UNAMA – Press Briefings – 25 July 2018

25 July 2018


Update on USG Otunnu’s Visit
United Nations under Secretary-General (USG) and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Solara Tuna, spent the first three days of his weeklong visit week in Kabul. On Monday morning he visited a girl’s school where he discussed the specific education needs of girls with their teachers. In the afternoon the USG talked at length to children at Aladdin Orphanage and praised their courage for choosing peace after so many years of war during which many had lost their parents.

Mr.Otunnu also held talks with Abdulrahim Karimi, Minister of Justice, Yunus Qanooni, the Minister of Education, Mohammad Eshaq, the Head of TV and Radio Afghanistan as well as Sema Samar, the Head of Human Rights Commission. The theme of those discussions was on extending the culture of peace in Afghanistan’s education system.

Yesterday, Mr.Tuna went to Mazar-e-Sharif to visit schools and discuss education concerns with local officials. Today he is following a similar programing Kandahar and tomorrow he will visit the border town of Spin Boldak, before returning to Kabul.

This Saturday, the USG is due to hold a meeting with the Afghan President, Hamid Karzai. On the same day he will hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m. In the UNDP Conference room. A key part of Mr. Otunnu’s visit has-been devoted to meetings and discussions with other UN agencies to see what the Organization’s system as a whole can do to support government efforts in improving children’s conditions.

High Representative for EU Common Foreign and Security Policy
The High Representative for the European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy, Dr. Xavier Solana will arrive in Kabul on Sunday as part of a round trip to India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

Mr. Solana is expected to meet with Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Transitional Authority of Afghanistan, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as other Ministers from the Transitional Government. Mr. Solana is also expected to meet with Mohammad Zahir Shah, former King of Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, and the Force Commander of ISAF, Turkish General, Hilmi Akin Zorlu.

The program for the visit is still to be finalized. A press release will be circulated with more details about the program and the issues to be discussed.

Anoint press conference with Foreign Minister Abdullah and Mr. Solana is expected to take place at approximately 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. The exact time and venue will be provided later.

For more information please contact the Office for the EU Special Representative for Afghanistan, Mr. Anders Tang Fribourg on +93 (0)70 280 275.

Kabul Drugs Coordination Conference
The Kabul Drugs Coordination Conference, the first conference to be held in Afghanistan’s capital to coordinate counter-narcotics activities between the Afghan authorities, donors and implementing agencies in Afghanistan, took place at the Inter-Continental Hotel last Tuesday, 23 July 2.

President Hamid Karzai, who also delivered the keynote address, opened the Conference. A number of key officials from the international community also attended including Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan for Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction, Nigel Fisher, and Antonio Mari Acosta, the Executive Director United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UNDCCP).

Total you more about this meeting we have Andrew Smith, A narcotics expert from the British Embassy, and he will address you later.

European Commission pledges over $10 million for UN mine clearing efforts in Afghanistan
On 22 July, the European Commission pledged over $10 million to the United Nations Mine Action Service for its work in Afghanistan.

“This contribution from the European Commission confirms the strong commitment of the European Union to support the efforts of the United Nations in the field of humanitarian mine action,” said the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Marie Guéhenno.

As an initial contribution, the European Commission donated more than USD 8 million to support Afghan and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) carrying out de-mining operations. The money will also be used to strengthen the overall coordination of mine action in Afghanistan.