PERMANENT MISSION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TAJIKISTAN
TO THE UNITED NATIONS
7 SEPTEMBER 2000
Distinguished participants of the Millennium Assembly,
We are firmly convinced that our meeting provides a wonderful opportunity to discuss issues of UN restructuring to address the twenty first century goals and to reevaluate the global challenges faced by humanity at its current stage of development. We have no right to fail the expectations of our peoples.
The necessity for a joint search for effective answers to the qualitatively changed situation in the world has brought us, the world leaders, here, under the vaults of the historical UN General Assembly Hall. The hopes and aspirations of all peoples of the world are focused on the work of our world forum. The people of the globe expect us to develop a strategy of partnership that will meet their key interest and needs.
TaJikistan wholeheartedly supports the Millennium Assembly's determination to strengthen the key role of the United Nations as a universal mechanism for maintaining international peace and security, and for developing multilateral cooperation based on reaching a mutually acceptable balance of interests for all nations.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
Our common purpose is to ensure an effective UN in the twenty first century, as the only universal mechanism for resolving the global challenges of a new generation. The processes of globalization that are so dramatically influencing the evolution of society should be aimed at eliminating rather than intensifying the serious imbalances that divide the contemporary world.
In order to avoid social, economic and political upheavals and shocks and to ensure economic security, we believe that these processes should be backed up by a considered and purposefully oriented social policy, especially in countries with economies in transition. The five-fold increase in the size of the global economy for the last fifty years has not brought about a qualitative improvement in the life of the global population. One fourth of the planet's population still lives in extreme poverty. There is an ever growing tendency towards an increasing gap between those who enjoy the benefits of economic development and those who do not.
The UN is called upon to encourage processes aimed at reducing the gap in the development level between the rich and poor nations, in particular, through encouraging attraction of investments to those countries with economies in transition that do not possess oil and gas resources.3
This is a truly noble purpose. Achieving it would not only contribute to the strengthening of international peace and security, but would also make it possible to create the necessary conditions for sustainable development, eradication of poverty and other pressing problems of today's world.
We all know that extreme poverty, hunger and illiteracy give rise to social and economic conflicts and retard the stable development of society. The weight of external debt reduces the potential for economic growth and creates a vicious circle of conflicts that helps to create a society of extremes.
TaJikistan shares the view of many that forgiving the accumulated debts of th countries that have gone through large-scale conflicts or natural disasters would provide powerful impetus to sustainable peace-building in those countries. We are convinced tha such a measure would free up significant internal resources that could be used for education and healthcare, for alleviating consequences of the conflicts, and fo responding to natural disasters more effectively.
We also pin great hopes on the UN as a mechanism for unifying international efforts to prevent further deterioration of the environment and to preserve natural resources for future generations. Today, as never before, this has become a matter of critical importance. The damage to nature caused by economic activities threatens humanity with irreversible adverse consequences. Year by year the amount of fresh water on Earth decreases. The threat of an emerging "water crisis" is becoming a reality. In this context I would like to draw your attention to the issue of the use of water resources in various regions of the world, which is becoming a matter of great concern both to the states of those regions and to the international community as a whole.
To avoid a "water crisis" the international community must consolidate efforts to develop and implement a set of measures on rational usage and protection of water resources the world over. TaJikistan is striving to do whatever it can to contribute to the solution of pressing ecological issues.
We call on you to support the known initiative of our country to proclaim the year 2003 as the International Year of Freshwater. If in the coming century we, through our consolidated efforts, are able to ensure access to freshwater for all people on our planet, we will save every second citizen of the Earth from infectious diseases. Isn't this a very noble objective? Then, it is important that the international community direct energy and resources to its achievement.
One of the global ecological problems that can affect not only Tajikistan but the whole international community is the possible collapse of the Sarez Lake dam. If that dam is broken billions of cubic meters of water will pour down the nearby valleys, flooding millions of hectares of land and making approximately five million citizens of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan homeless. This will be a real ecological and human disaster.
An equally pressing global ecological problem is the Aral Sea crisis, resulted from irrational usage of natural resources. Excessive utilization of water from the Amur-Darya and Syr-Darya rivers for irrigation purposes caused the drying up of the Aral Sea, created an adverse effect on the ecology of the Central-Asian region and neighboring states, on an unprecedented scale.
