Report by Dr Shahid Qureshi – Chief Editor :-
The seventy-fifth session of the General Assembly for the first time in the history of the United Nations is being held in a completely new format – online, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dear Chairman Mr. Volkan Bozkyr!
Dear Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Guterres!
Dear heads of delegations!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
There has not been a planetary disaster of this magnitude in the last hundred years. It demonstrated the vulnerability of all humanity to such global threats. The current difficult and tense situation has proved the interconnectedness of all states and peoples of the world, the special importance of regular dialogue, trust and close cooperation.
We all deeply realized the need to consolidate the efforts of governments, parliaments and civil society, strengthen the principles of shared responsibility, close coordination in the development of international partnerships, enhance the status and potential of the World Health Organization and expand its powers.
Our goal is to jointly create a fair global system that will ensure the fundamental rights and freedoms, health and well-being of every person.
In this regard, we are taking the initiative to develop, under the auspices of the United Nations, an International Code of Voluntary Commitments of States during a Pandemic. This document should reflect the obligations of each state to its citizens and international partners.
Ladies and gentlemen!
From the first days of detection of COVID-19 in Uzbekistan, we directed all our efforts and resources to counter the spread of this dangerous disease and, most importantly, to save people’s lives.
In order to mitigate the negative consequences of the pandemic, the system of social protection and health care is being dramatically strengthened in the country, and targeted assistance is provided to the population, sectors of the economy and business. For this, special funds have been created.
Taking this opportunity, I express my deep gratitude to all our friends and partners who provided us with disinterested assistance during the days of trials.
We fully support all efforts of the international community aimed at effectively combating the pandemic, including the development of and the widespread use of essential drugs and vaccines.
We also support the proposal of the Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres, to hold a summit on topical issues of food security in the context of the ongoing crisis.
Dear participants in the General Assembly session!
Three years ago, from the high rostrum of the United Nations, I declared Uzbekistan’s firm determination to carry out fundamental reforms.
As a result of the large-scale measures taken for political, social and economic modernization, the formation of a new Uzbekistan is taking place. Today, democratic transformations in our country have become irreversible.
The parliamentary elections held last year demonstrated the increased political activity of the population and parties, the role of civil society institutions, and the influence of the media.
Gender policy has become a priority issue for us. The role of women in public administration is increasing. The number of women deputies in the new Parliament has doubled.
The human rights situation has changed dramatically. Forced and child labor has been eradicated. The National Strategy on Human Rights was adopted. In accordance with the call of the United Nations to reduce the number of stateless persons, this year alone, 50 thousand of our compatriots were granted Uzbek citizenship.
The situation with the provision of freedom of conscience and religion has radically improved in the country. The most important task for us is to further strengthen interethnic harmony and interfaith tolerance. Large-scale reforms are being implemented consistently to ensure the true independence of the judiciary and the rule of law.
The uncompromising fight against corruption has been raised to a new level. In this direction, a number of important documents have been adopted, an independent structure has been created – the Anti-Corruption Agency.
Economic reforms continue dynamically in our country. For the first time, we openly declared our determination to reduce poverty. We are achieving this through the development of entrepreneurship and the creation of additional jobs, improving the investment climate and business environment, building modern infrastructure, teaching people new professions and skills, and providing targeted social assistance.
In our country, where more than half of the population is youth, much is being done to ensure that every young person can take a worthy place in society and realize his potential. There are youth parliaments and the Agency for Youth Affairs in Uzbekistan.
In August, under the auspices of the United Nations, the Samarkand International Forum on the Rights of Youth was successfully held. Taking this opportunity, I once again appeal to support the initiative of Uzbekistan to adopt the UN Convention on the Rights of Youth.
In addition, given the growing role of parliaments in solving contemporary social problems, we propose to adopt a special resolution of the United Nations General Assembly on enhancing the role of parliaments in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring human rights.
