CIS: Power in Unity

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - WORLD -

The sum­mit meet­ing of the Com­mon­wealth of In­de­pen­dent States (CIS) held re­cently in Dushanbe was a tra­di­tional event, and it con­trib­uted to the ex­change of views among the lead­ers of post-Soviet na­tions of the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Lately, however, this plat­form has served for the an­nounce­ment of ini­tia­tives whose im­ple­men­ta­tion would fa­cil­i­tate ad­dress­ing the cur­rent prob­lems fac­ing the coun­tries of the Com­mon­wealth.

The sum­mit host, Ta­jik­istan’s Pres­i­dent Emo­mali Rah­mon, assess­ing the work un­der­taken within the CIS, stated the pos­i­tive na­ture of co­op­er­a­tion in the eco­nomic sphere and placed the is­sue of free trans­porta­tion of goods among the mem­ber na­tions in one row with se­cu­rity is­sues, cul­tural and hu­man­i­tar­ian, trade and eco­nomic in­ter­ac­tion.

Pres­i­dent Nur­sul­tan Nazarbayev of Kaza­khstan stated the need for mea­sures aimed at re­mov­ing trade bar­ri­ers be­tween the coun­tries and drew at­ten­tion to the re­al­iza­tion of joint projects in the field of dig­i­tal­iza­tion, tourism and space in­dus­try.

The leader of Be­larus, Alexan­der Lukashenko, said there is no com­mon de­vel­op­ment mas­ter plan for the CIS. Ac­cord­ing to him, the states should unite ef­forts for joint fur­ther­ance of in­ter­ests in the global mar­ket, in­ten­sify mu­tual trade, in­vest­ment, in­dus­trial co­op­er­a­tion, and in gen­eral, in­crease the role of the CIS as a re­gional player.

“To­gether, we are stronger, and sep­a­rately each of us be­comes easy geopo­lit­i­cal loot,” sug­gested the Moldovan Pres­i­dent Igor Dodon. “For Moldova, co­op­er­a­tion within the frame­work of the CIS is good and prof­itable. We want to build a bal­anced for­eign eco­nomic pol­icy. We will not be pro-Western or pro-Eastern; we will be proMoldovan... I think the lead­ers of the Com­mon­wealth need to meet as of­ten as pos­si­ble in this and other for­mats, dis­cuss com­mon is­sues, find so­lu­tions, im­ple­ment joint projects. Even in com­plex mat­ters such as trade, en­ergy, mi­gra­tion, com­pro­mises are pos­si­ble.”

The fact that trade oc­cu­pies an im­por­tant place within the CIS was con­firmed by the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan. In his opin­ion, against the back­ground of the dy­namic changes tak­ing place in the world, the Com­mon­wealth con­firms its rel­e­vance, be­ing an im­por­tant plat­form for the con­sol­i­da­tion of multi-di­men­sional co­op­er­a­tion. More­over, over the past two years, the vol­ume of trade turnover has steadily be­tween Uzbek­istan and the CIS coun­tries has in­creased. An im­por­tant role in strength­en­ing mu­tual trust among the post-Soviet coun­tries was played by the meet­ing of the Coun­cil of CIS Heads of Gov­ern­ment held in Tashkent a year ago. Then new projects were de­vel­oped and about 20 is­sues of de­vel­op­ment of trade and eco­nomic re­la­tions among the par­tic­i­pat­ing na­tions were con­sid­ered.

In Dushanbe, Shavkat Mirziy­oyev again put for­ward a num­ber of spe­cific pro­pos­als.

He noted the need to max­i­mally sim­plify cus­toms pro­ce­dures, re­move all ex­ist­ing trade re­stric­tions, in­clud­ing tech­ni­cal bar­ri­ers, and stressed the im­por­tance of the full-fledged op­er­a­tion of the CIS free trade zone and the for­ma­tion of com­mon mar­kets, as well as the soon­est cre­ation of a free trade zone in the Com­mon­wealth space in ser­vices.

Uzbek­istan’s Pres­i­dent con­sid­ers it im­por­tant to con­tinue work aimed at the ef­fec­tive use of in­ter­na­tional and re­gional cor­ri­dors, with the in­tro­duc­tion of a sin­gle mech­a­nism for re­cip­ro­cal pro­vi­sion of tar­iff pref­er­ences, uni­fi­ca­tion of re­quire­ments and the re­moval of var­i­ous bar­ri­ers to cargo trans­porta­tion by all modes of trans­port, the de­vel­op­ment of lo­gis­tics cen­ters.

Ac­cord­ing to him, it is also im­por­tant to build up co­op­er­a­tion in the fields of me­chan­i­cal and elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing, en­ergy, tex­tile and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­tries and agri­cul­ture, in­clud­ing through the wide­spread in­tro­duc­tion of ‘green cor­ri­dors’ in the mu­tual sup­ply of prod­ucts.

Con­sid­er­ing the grow­ing role of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies in the Com­mon­wealth coun­tries, the head of Uzbek state wel­comed the de­vel­op­ment and adop­tion of a pro­gram within the CIS for the long-term de­vel­op­ment of dig­i­tal econ­omy: “We could jointly pro­mote projects to in­tro­duce ad­vanced dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies in the in­dus­trial and agri­cul­tural spheres, in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor, un­der pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship, as well as to en­hance the ac­cess of our pop­u­la­tion and busi­ness en­ti­ties to con­ve­nient elec­tronic ser­vices.”

Given that the gen­eral chal­lenge for most of the Com­mon­wealth coun­tries is the con­flict in Afghanistan, the CIS, as noted by Shavkat Mirziy­oyev, can play an im­por­tant role in in­ter­na­tional ef­forts aimed at the soon­est po­lit­i­cal set­tle­ment of the Afghan cri­sis.

