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D D R E S S
BY H.E. MR. SODYQ SAFAEV
MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 58TH SESSION OF
THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
30 SEPTEMBER 2003
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me, first of
all, to join others in congratulating Honorable Julian Robert Hunte, the
Minister for External Affairs, International Trade and Civil Aviation
of Saint Lucia, on his election as the Chairman of the General Assembly
and wish him success in this important position. I would also like to
extend our words of appreciation to Mr. Jan Kavan for efficient organization
of the 57th session of the UN General Assembly.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to outline the position of Uzbekistan
on the key issues on the agenda of our forum.
It is well known that after the events of September 11, 2001, the contemporary
world has been on the verge of fundamental transformation caused by new
challenges and threats to security in many regions of the planet. This
harsh reality unequivocally increases the responsibility of the United
Nations as a unique international institution whose role cannot be substituted
by anyone or anything. It also increases the responsibility of each and
every nation to preserve peace and stability in countering the threats
to modern civilization like international terrorism, extremism, and the
ever-growing scale of drug trafficking.
Being in immediate proximity to Afghanistan, we - the nations of Central
Asia - know firsthand what these threats are and what they can bring to
the world, if timely steps are not taken to prevent and eliminate such
threats at their very core. In this context, it is difficult to overestimate
the significance of actions of the international antiterrorist coalition
led by the United States of America and of the International Security
Assistance Force, which are doing so much to revive and restore peace
and stability in long-suffering Afghanistan.
In the meantime, despite the presence of pre-requisites for a full-scale
peace process in Afghanistan and sustained development of the region,
the peace in the country is still fragile. We believe that the resources
of international community, major international organizations, and donor-nations
as well as the capabilities of neighboring countries should be engaged
on a greater level, as they are essential in the post-conflict reconstruction.
Afghanistan should become a harmoniously integrated part of Central Asia
and this will positively contribute to the enhancement of stability and
security in the country and region.
In view of the exceptional importance of socioeconomic rehabilitation
of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan is rendering assistance to the Afghan people
in reconstruction of damaged roads and construction of new ones, as well
as supplying electricity to the northern provinces of Afghanistan. Uzbek
specialists have built eight large bridges on Mazari-Sharif - Kabul road.
Uzbekistan is also providing assistance in delivery of humanitarian aid
to Afghanistan. Over one million tons of humanitarian cargo has been shipped
through our country’s territory. We will continue to cooperate with
international organizations, first of all with the UN, in this regard.
Lessons learned in recent years have confirmed that overcoming the consequences
of terrorism and extremism is more difficult than their timely prevention.
Moreover, an aggressive drive of terrorists to acquire weapons of mass
destruction has become a new reality. International community should confront
these far-reaching plans by an effective and streamlined system of measures
to prevent access by terrorists to arms, new technologies, and dual use
Uzbekistan welcomes the progress made in the development of legal instruments
aimed at combating international terrorism. Tangible results, however,
can be achieved only by creating a global system of comprehensive cooperation.
That is why we support the work of the Counter Terrorism Committee of
the UN Security Council. We are confident that Regional Antiterrorism
Center of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, opened for collaboration
with other similar centers, is an important component of global antiterrorist
To prevent emergence of threats of international terrorism and extremism,
it is important to confront international centers of extremism and dissemination
of the ideology of fanaticism. These centers, despite current measures
to isolate them, still possess substantial financial resources and capacity
to influence the hearts and minds of the youth, and to mobilize the youth
for their far-reaching objectives.
In addition to the measures being implemented today, it is desirable to
establish a special UN Program that would promote education and awareness
in the youth while developing its strong immunity to extremist ideology.
that the United Nations can and must play a more significant role in resolving
the most urgent issues of today’s world. For this purpose, first
and foremost, the UN programs must become more concrete and effective
so that they can target better the real needs of regions. In this regard,
I would like to voice the following views.
First. Uzbekistan unequivocally supports further development of regional
integration, and considers the Organization of Central Asian Cooperation
(OCAC) as a crucial mechanism of multilateral collaboration of this region’s
states. We consider its economic component, as well as the establishment
of water, energy, transport, and communication consortia within OCAC’s
framework, as a priority.
The need to overcome the isolation of the region in terms of transport
and communication is of foremost importance among the objectives vital
for sustainable development of the Central Asian states. In this context,
I would particularly like to draw your attention to the multilateral initiative
to establish a Trans-Afghan transport corridor, which would provide landlocked
nations that encounter difficulties in accessing world markets with new
access to seaports. Undoubtedly, the implementation of this project would
boost trade and economic ties, and fundamentally change geopolitical and
economic realities in the region.
We believe it is a high time for relevant UN agencies, first of all, UNDP,
UNIDO and ESCAP, to develop programs aimed at increasing the volume of
aid to the region’s states and Afghanistan for the purpose of developing
transport infrastructure and providing real support in communications
Second. Uzbekistan advocates for strict compliance with global nuclear
non-proliferation regime by all nations. Today, in our view, the significance
of the initiative of Uzbekistan and other countries of the region to establish
a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia has become paramount. We greatly
appreciate the efforts of Mr. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General and
the UN Department for Disarmament in supporting the Expert Group, which
is currently working on the draft treaty.
The process of establishment of the Zone is nearly complete, and to legitimize
it, Uzbekistan calls on all permanent UN Security Council members to develop
a consolidated position with the region’s states on the provisions
of the draft treaty and its protocol.
Third. Central Asia is facing a wide-scale assault by international drug
cartels, which are using the destructive power of international terrorism
to protect drug routes. Under these conditions, there is a need for concerted
efforts and effective international programs under the auspices of the
UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
We believe that the establishment in Tashkent of a Regional Information
and Coordination Center to Combat Transboundary Crime proposed by President
Islam Karimov during the visit of UN Secretary-General to Uzbekistan in
October 2002, could become a tangible contribution by the UN. We count
on the support of the UN and donor countries in making this initiative
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, UN faces the
need to adapt its mechanisms to the realities of the new world, which,
we think, is dependent upon prompt completion of the process of reform
of the Organization.
Reorganization of the Security Council so that it would reflect current
realities, is of primary expedience. The expanded Security Council should
include both developed as well as developing nations. We reiterate our
call for inclusion of Germany and Japan in the Security Council as its
In conclusion, I would
like to note that the principally new approaches taken by the UN to the
realities and prospects of Central Asia will ultimately meet the fundamental
interests of entire world community.
I am confident that this session will provide a new momentum to the joint
efforts of the UN member-states in countering the threats and challenges
of global and regional security.
Thank you for your attention.