President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Statement at General Debates of the 70th session of UNGA

29.09.2015 19:19, United States

Distinguished Mr. President,
Distinguished Mr. Secretary-General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to join the cordial congratulations extended to distinguished Mr. Mogens Lykketoft on his election as the President of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly.

The current session of the UN General Assembly offers a unique opportunity to   comprehend the accomplishments of the United Nations during its 70 years’ history and to reiterate our resolution to meet aspirations and hopes of our peoples for a secure and sustainable development. 

For 70 years the UN has guarded peace and security, development of international cooperation and human rights. Over this brief, in terms of history period, the United Nations has done a lot to promote stability, sustainable development, reduction of poverty and inequality.

Over these years, thanks to collective mechanisms of interaction, the development of international cooperation has achieved considerable success. The other day the Summit adopted the new Agenda for Sustainable Development, which lays down the foundation and identifies the areas of further efforts of the international community at achieving sustainable development that would meet the interests of all peoples and each individual.

Over the seven decades, the Organization has made a special contribution to sustaining the establishment of new independent states and their further development.

When at the dawn of its independence Tajikistan experienced difficulties of transition period, it received every kind of support from the United Nations, and this support enabled the country to embark on the road of democratic development with confidence. The foundation for Tajikistan’s development, which was laid down with the assistance of the United Nations, contributed to the country’s involvement in international processes of cooperation and interaction.

Today Tajikistan is contributing to the fight against terrorism and extremism, transnational organized crime, illicit drug trafficking and arms smuggling, human trafficking, and to the advancement of the UN water agenda.

Our police officers are participating in the joint peacekeeping operations of the UN and the African Union in Darfur and are contributing to peace building process shoulder to shoulder with the colleagues from other member states. The Drug Control Agency that was established with the UN support, continues to play an important role in combating illicit drug trafficking.

Since 1995 the Tajikistan National drug enforcement authorities have confiscated one hundred eleven metric tons of narcotics. This amount is equal to 206 million 650 thousand drug dozes, and can have turned 50 million people the world over into drug abusers. This data proves that Tajikistan is ranked among the ten states in the world that seize the largest amount of drugs.

Mr. President,

Over the last decades, the world has transformed dramatically. The current stage of the global processes are more dynamic and complex. Along the positive aspects of globalization that contribute to overall development, its negative impact that threatens security and development in the entire world and in individual countries has become obvious.

The increase in the number of armed conflicts and acts of terror, food, energy and financial and economic crises, degradation of environment, climate change, spread of infectious diseases demand from us a concerted and comprehensive response.

In this context, the UN remains the key platform for achievement of consensus on the key issues of international security and development, and also for coordination of joint actions of the entire international community in meeting numerous global challenges and risks. 

Of special concern is the scope and global nature of the current threats caused by terrorism, illicit drug trafficking and organized crime. Destructive and inhumane forces of terrorism and extremism have been gaining in power involving in their orbit the ever-increasing number of young people. They seriously undermine the efforts at maintaining security and peaceful development of the countries and regions.

Combating international terrorism and extremism has become a top priority issue.

There is a need in developing national, regional and international mechanisms aimed at elimination of military infrastructure, channels of financial and logistics support, recruiting, propaganda of violence, and counteracting the use of modern information and communication technologies for the purpose of terror.

In addition to the above, it is essential that we, throughout joint efforts, search for ways of addressing the issues of poverty reduction, dealing with the negative impact of globalization, preventing and resolving regional conflicts. Of special importance is the need to strengthen intercultural and interfaith dialogue, mutual trust and tolerance.

It is in our common interests that the member states implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly and Security Council, effectively combat any forms and manifestations of terrorism, including the use of Internet for terrorist purposes. The joint response to a wild outburst of terrorism and extremism should be relevant to the scope of this threat.

The integral part of common struggle against terrorism and organized crime should become prevention of illicit drug trafficking, which has been increasing year by year, and frequently the money earned because of illicit drug trade is channeled to financing the acts of terror and organized crime activities.

In this regard, a special UNGA session on drugs to be held in 2016 is going to offer an opportunity not only for reviewing the implementation of the Political declaration and Plan of Action, but also for developing new and effective measures for combating this evil. Within the context of these efforts, in May 2015 Tajikistan held a High-level International Conference on Drug Control with the aim to consolidate international antinarcotics cooperation.

Mr. President, 

Friendly Afghanistan has started the implementation of the Decade of Change in the country in a confident manner. The new stage of building up and reinforcing of security and stability, rehabilitation of economic and social sectors of the country is accompanied by addressing the complex issues of practical nature, which requires increasing of targeted assistance from the international community, with the UN playing the central and coordinating role.

Tajikistan stands for expanding friendly and good neighboring relations with Afghanistan, and calls on the international community to support the efforts of the Government of this country at achieving peace and stability by addressing the social and economic problems, continuing the process of national reconciliation and dialogue, and involving the country in the regional cooperation. Tajikistan continues to make its practical contribution to the social and economic development of the neighboring state.

