Briefing by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan during the Press Conference at the conclusion of Afghanistan Conference 2020 

Foreign Minister Meets with the President of the ICRC

November 23, 2020

GENEVA – Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with the President of the ICRC Mr. Peter Maurer, at the sidelines of the Geneva Conference 2020, today morning.

At the outset, the Foreign Minister expressed his appreciation to the President of the ICRC for the work that the agency has carried out providing humanitarian services to the Afghan people throughout their presence in Afghanistan. While emphasizing the success of the Afghanistan peace talks, Mr. Maurer reaffirmed ICRC’s commitment to continue its work in Afghanistan, despite challenges that an active war zone presents. Mr. Maurer praised the efforts of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces for maintaining a positive momentum of respecting international humanitarian law in combat. He suggested a closer working relationship on issues within his agency’s remit, such as the follow-up on the prisoners released as part of the Afghan Government’s goodwill gesture towards the start of the peace talks.

Minister Atmar welcomed the idea of working together, suggesting pooling of resources to ensure better services for the war victims in Afghanistan. In closing, Mr. Maurer assured Minister Atmar of ICRC’s continued commitment and cooperation with Afghanistan.

The Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan and Finland Met at the Sideline of the Afghanistan Conference in Geneva

November 24, 2020

GENEVA – Mohammad Haneef Atmar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs met with his Finnish counterpart, H.E Pekka Haavisto, at the sidelines of the Afghanistan Conference 2020, today morning.

At the outset, the Foreign Minister expressed his gratitude to the Government of Finland for co-chairing the Afghanistan Conference, particularly the leadership of Ambassador Janne Taalas, Finland’s Special Representative for the Conference. Both sides discussed the significance of the Afghanistan Conference and its impact on current peace negotiations. They said that that sustainable peace in Afghanistan depends on the preservation of the gains achieved in the past two decades, and the Conference is a crucial step towards the building of a dignified and sustainable peace. Minister Atmar welcomed the participation and contribution of the donor countries, international organizations, and their financial commitments to Afghanistan.  

In closing, Minister Haavisto assured Minister Atmar of his country’s continued commitment and cooperation with Afghanistan.

Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan and Switzerland meet at the Sidelines of Afghanistan Conference in Geneva

November 24, 2020

GENEVA – Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with H.E. Ignazio Cassis, Foreign Minister of Switzerland at the sidelines of the Afghanistan Conference 2020, earlier today.

At the outset, Minister Atmar expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the people and government of Switzerland for hosting the Afghanistan Conference and for their warm hospitality of the delegations.

Minister Cassis expressed his appreciation for the remarks of H.E. President Ghani and his vision expressed at the Afghanistan Conference for the future of Afghanistan in the context of development, economic growth, peace, stability, and protecting the gains of the two decades. Most importantly his vision for the development of regional connectivity and cooperation.

Subsequently, Minister Atmar talked about the path that the Afghan people have traveled towards development in the past two decades and their successful struggles against challenges they have faced, i.e. conflict, poverty, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also stressed the importance of the partnership framework that sets forth mutual accountability conditions for Afghanistan’s partnership with its international allies.

In closing, Minister Atmar while thanking the Swiss Foreign Minister for his government’s continued support and pledge in the conference, emphasized the expansion of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Meets with Prince Rahim Aga Khan


November 26,2020

GENEVA - The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Haneef Atmar, who is in Geneva to attend the Afghanistan 2020 Conference, met with Prince Rahim Aga Khan, son and special envoy of Prince Karim Aga Khan, the Ismaili religious leader of the world, in Geneva.

In this meeting, Minister Atmar expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the valuable cooperation of Aga Khan Development Network to Afghanistan in various fields during the last 19 years. Minister Atmar called the activities of the Aga Khan Development Network, including the implementation of development projects, the restoration of historic monuments and the granting of small loans to Afghanistan's poor families, useful and valuable. He called for the expansion of the AKDN and Afghanistan cooperation in economic, cultural and social sectors. 

On behalf of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan, Prince Rahim Aga Khan assured Minister Atmar of the continuation of their support to Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Meets with WHO Director General

November 26, 2020

GENEVA - Mohammad Haneef Atmar Minister of Foreign Affairs met with H.E Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Director General of the World Health Organization at the sidelines of the Geneva Conference 2020, today.

At the outset, Minister Atmar, while thanking the WHO Director General for his warm welcome and hospitality, expressed the appreciation for the support and assistance that WHO has extended to the Afghan public. He added that Afghanistan requires a lot of support particularly due to the challenges that the pandemic has created.

Mr. Ghebreyesus congratulated Minister Atmar on the successful completion of the Afghanistan Conference 2020 in Geneva and expressed his optimism for a stable and prosperous Afghanistan. He highlighted that the conference marks an important step for Afghanistan and requires follow up from all sides.

WHO Director General assured the Foreign Minister of WHO’s commitment to Afghanistan and added that situation COVID-19 pandemic requires attention to prevent serious public health consequences. He said the WHO strengthening the public health sector is one of WHO priorities in Afghanistan.

Minister Atmar stated that Afghanistan is interested and looking forward to enhancing its partnership with WHO. He added that President Ghani has a clear vision of developing our health sector, with local resources and the expertise from WHO.

