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Statement by H.E. Ayoob M. Erfani Resident Representative and Head of Delegation at the IAEA 59th General Conference

Mr. President,

Director General,

Excellencies,

Let me start by congratulating your Excellency, Ambassador Filippo Formica on your election as President of this year’s General Conference. Also, I wish to thank Ambassador Aliyar Lebbe Abdul Azeez for presiding in such a great manner over last year’s General Conference and I wish him every success in his future endeavors. I thank H.E. Director General Yukiya Amano for his statement and for the Annual Report 2014 and congratulate him on his outstanding leadership. My delegation also commends the strong efforts of the IAEA Secretariat.

The delegation of Afghanistan welcomes Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados and Turkmenistan to the IAEA family. We are confident that the new members will have a mutually beneficial relationship with the organization.

Mr. President,

The annual General Conference provides a fresh opportunity for all of us to learn from the past developments, evaluate our opportunities and address the evolving and protracted challenges we are facing in international peace and nuclear safety and security, which remain vital for the security of our global village.

Afghanistan, a founding member of the IAEA, started to benefit from IAEA’s excellent co-operation as early as 1959, and we continue to do so in our ongoing joint efforts in developing nuclear applications and technology in the country. Therefore, today I will focus on further expansion of nuclear applications in Afghanistan through strengthening the technical cooperation between Afghanistan and the Agency.

As Afghanistan completed the transition and has entered its Decade of Transformation (2015-2024) towards a self-reliant economy, nuclear science and technology will have a crucial role in achieving the National Priority Programs of the Government of National Unity of Afghanistan, during the coming years of transformation. The Country Program Framework (CPF) 2012-2016 has already enabled cooperation between Afghanistan and the Agency in seven key areas, namely:

1) Legislative and regulatory framework; 2) human health; 3) agriculture and food; 4) water resources management; 5) energy planning; 6) nuclear analytical capability; and 7) human capacity building.

These policy issues remain vital in achieving our goals as set out in our national development agenda and NPPs throughout the Decade of Transformation. I can also report that the Parliament of Afghanistan has ratified Afghanistan’s Nuclear Act, drafted by the Afghanistan Atomic Energy High Commission (AAEHC) with the IAEA’s assistance on 10 September 2015. Afghanistan with the IAEA’s support is about to finalize draft regulations for radiation safety in the areas of 1) waste management and 2) the transport of radioactive materials.

Mr. President,

The Agency’s technical cooperation activities are of great importance for Afghanistan and our entire region, and Afghanistan therefore considers it essential that the resources of the Technical Cooperation Fund be sufficient, assured and predictable. Recent technical cooperation projects between Afghanistan and the IAEA revolved around three key projects: The establishment of a Radiation Oncology Centre; a Radiology Diagnostic Centre; and Radiotherapy and Radiology Services in Kabul.  Afghanistan appreciates the support that has been received from the IAEA technical cooperation projects and looks forward to the expansion of such cooperation in future projects.

On our part, we are committed to continuing our efforts to further develop the institutional and regulatory framework required for peaceful nuclear technology applications, through leading role of the AAEHC in the country. Training and capacity building remains a key component of the efforts being made by the AAEHC. The IAEA has provided considerable capacity building opportunities to the AAEHC in the form of fellowships and training courses. However, still a lack of funds indicates the need for further cooperation and support by the IAEA and the international community at large and we hope that donors are able to contribute sufficient funds for these important programmes.

I wish to reemphasize that Afghanistan attaches great importance to the IAEA’s technical cooperation projects under the CPF and remains confident that more effective use of various activities under the CPF will have greater impact. We wish to encourage increased transfer of know-how and additional capacity-building programmes from countries with advanced nuclear and radiological standards, which could also serve as an important step in shifting from mere assistance to strong cooperation.

We highly commend the efforts of the IAEA in assisting developing countries in gaining further access to nuclear science and technologies and we believe this must be a priority for the post-2015 development agenda, especially on the eve of the UN Sustainable Development Summit (25-27 September 2015) and due to the importance of access to energy in poverty reduction and improving health and livelihoods. As Director General Amano has rightfully stated in his statement on Monday, there are obvious links between the activities of the IAEA and the new goals, including human health, water management, food security, nutrition, protection of the environment, and energy. We cannot overemphasize the importance of technology and science for our development, welfare and progress.

