Tuesday, October 25, 2016

UNAMA Condemns Taliban Attack in Kabul

KABUL – The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemns the Taliban attack today in Kabul that killed at least nine people, as well as injuring an estimated 300 others. Provisional information indicates that at least two of those killed and the vast majority of the injured are civilians, including seven children and seven women. The civilian casualty toll is expected to rise.

“This attack shows the devastation caused by the use of explosive devices in urban areas and once more demonstrates complete disregard for the lives of Afghan civilians,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan. “The use of high explosives in civilian populated areas, in circumstances almost certain to cause immense suffering to civilians, may amount to war crimes.”

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack centred around a National Directorate of Security (NDS) office in the Puli Mahmud Khan area of the Afghan capital. The attack took place during rush hour on a crowded street when a vehicle borne improvised explosive device detonated, followed by armed men entering the NDS compound. The blast caused extensive harm, injuring civilians within a one kilometre radius.

UNAMA reiterates its call for the Taliban to immediately cease all attacks in civilian-populated areas.

The Mission extends its condolences to the families of those killed and a speedy recovery for those injured. UNAMA once again affirms its continued support to the people of Afghanistan.

Ambassador Saikal meets with Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson

Press Release: February 26, 2016

DSG EliassonOn March 25, H.E. Ambassador Saikal, Permanent Representative of I.R. of Afghanistan met with United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Mr. Jan Eliasson. They had a productive discussion on the security, political, and economic situation of Afghanistan. Key areas of discussion included security challenges in the fight against terrorism, the peace process, regional dynamics, improving defense and security capabilities of Afghanistan, political stability, national unity government, electoral reform, fiscal deficit, poverty reduction, and employment issues. Mr. Eliasson assured that the United Nations will remain a steadfast supporter of the people of Afghanistan.

Ambassador Saikal addresses students at New York University

On Wednesday, January 27, Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal was invited to address students at New York University as part of the UN Initiative on “Discussion with a Global Leader” series to celebrate the 70th session of the UNGA.

Screenshot_2016-01-28-11-53-53-1Ambassador Saikal appreciated the initiative by NYU to engage global leaders in conversations with the youth, who are at the forefront of shaping global policy in the future. He noted that this initiative also provided students with an excellent opportunity to grapple with multifaceted problems challenging global peace and unity today.

Ambassador Saikal gave the students an overview of the current situation in Afghanistan and the region. This was followed by a question and answer session on topics ranging from the ongoing resistance against extremist groups (Taliban, Haqqani network, ISIS, and others), role of the region in Afghanistan’s affairs, presence of US & NATO troops, constitutional reform, National Unity Government and political framework in the coming years, and economic issues, anti-corruption measures and the role of foreign aid. The evening provided the students with a better idea of Afghanistan and its challenges and progress, and fostered dialogue on what can be done for Afghanistan to continue on its path of transformation.