COOPERATION OF UZBEKISTAN WITH THE UNITED NATIONS
On 2 March 1992 Uzbekistan became a full Member of the United Nations and our national flag was raised in front of United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Over the past 70 years since its establishment, the United Nations has been recognized throughout the world as a universal international institution for maintaining international peace and security, promoting sustainable development and protecting the environment. The growth of the international authority and relevance of the Organization and its leadership role in resolving many highly complex modern – day problems are increasingly evident.
Uzbekistan fruitfully cooperates with the UN and its specialized institutions in various areas. The main priorities of cooperation include confronting contemporary threats and challenges, stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, tackling environmental problems, in particular, mitigating the effects of the Aral sea crisis, socioeconomic development, and the protection and promotion of human rights.
Significant events were the participation of H.E. Mr. I.A.Karimov, the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, at the General Debates of the General Assembly in 1993 and 1995, as well as the UN Summits on the Millennium Development Goals in 2000 and 2010 in New York. In October 2002 H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General, and in April 2010 and June 2015 – H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon visited Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan is party to all major international agreements and treaties on disarmament and nonproliferation, such as the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Comprehensive Test-Ban-Treaty (CTBT), conventions on chemical and biological weapons and others.
The initiative to establish a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia, put forward by H.E. Mr. I.A.Karimov, the first President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, from the General Assembly rostrum in 1993, was an important contribution to the strengthening of the global non-proliferation regime and regional security. The Central Asian States signed the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia in September 2006 in Semipalatinsk, which entered into force in March 2009 after ratification by all five States of the region. On 6 May 2014, a truly historic event took place at UN Headquarters in New York – for the first time since the establishment of the United Nations, representatives of the “five” nuclear States – the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France, China and the Russian Federation – unanimously and simultaneously signed a crucially important international document – the Protocol on security guarantees to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia.
Cooperation in the field of ensuring global and regional security and stability is an important area of Uzbekistan’s cooperation with the United Nations. Our country actively promotes international efforts in this sphere. As a party to all 13 UN conventions on combating terrorism, Uzbekistan has put forward major initiatives aimed at consolidating the efforts of the international community in this sphere and creating a global system of multilateral cooperation within the framework of the United Nations. In this context, our country welcomes the work of the Security Council Counter-terrorism Committee established pursuant to resolution 1373 (2001) and fully supports its efforts to strengthen the capacity of States Members of the Organization to counter this scourge. The establishment of this Committee is in part the result of an initiative to establish an international counter-terrorism centre put forward by the leadership of Uzbekistan at the summit meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Istanbul back in 1999.
Uzbekistan cooperates closely with the United Nations and its specialized institutions in the area of combating drug-related aggression. On the proposal of H.E. Mr. I.A.Karimov, the first President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, during the visit of the UN Secretary-General to Tashkent in October 2002, the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors was established.
Uzbekistan attaches particular importance to efforts to bring to an end the violent war which has raged for many years in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and caused enormous suffering for the Afghan people and has become a source of serious threats for the entire region. Thus, in 1995 Uzbekistan proposed from the UN General Assembly rostrum in 1993 to impose an embargo on the supply of weapons to Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and subsequently in 1997 to establish “6+2” Contact Group.
Uzbekistan is making an effective contribution to the implementation of United Nations programmes for the post-conflict reconstruction of Afghanistan, in particular, it opened a bridge on the Uzbek-Afghan border for international deliveries of humanitarian cargo and is assisting in the building of infrastructure projects in the territory of Afghanistan. In April 2009, a new power transmission line from Uzbekistan to Kabul was launched.
Cooperation between Uzbekistan and the United Nations also covers ecological and environmental protection issues. In this area, H.E. Mr. Sh.M.Mirziyoyev, President of Uzbekistan, is paying attention to yet another acute global problem, requiring an urgent solution – the Aral sea tragedy and calling for the efforts of the international community to be focused on “reducing the harmful impact of this environmental disaster on the livelihoods of the millions of people living in Central Asia and preserving the natural and biological balance in the Aral region”.
In view of the seriousness of this issue, an international conference was held in Uzbekistan in March 2008 on “Problems of Aral: impact on the gene pool of the population, flora and fauna and international cooperation for mitigating consequences” in which UN representatives took an active part. In order to further develop international cooperation and mobilize funds from the donor community for the implementation of practical measures to improve the situation in the Aral region, an international conference on the “Development of cooperation in the Aral sea basin to mitigate the consequences of the environmental catastrophe” was held in Urgench on 28-29 October 2014, on the initiative of Uzbekistan.
One of the most important documents, which gained unanimous support at the sixty-third session of the UN General Assembly, was resolution 63/133 on observer status in the General Assembly for the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, which Uzbekistan sponsored. In September 2013, a “Programme of measures on eliminating the consequences of the drying up of the Aral Sea and averting the catastrophe of the ecological systems in the Aral Sea region”, comprising vital projects to stabilize and improve the situation in the environmental disaster area, which had been formulated during Uzbekistan’s presidency of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, was circulated as an official document of the sixty-eighth session of the UN General Assembly.
