Re­gional Di­a­logue: Open­ness and Trust

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION - Igor Saneyev

At a round­table dis­cus­sion in Tashkent on July 12, par­tic­i­pants swapped com­ments and re­flec­tions about the re­cently adopted UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly res­o­lu­tion “Strength­en­ing re­gional and in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion to en­sure peace, sta­bil­ity and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in the Cen­tral Asian re­gion”.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Se­nate and Leg­isla­tive Chamber of the Oliy Ma­jlis, high­rank­ing of­fi­cials of the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, other min­istries and gov­ern­ment agen­cies, chiefs of about 30 diplo­matic mis­sions of for­eign coun­tries took part in the event or­ga­nized by the In­sti­tute of Strate­gic and Re­gional Stud­ies un­der the Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of Uzbek­istan with the as­sis­tance of the Academy of Pub­lic Ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan. The dis­cus­sion was at­tended by more than 25 re­gional and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, as well as do­mes­tic and for­eign jour­nal­ists.

The round­table high­lighted the strate­gic role and sig­nif­i­cance of the adop­tion of the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly spe­cial res­o­lu­tion on Cen­tral Asia ini­ti­ated by the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan Shavkat Mirziy­oyev dur­ing the 72nd ses­sion of the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly in Septem­ber 2017 in New York.

The par­tic­i­pants of the event un­der­scored in par­tic­u­lar that the adop­tion of the spe­cial res­o­lu­tion of the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly on Cen­tral Asia for the first time in the years of in­de­pen­dent de­vel­op­ment of the re­gion’s coun­tries marked the dawn of a new milestone in the evo­lu­tion of mu­tu­ally ad­van­ta­geous co­op­er­a­tion. The doc­u­ment re­flects re­cip­ro­cated sup­port for the ini­tia­tives of the Cen­tral Asian states, a sig­nif­i­cant prac­ti­cal con­tri­bu­tion to bol­ster­ing re­gional se­cu­rity and pro­vid­ing for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

In par­tic­u­lar, the res­o­lu­tion re­flected the re­sults of the de­bate in the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil on Afghanistan in Jan­uary 2018 dur­ing Kaza­khstan’s chair­man­ship in the Coun­cil, as well as the reg­u­lar hold­ing of the World No­madic Games in Kyr­gyzs­tan. The re­sults of the in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence on the prob­lems of com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ism, held in Ta­jik­istan in May 2018, are un­der­lined. The re­gion’s na­tions wel­comed the hold­ing of the sum­mit meet­ing of the In­ter­na­tional Fund for Sav­ing the Aral Sea in Turk­menistan in 2018. Sup­port was ex­pressed for Uzbek­istan’s ini­tia­tive on the an­nual con­sul­ta­tive con­ven­tion of lead­ers of Cen­tral Asian coun­tries.

The event par­tic­i­pants also noted the firm, un­con­di­tional sup­port of the world com­mu­nity for the ef­forts of the Cen­tral Asian coun­tries to en­hance re­gional co­op­er­a­tion, which is one of the key fac­tors of sta­bil­ity in the re­gion’s states. In par­tic­u­lar, 55 coun­tries of Europe, North and South Amer­ica, Asia and Africa be­came co-au­thors of the doc­u­ment. All the lead­ing part­ner coun­tries of Cen­tral Asian na­tions, in­clud­ing Rus­sia, China, the United States and those of the EU, par­tic­i­pated ac­tively in the con­sul­ta­tion on the draft­ing of the doc­u­ment.

The par­tic­i­pants of the round­table dis­cus­sion once again stressed that the UN res­o­lu­tion rec­og­nizes the im­por­tant role of the Cen­tral Asian coun­tries in en­sur­ing sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in the re­gion, as well as in pro­mot­ing re­gional and in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion.

Con­trib­u­tors to the de­lib­er­a­tions in Tashkent ex­changed views on the pri­or­ity ar­eas for co­op­er­a­tion in Cen­tral Asia, tak­ing into ac­count the adop­tion of the res­o­lu­tion. In par­tic­u­lar, the need for fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral and re­gional co­op­er­a­tion in strength­en­ing se­cu­rity and ex­pand­ing trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion, cre­at­ing a mod­ern trans­port and tran­sit sys­tem in the re­gion, ra­tio­nal and in­te­grated use of wa­ter and en­ergy re­sources, mit­i­ga­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cio-eco­nomic con­se­quences of the Aral cri­sis, deep­en­ing ties in the spheres of ed­u­ca­tion, sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy.

Par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion is paid to the in­ter­ac­tion of the Cen­tral Asian states aimed at pro­mot­ing the peace process and so­cio-eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in Afghanistan.

As a re­sult of the dis­cus­sions, the par­tic­i­pants of the round­table worked out con­crete and prac­ti­cal pro­pos­als for fur­ther­ing the mu­tu­ally ad­van­ta­geous mul­ti­fac­eted co­op­er­a­tion among the coun­tries of Cen­tral Asia. WHAT THE FO­RUM PAR­TIC­I­PANTS HAVE TO SAY

He­lena Fraser, UN Res­i­dent Co­or­di­na­tor and UNDP Res­i­dent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Uzbek­istan:

- The UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly res­o­lu­tion on Cen­tral Asia is a unique doc­u­ment. It makes a sig­nif­i­cant prac­ti­cal con­tri­bu­tion to ce­ment­ing re­gional se­cu­rity and en­sur­ing sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. And I am proud to have wit­nessed its adop­tion. The res­o­lu­tion il­lus­trates sup­port for Tashkent’s new re­gional pol­icy based on the Strat­egy of Ac­tions. It ad­vo­cates trans­form­ing Cen­tral Asia into a sta­ble, eco­nom­i­cally ad­vanced and pros­per­ous re­gion, which at the same time will be a re­gion of peace. And it finds a full un­der­stand­ing of all part­ners – from the coun­tries of near and far abroad to prom­i­nent in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions. A clear un­der­stand­ing has been formed in the world com­mu­nity that Uzbek­istan’s cur­rent pol­icy is aimed at com­plete re­al­iza­tion of the coun­try’s po­ten­tial in the re­gion with­out prej­u­dice to any­one’s in­ter­ests. Undoubtedly, the UN will read­ily sup­port these noble ini­tia­tives. At the same time, we must un­der­stand that this is the start­ing point; there is a lot of work ahead on the way to sta­bil­ity and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in the re­gion. The United Na­tions is al­ready sup­port­ing in prac­tice all steps di­rected at es­tab­lish­ing peace. In par­tic­u­lar, we wel­come the in­clu­sion of Afghanistan in this process. I am glad that this coun­try is be­com­ing a key part­ner in the re­gion. The in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence on Afghanistan held in Tashkent a few weeks ago was a break­through event in terms of es­tab­lish­ing peace in that long­suf­fer­ing coun­try. Now we are pre­par­ing for an in­ter­na­tional fo­rum on hu­man rights in Cen­tral Asia, due in Sa­markand soon.

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