Statement of the Diplomatic Missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan

October 28, 2021
Afghanistan is facing one of the most complex humanitarian crises of its recent history. This has stemmed from a convergence of the past four decades of imposed conflicts, endemic poverty, the adverse effects of climate change and the impact of the global economic recession due to COVID-19. More importantly, the past six months of extreme violence, failure of the state to provide effective public service, and disruption of the constitutional order have further exacerbated the grim humanitarian landscape across Afghanistan where the imminent collapse of state institutions and economy have pushed the whole Afghan nation to the brink. Consequently, according to the United Nations (UN) agencies, fourteen million Afghans (1 in 3 Afghans) face severe hunger; around three million Afghan children are at risk of acute malnutrition; 22.8 million Afghans could face acute hunger during wintertime; and 97% of all Afghans could plunge into poverty by mid-2022.
The diplomatic missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan welcome the convening by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres of a high-level ministerial conference on Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation last month. Afghans were heartened that over one hundred countries and thirty international and regional organizations participated and generously pledged $1.2 billion—including $606 million for the next four months through the end of December. However, of the latter amount, according to the UN, it has only received $300 million, which is inadequate to address the urgent needs of Afghanistan’s vulnerable groups across the country. Hence, we strongly support the call by Secretary-General Guterres on the international community to expedite the disbursement of their generous financial aid pledges to help avert worst-case scenarios if lifesaving aid fails to reach those in acute need.

Moreover, we underscore with gratitude the provision by the European Union (EU) of $1.2 billion in pledged support for the humanitarian programs in and out of Afghanistan with a focus on the Afghan internally displaced persons, refugees in neighboring countries, as well as asylum seekers.
Knowing from the past experience, we urge that the implementing agencies of the UN, NGOs, and other humanitarian actors take maximum aid effectiveness measures to ensure that assistance is delivered to the most vulnerable people and on the basis of needs alone. This collective effort should help reach more Afghan beneficiaries for assistance and thus save more lives this winter.
The diplomatic missions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan around the world will offer its full support and assistance to the international assistance community and humanitarian actors to accomplish this extremely important life-saving mission.
We also call on the Taliban to ensure full respect for human rights, international humanitarian law and principles so that the humanitarian aid community can reach out to all our people in need.
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WTIA Company

Seoul, April 23, 2021, Mr. Keun Young Kim, Chairman and Founder of WTIA Company, and Mr. C. Moon Ho Kim M.D. Chairman of KMH Peace Foundation, and member of this technical team paid a visit to the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and met Ambassador Abdul Hakim Atarud.
The Chairman of WTIA introduced the planning of initiating collaboration in ICT, mining, and e-commerce sectors in Afghanistan.
Ambassador Atarud pointed out the potential business opportunities for investment in Afghanistan and ensured the WTIA Chairman coordinates with Afghanistan’s relevant authorities and provides necessary supports.
Incheon, April 19, 2021, Ambassador Abdul Hakim Atarud paid a visit to George Mason University Korea and met with the leadership of the GMU Korea, and delivered a lecture on “Heart of Asia” and the role of Afghanistan in regional connectivity.
1. In the meeting with Professor Robert Matz, Campus Dean, Professor Roland B. Wilson Co-director of Peace and Conflict Studies Center of Asia, and Professor Ji Hye Lim, Global Affairs. Ambassador highlighted the aim of his visit to GMU Korea and requested GMU Korea to establish academic collaboration on peace and conflict studies with similar entities in Afghanistan. The idea was welcomed by the GMU Korea side and the process of establishing academic relationships will be initiated in near future.
2. Ambassador Atarud delivered a lecture at “Mason Korea Distinguished Lecturer Series” under the theme of “Heart of Asia: Afghanistan” to a number of online and offline audiences. In the lecture Ambassador Atarud, highlighted the history, location, politics, regional connectivity, and peace negotiations between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan the Taliban.
Seoul- March 26, 2021, Mr. Kwan Hee, Lee, Vice President, and Mr. Jung-Im, Choi, Manager of Hong-Ik Engineering & Consultants Co. Ltd. paid a visit to the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and met Ambassador Abdul Hakim Atarud.
The two sides discussed the issues of business and investment opportunities in infrastructure sectors of Afghanistan, Ambassador Atarud, while appreciating their interest in the Afghan infrastructure sector, provided a brief on the current situation of the infrastructure projects in the country and government support toward foreign companies entering in the Afghan Market.

