Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Farewell reception for H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin and Mrs. Zarghoona Sediq Tanin on September 16, 2015

Press release

On September 16, 2015 the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations hosted a farewell reception for Ambassador Zahir Tanin and Mrs. Zarghoona Tanin. Ambassador Tanin has represented Afghanistan for almost all of the last decade through a momentous time in Afghan history. He not only contributed to the cause of the country but participated in multiple important capacities at the UN. He will be leaving soon to assume his new responsibilities as SRSG and head of UNMIK is Pristina, Kosovo.


H.E. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Mrs. Ban attended the reception; Permanent Representatives and diplomats from most member states, leading members of the UN Secretariat, civil society in New York, journalists, and representatives of local Afghan community were also present.


After the welcome speech for H.E. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other guests by the Minister Counselor of the Permanent Mission Ms. Asila Wardak, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made his remarks and thanked Ambassador Tanin for his service to Afghanistan and the UN, including chairing of intergovernmental negotiations on the contentious issue of UN Security Council reform for six years and in multiple other capacities. The Secretary General reiterated the importance of Afghanistan in the UN agenda and emphasized how he has personally worked with leaders of the country as well as Ambassador Tanin during the crucial years of transition for Afghanistan. He also expressed his hope and faith that Ambassador Tanin would fulfill the mandate well as his Special Representative and head of UNMIK in Pristina, Kosovo, an area that requires responsible leadership and diplomatic skills, and thanked the UNSC for supporting his decision.


Ambassador Tanin thanked the Secretary General and other dignitaries for being present. He reaffirmed his gratitude for the role of the international community, particularly the UN that has been instrumental for the peace, security, development, and progress in Afghanistan. He reflected back on his nine long years as the Ambassador of Afghanistan, and emphasized while representing his country, he had tried his best to work with all the member states in all capacities. He thanked the Government of Afghanistan and the leadership as well as his colleagues at the Mission, for the trust put in him and assured of his continuous collaboration for years to come.


The evening was a vibrant display of Afghan culture, food, and hospitality, which was a fitting farewell for Ambassador Tanin as he wraps up his time in New York and prepares to move on to a new role.



404512United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Mr. Zahir Tanin of Afghanistan as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

Mr. Tanin succeeds Farid Zarif, who will complete his assignment on 31 August 2015.  The Secretary-General expresses his deep appreciation for Mr. Zarif’s successful management of the Mission in a challenging political environment and his dedicated efforts to further peace and stability in Kosovo and the region.

Mr. Tanin has, since 2006, served as Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations.  In this capacity, he served as the Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform (2008-2014), the Chair of the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons (2014), Vice-Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people (2006-2015) and the Vice-President of the 63rd, 65th and 67th Sessions of the United Nations General Assembly. Prior to this, Mr. Tanin was an analyst, producer, and editor at the BBC World Service from 1995 to 2006; and a research fellow in International Relations at the London School of Economic and Political Science of the University of London from 1994 to 1996.

Mr. Tanin graduated from Kabul Medical University in 1980.

Born in 1956, he is married and has two children.

New York, 19 August 2015

Press Release

Press Release

July 29, 2015


Arg- Kabul. The government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, based on credible information, confirms that Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Taliban died in April 2013 in Pakistan.

The government of Afghanistan believes that the grounds for the Afghan peace talks are more paved now than before, and thus calls on all armed opposition groups to seize the opportunity and join the peace process.


For further information, please contact:

Office of the Spokesperson to the President of Afghanistan,


Tel.:   +93 (20) 210 2853


+93 (20) 210 3705