Mr. President,

Afghanistan welcomes the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreed between the IR of Iran and EU3+3 in Vienna on 14 July 2015. We congratulate the IR of Iran, the United States and the other negotiating partners on the historic outcome, which will enhance security and stability in our region and beyond, and we encourage all sides to take every effort for the implementation of this agreement. Safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear energy, science and technology will contribute to global peace, security and development.

Afghanistan continues to fully support the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free-zone in the Middle East and respective consultations to achieve this goal. We emphasize the central role of the IAEA in this process. The Government of Afghanistan welcomes any confidence and security building measures in this region, as well as any similar positive steps towards elimination of WMD arsenals.

Afghanistan – a prime victim of international terrorism – strongly supports all efforts towards strengthened global nuclear security. We recognize that the global security framework is constantly changing. The IAEA must have the full support of all member states in order to be able to fulfill its mandate.

Mr. President,

I wish to conclude by reiterating the importance of continued cooperation between Afghanistan and the IAEA and its member states in the future and we are grateful for all the assistance we have received thus far.

Thank you, Mr. President

H.E. Ambassador Efani Welcomes H.E. Minister Azimi to the UN General Assembly on World Drug Problem

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Vienna, 10.09.2015

H.E. Ambassador Erfani, in his role as Vice-Chair of the Board tasked by the Counter Narcotics Division with the preparations for the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem in 2016, welcomed the Minister of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan, H.E. Minister Azimi. He noted that UNGASS on the World Drug Problem in 2016 is crucial for shaping collective efforts in light of new challenges, trends and realities toward accomplishing counter narcotic targets.

Ambassador Erfani thanked the international community for their continued support towards Afghanistan and noted that while Afghanistan has come far in the last 14 years, challenges remain and support is still needed. He noted that Minister Azimi would speak on the main challenges still faced by Afghanistan in terms of illicit narcotics as well as the commitments and programs Afghanistan has for the next three years to address the challenges of drugs. After Minister Azimi’s speech, Ambassador Erfani chaired comments from the delegates present and thank them for their continued interest and support for Afghanistan and for their commitment in the truly global fight against narcotics.

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Statement by H.E. Ayoob Erfani, Ambassador in Austria Permanent Representative to the UN & International Organizations – Vienna At the 9th Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Asset Recovery

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

It is a pleasure seeing you chairing our session, I would like to congratulate you on your election as the chair of this 9th Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on Asset Recovery and express my gratitude to the Secretariat for the timely preparation of the documents. This session is yet another good opportunity to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation and sharing of experiences between state’s parties in overcoming the challenges that we face in the area of asset recovery.

Mr. Chairman,

Many countries around the world continue to face the huge challenge that the transfer of proceeds of corruption abroad pose to their development and economic growth. In Afghanistan, addressing this aspect of corruption remains key in our anti-corruption efforts and considerable efforts have been made in areas such as institutional building, legislation and policy development which aims at building the required capacity to this end.  The adoption of the Anti-Corruption Strategy and the law on overseeing the implementation of the strategy, the establishment of the High Office of Oversight and Anti-corruption as an independent body in 2008 in accordance with article 6 of the UNCAC as well as the establishment of the Special Anti-Corruption Court and the Special Anti-Corruption Unit at the Office of the Attorney General, are testimony to such efforts in recent years.

As the most recent examples of such efforts, the new Anti-Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Law as well as a number of regulations under the Law on Banking of Afghanistan as well as the Law of the Central Bank of Afghanistan have been adopted, which directly or indirectly deal with asset recovery.  Additionally, the capacity of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Afghanistan, which was established in 2006, has been enhanced and the Unit has been increasingly playing an important role in anti-corruption efforts including in facilitating the return of proceeds of crime. The FIU has recently joined various cooperation frameworks among FIUs across the region and beyond.

The Government of Afghanistan has also adopted the new Law on Extradition and has recently signed various extradition agreements with a number of neighbouring and regional countries. Such agreements have already facilitated various cases of asset recovery and extradition between the parties. A number of high profile cases of corruption have been recently addressed by the Government which included, in some cases, asset recovery from outside Afghanistan.

Mr. Chairman,

As it has long been argued, given the cross-border nature of asset recovery, success in this important area depends on continued cooperation at all bilateral, regional and international levels and the role of the existing international initiatives is key in supporting countries in dealing with associated challenges. Asset recovery is also a complex and multi-faceted process which requires technical knowledge and specialized capacity.

