Excellency, Ms. Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the General Assembly of the United Nations,
Excellency, Tijani Mohammad Bande, President Elect of GA,
Exellency, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet to the Secretary General,
Distinguished Ambassadors, UN Authorities,
My Fellow Afghans,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good evening to all of you, and welcome to the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan.
I am very delighted and honored for your presence at this very important celebration for the people and government of Afghanistan, the 100th Anniversary of our Independence.
Tonight’s special occasion, in a unique way, is also an acknowledgment and celebration of the strength, fortitude, resilience and determination of the people of Afghanistan, in being able to overcome the most difficult times, during the course of our nation’s history, under a strong spirit of national unity.
This has and will remain our ultimate guarantee in ensuring lasting peace, stability and prosperity for our current and future generations.
During the past century, we experienced both golden and dark days in our history. We lived through the times when Afghanistan was a popular destination for tourism, and when its scenery, and rich culture attracted peoples from all parts of the world
We also lived in the time of the Taliban, when Afghanistan was in complete isolation, and in order to make a single international call, we had to travel all the way to neighboring countries.
In 1946, Afghanistan was among the the first states to join the United Nations. Ever since, we have remained an active member of the UN family, and made important contributions in meeting the spirit and core essence of the UN Charter. As such, we have made every effort to contribute to the promotion of a rules-based international order, characterized by peace, security and development and global cooperation.
We once held the Presidency of the General Assembly from 1966 – 67, under the leadership of late Abdul Rahman Pajwak, who was our PR at the time. Moving into a new chapter in our history, we hope to revive this achievement & assume the Presidency of the General Assembly once again, in 2021-22.
In our contemporary history, post 9/11, a new Afghanistan reemerged from the ashes of war and misery. Following the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, as its anniversary was commemorated globally just yesterday around the world, including in my country Afghanistan, the international community converged in unity to support our long-standing struggle against the forces of terror and extremism.
At this point, allow me to pause and thank all of you for standing with us in our 18-years of journey towards state-building and democracy. These sacrifices have come in blood and treasure, which will forever remain in the hearts and minds of all Afghans.
The holding of upcoming Presidential elections on September 28th will provide our people with a new opportunity to go the polling stations with a clear message, that we will not move backward, and that our democratic values and gains are stronger than any fear of violence.
As we move into a new century, we are inspired by our past achievements and we take to heart, the lessons of our difficult days.
We are determined to build on our gains in becoming the nation that is desired by all Afghans – a nation that can boast on the ideals of peace and harmony, and can Rise as a true platform of cooperation and a catalyst for multilateralism.
Now I would like to invite H.E. Ribeiro Viotti, Chef de Cabinet, who will deliver the message of H.E. Secretary General, for the 100th Anniversary of Afghanistan’s Independence.