President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Statement at the opening session of the high-level event on “Strengthening partnership for sustainable development goals achievements in the face of modern threats and challenges”

12.06.2017 08:21, Dushanbe city

Distinguished UN Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like once again to congratulate you, Mr. Guterres, on your election as the United Nations Secretary-General.

I welcome you and your delegation to Tajikistan.

I am confident that your visit to Tajikistan is a good opportunity to get acquainted with our country, as well as learn about the efforts of our Government to achieve sustainable development and its strong position in dealing with modern challenges and threats.

As it proceeds from the title of today’s event, strengthening and deepening of cooperation and partnership for achievement of the sustainable development goals are closely linked with joint efforts to address modern threats and ensure lasting peace and stability.

Adoption of the global agenda for sustainable development until 2030 by the United Nations General Assembly took place at a time when millions of people are exposed to the risks and threats of religious and geopolitical wars and conflicts in various parts around of the world.

As it is seen today, in such circumstances no nation alone is able to succeed in countering the security risks and threats, and ensuring peace and stability.

We believe that we are able to combat the international terrorism and extremism and ensure comprehensive security and stability only by strengthening mutual cooperation and partnership and taking collective efforts at the regional and global levels.

To this end, we are confident that the United Nations must play a key and coordinating role in this process.

Tajikistan as an active member of the United Nations in its part is ready to enhance constructive and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries of the world and international organizations, including the relevant institutions of the United Nations.

Distinguished Secretary-General,

Today, the consequences of the financial, economic, energy and food crisis, as well as the aftermath of the climate change pose serious challenges to the efforts of many countries, especially the landlocked developing countries, to achieve sustainable economic and social development.

There are certain common difficulties for the countries in our region the solution of which requires timely measures at the national and regional levels.

In this process, the Government of Tajikistan has defined the efficient use of natural resources, diversification and competitiveness of the national economy, institutional development, poverty reduction, enhancement of middle class, protection of environment, as well as the balanced development of the regions as priorities of the national economic and social policies.

To this end, the key areas of the social sector, such as education, health and social welfare are considered as important aspects of the sustainable development of the country.

The Government of Tajikistan has developed and adopted the Midterm Development Program for the period until 2020 and the National Development Strategy for the period until 2030.

All important aspects stipulated in the Sustainable Development Goals have been take into consideration during elaboration of these documents

The National Development Strategy of Tajikistan identifies the achievement of energy independence, ensuring food security, enhancement of communication capacity of the country, as well as increasing the level of employment as the national strategic goals.

Like many other landlocked developing country, Tajikistan faces certain challenges in ensuring integration and connectedness of the country with the multilateral trade system.

These circumstances have negative impact on the process of ensuring the development of other social sectors in the country.

In this regard, we believe that this group of countries should enjoy favorable conditions in the global trade.

 In this context, we stand for elimination of all unnecessary obstacles and barriers in transportation of goods and services, which affect the process of sustainable development.

The Government of Tajikistan fully supports the recommendations of the Vienna Program of Action and takes them into account in the development and implementation of projects aimed at expansion of transportation and transit networks of the country.

Since elimination of the transport deadlock and access to energy independence are identified as the national priorities, Tajikistan attaches particular importance to improvement and development of the transport and energy infrastructure, as well as expansion of domestic, regional and inter-regional trade.

Access to modern energy sources and development of “green” energy is a key factor in achieving sustainable development.

Our country, the energy potential of which is based on the hydropower, occupies the sixth place in the world in terms of utilization of the “green” energy.

In this regard, Tajikistan supports the global initiative on “Sustainable Energy for All” and the United Nations Decade for Sustainable Energy for All, 2014-2024.

To this end, building joint efforts for ensuring comprehensive access of the people to the modern energy services will serve for the benefit of all countries in the region and in the world.

At the same time, to ensure efficient preservation of energy at the global level, it is important to take timely measures for investment of the power projects based on renewable energy sources, as well as for transfer of advanced expertise and technology to the developing countries.

We are absolutely confident that comprehensive development of hydropower and other sources of renewable energy would significantly contribute to the growth of industrial capacity, efficiency of the energy systems, reduction of toxic emissions and, in general, would provide an important base for development of  the “green economy”.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Recently, Tajikistan has ratified and completed the accession process to the Paris Agreement, the implementation of which requires adoption of joint measures for solution of the problems related to climate change.

For its part, the Government of Tajikistan has been already taking necessary steps for adaptation to the climate change and reduction of natural disaster risks that are among the priorities of the environmental policy of the country.

Therefore, in order to prevent and eliminate the consequences of natural disasters, we have created a system for management of emergency measures in our country.

Ninety three percent of the area of Tajikistan is occupied by mountains, and 60 percent of water resources of Central Asia is located in its territory.

In addition, due to its geographical features, our country is influenced by the negative consequences of the climate change.

Annually, the country suffers from different natural disasters that bring economic damage to the national economy worth of hundreds of millions Somoni, and cause human casualties.

The climate change leads to rapid melting of glaciers and have negative impact on the water volume of rivers and thus to the main sectors of the national economy, such as energy, agriculture and industry.

Therefore, in recent years, the Government of Tajikistan has been giving particular attention to the solution of challenges related to the climate change, as well as calling upon the international community to develop and expand cooperation in the mentioned areas.

Distinguished Secretary-General,

Tajikistan will continue its constructive initiatives within the United Nations water agenda.

In this process, last year in December, the UN General Assembly by the initiative of Tajikistan, taking into account the results of the previous International Decade for Action “Water for Life”, 2005-2015, has adopted by consensus the resolution announcing the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028.

The new Decade is considered as an important step in creation of favorable conditions for implementation of the sustainable development goals related to water and sanitation at the national, regional and global levels.

The Decade, without doubt, would play a significant role in promotion of joint efforts for solution of issues related to the water resources management until 2028.

In this context, over the last decade we have established constructive cooperation with the United Nations and its specialized agencies.

I believe that in the process of implementation of the new International Decade, the goals and tasks of which are aimed for the benefit of all peoples in the Globe, we will enjoy the same level of cooperation.

In conclusion, I would like once again to welcome you, Mr. Secretary-General, and wish you success in your working program.

I would also like to wish success to the participants of today’s event in their deliberation and consideration of the roundtable topics.

I am confident that the results of today’s conference and its recommendations and proposals will assist in undertaking further steps to expand cooperation and achieve sustainable development goals.

Thank you.

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