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General Debate of the 64th Session (2009)

H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon, President

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23 September 2009

Statement Summary

EMOMALI RAHMON, President of Tajikistan, said that the United Nations continued to encourage Member States to attain the Millennium Development Goals, while playing a central role in how Member States addressed both the benefits of globalization, in terms of progress, economic growth and development, and the negative aspects of globalization, such as emerging ecological challenges and international terrorism, to name a few.  In that effort, the United Nations peacekeeping operations were one of the significant activities of the Organization.

When common problems, among them illicit drug trafficking, terrorism and organized crime, merged, a greater threat faced the international community, he stated.  In that regard, he encouraged Member States to expedite the adoption of the comprehensive convention on international terrorism.  The prevention of illicit drug trafficking was a core aspect in challenging international terrorism.  “ Tajikistan has developed bilateral, regional and multilateral short-term and long-term programs of actions, and ratified about 30 intergovernmental agreements,” he said.  Because of such concerted efforts, in terms of confiscated drugs, Tajikistan now rated number one in post-Soviet territory and number four in the world.  Because of that, an estimated 36 million human lives were saved from drug addiction.

As one of the countries bordering Afghanistan and thus on the front lines of trafficking, Tajikistan stymied the spread of narcotics, terrorism and extremism. However, in the past, the support from Member States had not been sufficient to properly address the increasing illicit drug industry and its involvement in international terrorism.  A military response was, in his view, clearly not effective, and he called upon the international community to participate in implementing social and educational projects to create a peaceful rehabilitation, one in which the Afghan people could claim ownership.  Assistance of that nature to Afghanistan would be an effective way to counteract the drug threat emanating from that country and, in turn, impact the shared problems of the global community.

As the eighth ranked country in the world for hydropower resources, Tajikistan only utilized 5 per cent of its potential, he said.  Faced with consistent energy crises, partly due to climate change, a push towards development and completion of hydropower stations would clearly provide energy not only to the Central Asia region, but to the neighbouring countries of Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  That initiative would contribute to water-energy and socio-economic sectors, as well as environmental protection.  However, because of the impact of climate change, Tajikistan’s glaciers, the main source of rivers, had been reduced by a third since the 1930s, while water consumption increased.

“It is anything but a secret that mankind is already facing the problem of shortage of freshwater, which is not accessible to more than 1 billion people on the planet, and in some countries the price of freshwater currently exceeds the price of gasoline,” he said.  Reminding Member States of the degradation of the Aral Sea, he urged that Central Asia countries review their strategies and work towards an integrated approach towards water and other natural resources.  Only by working together would beneficial long-term solutions be possible.  He then proposed that the year 2012 be declared as “The International Year of Water Diplomacy”.

“Mutual understanding and cooperation that have prevailed in this Organization since the time of its establishment remain the only way to a bright and clear future, to universal peace and prosperity,” he said, and concluded with the hope that in the third year of the five-year term towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, the international community make 2010 a landmark in meeting global challenges and overcoming difficulties.”

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Source: GA/10860