H.E. Mr. Vladimir Norov, Minister for Foreign Affairs
27 September 2008
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VLADIMIR NOROV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, lamented that, in spite of the international community’s -- including the coalition forces’ -- enormous efforts in support of peace in Afghanistan, the situation there had worsened with more loss of civilian lives. Worse still, that country also faced the problem of a growing drug trafficking problem -– with a total opium production accounting for over 90 per cent of the world’s production.
Moreover, he reminded the Assembly that drug trafficking was an important source of financing for militants as well as a destabilizing factor for Afghanistan and its neighbours. Noting that war in that country, which had ensured for some 30 years -- had failed to bring a resolution to the Afghan problem. The fighting had only managed to destroy Afghan economic and social infrastructures, and had impoverished the people of the country, and even served as a breeding ground for recruiting new militants. The unfolding situation therefore called for new approaches to find a solution.
To that end, Uzbekistan believed that the main priority should be providing economic aid to Afghanistan so that its ruined economic and social sectors were restored, thus providing the population with employment which would help alleviate poverty.
On another issue, he noted with satisfaction important steps towards ensuring human rights for its citizens. Uzbekistan had adopted key legislation, including on guaranteeing the rights of the child; and the ratification of the International Labour Organization’s Convention on minimum hiring age, and on the elimination of the worst forms of child labour. Also, realizing the urgency of the problem of trafficking in persons, both at the international and domestic levels, Uzbekistan adopted a law on countering trafficking in persons in April this year, he added.