Pro­ceed­ing from this, Uzbek­istan’s leader high­lighted – among ur­gent com­po­nents of co­op­er­a­tion – the ex­pan­sion of in­ter­re­gional and cross-bor­der in­ter­ac­tion, which con­trib­utes to the con­sol­i­da­tion of multi-lay­ered and mu­tu­ally ad­van­ta­geous re­la­tions among the states and peo­ples of the Com­mon­wealth. In this re­gard, Shavkat Mirziy­oyev de­lib­er­ated on the co­or­di­na­tion of ac­tiv­i­ties of law en­force­ment agen­cies and spe­cial ser­vices, en­sur­ing ef­fec­tive co­op­er­a­tion for the timely preven­tion of emerg­ing se­cu­rity threats in the CIS space.

The Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan also drew the at­ten­tion of the sum­mit par­tic­i­pants to rad­i­cal­iza­tion among young peo­ple. He noted the need to shore up co­op­er­a­tion in the fields of ed­u­ca­tion, en­light­en­ment, so­cial sup­port for the young gen­er­a­tion, pro­tec­tion of their rights and in­ter­ests, cre­ation of conditions for self-re­al­iza­tion. The head of our state stressed the need for fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of cul­tural and hu­man­i­tar­ian ties: “Cul­tural and hu­man­i­tar­ian bonds and spiritual val­ues have always served as an im­por­tant force uni­fy­ing the Com­mon­wealth coun­tries, which is why we of­fer to hold an­nual tourism fairs and Days of CIS Cul­ture al­ter­nately in our coun­tries, or­ga­nize reg­u­lar meet­ings of cre­ative youth of the Com­mon­wealth, des­ig­nat­ing each event with a spe­cific theme. We pro­pose to set up a Vir­tual Mu­seum of the Cul­tural Her­itage of CIS Na­tions.”

Shavkat Mirziy­oyev also touched on the topic of cel­e­brat­ing the 75th an­niver­sary of the com­mon vic­tory over fas­cism: “We will give pri­or­ity at­ten­tion to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of joint ac­tiv­i­ties for the ex­ten­sive cel­e­bra­tion of the 75th an­niver­sary of our com­mon vic­tory over fas­cism. This is­sue will be sep­a­rately re­flected in the Con­cept of the Chair­man­ship of Uzbek­istan in the CIS in 2020,” the Pres­i­dent of our coun­try in­formed his col­leagues.

In gen­eral, fol­low­ing the talks within the Dushanbe Sum­mit, the par­ties ap­proved the CIS Con­ven­tion on Co­op­er­a­tion in the Study and Use of Outer Space for Peace­ful Pur­poses and the Plan of Ba­sic Mea­sures for the Prepa­ra­tion for and the Cel­e­bra­tion of the 75th An­niver­sary of the Vic­tory in the Great Pa­tri­otic War of 1941-1945. By the way, the lead­ers of the CIS coun­tries agreed to es­tab­lish a sin­gle com­mem­o­ra­tive medal “75 Years of Vic­tory in the Great Pa­tri­otic War of 1941-1945” to award veterans in the mem­ber states.

Re­fer­ring to the events ded­i­cated to the 75th an­niver­sary of the Great Vic­tory, Ar­me­nia’s Prime Min­is­ter Nikol Pashinian, who took part in the CIS sum­mit for the first time, pointed out: “The Ar­me­nian peo­ple have a spe­cial at­ti­tude to the Vic­tory. Half of the Ar­me­ni­ans who left for the front­line did not re­turn from this ter­ri­ble war. More than 70 thou­sand Ar­me­nian sol­diers were awarded cor­re­spond­ingly, of which over 100 were awarded the ti­tle of Hero of the Soviet Union. We urge to cel­e­brate this hol­i­day with dig­nity, jointly re­sist the at­tempts to glo­rify Nazism and the pro­pa­ganda of neo-Nazism, to dis­tort his­tory.” The Prime Min­is­ter of Ar­me­nia stressed that this hol­i­day will for­ever be re­mem­bered as a sym­bol of courage and unity of the peo­ples of CIS coun­tries.

In ad­di­tion, at the end of the Dushanbe ses­sion, the sides adopted the State­ment of the CIS Heads of State on the Oc­ca­sion of the 70th an­niver­sary of the Univer­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Hu­man Rights, signed De­cem­ber 10, 1948; the In­ter­state Pro­gram of Joint Mea­sures to Com­bat Crime for 2019-2023; the Agree­ment on Co­op­er­a­tion in Com­bat­ing Crimes in In­for­ma­tion Tech­nolo­gies and other doc­u­ments, as well as the de­ci­sion to de­clare the year 2021 as that of Ar­chi­tec­ture and Ur­ban Plan­ning in the CIS. In to­tal, 16 doc­u­ments were signed.

It was de­cided to pass the pres­i­dency in the Com­mon­wealth onto Turk­menistan next year. Uzbek­istan is des­ig­nated as cochair in the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Tashkent is will­ing to con­tinue with boost­ing co­op­er­a­tion in the fields of me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing, en­ergy, elec­tro-tech­ni­cal in­dus­try, tex­tile, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and agri­cul­tural sec­tors.

“The mount­ing threat of in­ter­na­tional ter­ror­ism causes grave con­cern. Con­tem­po­rary ter­ror­ist groups wield con­sid­er­able fi­nan­cial re­sources, the cut­ting-edge in­for­ma­tion and tech­ni­cal means, and they are highly mo­bile and ag­ile. In the mean­time, they tend to re­lo­cate from the Mid­dle East to Afghanistan, to the CIS fron­tiers.”

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