Afghan vice foreign minister hopes to expand ties

By Kwon Mee-yoo

As the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan pursues a path toward peace and stability after a long conflict with the Taliban, Korea played an important role in the country's reconstruction. Now, the two countries seek further cooperation in trade and commercial ties, according to the country's ranking official.

 

Meerwais Nab, deputy foreign minister for political affairs of Afghanistan, visited Korea from April 6 to 9 for the first-ever political consultation between the two countries.

"We had a constructive and productive discussion with Lee (Kyung-chul, Korea's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan), and meantime exchanged conversation with second vice foreign minister Choi Jong-moon. I expressed gratitude on the meaningful contribution of the Republic of Korea to the reconstruction process of Afghanistan in the last 20 years, specifically on the social development and capacity-building," Nab said at an interview with The Korea Times at a hotel in Seoul, April 8.

"We also talked of how we can work together in various areas including expanding cooperation in the United Nations and other international organizations."

Nab emphasized how Korea contributed to Afghanistan's efforts in the post-Taliban rebuilding of the country.

"South Korea mainly funded and invested in Afghanistan according to the priority of the Afghan government. I think this is the main reason of the tangible result we have from South Korea's assistance," Nab said.

"South Korea built a very effective vocational training center in Afghanistan that has already trained more than 7,000 Afghans in different fields. We have other programs on capacity-building such as afforestation, agriculture and healthcare. More importantly, we are working to see how we can adjust the next phase of our relations and how we can increase trade and commercial ties."

Despite the long distance between the two countries, Nab sees much potential in economic cooperation.

 

"Afghanistan is a country with a 35 million population, a perfect market for South Korean products. In the meantime, Afghanistan is rich with resources, which can be another area of cooperation, attracting South Korean investment. For example, Afghanistan has one of the world's largest lithium mines and is rich in precious stones," he said.

"We have a number of Afghan businesses already in South Korea, mostly exporting South Korean goods not just to Afghanistan but to other countries in the Middle East. Though there are security problems to attract direct investment of South Korean businesses in Afghanistan … we do have high-quality goods in Afghanistan such as dried and fresh fruit, saffron and carpet and South Korea has the market for Afghan goods."

"South Korea is also well-known for its Constitution and other laws and regulations. South Korea is one of the top countries with the implementation of those regulations. So I think there is another area of cooperation on the judiciary system between the two countries," Nab said.

Hallyu, or the Korean Wave, has also reached the Central Asian country.

"Though we are living at a far distance, Korean TV dramas are famous in Afghanistan. You might think of Afghanistan as a conservative Islamic country, the attractions of those dramas are very high. It shows that there is a cultural connection between Korea and Afghanistan," the deputy foreign minister said.

"Because of the war, in the last 42 years in Afghanistan, we were not able to explore other areas of potential cooperation. Now with our worlds getting closer with lots of interactions between South Korea and Afghanistan, we have the political commitment of the leadership of the countries to expand the relationship in all fields."

As Nab believes that people-to-people relationships are the foundation of bilateral relations, he hopes to introduce more culture of South Korea to Afghanistan and vice versa. The two countries are looking into various ways to introduce each other's culture such as providing scholarships to young Afghans to study in Korea and opening a Korean Culture Center in Afghanistan.

"We are far away from each other but have similarities. Though Afghanistan now represents the Islamic civilization and the 'Heart of Asia,' it was the epicenter of Buddhism thousands of years ago and a famous Korean monk (Hyecho) traveled to Afghanistan in the eighth century," he said.

"We know the history of Korea after World War II and understand and appreciate what Koreans have done for the last 40 years in terms of development and prosperity. You changed the status of Korean from a receiver to a donor. What Korea has experienced is very important for us. The historical similarity is another fuel in expanding our relationship.