During his visit to Uzbekistan on 4-5 April 2010 H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, visited the Aral region. At the end of his visit he noted the need to adopt urgent measures to prevent the further deterioration of the situation in the Aral region and mitigate the effects of the Aral disaster. He stressed that the Organization is prepared to assist Uzbekistan in resolving environmental problems. Following his visit, in 2012-2016 the United Nations agencies (UNDP, UNFPA, UNESCO, WHO and the UN Volunteers), in coordination with partners in Uzbekistan, implemented a joint UN programme entitled “Sustaining Livelihoods Affected by the Aral Sea Disaster” with the budget of $ 4 billion. An important stage was the launch on 10 February 2017 of the UN Program “Building the resilience of communities affected by the Aral Sea disaster through the Multi-partner Human Security Fund for the Aral Sea”.
The problem of the Aral Sea is directly related to the rational and efficient use of water resources of the trans-boundary rivers in Central Asia. Of particular importance is strict observance of international law governing the protection and use of trans-boundary watercourses. The relevant UN conventions dated 25 February 1991, 17 March 1992 and 21 May 1997 require all states to “ensure the use of trans-boundary waters in a reasonable and equitable way, taking into particular account their trans-boundary character, in carrying out activities which cause or are likely to cause trans-boundary impact.”
For all these reasons, Uzbekistan expresses its position on necessity for rational and efficient use of water resources in Central Asia on the basis of generally accepted international norms.
Accordingly, it may be affirmed today with full confidence that the relations between Uzbekistan and the United Nations over the past 25 years have been characterized by significant advances and are developing in a dynamic fashion in all directions. All the proposals put forward by Uzbekistan within the United Nations have been fully supported by the international community and today are making a significant practical contribution to ensuring universal peace, stability and sustainable development. Our country remains committed to the further expansion and deepening of mutually advantageous cooperation with the United Nations.
COOPERATION BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN AND THE OSCE
Uzbekistan has been one of the state parties of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) since 26 February 1992.
Cooperation of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the OSCE and its institutions is conducted at different levels and it covers a wide range of questions and issues.
In 1994, Permanent mission of Uzbekistan to the OSCE in Vienna has been operating.
In 1995, on initiative of Uzbekistan the Liaison Bureau in Central Asia was opened, which carried out activities on adjusting contacts at different levels and cooperation in areas presenting mutual interests.
In 1999, the Bureau was renamed to the OSCE Center in Tashkent, due to opening other OSCE offices in the Central Asian countries.
In June 2006, on initiative of Uzbekistan the Permanent Council has decided to establish the office of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan.
In July 2006 the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the OSCE signed the Memorandum of Understanding that pledging to establish the post of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan. This kind of cooperation enabled the OSCE to concentrate its activity on implementation of projects, which is priority for Uzbekistan, and strengthening the cooperation between Uzbekistan and OSCE.
Within the framework of the signed Memorandum together with the ministries and agencies of Uzbekistan 18 projects was implemented since 2007, likewise in 2008 – 15, in 2009 – 14, in 2010 – 12, in 2011 – 12, in 2012 – 11, in 2013 – 11. In 2014 fourteen projects are approved. Currently, more than 20 projects are being realized in Uzbekistan.
The main focus of the cooperation is implementing principles and accepted responsibilities in the framework of the Organization on all three dimensions considering new challenges and threats of the security, international agenda and the national interests of Uzbekistan.
The institutes of civil society are actively involved in the implementation of projects, including the governmental agency of protection of human rights, the Authorized person of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan for human rights (Ombudsman), the National Center for Human Rights, the National Association of Non-governmental and Non-profit Organizations of Uzbekistan (NANNOUz) and other national NNOs.
Every year chairmen-in-office of the OSCE officially visited Uzbekistan: in 1998 – Mr. Bronisław Geremek (Poland), in 1999 – Mr. Knut Vollebaek (Norway), in 2000 – Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner (Austria), in 2001 – Mr. Mircea Geoană (Romania), in 2002 – Mr. Martins da Cruz (Portugal), in 2003 – Mr. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (the Netherlands), in 2004 – Mr. Solomon Passy (Bulgaria), in 2005 – Mr. Karel De Gucht (Belgium), in 2007 – Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos (Spain), in 2008 – Mr. Alexander Stubb (Finland), in 2011 – Mr. Audrunas Ajubalis, in 2013 – Mr. Leonid Kozhara (Ukraine).
The OSCE Secretary General Ambassador Lamberto Zannier visited Uzbekistan in 2013.
During 2008-2013 the official representatives of the OSCE many times visited Uzbekistan: Representative on Freedom of the Media Miklos Harasti (in 2008 and 2009), Director of the Conflict Prevention Center Herbert Salber (2009 and 2011), High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012), Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Janes Lenarcic (2009), Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović (2011), Special Representative and Coordinator for Trafficking in Human Beings Maria Grazia Giammarinaro (2013).
Initiatives of Uzbekistan on agenda of the OSCE have been reflected in documents of the organization.
Uzbekistan is continuing to hold balanced and constructive position in interaction with the OSCE.
Representatives of the ministries and governmental agencies regularly participate in conferences, forums, seminars and trainings of the OSCE which are held abroad on all three dimensions of the organizations.
Uzbekistan participates in annual meetings of the OSCE Ministerial Council. Delegation of Uzbekistan took part at the 20th meeting of the Ministerial Council on 5-6 December 2013 in Kyiv (Ukraine).