Bidding Farewell to a Friend - H.E. Ayesha Riyaz Ambassador of Pakistan in Vienna


18 May 2018 - Vienna, Austria - It was at the high-tea after Pakistan's side event, when we learnt that H.E. Ms Ayesha Riyaz, shall soon be leaving the Pakistan Permanent Mission in Vienna. This news saddened us, though she was all smiles and happy while informing about her retirement to the dignitaries who attended the side event.   

H.E. Ms Riyaz has always been a part of UNODC Pakistan's side events, meetings, conversations and an instrument of advice where needed, very professional yet very casual and humble, easy going yet vigilant.  Like before, this time as well, she graced the side-event with her presence, which was organized with the support of UNODC Country Office on "Pakistan's Action to Counter Terrorism (PACT)" to showcase Pakistan's contribution to international peace and security in the margins of 27 th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) in May in Vienna.

H.E. Ms Riyaz always highlighted and appreciated the close working relationship between UNODC and the Government of Pakistan. In 2015, as a token of appreciation and to mark the 60 th anniversary of the founding of the Scientific Support Section of UNODC, H.E. Ms Riyaz along with the Government of Pakistan (representation by Anti-Narcotics Force and Ministry of Narcotics Control) handed over the exact replicas of items used for purpose of trafficking drugs during the  58 th Session of the Commission on Narcotics Drugs (CND). 

The Scientific Section of UNODC is now using the items in question for educational purposes. H.E. Ms Riyaz was not only presenting for the side events hosted the by Government of Pakistan but also representing Pakistan as a permanent member during the plenary sessions for CND and CCPCJ organized by the Secretariat of Governing Bodies mandated to UNODC. She and her team were also actively involved with IAEA work in Vienna. 

After learning about her departure, Representative UNODC decided to give a token of appreciation to H.E. Ms Riyaz and to bid farewell to her on a special note. UNODC Pakistan organized a small ceremony in honor of H.E. Ms Riyaz, by inviting Pakistan delegation, colleagues and friends from UNODC and IAEA HQs in Vienna.

In the presence of Mr. Ehsan Ghani, National Coordinator NACTA and the Pakistani delegation, Mr. Cesar Guedes, Representative UNODC Pakistan presented her a UNODC Plaque and thanked her by saying that" she has been very helpful and forthcoming for UNODC Pakistan, and that "we have always felt at home having a friend of this stature. It's sad to see her going, but such is life, and we wish her the very best for her future assignments."

Talking to the group, H.E. Ms Riyaz said that she is overwhelmed and humbled by the thought and gesture shown by UNODC in arranging a farewell in her honor in such a short time when all are busy with CCPCJ activities. Before receiving the appreciation plaque, she said "let me start from Pakistan booth", and she appreciated the material and publications brought forth by NACTA and UNODC and informed her staff from the Permanent mission to get few sets of the publications available at the booth for the embassy. She met with colleagues from UNODC and IAEA and had a group photo with them. 

H.E. Ms Riyaz served as  Ambassador of Permanent Mission in Vienna, Austria from Dec 2013 to June 2018.