The new Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations, Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal, presented his credentials today to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Ambassador 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. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Saikal served as Special Representative and Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive of Afghanistan (2014-2015), Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan (2005-2006), Ambassador of Afghanistan to Australia and New Zealand (2002-2005), First Secretary and later Counselor Minister Plenipotentiary at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tokyo (1993-1994).
Ambassador Saikal was instrumental in the negotiation of various agreements, including the 2014 agreement on the formation of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan, the “Joint Declaration on Regional Peace and Stability” a track II initiative launched in Kabul in 2013, the “Afghanistan Compact” which was launched at the London International Conference on Afghanistan in 2006, as well as the 2006 Afghanistan-NATO Declaration, which set out the Framework for Enduring Cooperation in Partnership.
He was deeply involved in the promotion of regional cooperation, resulting 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 formulation of the process of Regional Economic Cooperation Conferences on Afghanistan (RECCA).
Ambassador Saikal has a Master’s Degree in International Development from Deakin University of Melbourne, as well as two bachelor degrees from the University of Sydney and the University of Canberra. He graduated with First Class French Baccalaureate from Lycee Esteqlal of Kabul.
Born on 1 January 1962, Ambassador Saikal is married with two children.