"The cultural aspect of the relationship is very deep and there is a big potential to explore and expand. We are people and we will never forget our today and past. The Korean investment and engagement in Afghanistan is not because of the political or security agenda; because of the hardships you experienced, you want to share your wealth of knowledge and experience with other countries. We fully understand that and are really grateful for that."

 

Kwon Mee-yoo
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Meeting with Afghan Student

Seoul- April 07, 2021, H.E. Meerwais Nab, Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, attending the gathering of the Afghans Student’s Representatives in the Republic of Korea that was organized by the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Seoul.
At the beginning of the gathering H.E. Abdul Hakim Atarud, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Korea, briefed the students concerning the importance of holding 1st round of Political Consultation between Afghanistan and Korea.
Subsequently, H.E. Meerwais Nab had a discussion regarding the aim of the outcome of his trip to Korea and prospects of peace in negotiations and highlighted the importance of study and students in Afghanistan.

Meeting Chancellor of KNDA

Seoul- April 09, 2021, His Excellency Meerwais Nab, Deputy Minister for Political Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan accompanied by Ambassador Atarud, DG Saeedi, DG Rasuli, and Counselor Karimi had a fruitful meeting with Mr. KIM Joon Hyung, Chancellor of Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA).
During the meeting, DFM Nab thanked and stressed the importance of capacity building program for the Afghanistan diplomats provided by KNDA and appealed the establishment of the academic collaboration between the KNAD and Afghanistan Foreign Ministry Institute of Diplomacy through signing and MOU.
The Chancellor of KNDA expressed the commitment of KNDA to providing training programs for Afghan Diplomats and establishing collaborations.
Seoul- April 08, 2021, His Excellency Meerwais Nab, Deputy Minister for Political Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan accompanied by Ambassador Atarud, DG Saeedi, DG Rasuli, and Counselor Karimi had a fruitful meeting with Mr. Hyuk-Sang Sohn, President of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
H.E. Nab appreciated the activities and assistance of the KOICA operation over the past 20 years in Afghanistan and recognized the tangibly of the KOICA’s operations on changing the livelihood of the Afghan people. And requested support on KOICA in environments, education, agriculture, reforestation projects in Afghanistan.
President of KOICA ensured the assistance of KOICA on Afghanistan's social-economic activities in 2021, which could lead to peace and stability in the country.
 
The Deputy Foreign Minister termed the first round of political consultations between Afghanistan and Korea a turning point in the relations between the two countries and underscored its significance in expanding bilateral cooperation in political, economic, trade, and cultural areas.
Mr. Nab acknowledged that Korea's generous financial assistance in various fields played a significant role in Afghanistan's achievements over the past twenty years. The Deputy Minister added that amid the ongoing peace talks, the role of friendly countries such as Korea was critical in helping Afghanistan to achieve lasting peace and preserve and build on the achievements of the last twenty years, including strengthening the Islamic Republic.
The Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea praised the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan's efforts to establish peace and stability in the country. He hoped that the forthcoming Istanbul peace talks would play a significant role in advancing the peace process and preserving Afghanistan's gains. He stressed that at this critical historic juncture, Afghanistan's progress should not be reversed.
The Republic of Korea has recently pledged $ 35 million in assistance for the 2021 Geneva Conference on Afghanistan.


The first round of Political Consultation between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Republic of Korea was launched by Deputy Foreign Minister Mirwais Nab and South Korea's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Mr. Lee Kyung-Chul. Both sides discussed the expansion of bilateral and multilateral cooperation at regional and international levels.
Mr. Nab and Mr. Kyung-chul also welcomed international efforts, especially the United Nations' role, in advancing peace talks and promoting stability in Afghanistan.
Two sides discussed the continuation of bilateral cooperation and reviewed the current status and effectiveness of South Korean projects in Afghanistan in combating Covid-19, promoting gender equality, and economic development cooperation. They also agreed to continue bilateral consultations to ensure the effectiveness of the development projects.
They discussed deepening bilateral relations through various frameworks and exploring potential cooperation opportunities, including in trade and investment, capacity building, and reforestation in Afghanistan.
Mr. Nab expressed his sincere gratitude for South Korean assistance to Afghanistan in the political, economic, social, and security areas over the past 20 years. He expressed his desire that political consultations would further expand bilateral cooperation.

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