The America Times Welcomes Former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Head of UNMIK, and Afghanistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations H. E. Zahir Tanin

As an Honorary Advisor & Columnist

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The America Times was re-born on September 11, 2021, with the goal to better inform our leaders and policymakers of nuances, beyond conventional wisdom, to successfully address present day “Gordion Knots,” sometimes as Alexander the Great did by cutting it and other times by tediously unraveling it. During January 2022, diplomacy is at a fever pitch in Washington D.C., Moscow, Kyiv, Vienna, Geneva and Brussels, as a 100,000 Russian troops are keeping Ukraine’s borders “warm” in the Russian Winter. And, starting January 1st, five days before our one-year anniversary of our January 6th, Kazakhstan experienced peaceful protects, taken over by organized violent, radical, terrorist insurrection, and President Tokayev sought CSTO Peacekeepers to come and leave, restored law & order, and is now causing major reforms to secular democratic Kazakhstan. Given the CSTO success in Kazakhstan, we can hope – updating James A. Baker’s Dec 5, 1993 Op-Ed in LA Times – that NATO & CSTO can merge to achieve President Biden’s goal of a united, free and stable Europe.

We are honored and privileged to have H. E. Zahir Tanin – a geopolitical and diplomatic star of Afghanistan, including, having served as head of UNMIK as SGSR and chairing the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reforms at the United Nations – join the Honorary Board of Advisors & Columnists of The America Times in recognition of his excellence and record of contributions. Ambassador Zahir Tanin’s life experiences and diplomatic service, helps him to better decipher the unshared motives of geopolitical leaders and unspoken goals of geopolitical events, which he will share from time to time on our pages. This will serve to form a more perfect nation, and world, and thereby enhance both regional and global peace and security.

Benjamin Franklin famously said in 1787: “It’s a republic madam, if you can keep it.” Ambassador Zahir Tanin’s contributions in The America Times will help us keep our Republic. Please enjoy his accomplishments, along with a few pictures – at the UN, briefing UNSC, and with SG Ban Ki-moon and SG Antonio Guterres, and former President Barack Obama.

Ranju Batra & Ravi Batra

H. E. Zahir Tanin

From August 2015 through November 2021, Mr Tan in served as Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). He was appointed first by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and re-appointed by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. During his tenure, he led this peace operation through a period of transformation and renewal, regularly briefed the United Nations Security Council, and conducted top level diplomacy with local, regional, and international leaders.

Prior to this assignment, Mr Tanin served for nearly a decade as the Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Afghanistan at the United Nations, from 2006 to 2015. As Permanent Representative, Mr Tanin participated in high-level meetings and delivered statements on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan in the Security Council, General Assembly, and other events at the UN in New York and around the world. During this time, Mr Tanin additionally served in a range of other significant roles within the United Nations. He was elected as a Vice-President of the 63rd, 65th and 67th Sessions of the General Assembly on behalf of the Asian Group and served on several occasions as Acting President of the General Assembly.

In 2014, Mr Tan in was appointed Chair of the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider Meeting the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapon in All Its Aspects.

Beginning in 2008, Mr Tan in was appointed Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council Reform and Vice-Chair of the Open-ended Working Group during the 63rd General Assembly. As Chair of the IGN, Mr Tan in presided over eight rounds of negotiations and produced the negotiating text as the basis of engagement with all Member States. Mr Tanin was reappointed to chair negotiations during the next five consecutive General Assembly sessions, attending convenings in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Qatar, and Turkey. In 2014, his key remarks from these visits and other statements were published in Afghanistan on the World Stage.

Additionally, Mr Tan in served as a Vice Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and chaired and attended numerous global meetings in this capacity.

Prior to being appointed Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, Mr Tanin worked for more than a decade with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) including as Editor for the BBC World Service, Afghanistan and Central Asia from 2001 to 2003 and as Editor for Afghanistan of the BBC Persian/Pashto Section from 2003 to 2006. Amongst many programmes and publications, he produced a landmark 29-part programme, The Oral History of Afghanistan in the 20th Century. He was BBC Afghan’s chief correspondent to cover in person the International Conference on Afghanistan (Bonn 2001), broadcasting BBC’s landmark 18-hour live transmission of the inauguration ceremony of the first post-Taliban government in December 2001, following the fall of Kabul, and again at the Tokyo Donors Conference in 2002. He directed BBC’s exclusive coverage of the 2004 Presidential Elections, as a nation-wide unprecedented event in Afghan history.

Before joining the BBC, Mr Tanin was a Research Fellow in International Relations at the London School of Economic and Political Science (LSE) of the University of London for two years. During this time, he co-authored The Communist Regime in Afghanistan, a study of the political and social changes in Afghanistan from 1978 to 1992, published in Europe Asia Studies. He also authored Afghanistan in the Twentieth Century.

Mr Tanin began his career in journalism in Kabul, starting in 1980. He was Editor-in-Chief of Akhbar-e-Haftah and Sabawoon Magazine until 1992 and served as the Vice-President of the Journalist Union of Afghanistan from 1987-1992.  Mr Tanin was born in Afghanistan in 1956. He received his Medical Doctorate {MD) from Kabul Medical University, is fluent in English, Pashto, and Dari, and speaks French and Russian. He is married to Dr Zarghoona Sediq Tanin, with whom he has two children.

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