SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
June 14, 2015
As it was reported, Secretary General of the United Nations Organization Ban Ki-moon arrived June 11 in our country with an official visit.
The meeting between President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon took place at the Kuksaroy residence on June 12.
The United Nations is a major international organization with 193 member countries. In six months of national independence, Uzbekistan acceded to this institution as a full-fledged member on 2 March 1992. Cooperation has been advancing consistently in the name of consolidating the peace and security, boosting healthcare, in environmental issues, education, culture, tourism and other realms.
This visit has afforded a good opportunity to keep with the productive dialogue, exchange views on issues related to cementing the mutually advantageous interaction between Uzbekistan and the UN, including in such areas as countering nuclear proliferation, sustainable socioeconomic development, addressing environmental problems and rational use of water resources, resolution of crisis in Afghanistan and the latter’s reconstruction, combating the threat of international terrorism and drug trafficking, among others.
The peace-loving policies of Uzbekistan, its efforts directed at providing for security and stability in the region are in tune with the activities of the UN. At the initiative of the President of our country, Central Asia has become a nuclear weapons free zone.
Representative offices of a number of UN agencies are operating in our country, such as the World Health Organization, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, World Bank, Food and Agriculture Organization, UNICEF, UNFPA, UN Development Program, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS. Together with these organizations more than 440 projects are implemented. Currently, in excess of 70 projects are in progress.
“Uzbekistan considers you as a prominent politician, who has for many years been consistent and energetic in carrying out fruitful activities aimed at bolstering international security, promoting the ideas of a nuclear-free world, solving issues of sustainable development urgent for the entire humanity, as well as the many pressing global problems, environmental, social and humanitarian nature that earned you well-deserved prestige and recognition of the international community,” Islam Karimov said.
The achievement of high Millennium Development Goals – an integrated orientation for all the states during the last fifteen years – has been acquiring an important place in the activities of the UN, along with the forthcoming new agenda of the future – the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Your current visit to Central Asia and the Republic of Uzbekistan in particular as the chief of the UN will offer a great opportunity to get closely familiar with the situation unfolding in the region and to thoroughly exchange views on pressing issues bothering all of us,” the President of our country stressed. “And, first and foremost, the growing radicalization, conflicts and violence, the mounting political and economic confrontation and the ongoing global financial and economic crisis – all of these cannot but raise grave concern. In an increasingly complex global environment, we consider the United Nations as the only universal international organization for the maintenance of global security and stability, a unique structure to address the many intricate inter-state and international issues.”
“Uzbekistan has made significant progress in furthering the Millennium Development Goals, ensuring the rule of law and protecting human rights, safeguarding motherhood and childhood, improving the education system,” Ban Ki-moon said. “All these achievements are the result of sustainable and people-oriented socio-economic reforms.”
The Secretary General emphasized the interest of the United Nations to further strengthen its cooperation with Uzbekistan.
During the negotiations the two sides discussed a wide range of issues of regional and international character, identified priorities in building up the interaction between Uzbekistan and the United Nations and its specialized institutions and agencies.
Uzbekistan well remembers Ban Ki-moon’s trip to the Aral Sea region during his previous visit in 2010, which once again attracted the world community’s attention to one of the planetary ecological disasters of our time.
As it is known well, the increasingly expanding desert in the Aral region has been overwhelming greater areas. Over the past 50 years the water vicinity of the Aral Sea has shrunk by more than fourfold, while the volume of water has decreased by 10 times, and its mineralization amplified by the same fortitude. Under the impact of factors affecting the quality of life, health and gene pool of the local population encompasses not only the regions around the drying sea, but also the territory far beyond its perceptible borders. Addressing the existing socioeconomic problems of the population residing in the Aral Sea region is impossible without joint efforts and close cooperation with the United Nations.
An international conference entitled “Development of cooperation in the Aral Sea region to weather the impact of the ecological disaster” was organized in Urgench in 2014.
The head of our state expressed gratitude to Ban Ki-moon for his personal support for the program of measures to eliminate the consequences of the drying of the Aral Sea ecosystem and prevent disasters in the Aral region, elaborated in the context of the current presidency of Uzbekistan in the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, which was adopted as an official document of the 68th session of the General Assembly.
Maintenance and bolstering the security and stability in Central Asia, the protracted nature of the crisis in Afghanistan lied at the heart of the issues discussed.
The distinguished guest welcomed the active participation of Uzbekistan in the multilateral discussions within the United Nations and its contribution to the solution of regional and global issues. In particular, the UN Secretary General praised Uzbekistan’s input into the efforts directed at achieving stability and development in Afghanistan.
Ban Ki-moon emphasized the efforts of Uzbekistan, which, as a friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, has provided extensive assistance to accomplishing these objectives. Our country, with the support of international financial institutions, in particular the ADB, is implementing projects for the construction of transport communications, supllying electricity to the population of Afghanistan and delivering humanitarian aid.
The parties to talks noted that the only solution to the Afghan problem is political negotiations and the achievement of internal consensus and agreement, the creation of an enabling international environment, continuation of financial and humanitarian support and active participation of the United Nations.
Islam Karimov said that Uzbekistan, attaching great importance to maintaining close partnership with the UN and its institutions, is ready for the progressive development of effective cooperation. And that includes the furthering of the Millennium Development Goals by the end of the year and the Sustainable Development Goals, to be adopted at the forthcoming General Assembly.
Ban Ki-moon expressed confidence that interaction between the UN and Uzbekistan will become even more productive. The signing of the framework program of the United Nations to assist in development for 2016-2020 is an important milestone.
The Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon later the same day visited Bukhara, and got familiar with the historical monuments and modern buildings of the city.