15 November 2001 New York

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Distinguished Mr. Chairman,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to convey our sincere congratulations to Mr. Kofi Annan on the occasion of his re-election as the UN Secretary-General, as well as for wining Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2001. We also congratulate Mr. Hang Syung-Su on his election as Chairman for the current session. And we join those who have already expressed gratitude to Mr. Harry Holkeri for an excellent organization of the 55th General Assembly Session, which went down in the history of international relations as a Millennium Assembly.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This General Assembly Session is taking place in a special situation. There is no doubt that the tragic events of September 11 th, have come as an objective reality that prompted the international community to critically reassess the situation pressing for the elaboration of common positions in the combat against international terrorism, based upon the UN Charter provisions for safeguarding comprehensive peace and security.

Today it is evident that terrorism is related to extremism of every stripe: political, religious, ethnic; as well as to separatism and drug trafficking. These are the principle menace for the present and future of the humankind, "a plague of the XXI century", which may enter any household. No one is carrying insurance against this evil.

The international community is becoming increasingly aware of the indivisibility of security. In accordance with this fundamental principle, and in view of the current international situation, Uzbekistan commits itself to "go all the way" in its fight against terrorism as a global phenomenon. It is only through joint and coordinated efforts by the entire International Community that we will be able to eradicate this evil. No one has the right to be aloof from this battle.

We are acutely aware that today it is absolutely unacceptable to content oneself with mere declarations and statements. It is time we supported our words by concrete actions. Until it is too late, we have to take this opportunity and change the cautious and defensive stance adopted in this struggle against international terrorism and go on the offensive strategy.

Such approach is conditioned by a simple and obvious truth: it is impossible to come to an agreement with terrorists. The modern practice, as well as the historic experience testifies to it. The only way to deal with terrorists is to isolate them completely and stand up to them in the most uncompromising and resolute fashion.

Given the nature of international terrorism, its extensive structural and financial network as well as its considerable material and technical resources, it is important to elaborate a global counter-terrorist strategy which would clearly define:

First: the parameters of the effective legal framework as well as organizational foundations for the international co-operation in this sphere;

And second: the forms of concrete joint actions both at global and regional levels, as well as on bilateral basis.

Mr. Chairman,

The recent events have clearly demonstrated that terrorism is the most dangerous and treacherous enemy of the international community. Standing on this rostrum, I believe it of relevance to remind you the address by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan made to the UN General Assembly Session on September 7t', 2000. Then he sounded the alarm trying to draw the attention of the International Community to the "war, flaring in the course of the 20 years in Afghanistan - the country that has been converted into the training ground and stronghold of international terrorism and extremism. The country that became the main producer - the powerhouse of the world drug production, whose billions of profit feed international terrorism". The leader of Uzbekistan then underlined that "this is a threat not only for the countries of Central Asia but for the whole world". The President of Uzbekistan then unambiguously pointed to the particular danger the world would be exposed to, if the terrorists were "given access to the lethal weaponry: chemical, biological and other forms of weapons of mass destruction". In this regard it is pertinent to ask: was it not a timely and urgent address?

Uzbekistan, being the initiator of the number of proposals on collective actions against terror, has been actively engaged in co-operation with the anti-terrorist coalition.

We consider the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan as, first and foremost, a means to disrupt the terrorist bases and camps in that country, as well as to eradicate the very conditions that are favorable for terrorist activity.

The Uzbek people, being a successor of the great Muslim culture and a great contributor to the development and prosperity of the Islamic civilization, realizes that this operation is not directed neither against the people of Afghanistan nor the religion of Islam. The war has been declared against terrorists, their centers and polygons, and not against peaceful population.

Uzbekistan and Afghanistan have the history of long and continued from ancient times good-neighbor and mutually beneficial relations. The AmuDarya River has always united, and not separated us. Uzbekistan has never had conflicts with neither the afghan people nor Afghanistan as a state throughout the whole history of relations with its southern neighbor.

The civil war proceeding three decades in Afghanistan, which has reached the apogee for the short period of ruling "Taliban" movement, completely has destroyed a national economy, has cast the Afghani people into a distress and has put under threat existence of Afghanistan as an unified state.

We support efforts of the international community about necessity of immediate measures on adoption of large-scale programs for post-conflict restoration of Afghanistan and rendering of the concrete humanitarian aid to those who, being in a distress, urgently need this help.

Uzbekistan already actively participates in delivery of the international humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in close interaction with the United Nations. For this purpose we have provided all necessary infrastructure, including the one in Termez, direct affinity to the border of Afghanistan.

Finally, in the light of the latest events, related to the acts of terror in the USA and the beginning of the antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan, I would like to draw in subject the attention of this General Assembly session's participants to the proposal of Uzbekistan to establish within the UN structures an International Center on Combating Terrorism, as an efficient mechanism to form a collective stand against terrorist aggression.

Rallying the international struggle against terrorism, we should not neglect yet another equally dangerous threat, which is drug trafficking - the main financial support for terrorist and extremist activities.

In recent years, the countries of Central Asia have been finding themselves face-to-face with a large-scale aggression unleashed by the international narco-syndicates. It is evidently clear, that no country, no matter how powerful they are, may expect to successfully confront drug trafficking, unless fully supported by the International Community.

In our view, the international co-operation should be grounded in the mechanisms, adopted to the maximum to the current situation and capable of not only neutralizing the existing sources of narco-aggression, but, more importantly, preventing their emergence.

Acknowledging the urgent need to intensify the international struggle with transnational threats and challenges, Uzbekistan accords great significance to the issues of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in Central Asia. Given the present unstable military and political situation in the region, this problem comes up as a credible threat of continental and global scale.

In this respect, the functional capabilities of the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone - the initiative put forward by Uzbekistan at the 48th General Assembly session in the spirit of the Non-Proliferation Treaty - are of particular importance.

We highly appreciate the UN efforts in supporting the activities of the regional group of experts, who are working on the text of the Nuclear- Weapon-Free Zone Treaty; and we call upon the General Assembly, its Chairman and the Secretary-General to support the formalization and adoption of decisions on this issue.

Mr. Chairman,

Uzbekistan is supportive of the UN Secretary-General Report provisions with regard to armed conflict prevention. We consider them to be the fundamental guidelines for the consultations on this issue.

Uzbekistan also stands for the soonest completion of the UN reforms process. We welcome certain progress in the work of the Security Council, that is transparency, enlargement and other issues related to enhancing its efficiency.

With a view to increase the efficiency of the UN activity, and in the interest of preventing and settling crisis situations, it is important to intensify the interaction between the UN and regional security institutions, as well as to step up the functioning of its regional agencies.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Uzbekistan is interested in developing and enhancing the dialogue and co-operation with all the states that uphold peace and stability at the regional and global levels.

Thank you for attention.