Fundamental changes are under way in the Central Asian region. In relations between states, we were able to create an atmosphere of good neighborliness and mutual trust, friendship and respect.
Our common achievement was the regular Consultative Meetings of the Heads of State of Central Asia, the initiative to hold which was first put forward at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.
Over the past four years, the volume of mutual trade between Uzbekistan and neighboring states has grown almost fivefold.
In this difficult time for everyone, our states did not move away from each other, but provided mutual support.
Today the Central Asian states are facing an important strategic task – to ensure the deep integration of our region into global economic, transport and transit corridors.
In this regard, we propose to establish a Regional Center for the Development of Transport and Communications Connectivity under the auspices of the United Nations.
At present, fruitful cooperation in the field of security is being strengthened in Central Asia. The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy is being successfully implemented.
We propose to hold an International Conference dedicated to the results achieved and the prospects for interaction within the framework of the regional Joint Plan for the implementation of this Strategy, adopted 10 years ago.
As you know, the centuries-old cultural and spiritual heritage of our region is of global importance. We are ready, in cooperation with UNESCO, in 2021 to hold the International Forum “Central Asia at the Crossroads of World Civilizations” in the ancient city of Khiva.
Dear participants of the session!
We perceive Afghanistan as an integral part of Central Asia. The Tashkent High-Level Conference on Afghanistan, held in March 2018, marked a new stage in mobilizing the efforts of the international community to resolve the Afghan problem.
We fully support the peace talks between the political forces of Afghanistan that began in September this year in Doha. We express the hope that these negotiations will contribute to the establishment of peace and stability in the long-suffering Afghan soil.
In order to actively involve Afghanistan in regional economic integration processes, we have embarked on the implementation of such major infrastructure projects as the construction of the Surkhan-Puli-Khumri power transmission line and the railway from Mazar-i-Sharif to the ports of the Indian Ocean.
We are convinced that the issues of establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan should remain in the center of attention of the United Nations.
Only through joint efforts and in close cooperation can the hopes of the Afghan people be realized. It is important to act guided by the principle “from instability and destruction to peace and creation.” In this regard, it is advisable to create a permanent committee at the United Nations that will listen to the opinion and aspirations of this long-suffering people. The main task of this committee should be to contribute to the social and economic development of Afghanistan.
Dear Heads of State and Government!
Another acute problem of our time is global climate change. Today every country is feeling the destructive impact of this process. Unfortunately, these negative changes pose a serious threat to the sustainable development of Central Asia.
I would like to draw your attention again to the disastrous consequences of the drying up of the Aral Sea. The Aral Sea zone has become the epicenter of an ecological disaster. In order to improve the current situation, we are carrying out a tremendous amount of work to form a new landscape, forests and soil cover on an area of 2 million hectares.
On our initiative, the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Human Security was created for the Aral Sea region. We hope that this Fund will become a reliable platform for practical assistance from the world community to the population of the region living in a territory with a difficult ecological situation.
We propose to adopt a special resolution of the UN General Assembly on declaring the Aral Sea region a zone of environmental innovations and technologies, and the day of adoption of this important document – to declare the International Day for the Protection and Restoration of Ecological Systems.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that the persistence of instability in different parts of the world, the growth of contradictions and violence, environmental disasters and other threats of our time exacerbate the global problems of poverty and poverty.
These problems have escalated dramatically during the pandemic. The entire world community, all of us should be concerned about the “voice of poverty”, which sounds even stronger today.
In this regard, we propose to identify the problems of eradicating poverty and fighting poverty as one of the main topics of the upcoming session of the UN General Assembly, as well as to hold a Global Summit dedicated to these issues.
It is obvious to all of us that the socio-economic picture of the world after the pandemic will be completely different.
We must work in close partnership based on new approaches to address common threats to security and sustainable development.
The role of the United Nations as the central coordinating international structure needs to be further strengthened.
Uzbekistan is always ready for broad and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries of the world and a practical dialogue with the United Nations and its institutions.
Thank you for attention.