its forms.
  • Equal participation of women in decision-making in public and private institutions.
  • Address the challenges of women in the new world order

Dear colleagues,

Afghanistan is one of the founding members of the Group of 77. Since its foundation we have cooperated on promoting the exchange of economic interests and the strengthening of joint negotiation within the United Nations system.

With regard to today’s discussions, Afghanistan has made great efforts regarding the empowerment of youth and the promotion of gender equality. These issues are of high importance for us and have been part of the priorities under our MDGs-based National Development Strategy and still remain as key components of some of our National Priority Programs (PPPs) particularly under the human resources development cluster. On this note, I would like to inform you about some of our national developments in these areas of discussion.

Afghanistan has one of the world’s youngest and fastest growing populations. Around 70% of Afghanistan‘s population is below the age of 25. As we are entering the Transformation Decade, which will last from 2015 until 2024, it is critical for us to make strategic and well-coordinated investments in our young population, in order to help them realize their full potential. Concurrently, if we will not be able to provide employment to our youth, a big number of which are entering the labor markets every year, new social, and even security challenges will arise. Our  experience in Afghanistan confirms that  sustainable development will not be realized  without the participation of  youth as well as  the equal and active involvement of women, at all levels, and in all spheres of society.

In this regard, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has adopted several laws, regulations and policies in the framework of the new Constitution of Afghanistan with a view to expand the access of  Afghan Youth and women  to health services, education, and employment opportunities in the country. However, decades of civil unrest have left their mark. Through the conflict, many women have become widows and need to nourish and financially support their families without male support. Many children were denied access to education and other services, due to devastating security conditions, dreadful violations of human rights and un-democratic policies by the brutal Taliban regime.

Dear colleagues,

I am positive, however, about the future of Afghanistan. Nearly two-thirds of the population under the age of 25 voted in the first round of the presidential elections in April. This shows the enthusiasm and optimism that our youth have in the country’s future. By doing so, they expressed their desire to be heard and involved in political decisions and social developments. This is also the case for the women. According to the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan, out of 7 million people who voted in the 5 April elections, 34% of them were women.

Furthermore, we have been able to decrease the maternal mortality rate, as well as to improve the presence of girls in school. Our schools provide education to millions of children and hundreds of thousands in universities.  We can surely say that the youth and  women are not merely the beneficiaries of development but also the agents of  Afghanistan’s transformation towards a self-reliant, stable and democratic Afghanistan.

However, intensified efforts are still needed to materialize the full potential of Afghan Youth and women. Women are still the primary victims of poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and health constraints. The literacy rate is only 14% for women and Afghanistan’s overall poverty rate has 35% of Afghans living below the poverty line.

Dear colleagues,

I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the support we have received from the international community to reach the positive developments I have spoken of today. Without the support of the International Community, Afghanistan would have been unable to achieve such drastic and positive changes. Nevertheless, a lot more still needs to be done. On behalf of the Government of Afghanistan, I would like to reiterate our strong commitment to joining efforts in  addressing all remaining challenges regarding youth employment and the empowerment of women. Panel discussions, as the one taking place today are essential to raise our voices and to show commitment in tackling security, stability and development, especially those who suffer the most from poverty, conflict and war, our women and children.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

 

 

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

 emblem

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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