In this context, while Afghanistan remains committed to further improving the legal and institutional frameworks required for asset recovery as well as to cooperating under the UNCAC and various bilateral agreements, our anti-corruption agencies will continue to require technical assistance to strengthen their capacity including in the area of asset recovery.

Thank you

Ambassador Erfani addresses UNODC anti-corruption meeting

Amb delivering statement at UNODC working group 3

Vienna, 01.09.2015

 Today, H.E. Ayoob Erfani delivered a statement at the sixth session of the open-ended intergovernmental working group on the prevention of corruption, a 3-day meeting organized by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The Ambassador started by highlighting the significance of the working group meetings as excellent opportunities for exchange of information, experiences and lessons learned. He continued by recalling that tackling the underlying drivers and challenges of corruption remains crucial, also in Afghanistan. “We have taken specific steps at national and international levels in Afghanistan, and for the last 14 years, the Government of Afghanistan supported by the international community has made considerable efforts in areas such as institutional building, legislation and policy development”, he said.

Mr. Ambassador underscored the important role of Afghanistan’s High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption, established in 2008. He also emphasized the relevance of the country’s Financial Intelligence Unit and of the government’s anti-corruption strategy. He made reference to the government’s efforts with regards to combatting money laundering, also on regional and international levels, and stated the importance of integrity, transparency and accountability in the area of public procurement. Among other things, the National Unity Government has created the National Procurement Commission to secure better results in this area. The Ambassador also mentioned the crucial role of civil society organizations.

Ambassador Erfani concluded by declaring that “the Government of Afghanistan is committed to further strengthen its capacity in the prevention of corruption including in preventing money laundering as well as to take its reform agenda into the procurement and financial management systems. While we are grateful for the support we have received thus far from the international community including through UNODC, our anti-corruption agencies will continue to need technical support including in the implementation of their preventive programs and initiatives.”

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Remarks by H.E. Ayoob Erfani, Ambassador in Austria Permanent Representative to the UN & International Organizations – Vienna At the Sixth Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group On the Prevention of Corruption

Thank you Madam Chair,

At the outset, I would like to join other distinguished speakers in congratulating you on your election as the chair of this Sixth Session of the Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group on the Prevention of Corruption and thank the Secretariat for the timely preparation of the documents. We highly value the Working Group sessions as an excellent opportunity for exchange of information, good experiences and learned lessons among member states on preventive measures and practices, which remains a serious challenge for all of us.

Madam Chair,

Tackling the underlying drivers and challenges of corruption remains an important component of Afghanistan’s national development agenda and in this context, we have taken specific steps at national and international levels. For the last 14 years, the Government of Afghanistan supported by the international community has made considerable efforts in areas such as institutional building, legislation and policy development.

The Establishment of the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption in 2008 as an independent unifying oversight body to coordinate, supervise and support all anti-corruption efforts in the country, the establishment of anti-corruption tribunals and prosecution offices in both capital and provinces as well as creation of the Financial Intelligence Unit are among other institutional building efforts that have significantly contributed to our anti-corruption efforts in Afghanistan. The adoption of the Anti-Corruption Strategy and the law on overseeing its implementation have provided an appropriate legal and policy framework for anti-corruption efforts in the country.

Preventive measures have been on the top of our national anti-corruption agenda. Asset declaration of high-ranking government officials has been underway under the High Office of Oversight over the past few years which have so far resulted in registration of close to 8000 asset declaration forms. Simplification of the administrative procedures has been further expedited in the past few years and efforts are underway to revise the existing laws, regulations and procedures pertaining to the area of the provision of public services. Additionally, various anti-corruption public awareness programs have been implemented by the High Office of Oversight and Anti-Corruption with support from the relevant government agencies and civil society institutions.

Madam Chair,

The two topics under discussion in this session of the working group are of high importance. I would like to thank the Secretariat as well as the distinguished panelists for their excellent presentations under the two thematic discussions during yesterday’s and today’s sessions.

Money laundering continues to pose threats to economic and social development in our societies including through fostering other illegal activities such as corruption, drug trafficking, trafficking in persons, arms trafficking as well as terrorism. Over the past few years, the Government of Afghanistan has made considerable anti-money laundering efforts which include, among others, the adoption of the new Anti-Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Law as well as improving the capacity of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Afghanistan in addressing money-laundering cases. The Afghan FIU has expanded cooperation with other FIUs in the region and has joined several international cooperation frameworks.