In closing, H.E Ghebreyesus assured Minister Atmar of WHO’s continued commitment to and cooperation with Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Meets with the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan

November 23, 2020


GENEVA – Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Haneef Atmar met with UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Deborah Lyons at the sidelines of the Geneva Afghanistan Conference 2020, today morning.

At the outset, the Acting Foreign Minister thanked the United Nations for its assistance and cooperation over the past 19 years, particularly its continued support to the Afghanistan peace process.

Minister Atmar referred to the Geneva Conference as a landmark event in Afghanistan’s continued partnership with international community and thanked UNAMA for the key role it has played in making it possible.

The two sides then discussed building a sustainable peace in Afghanistan through the peace talks, expressing concern on the unprecedented high level of violence perpetuated by the Taliban and the need to reduce it, the need for the establishment of a comprehensive ceasefire. They talked about the need for the preservation and expansion of political, democratic and socio-economic achievements of the past two decades in the post peace Afghanistan.

In closing, Ambassador Lyons assured Minister Atmar of UN’s continued commitment and cooperation with Afghanistan.

Amb. Andisha spoke about the devastating and complex issue of internal displacement as the SG Antonio Guterres opened the inaugural meeting of a new High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement, (HLP). The Panel is co-chaired by Ms. Federica Mogherini, former High-Representative of the EU Foreign Affairs and Dr. Donald Kaberuka, Chair of Global Fund. Dr. Sima Samar is a member too.
41 million internally displaced persons globally. Many stranded for years in limbo after their without secure housing, jobs, education or other needs and opportunities.
Afghanistan, Epthopia and Norway are the co-conver of the GF of the HLP.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Mr. chair,

At the outset, let me congratulate you on your appointment as the president of this council and assure you of Afghanistan’s full support and cooperation in your presidency.
My delegation welcomes the Lebanese Republic as a new member and international Commission on Missing Persons as observer.

Mr. chairman,

Let me once more remind ourselves that the world is facing unprecedented challenges. New crisis situations continue to emerge around the globe, and older ones remain unattended or unresolved. Millions of people leave their villages, cities and countries, turning in to IDP’s, asylum seekers or migrants. Afghanistan, like several other nations is facing all three challenges at the same time. Addressing these inter-connected challenges at all levels, national, regional and international have made the IOM a crucial partner for the member states, be it a country of origin, transit or host.

Mr. chair,

Afghanistan, for long, has been a strong advocate of IOM’s mission and programs around the world. We support the GCM and its initiative for safe, orderly and regular migration with obligation for States to respect, protect and fulfill the rights of individuals within its territory and practice non-discriminatory approach to preserve safety, physical integrity and dignity of the migrants. I also want to stress that all of us have a responsibility to ensure that no one, including migrants’ communities that are among the most vulnerable, becomes victim of xenophobia, racism and discrimination. A collective response from all of us in the international community is required to address the issue and mitigate the risk.

Mr. chair,

In Afghanistan, IOM is an integral part of very successful inter-ministerial coordination mechanisms for humanitarian assistance and repatriation. Conscious of the need to strengthen synergies between international migration and development and exchange best practices at the regional and inter-regional level, we have offered to lead the Colombo Process for the next two years. We look forward to meeting the representatives of the member and observer states. Indeed, dialogue at all levels, is essential to identify and conceptualize issues, as well as explore possible solutions responding to the challenges posed by the movement of persons.

Mr. Chair,

Voluntary, safe and dignified return and reintegration of Afghan refugees and migrants are at the center of our efforts. Since 2002, 5.2 million Afghan refugees and 5 million undocumented migrants have returned to the country. My government, with the help of international organizations including IOM, UNHCR and others is supporting this process.

Important and Significant initiatives have been undertaken to ensure the inclusion of displaced persons and returnees in our national programming, including addressing land issues for returnees through implementation of Presidential Decree 305 on Land Allocation, investing in provinces of high return and displacement and working together to ensure return and reintegration is sustainable and that the root causes of displacement and humanitarian needs are addressed. We have identified and prioritized 15 priority areas of return and reintegration that have absorbed higher number of returnees and where our Citizen’s Charter and other National Priority Programs are also delivering projects. In addition, five new areas will be identified for our 2020 strategy.

Mr. chair,

We urge better and enhanced cooperation and coordination between the IOM office in Kabul and our relevant departments. Without an enhanced level of coordination, we will not be able to achieve desired outcomes and bilateral and trilateral pledges will be wasted.

Mr. Chair,

Given the nature of challenges and multiplicity of expectation mentioned at the beginning of my speech and echoed by most of my other fellow PRs, administrative and financial reform of the IOM and a continuous drive to increase effectiveness and efficiency of the Organization is an urgent priority. This is the reason why my delegation supports, in principle, the amendments and reform proposal by DG Vitorino. We are confident that the proposed reform will also increase the geographical diversity and representative nature of the IOM’s leadership.

Mr. Chair,

To conclude, my delegation would like to thank you your vice chair, the previous chair and vice chairs and IOM staff for their diligent work of preparing for this 110th meeting. Let me once more assure you of my government strong support and cooperation.

I thank you Mr. Chair,

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