Peaceful settlement of the debates on the Iran nuclear program proved the enormous potential of a diplomatic method to resolve urgent problems of today. We are convinced that Joint Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program adopted by the Security Council resolution will contribute to the strengthening of regional and international peace, stability, and mutual trust, and will be instrumental in reinforcement of the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

We hope that in resolving other urgent problems, member states will be guided by good will and resolution to “untie the knots” of the most urgent disputes and conflicts by using political and diplomatic means.

Last July Tajikistan hosted the regional consultations for the countries of South Asia and Central Asia on the preparation to the World Humanitarian Summit 2016 in Istanbul. We hope that the recommendations voiced at this meeting will have a positive effect on humanitarian activities of the countries.    

Mr. President,

Shortly, in December 2015 the international community again will meet in Paris to conclude the round of negotiations on climate change that has begun in Bali. We hope that the member states will take advantage of this opportunity and will adopt a new document on climate change based on the principles of the UNFCCC and by doing so will lay down one of the foundations for a transit to sustainable development. We believe that such a transit requires not only an industrial modernization based on innovative technologies, but also cardinal changes in mindset and consumption pattern.   

The long-term observations of our experts attest to the increased impact of climate change on the environmental, social and economic situation in the country and region. According to these observations, over the last 60 years the average annual temperature in Tajikistan increased by 1 degree  Celsius; the number of days with heavy precipitation also increased; natural meteorological disasters became more frequent and severe, and the process of glaciers’ degradation accelerated. This summer,  as a result of the abnormally high temperature  and severe  precipitations, the high mountainous part of the country suffered from the natural disasters that caused the economic damage worth of hundreds of millions UN dollars. Regrettably, the natural disasters also claimed human lives.

In terms of the amount of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) Tajikistan ranks as 135 th  in the group of  countries with the least emissions of green house gases (GHG). Per capita emission of the GHG in the country is ten times less that the average world index. A broad use of renewable energy sources, predominantly hydropower facilitates economic and social development of the country and formation of “Green economy”.

It is getting obvious that climate change affects the quantity and quality of freshwater resources. It is known that  as a result of climate change the amount of water resources stored in glaciers and snowcaps has diminished, the area of ground waters affected by salinization has increased, and precipitation have become more frequent and heavier. In its turn, hydrological cycle changes may have a negative impact on water, energy and food security, and can entail extra risks of floods and extreme droughts.

We believe that under the circumstances it is essential to review the existing practices of water resources management and use, in order to ensure adequate adaptation not only to climate change, but also to growth of population and world economy, as well as to scarcity of fresh water resources.

In the Central Asia, where the water resources are key factor in achieving sustainable development in the countries of the region, the need for elaboration of a comprehensive regional plan for adaptation to climate change became urgent long ago.

This imperative is also driven by an accelerated degradation of glaciers in the region as a result of climate change.  The observations confirm that since 1960s the glaciers of the region, which are the main source of water for the Central Asian rivers, have been degraded by 3 times.

Mr. President,

2015 is the final year of the International Decade of Action “Water for Life, 2005-2015” – a global project, approved by the UNGA, in support of the achievement of the MDGs. With the purpose of reviewing the progress and gaps during the implementation of the International Decade of Action the following events were held:

•             UNGA High level Interactive Dialogue on a comprehensive review of the progress during the implementation of  the International Decade for Action “Water for Life, 2005-2015” held last March here in new York;

•             High level International Conference on the implementation of the International water decade held in Dushanbe on June 9-10, 2015.

We expect that during summing up the results of the Decade the UN Secretariat will take into consideration the outcomes of the above mentioned and other events that were held in support of a comprehensive review of the Decade implementation.

I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to extend our appreciation to the member-states, the President of the UNGA, UN Secretary-General, to the UN agencies and institutions, international organizations, representatives of civil society, academia and business for their active participation in the implementation of the Decade and summing up its results.

The other day we adopted “a road map” for achieving sustainable development, which incorporates the water component, in a comprehensive manner.

In the next fifteen years, against the background of ever-increasing impact on water resources of climate change, degradation of environment, population growth, food and energy crises, we will have to undertake enormous efforts for a timely achievement of the set goals. In our view, development of cooperation, partnership and water diplomacy will promote a timely adoption of relevant measures on mitigation of the impacts of the above destructive processes and timely achievement of the SDGs.

In this context, there arises a need for new and additional platforms on strengthening and expanding of cooperation at all levels with engagement of all interested stakeholders. In this regard, and given the positive outcomes of the previous joint initiatives, we propose to consider a possibility of proclaiming a new water decade aimed at promoting the implementation of the new agenda for sustainable development. We sincerely hope that all UN member-states will render support to this proposal.

Thank you for attention.

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