Integrity, transparency and accountability in the public procurement system have a great impact on economic growth in every country. In Afghanistan, legal and institutional reform in public procurement has been underway over the past 14 years and has become a top priority for the National Unity Government aiming at providing better services through an effective, efficient and transparent procurement system as well as boosting economic growth and effective control of financial expenditure.

As part of this reform agenda, the former Special Procurement Commission has been restructured to the National Procurement Commission chaired by H.E. the President and the National Procurement Authority (NPA) has been created which serves as the secretariat for the Commission. The NPA’s mission is to:

  • “Strengthen the national procurement system by incorporating mechanisms for increased capacity, visibility, accountability and public confidence through development of policy instruments for the efficient management of public resources and effective budget execution that will stimulate and contribute to economic growth.
  • Enable system compatibility with international procurement standards, best practices and to keep pace with the dynamic technological advances.
  • Regulate the national procurement system by developing and implementing comprehensive legal, regulatory, policy and capacity building frameworks and programs.”

Afghanistan has made significant efforts in building a credible and transparent public financial management system. The government is taking required measures to continuously improve its public financial management. Such measures include “(a) applying whatever controls are needed to manage the budget and report reliably to all stakeholders on public finances; (b) building sustainable capacity in the spending ministries to improve their internal controls; (c) establishing government wide internal audit under the Ministry of Finance; (d) strengthening the independence of the external auditor; and (e) harmonizing audit standards.”

Mr. Chairman,

The Government of Afghanistan is committed to further strengthen its capacity in the prevention of corruption including in preventing money laundering as well as to take its reform agenda into the procurement and financial management systems. While we are grateful for the support we have received thus far from the international community including through UNODC, our anti-corruption agencies will continue to need technical support including in the implementation of their preventive programs and initiatives.

Thank you.

 

 

998th OSCE PC meeting – Statement to update on the elections in Afghanistan

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani- 
Update on the 5 April, 2014 Presidential and Provincial Council Elections in Afghanistan at the 998th meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council

30 April 2014 

Mr. Chairman,

 

I wish to start by warmly welcoming my dear friend and good friend to Afghanistan, H.E. Ján Kubiš, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Afghanistan and Head of UNAMA, to the OSCE that he knows so well, and commending him for his excellent address.

 

Afghanistan became a member of the United Nations in 1946 and, for decades, has benefitted from the active engagement of the UN in the country. The Afghan people are confident that the UN, which has played a central coordinating role of the International Communities’ civilian efforts in Afghanistan since 2001, will remain a reliable partner inside the country for many years to come. The people of Afghanistan appreciate the supportive role of our partners, the OSCE, the United Nations and of course also you, dear Mr. Kubiš for your supportive and encouraging remarks following the historic Presidential and Provincial Council elections, held in Afghanistan on 5 April 2014.

 

Although after Ján Kubiš’s comprehensive address, I do not have much to add.

 

Let me just provide a brief update concerning the elections:

 

We understood from the beginning, and I shared my concerns with this room on previous occasions, that the 2014 elections in Afghanistan would not be flawless, nor an easy undertaking. However, we have encountered significantly fewer logistical problems and irregularities, when compared to previous ballots. We are confident that a possible run-off will proceed even more smoothly. The 2014 elections constitute an important milestone in Afghanistan’s history, for a number of reasons:

 

1)    The 5 April Presidential elections mark the first democratic transfer of power from one to another elected President, legitimized by an unexpectedly high voter turnout of almost 7 million, out of an electorate of about 12 million.

2)    The improved security situation on Election Day has shown the Afghan people and our global partners that the Afghan National Security Forces  are able to provide security for the people of Afghanistan and are capable of impeding insurgent attacks;

3)    The preparations and conduct of the elections made it clear that Afghanistan’s institutions, including the electoral bodies, rebuilt from scratch as of the end of 2001, are functioning well;

4)    Afghanistan’s women, enjoying equal rights, and youth, representing a fresh democratic outlook, have participated in large numbers and have changed the face of our nation for the better;

5)    Our free and independent media broadly covered the campaigns and greatly contributed to enhanced public awareness, which was a main factor behind the high voter turnout;

6)    Afghanistan’s civil society, acting freely and full of confidence, also played an important role in the run-up to the elections by promoting the concept of the democratic decision-making process, through open deliberation and dialogue, and also by acting as elections observers at the polling stations;

