Uz / Ўз Ru En

Toshkent

03/March/2022   President

To the participants of the High-Level International Conference on «The Regional Cooperation among the Central Asian States on the Joint Plan of Action for the Implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy»

Dear Heads of Delegations!


Dear Heads of International Organizations!

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I welcome you, all the participants of the High-Level International Conference on the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia, organized jointly with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

I would like to express my special gratitude to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres for supporting our initiative to conduct this forum.

I would also like to thank the OSCE Secretary General Mrs. Helga Schmid, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, the Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Mme. Natalia Gherman and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Central Asian countries for jointly organizing this important event.

Your participation at this Conference is clear evidence of your commitment to jointly combating terrorism and other challenges and threats in the name of global security and stability.

Dear participants of the Conference!

Today we are witnessing an intensification of contradictions in international relations, an overall decline in the level of confidence and cooperation among the countries. Along with this, flashpoints and armed conflicts persist in various regions of the world.

The pandemic, which has affected all spheres of public life and economic activity, is having the most negative impact on the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The crises in the economy and social life are exacerbating inequality in the world, significantly increasing the risks of exacerbation of conflicts and creating a breeding ground for the spread of terrorist ideas.

In such difficult circumstances, it is important for the international community to consolidate its efforts in combating the increasing global and regional security threats.  

Fifteen years ago, all the countries of the world unanimously endorsed the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. It became the first comprehensive, collective and universally recognized legal basis for combining the national and international efforts in the fight against terrorism.

In 2011, Central Asia provided the first successful example of regionalization of this policy document, when all five countries adopted the Joint Action Plan for its fulfillment.

The implementation of the Plan has strengthened a regional consensus on shared principles and approaches in counter-terrorism and established effective mechanisms for cooperation both bilaterally and multilaterally.

The countries of the region have formed national systems for countering terrorism. The country action strategies have been developed that fully comply with the UN recommendations.

This has allowed our nations to conduct more structured and productive dialogue, share experiences and important information, build counterterrorism capacity and achieve together what cannot be accomplished alone.

And as a result, at present many authoritative international ratings consider Central Asia as one of the safest regions of the world.

In recent years there have been fundamental positive changes here. The gradually developing good neighborly relations among the countries of the region based on the principles of friendship, mutual benefit and trust.

The regular consultative meetings of the heads of Central Asian states contribute to the realization of the huge potential of our countries in ensuring regional security and sustainable development.

Considering Afghanistan as an integral part of Central Asia, the states of the region provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, fully assisting in rebuilding a peaceful economy and integrating the country into the regional trade and economic links.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen!

Uzbekistan has signed 14 main universal international legal documents and actively participates in global efforts to counter international terrorism.

The state policy in this area is based on a comprehensive, inclusive and consistent approach. As is well-known, this approach combines the use of preventive, prophylactic measures along with law enforcement, and not only state bodies, but also civil society institutions actively participate in the implementation of the key elements of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

The key priorities in this regard include the establishment of an atmosphere of mutual understanding and promotion of dialogue and tolerance in society, conflict prevention, spiritual and moral education, the advancement of education, including professional training, employment creation, and social protection of vulnerable populations. Particular attention is paid to intercultural and interreligious dialogue and the empowerment of women and the youth.

The fundamental basis for combating terrorism in Uzbekistan is to ensure human rights and freedoms and the rule of law. We are convinced that combating terrorism and protecting human rights are not conflicting goals, but complementary and mutually reinforcing.

I am confident that today you will be able to comprehensively analyze the course of our cooperation in the framework of the Joint Action Plan and provide new and innovative directions.

In this context, we suggest considering a number of proposals to increase the effectiveness of our joint counteraction against terrorism and extremism.

First. It is obvious that further successful implementation of the counter-terrorism strategy in the region requires strengthening of mechanisms for constant monitoring and critical evaluation of the Joint Plan of Action’s implementation and coordination of cooperation among the Central Asian countries.

In this regard, we believe that it is long overdue to establish an Office of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office in our region.

In order to achieve maximum synergy from coordinated cooperation in countering terrorism in Central Asia, we propose to ensure its close interaction with the leading international and regional organizations engaged in resolving the security issues.

Second. Today almost every country in the world faces terrorism in cyberspace. The Internet is becoming a tool for spreading radical ideology, recruiting people, providing financial support, and for planning and carrying out terrorist activities.

Under these circumstances, it is crucial to develop the capacity of our states to counteract effectively the use of digital technologies for terrorist purposes.

We call on the UN Counter-Terrorism Office to intensify its efforts to implement the Program on Cyber Security and New Technologies in Central Asia adopted in 2020.

In the framework of this program, we consider it important to create a unified electronic network on cyberterrorism in Central Asia to promote the development of the exchange of experience and data, research and best practices in this area.

In addition, the transboundary nature of threats to security in cyberspace requires the creation of unified international legal mechanisms to effectively counter various forms of extremism and terrorism in the information sphere. We look forward to the UN’s assistance in establishing and coordinating a dialogue on this issue.

Third. In recent years, the Central Asian countries have repatriated more than 1,500 of their citizens from war conflict zones, and have developed unique approaches to their rehabilitation and reintegration.

In this regard, we propose establishing, under the auspices of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office, a regional council of experts comprised of leading experts from Central Asia. Its main task would be to improve the programs for rehabilitation and reintegration of radicalized citizens and develop proposals for combating terrorist propaganda in our countries.

Fourth. The essential condition for successfully countering terrorism and extremism is an effective youth policy. The UN Youth Strategy emphasizes that young people are a valuable and extremely important resource, an investment that will pay off many times over.

The future of our countries depends on what kind of young people we raise, what kind of education and upbringing we provide, and, what conditions and «social elevators» we create for them.

The future of our countries depends on how the younger generation will grow up, what kind of education and upbringing they will receive, what conditions and «social lifts» we will create for them.

For a comprehensive discussion of all these issues, we propose to convene in 2023 in Samarkand the permanent Youth Council of Central and South Asia that we have proposed earlier. As a result of the meeting, it is important to develop a substantive Action Plan to expand multilateral cooperation among the youth of our countries, exchange experiences in creating favorable conditions for self-realization of the young generation and the formation of a stable immunity to the ideas of extremism and terrorism.

Fifth. In the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, as you know, the key subject is the promotion of the ideas and principles of tolerance, mutual respect, and interreligious and intercultural dialogue with participation from all layers of society.

In 2018, on the initiative of Uzbekistan, the UN General Assembly adopted a special resolution «Enlightenment and Religious Tolerance», which emphasizes the importance of eliminating illiteracy and ignorance, and, promoting tolerance, mutual respect and understanding in the name of strengthening security and peace on the planet.

We propose that next year a High-Level Conference on «Enlightenment and Religious Tolerance» be held under the auspices of the United Nations to identify promising areas for practical cooperation in promoting the ideas embodied in the UN Special Resolution.

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

Our efforts to prevent and combat terrorism will be productive only if they are effectively coordinated at the regional and global levels.

Therefore, the deliberations of this Conference and the adoption of the Tashkent Declaration and the updated Joint Action Plan to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia, are of exceptional importance.

I wish all participants of the High-Level International Conference productive deliberations, thoughtful and stimulating debates, and the development of new and innovative proposals and initiatives aimed at strengthening international security and stability.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev,

The President of the Uzbekistan

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