Regional Dialogue: Openness and Trust
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.