7)    And most importantly, the Afghan people as a whole enthusiastically participated in the elections, not only to select their new President and their representation in the Upper House of the National Assembly, but also showed courage to declare that they want to continue on their successful path towards pluralistic democracy, peace, equal rights and freedoms;

8)    Clearly, the success of the elections would not have been possible without the strong commitment of our international partners. Please be assured that your generous contributions and sacrifices will never be forgotten. Here, I wish to offer my heartfelt condolences and sympathy for the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people, including the three American doctors who sacrificed their lives in Kabul last week, and the five British troops tragically killed in a chopper crash. We honor them and their service in the spirit of humanity;

 

The aforementioned achievements are demonstrative of our accomplishments, which are products of our 13 years of close, cohesive partnership. However, many of our partners and indeed also some of our own people have shown concern, rather than confidence, in Afghanistan’s ability to sustain our accomplishments and to build on them following the end of foreign military engagement at the end of 2014. However, the 5 April elections have proved sceptics otherwise and demonstrated the strong message of the Afghan people’s rejection and denunciation of violence and commitment to democracy and freedom. Nonetheless, I wish to reiterate the necessity of the continued co-operation from our international partners, as decided at Lisbon, Tokyo and Chicago conferences, in order to 1) build up on the achieved progresses and advance our development and 2) respond to remaining challenges, including intertwined menaces of illicit narcotics and terrorism.

 

These elections are vital for the completion of the ongoing transition period at the end of 2014, which marks the beginning of a new era of Afghanistan’s co-operation with its partners, into the Transformation of Afghanistan towards a fully democratic, free and self-reliant country. Our journey for a better Afghanistan will continue and we will work hard to build on past successes in all areas including of Women’s rights; Education; Media and Civil Society; Governance and democratization; Security; Foreign policy; Economy; Infrastructure; Repatriation of refugees; and Health.

 

Let me highlight again the excellent performance of our two electoral bodies, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) and the Electoral Complaints Commission (ECC). The IEC succeeded with preparations for the elections and managed to announce partial and preliminary results in a timely fashion. Now the IECC labors to resolve all outstanding matters, including addressing all complaints and the final result will be announced on mid-May. In conclusion, 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 elections will go ahead as demanded by our constitution: Should that the results of the first round require a run-off; the IEC is ready to organize the second round accordingly.  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.

 

The new Government will consolidate our strategic partnership with our friends; will enhance regional cooperation as a main pillar of Afghanistan’s foreign policy, with our neighbours; 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. Let me again thank our international partners for their generous contributions, continued support and sacrifices. I wish to assure them of Afghanistan’s commitment to emerge from this transition as a healthy member of our global family.

 

Thank you

Ambassador Ayoob Erfani was received by H.E. Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer

Ambassador Ayoob Erfani was received by H.E. Federal President Dr. Heinz Fischer at the New Year’s Reception at Hofburg Presidential Office

Ambassador Ayoob Erfani meets the Ambassadors of the five Central Asian OSCE participating States to discuss the outcome document on Afghanistan of the upcoming OSCE Ministerial Council (Kyiv/Ukraine, December 5-6, 2013)

Vienna, 07.10.13     Today, Ambassador Erfani met the Ambassadors of the  five Central Asian OSCE participating States — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan —   to discuss the Kyiv OSCE Ministerial Council’s outcome document on Afghanistan.

At the meeting, proposed by the Tajik Ambassador, Ambassador Erfani briefed his colleagues on Afghanistan’s expectations of the outcome document to be adopted in Kyiv. Ambassador Erfani stated that Afghanistan gives great importance to its relationship with the OSCE and that the “backbone of Afghanistan’s foreign policy is and will remain a commitment to good relations with our partners in the region”.  The Ambassador added that Afghanistan is proud of its achievements over the past 12 years and remains grateful for the support from the OSCE and its neighbors, especially as part of the Confidence-Building Measures of the ‘Heart of Asia’ process. He noted “Our goal for the OSCE is for the organization to play a more proactive role in strengthening regional co-operation, which will be even more relevant during the Decade of Transformation. Our expectation of this political declaration is for it to be a supportive document, which will contribute to a stable region and help to address Afghanistan’s challenges, which also remain challenges to the region”.

