Thursday, June 21, 2018

Archives for 2012

UN Meeting in Geneva on the Question of Palestine

Press Release

April 3, 2012 by Afghan Mission

At the United Nations offices in Geneva, Switzerland, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People are meeting on 3-4 April to discuss the question of Palestine, the situation of Palestinian political prisoners, legal and political implications of Israeli prisons and detention facilities, and the role of the international community.

As Vice Chair of the Committee, H.E. Zahir Tanin, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN is in attendance. Other participants include representatives of UN Member States and Observers, intergovernmental organizations, UN entities, academia, civil society organizations and the media.

At the opening session, Maxwell Gaylard, Deputy UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, delivered a message from Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.  He stated that, “the Middle East peace process is at a dangerous impasse.  The target date set by the Quartet for an agreement by the end of this year remains the objective.  The Quartet will continue to work toward this goal. In parallel, we must all do our part to bolster the Palestinian Authority and ensure progress on State-building and addressing the dire financial situation of the Palestinian Authority.” Abdou Salam Diallo, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and the Issa Quaraqe, Minister of the Palestinian Authority for Prisoners’ Affairs also spoke at the opening session.

This afternoon, a meeting was held the first of three thematic discussions set out in its agenda, on humanitarian and legal aspects of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention facilities.  H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin chaired the first thematic discussion.

Speaking at the first thematic discussion were; Khaled Quzmar, Legal Consultant for Defense for Children International, Ahmad Shreem, Palestinian Legislative Council, Jan Borgen, Deputy Secretary-General of the International Commission of Jurists, Mohammed Albatta, Director-General of the Rehabilitation Programme, Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs of the Palestinian Authority, and Lama Odeh Sharif, Psycho-Social Supervisor at the Rehabilitation Programme, Young Men’s Christian Association, East Jerusalem

The meeting will conclude after two plenaries on 4 April.

UN Security Council Debates The Situation in Afghanistan: Renewal of UNAMA Mandate

On Tuesday March 20th, the Security Council held a debate on the Situation in Afghanistan. The debate was in advance of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Mandate adoption on Thursday the 22nd, which will renew the mandate for 12 months. Mr. Jan Kubis, Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of UNAMA, briefed the Security Council on the challenges the country continues to face, as well as the progress that has been made thus far. H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan along with Council members and other Representatives spoke on the Situation in Afghanistan.


Mr. Kubis stressed that a continued UNAMA presence is needed for future gains and success of the country. He made it clear that the transition is “on track and on target,” and “the ANSF have so far proven that they are up to the tasks”. In addition, he expressed the hope that the upcoming International Conferences will be a strong platform for international and governmental, noting that “the Chicago summit should firm up developments and plans by specific and solid commitments”. He discussed the UN’s support role for human rights protections, improvements to the election system, and the fight against the drug production and trade, as well as the importance of non-violent protests by Afghan citizens.


H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan agreed that the transition process is continuing apace.  “A paradigm shift is under way; the aim is sovereignty — empowering Afghanistan to take charge of its own destiny and turning the direct military and civilian function of the international community into a supporting role,” he declared, adding that a successful transition required renewed parameters of partnership between Afghanistan and the international community, with the guaranteed commitment of the continuation of military, political and financial support during the transition and the “decade of transformation” from 2015-2024.  “This is what we, Afghanistan and the international community, set out to do last December in Bonn.  This commitment will be supported concretely in Tokyo,” he said.


He stressed that an effective transition is also contingent upon the successful outcome of an Afghan-led reconciliation, outreach and reintegration process.  The dynamics of peace talks have shifted with the announcement of the opening of the Taliban office in Qatar, and national efforts have made progress with nearly 3,500 anti-Government elements now enrolled in the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme. According to Ambassador Tanin, regional and international support for the peace process is crucial, expressing the importance of regional cooperation through the Istanbul Process.


He said that it was imperative to bring to an end to such incidents as the brutal killing of civilians in Kandahar and the burning of the Quran north of Kabul and that the perpetrators be held accountable.


Council members and other speakers welcomed the progress of the transition to Afghan leadership as described by Mr. Kubiš and Ambassador Tanin, and affirmed the importance of the upcoming meetings in Chicago and Tokyo in strengthening the mutual commitments of Afghanistan and the international community.


Photos of the Meeting:

Nowruz International Day at the UN

Remarks By H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations


Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


I wish to welcome you all. The moments captured in the film, from near and far, depict the magical beauty of high mountains and the allure of the wild nature, the faces of people, and reality of everyday life in my country, a land that has endured a long suffering.  But as the film says, despite all tragedies it does not change the fact that a flower still blossoms every Spring from the garden. It appears to echo what the poet and great son of Balkh, Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi said: “Did you hear that winter is over?…the trees reach out their congratulations.”

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today we, a collective of twelve countries from the heart of Asia, have come together to celebrate Nowruz for the third time, in this august hall at the United Nations. I would like to thank all the Ambassadors and colleagues who made this event possible, particularly Ambassador Khazaee, and the Permanent Mission of Iran for taking on the lion’s share of the burden.

We belong to different countries, speak various languages, are dispersed across geographical boundaries, yet, what unites us is our past, our history and our tradition. Nowruz symbolizes a “Cultural Continent,” the lines of which are drawn from the dawn of history. The frontier of our “Cultural Continent” extends from the Indian Ocean, to the mountains of the Caucasus, from the valleys of the Hindu Kush, to the desserts of Arab lands and to the perimeter of Europe. The tradition of Nowruz, and the historical beliefs and cultural rituals which are built around it, have not only united us in the past but also take us forward into the future.

Our “Cultural Continent”’s spring, unlike the mega-intifadas of the Arab lands, is about bringing us together in the heart of Asia in a spirit of cooperation, togetherness and solidarity for a better tomorrow. It is not only political or economic collaboration; it is more, it is cultural and “civilizational,” a process which is inspired by our shared values.

Ladies and Gentlemen,


New York’s mild winter was a stark contrast this year to my country’s harsh one, during which the Afghan people struggled to overcome inclement winter conditions. Tragically, hundreds this year did not survive, and many more also suffered not only at the hands of a cruel winter, but also from brutal violence. With the arrival of spring there will be no new victims of Winter, and the Afghan people wait for a greater Spring, filled with new hopes and aspirations.


We know that we are not alone in our aspiration for peace in the New Year and that this hope is shared by many, including all of you here tonight. We are pleased to be joined by the representatives of many countries, to take part in our wonderful tradition. For we do not only see this as a new beginning for us, but believe that this new Spring will also reinvigorate the lifelines between the countries of the world, because Spring’s revitalization is, in fact, universal.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Distinguished guests,


Let us all welcome Spring together, and allow ourselves a moment to be in awe of its grandeur, like the great poet, Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi Balkhi when he said “[a]gain the season of Spring has come. And Spring/source rises under everything. A moon sliding from the shadows.”


Permanent Mission of Afghanistan