Zahir Tanin

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Zahir Tanin
Permanent Representative to the United Nations for Afghanistan Flag of Afghanistan.svg
Assumed office
December 2006
Preceded by Ravan A. G. Farhâdi
Vice President to the United Nations General Assembly
In office
September 2008 – September 2009
Personal details
Born (1956-05-01) May 1, 1956 (age 59)

Zahir Tanin (Persian: ظاهر طنين), born on 1 May 1956, presented his credentials as Permanent Representative to the United Nations for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations on 19 December 2006.


Tanin is a graduate of the Kabul Medical University.[1]

He worked for eleven years with the BBC World Service: as a producer from 1995 to 2001, and then as an editor until 2006, for Afghanistan and Central Asia until 2003, then for Afghanistan in the Persian/Pashto Section.

Before joining the BBC, Tanin was a research fellow in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) for two years (from 1994 to 1995).

He began his career in 1980 working as a journalist in Kabul. 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 to 1992.

United Nations[edit]

As Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, Tanin participated in meetings of the UN General Assembly as a member of his country’s delegation since 2007, and delivered statements on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan in the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly, and other events and panels both within and outside of the UN.

Tanin traveled to meetings around the world to represent his country, including the Rio +20 conference in June 2012, the 4th UN Conference on Least Developed Countries in Istanbul in June 2011, and as head of delegation in LDC conferences in Lisbon in 2010, in Delhi in 2011, and the Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting in Cuba in 2009. Tanin also served as a Vice-president of the 63rd and 65th Sessions of the General Assembly, and during the 67th session on behalf of the Asian Group, and as acting president.

Tanin was appointed Vice-Chair of the Open-ended Working Group and Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council Reform during the 63rd General Assembly in 2008. He was reappointed to chair the ongoing negotiations during the 64th, 65th, 66th, 67th and 68th sessions. In this capacity he spoke at conferences, including Brazil and Rome in 2009, the Global Governance and Security Council Reform conference also in Rome, and the Doha Forum in May 2011.

On behalf of Afghanistan, Tanin became a Vice Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in 2006, and chaired or attended meetings around the world.


  • Co-author of The Communist Regime in Afghanistan, published in Europe Asia Studies: a study of the political and social changes in Afghanistan from 1978 to 1992.
  • Afghanistan in the Twentieth Century.
  • The Oral History of Afghanistan in the 20th Century, a 29-part program broadcast by the BBC.
  • Afghanistan on the World Stage, collected articles from December 2006 to September 2009.

Personal life[edit]

Tanin is married with two children.[1]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b United Nations Press Release: Biography of Zahir Tanin United Nations Press Release, retrieved 2008-09-12