The ever-increasing shortage of water and the deterioration of its quality have caused degradation of soil and vegetation cover, changes in flora and fauna, reduced the productivity of the irrigated land. The aggravated ecological situation directly and indirectly affects the living conditions and health of residents of the Aral Sea basin and disturbs economic activities.
The scale and complexity of the problems connected with water resources require a multilateral and multi-agency approach, cooperation not only among the states of the region but on the level of the international community. We avail ourselves of this opportunity to call on the UN and its special agencies to carefully address the crisis situation that has developed in the basin of the Aral Sea and undertake necessary steps to protect the environment in this region, with special emphasis on rendering assistance to those in the Aral Sea region who find themselves impoverished. We propose these problems for consideration at the international level because we believe they can be resolved only with the involvement of the international community.
To preserve our planet for future generations is our common task. Common concern over ensuring a stable, secure and more successful world in the twenty first century provides a good foundation for united efforts to achieve economic growth, democracy, happiness and well-being for all peoples.
Distinguished Mr. Chairman,
I have touched on enhancing the role of the UN as the only universal mechanism for ensuring international peace and security in the new millennium. We also think it essential that the renewed Security Council retain not only its primary responsibility of maintaining peace, but that it also strengthen its monitoring function of emerging conflicts and their resolution.
Since the moment of its creation the UN has accumulated extensive experience in resolving the most complicated international problems. The experience gained must be effectively used by the mankind in the new century to establish multi-pole world order, to search and to find relevant answers to the most urgent challenges of contemporary life. The community of nations now must take resolute steps to combat burgeoning international terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and un- controlled arms trade. The world will not become less insecure unless we counteract these organized crimes with our concerted actions.
TaJikistan, like its partners from the Newly Independent States, who attended the "Shanghai Forum", is seriously concerned over the fact that Afghanistan has been turned into a base for destabilization of neighboring and other states. We believe that the international community must adopt urgent and effective measures to curb the heroin aggression from the territory of this country, which feeds international terrorism and encourages all forms of extremism.
The Afghan people, who have suffered so much, expect the UN to render a real assistance in overcoming the humanitarian disaster that resulted from twenty years of war. It is critically important to multiply our efforts to achieve a speedy and just settlement of the military conflict in, this country, a conflict unprecedented in modem history.
The experience gained and the lessons drawn from the resolution of the inter-TaJik conflict indicate that the UN will be able to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan only with the active support of the world's leading powers, first and foremost, Russia and the United States, and, of course with the Afghan parties to the conflict demonstrating good will. In this connection we view the first meeting of the Russian-American working group on Afghanistan held in Washington in August 2000, as a promising start.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
After the implementation of "The General Agreement on Establishment of Peace and National Accord" was completed a dramatic chapter of the modem history of independent TaJikistan came to the end. The long road towards the national accord, started seven years ago under the auspices of the UN, today has reached its logical conclusion. TaJikistan overcame the horrors of civil war and, with the beginning of the new millennium, has started building a new multi-party democratic system.
Taking this opportunity I would like, on behalf of the people and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, to extend our sincere appreciation to the United Nations and to the UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, for invaluable contributions to the cause of reaching peace and national accord on the Tajik land.
The UN peacekeeping activities in my country devoted to resolving the inter-Tajik conflict, and to guiding the society towards the road of national consolidation and democratic development, deserve serious study. They may be applicable in other regions. It is possible that the lessons of UN peacekeeping activities in Tajikistan, and the approaches to organizing and managing the peace developed there, can be also utilized for settlement of the long-term Afghan crises.
We are in favor of further strengthening of the peacekeeping potential of the UN. It is essential that the peacekeeping activities of the Organization be built on the bases on full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of nations, be timely and adequate to the developing situation and be based on coordinated collective actions of the international community. It is not permissible to ignore opportunities for international diplomacy or to evade involvement of the UN, no matter what the excuses are used, even humanitarian ones. Only the Security Council is vested with an exclusive right to sanction, on behalf of the international community, the use of force for the purpose of maintaining peace or restoring international peace and security. We should not allow any exceptions from that underlying principle, which is enshrined in the UN Charter.
Our Organization is a unique force acting by the will of its member states in the name of securing peace of the Earth and sustainable development. The ideals of the UN proclaimed by its founders fifty-five years ago remain valid today. I am convinced that they will be our guiding star in the forthcoming century as well.
Our sacred duty before the next generations is not only to preserve the united nations, but in cooperation with the UN, to make the world better and more secure, and to make the lives of the citizens of the Earth more decent and happier.
Thank you for attention.