The first meeting of 'C5+1' and the following speech of Uzbekistan President at UNGA: What does this mean?
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev will address the general political discussions of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
According to the Press Service of the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev will introduce the international community not only to the process of reforms in Uzbekistan, the results achieved in the fields of human rights, socio-political modernization, but also promote several vital initiatives of regional and global importance.
The participation of the leaders of Central Asia in the UN meetings is always essential for the region’s politicians. It is not for nothing that this prestigious organization, which unites 193 countries, does not have the turn of the leaders of these countries in all its sessions. It’s not in vain. This prestigious organization does not give the floor to all the leaders of these countries in all its sessions.
Previous promises and proposals made at the UN General Assembly. Are they executed?
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, for the first time, addressed the 72nd session of the UN on September 19, 2017. At this meeting, he paid attention to the development of Central Asian cooperation and strengthening the participation of the UN in this process.
He also emphasized preparing the ground for this in his country. As a result, in November 2017, in cooperation with the UN, an international conference was organized in Samarkand on “Central Asia: Common History and Common Future, Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Progress”.
The President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev addressed the conference. “The United Nations should play an important role in solving the regional security problem, first of all, using the methods of preventive diplomacy”, he said.
Later, special resolutions were adopted on June 22, 2018, at the plenary session of the UN General Assembly, “Strengthening regional and international cooperation to ensure peace, stability and sustainable development in the Central Asian Region” and on December 12, 2018, at the plenary session of the UN General Assembly, “Enlightenment and religious tolerance”.
Adopting this resolution is essential in the current growing inter-religious intolerance. Mirziyoyev put forward this initiative. It is no secret that the problem of religious radicalization is seen as a security threat for Central Asian countries.
Many experts note that one of the priorities of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the UN is the issue of regional security, peace, and stability.
Mirziyoyev also put this issue on the agenda in his first speech, and it was also implemented. In this regard, a high-level Tashkent international conference devoted to the problem of Afghanistan was held in cooperation with the UN on March 27, 2018, on “Peace Process, Security Cooperation, and Regional Connectivity”, at the end of which, the Tashkent Declaration was adopted, which expressed the goals of ensuring peace and security in the region, strengthening cooperation, and further strengthening close neighborly relations.
Another speech by the Head of Uzbekistan coincided with the 75th session of the UN during the pandemic. An essential aspect of it for Uzbekistan should be noted. Since 1950, representatives of Uzbekistan have delivered speeches at the UN General Assembly.
All these speeches were in Russian, even the post-independence addresses. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s speech at this meeting was delivered for the first time in Uzbek. The public of the country recognized it as a great event.
Turning to the issues raised, the President of Uzbekistan, in his speech, mentioned parliamentary reforms, gender equality policy, ensuring human rights, complete elimination of forced and child labor in this regard, adoption of the National Strategy on Human Rights, further strengthening of religious freedom, inter-ethnic harmony and inter-religious tolerance, the activities carried out in the country in terms of ensuring independence of courts and rule of law, uncompromising fight against corruption, reducing poverty, and youth policy.
In his speech, Mirziyoyev said that Central Asia is the priority direction of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy. Issues of peace, security, and sustainable development in the region became one of the main priorities in the President’s speech. In particular, as Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted, “Consultative meetings of the leaders of the Central Asian countries, which are regularly held based on the initiative put forward at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly, have become a common success”.
Howwever, some border problems between countries, diversity of mutual opinions, non-existence of uniform legal norms and uniform definitions, and other issues have been affecting the rapid development of the sphere. In this sense, the proposal of the President of Uzbekistan to open a Regional Centre for the Development of Transport and Communications under the auspices of the United Nations is considered an essential and timely proposal.
The President also paid attention to the issue of Afghanistan in his speech. At the 75th session of the UN, Mirziyoyev proposed establishing a Permanent Committee at the United Nations, which would listen to the problems and concerns of the Afghan people.
This proposal, put forward by the President of Uzbekistan, appears as a new mechanism for restoring peace and economic stability in Afghanistan, because this committee supports Afghanistan’s economic and social development and serves the interests of the Afghan people, not the opposing parties here.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev will attend the first meeting of the leaders of the U.S. and Central Asian countries in the “C5+1” format. The issue of regional security and the development of cooperation will be a priority at this meeting.
Of course, in his speeches, the President regularly focuses on environmental problems, in particular, on the Aral Sea problem. Uzbekistan is taking essential and practical measures to eliminate the consequences of the Aral problem and prevent existing dangers.
In particular, to improve the current situation, along with the creation of two million hectares of new plant areas and tree groves, as well as soil formation, the United Nations Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund was established for the Aral Sea region at the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan.
It should be noted that this was one of the essential achievements of Uzbekistan’s diplomacy. However, the complex ecological situation in the Aral Sea and Aral Sea region, protecting the population’s gene pool, improving their health, and ensuring sustainable development in this area are urgent and vital. Considering this, the President of Uzbekistan proposed to adopt a special resolution of the United Nations General Assembly to declare the Aral Sea region as a region of ecological innovation and technology.
In the 75th session, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed to set the end of poverty and fight against poverty as one of the main topics of the next session of the United Nations General Assembly and to hold a global summit dedicated to these issues.
This proposal was also introduced to create a basis for the development of unanimous measures to solve the problem of countries facing economic problems during the pandemic.
It became a timely proposal, because it is necessary to fight this problem not with the participation of one or a few countries, but on the scale of the entire international community.
In the same session, Mirziyoyev said that the central position of the UN as a coordinating international structure should be further strengthened. We have seen this proposal’s appropriateness in the subsequent world events, especially in the Russo-Ukrainian War. The UN did not use enough authority to stop this war. Therefore, increasing the status and potential of the organization and expanding its powers is essential for the sustainable development of humanity.
In conclusion, Uzbekistan’s choice of multi-vector foreign policy in various aspects of its international relations can be seen in the issues raised in these speeches. At the next meeting, the main focus is expected to be on ensuring peace and security in the region and putting forward practical proposals on the direction of sustainable development.
The UN General Assembly High-Level Week 2023 will be held in New York on September 19-25.
About the Writer:
Kholmurod Salimov is a Tashkent-based journalist