Ambassador Erfani stressed that strengthening the relationship with Afghanistan’s neighbors remains a priority of Afghan foreign policy. In addition, Afghanistan maintains its commitment to discuss all relevant issues with its neighbors, including close co-operation on outcome documents. These views were supported by the other Ambassadors who expressed the need for further co-operation and communication on a bilateral level. Ambassador Erfani raised the necessity for a ‘Friends of Afghanistan’ working group to discuss and develop methods to deal with different issues. He briefed his fellow Ambassadors on the importance of such groups within the OSCE, which would be a cohesive platform for further co-operation in the Decade of Transformation. In conclusion, Ambassador Erfani thanked the Ambassadors and stated his appreciation for the important political support which Afghanistan receives from the region.

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Ambassador Ayoob Erfani made statement at the OSCE Security Committee meetIng

Vienna, 30.09.2013    At today’s meeting of the OSCE’s Security Committee, presentations on Border Security and Management in Tajikistan were made by Mr. Manuchehr Mahmudov, Head of Territorial and Border Settlement Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, and Mr. Suhrob Kaharov, Tajikistan Country Manager of the Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA), launched by the European Union in 2003.

Following the presentation by Tjikistan’s delegation, the representative of some countries, among other issues,expressed their concerns from the pssible security challenges from  Afghanistan after drow down of international security forces in 2014.

H.E. Ayoob Erfani welcomed the two speakers to the OSCE, thanked them for their excellent briefings, expressed Afghanistan’s appreciation of the friendly and brotherly relationship it enjoys with Tajikistan, and highlighted the “enhanced level of co-operation on bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral levels, as well as regional initiatives such as the Istanbul Process and international mechanisms, which are essential not just for the well-being of our two nations but for the security, stability and economic development of our entire region and beyond”.

Ambassador Erfani continued by stressing the fact that “Afghanistan is now approaching  an important milestone: the process of Transition, which will be completed at the end 2014 and which will lead us into the Decade of Transformation (2015-2024) that will mark a new era of partnership between Afghanistan and the international community.” During the 12 years of partnership with its friends in the international community, Afghanistan managed to establish all necessary institutions, including its national security forces, to defend the country against both internal and external threats. Despite great achievements in most areas, Afghanistan is still facing certain challenges, including terrorism, drugs and other organized crimes. Ambassador Erfani noted that “it is the shared responsibility of all OSCE participating and partner States to address these transnational threats and common challenges.”, and he concluded his remarks by stating that “I would like to emphasize that as of 2014, Afghanistan shall not be seen as  source of a security threat to our region, which includes five OSCE participating states;  I would like to assure you all that ,Afghanistan is committed to be a source of good neighborly relations, stability, transit, investment , exchange and connectivity in our region”.

LINK:   http://www.osce.org/tajikistan                – END –

 

Ambassador Ayoob Erfani addresses IAEA General Conference

H.E. Ambassador Ayoob Erfani, Permanent Rep to the UN and Resident Representative of Afghanistan to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is heading the delegation of Afghanistan to the IAEA’s 57th annual regular session of the General Conference, held in Vienna from 16 to 20 September, 2013.

In his address, Mr. Ambassador Erfani stressed the importance of the IAEA General Conference as both key international forum to reflect on today’s challenges, and venue for dialogue on secure and peaceful uses of nuclear applications and technologies, and he added that “Afghanistan, on the basis of its policy of multilateralism through strong regional and international cooperation, is ready to do its part for the success of the IAEA mandate”. Furthermore, Mr. Ambassador outlined future priorities of the Government of Afghanistan in its cooperation with the Agency, ranging from technical cooperation, in particular in the area of human health, capacity-building, and nuclear and isotopic applications in the fields of agriculture and water resource management.

Also, Mr. Ambassador emphasized that Afghanistan will remain a strong advocate of strengthened nuclear safety regimes: “Potential trans-boundary impacts of nuclear accidents remind us of the universal nature of the issue of nuclear safety.” At the same time, Afghanistan recognizes the danger of nuclear or similar radioactive materials being used in terrorist attacks and therefore supports all measures geared at reinforced global nuclear security. Ambassador Erfani also noted that robust safeguards and verification mechanisms are a prerequisite for nuclear disarmament and invites all concerned IAEA Member States to “take further steps towards nuclear disarmament”, while pledging Afghanistan’s continued commitment towards regional and international cooperation. In closing, Mr. Ambassador Erfani extended his appreciation to all those IAEA Member States which have generously contributed to the technical cooperation fund, thereby enabling implementation of vital projects in Afghanistan.

Links:
www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/2013/gc57convenes.html
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