Ambassador Mahmoud Saikal is the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations. He is a senior Afghan diplomat and international development specialist with over two decades of experience with governments, international organizations, private sector and civil society. In the diplomatic field, he has served as Special Representative and Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (mainly international relations), Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan (Economic Portfolio), Ambassador of Afghanistan to Australia and New Zealand, Honorary Consul of Afghanistan to Australia, First Secretary and later Counsellor Minister Plenipotentiary at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tokyo.
Ambassador Saikal has been instrumental in the negotiation of various agreements, including the 2014 agreement on the formation of the National Unity Government of Afghanistan, the “Afghanistan Compact” which was launched at the London International Conference on Afghanistan in 2006, as well as the 2006 Afghanistan-NATO Declaration, which set out the Framework for Enduring Cooperation in Partnership. He has been deeply involved in the promotion of regional cooperation, resulting in Afghanistan’s membership in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC), strengthening Afghanistan’s membership in Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), and the formulation of the process of Regional Economic Cooperation Conferences on Afghanistan (RECCA).
Ambassador Saikal holds an MA from Deakin University of Melbourne, a BA from the University of Canberra and a BA from the University of Sydney.