H.E. Mahmoud SAIKAL
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
of I.R of Afghanistan to the United Nations
Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal is a senior Afghan diplomat and international development specialist with over two decades of experience with governments, international organizations, private sector, and civil society.
Under his leadership at the Afghan Mission to the United Nations, Afghanistan won a first ever seat at Human Rights Council (2018-2020) and became a member of the Economic and Social Council (2016-2018). He is the Chair of the Third Committee during the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. He is also the Deputy Vice Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. He has served as Vice President of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly and has chaired the New York consultations with UN member States on the Global Compact on Refugees. Additionally, Afghanistan successfully initiated two resolutions at the General Assembly on “Countering the Threat Posed by Improvised Explosive Devices” and “International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism”.
His long serving diplomatic career includes key positions of Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Special Representative and Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, and Charge d’affaires and Counselor Minister at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tokyo.
Ambassador Saikal has been instrumental in the negotiation of various agreements, including the 2014 agreement on the formation of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan, the “Afghanistan Compact” of the London International Conference on Afghanistan in 2006, as well as the 2006 Afghanistan-NATO Declaration, setting out the Framework for Enduring Cooperation in Partnership.
His efforts in the promotion of regional cooperation resulted in Afghanistan’s membership in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC), strengthening Afghanistan’s membership in Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), and the formulation of the process of Regional Economic Cooperation Conferences on Afghanistan (RECCA).
Ambassador Saikal, as convener of Afghanistan Policy Group (2012-2015), led a major regional track II process between Afghanistan and its neighbors, facilitated by a leading German think tank.
In the development sector, he has served as CEO and JICA Senior Advisor for Kabul New City Development, World Bank Consultant and UNDP International Advisor to the Afghanistan National Development Strategy.
Ambassador Saikal is the recipient of a “First Class Merit Award” from the President of Afghanistan and “Best Ambassador Award” from the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
He was a visiting fellow at Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University. He has a master’s Degree in International Development from Deakin University and bachelor degrees from University of Sydney and University of Canberra. He graduated with First Class French Baccalaureate from Lycee Esteqlal of Kabul.
In addition to his native languages, he is fluent in English and familiar with French and Arabic. Ambassador Saikal is married with a son specializing in international development and a daughter practicing law.