On September 16, 2015 the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations hosted a farewell reception for Ambassador Zahir Tanin and Mrs. Zarghoona Tanin. Ambassador Tanin has represented Afghanistan for almost all of the last decade through a momentous time in Afghan history. He not only contributed to the cause of the country but participated in multiple important capacities at the UN. He will be leaving soon to assume his new responsibilities as SRSG and head of UNMIK is Pristina, Kosovo.
H.E. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Mrs. Ban attended the reception; Permanent Representatives and diplomats from most member states, leading members of the UN Secretariat, civil society in New York, journalists, and representatives of local Afghan community were also present.
After the welcome speech for H.E. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other guests by the Minister Counselor of the Permanent Mission Ms. Asila Wardak, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made his remarks and thanked Ambassador Tanin for his service to Afghanistan and the UN, including chairing of intergovernmental negotiations on the contentious issue of UN Security Council reform for six years and in multiple other capacities. The Secretary General reiterated the importance of Afghanistan in the UN agenda and emphasized how he has personally worked with leaders of the country as well as Ambassador Tanin during the crucial years of transition for Afghanistan. He also expressed his hope and faith that Ambassador Tanin would fulfill the mandate well as his Special Representative and head of UNMIK in Pristina, Kosovo, an area that requires responsible leadership and diplomatic skills, and thanked the UNSC for supporting his decision.
Ambassador Tanin thanked the Secretary General and other dignitaries for being present. He reaffirmed his gratitude for the role of the international community, particularly the UN that has been instrumental for the peace, security, development, and progress in Afghanistan. He reflected back on his nine long years as the Ambassador of Afghanistan, and emphasized while representing his country, he had tried his best to work with all the member states in all capacities. He thanked the Government of Afghanistan and the leadership as well as his colleagues at the Mission, for the trust put in him and assured of his continuous collaboration for years to come.
The evening was a vibrant display of Afghan culture, food, and hospitality, which was a fitting farewell for Ambassador Tanin as he wraps up his time in New York and prepares to move on to a new role.