Dear Mr. Chairman!
Distinguished heads of delegations!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Allow me very briefly to dwell on, in our opinion, some most important aspects discussed on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly Session.
First, in our days, in the century of globalization and rapidly changing situation and growth of tension and standoff in many regions of the world, the necessity to look for the unconventional and unordinary decisions to overcome the crisis situations and wars, which have already been continuing for many decades, ever persistently come to the agenda.
To greater regret, instead of deeply comprehending and timely addressing the emerging problems and confrontations in one region of the world or another, finding the true reasons of their origins, focusing the attention of the world community in not allowing so that they might grow into large-scale crises and wars, the world is letting slip the most important thing – the time. This brings about enormous losses and profound resources.
I will make particular examples.
Yet in 1993 the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, while addressing at the 48th Session of the UN General Assembly, had drawn the attention of the world community to the need to immediately settle the Afghan problem given the inseparability of the regional and global security, respect for national and religious rights of the people of Afghanistan, keeping in mind that one should not allow the conflict to grow into a large-scale civil war, should not allow to have problems of Afghanistan turned into a painful and bitter problem which now keeps busy the entire world community.
The tough problems may surface due to the forthcoming drawdown of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) from Afghanistan by late 2014 and transition of responsibility in ensuring stability in the country to newly created Afghan national security forces.
Today it becomes obvious that such development of events may lead to the rise of standoff between confronting forces in Afghanistan itself and around it, the growth of extremism and radicalism, further surge of drug trafficking and aggravation of tension in the whole region.
In the unfolding situation, the most acceptable way to tackle the Afghan problem is to establish the Contact Group under auspices of the United Nations with participation of the countries neighboring on Afghanistan, as well as the United States, NATO and Russia.
The major goal of their efforts must be to achieve compromise and accord between confronting forces and form on this basis a coalition government which might represent the core ethnic, national and religious groups of Afghanistan involved in the military and political standoff.
Uzbekistan has numerously spoken about that at the NATO summits in Bucharest in 2008 and Chicago this year, as well as at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in 2010 in New York.
The Republic of Uzbekistan has always led and shall always lead a good neighborly and friendly policy towards neighboring Afghanistan. Uzbekistan builds the relations with Afghanistan on bilateral basis taking into consideration the national interests of both countries and respecting the choice to be made by the Afghan people in terms of the future of their country.
Today Uzbekistan renders a comprehensive assistance to the recovery of peaceful life in Afghanistan. This particular assistance, which has already been rendered to the neighboring country, includes construction of bridges and motorways, the strategically important railroad line Khairaton-Mazari-Shareef which links Afghanistan with the states of Central Asia, as well as uninterrupted supply of Kabul with electricity power. Uzbekistan plays a key role in the Northern Distribution Network while ensuring its stable and effective operation.
Second, in the modern world given the climate change and worsening of ecological situation in the global scale, ensuring reasonable and rational use of water resources becomes the most acute problem. The increasing shortage of fresh water needed to ensure a food security and, as a whole, the human life, serves as a confirmation to the aforesaid.
In this regard, I would like to enunciate the principle approach of the Republic of Uzbekistan towards these problems which are pivotally important for all of the states of Central Asia.
We are deeply convinced that all issues of water and energy problematic in our region, where the largest transboundary rivers such as Amudarya and Syrdarya are the main sources of water resources and life of millions of people residing here, must be considered in line with universally recognized norms of international law stipulated in the United Nations Conventions «On the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes» of March 17, 1992 and «On the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses» of May 21, 1997.
These documents demand observance of principles of non-inflicting damage to the environment and the interests of neighboring states in exploiting the resources of transboundary rivers.
It is just therefore that Uzbekistan calls on to be guided by these principles and norms for the search of the mutually acceptable compromise decisions. We believe that all projects on construction of hydropower facilities in the upper stream of basins of Syrdarya and Amudarya must be subjected to international authoritative appraisal under auspices of the United Nations and must be obligatorily harmonized with lower stream countries. And only after coordination one could proceed to construction of the envisaged two practically the largest dams in the world – the Rogun Hydropower Station with its height of 350 meters in the upper stream of Amudarya and the Kambarata Hydropower Station-1 in the upper stream of Syrdarya with its height of 275 meters. Moreover, the construction will be carried out in the mountainous terrain where the seismicity makes up 9-10 points on the Richter scale.
In accordance with international requirements it is necessary to clearly highlight the priorities in using water. The limited water resources of the region must be used, first, to meet the potable and sanitary needs, and only after that to ensure a food security, ecological needs and the needs of industry and power sector.
Third, Uzbekistan remains committed to preserving peace, stability and security in the region. This principle position is stipulated in the Concept of Foreign Policy Activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan elaborated on the initiative of the Head of Uzbek state. In particular, the following important provisions are provided in the document:
- The Republic of Uzbekistan shall reserve the right to enter into alliances, join commonwealths and other interstate establishments, as well as leave them, guided by the supreme interests of state, people, their well-being and security, priority directions of modernizing the country, existing national legislation and adopted international obligations.
- Uzbekistan conducts a peace-loving policy and does not participate in military-political blocs, and shall reserve the right to leave any interstate establishment in case of its transformation into a military-political bloc.
- The Republic of Uzbekistan shall take political, economic and other measures to prevent its involvement in military conflicts and hotbeds of tension in adjacent states, and in addition it shall not allow the deployment of foreign bases and facilities on its own territory.
- The Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall not participate in the military operations abroad.
- The main priority of foreign policy of Uzbekistan is the region of Central Asia where lie the crucial interests of the country. The problems of Central Asia must be addressed by the countries of the region without interference of external powers. Uzbekistan invariably remains committed to pursuing an open, friendly and pragmatic policy towards its immediate neighbors, proceeds from addressing all outstanding political, economic and ecological problems of the region on the basis of mutual consideration of interests, constructive dialogue and norms of international law.
We set great hopes on the United Nations Organization as the universal structure and the only universally world-wide accepted body capable to ensure security, stability and consistent development, including of our region. Uzbekistan stands ready to continue the effective cooperation with the United Nations and its specialized bodies to achieve these high and noble goals.
Thank you for your attention.
Dear Mr. Chairman!