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Statement of the Minsiter of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan at the Meeting of Ministerial Council of the OSCE, Dublin

1.First of all, I would like to express sincere gratitude to His Excellency, Mr. Eamon Gilmore, Acting Chairman of OSCE, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Republic Ireland for excellent arrangement of our work, and also to congratulate His Excellency, Mr. Konstantin Grishchenko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in connection with his election on high position of the next Acting Chairman of our Organization. 2. We continue to consider OSCE as the largest regional organization in the security area, aimed at earlier prevention of conflicts, settlement of crises and post‐conflict rehabilitation. Without having a complete institutional basis and, despite the name ʺorganizationʺ, OSCE, nevertheless, is an important platform for exchange of opinions and search of mutually acceptable decisions in security affairs, representing mutual interest for all of its participants. We believe that it is necessary for us to make efforts to complete the process of transformation of OSCE into a full‐fledged international organization. Acceleration of process of reform and adaptation of our Organization to present realities promotes transformation of OSCE into a full‐fledged international organization capable effectively implement the purposes. We believe that the process of ʺHelsinki+40ʺ, initiated in current year by the Irish presidency, will bring the positive contribution to better comprehension of the nature of modern challenges by all of us and determination of the basic ways of counteraction these threats. 3. We still support an active role of OSCE after protection and advancement of fundamental human rights and freedom. Again we confirm necessity of timely reaction to increase of racial and religious intolerance, xenophobia in Organization space. It is inadmissible to ignore activity of extremist groups and neo‐Nazis. The Government of Tajikistan declares its adherence to obligations within the OSCE in the field of democratization, observance of human rights and freedom, rule of law and development of civil society. At the same time, we notice that the problematic of fundamental human rights, including its religious freedom and freedom of mass‐media, should be considered balanced, taking into account interests of security and stability in a society. This year, we have continued our dialogues and contacts with main partners concerning human rights. In April, regular round of Dialogue on human rights between Tajikistan and Switzerland has taken place; in October, the country has successfully presented the National Report on accomplishment of obligations and positions of the Convention of the United Nations against tortures. During session of EU‐Tajikistan Cooperation Council at the ministerial level held in February in Bruxelles, and annual political consultations between Tajikistan and the USA held in May of this year in Washington, have taken place discussions on a wide range of human rights issues. 4. For the Republic of Tajikistan one of the most important directions of OSCE activities is its economic and ecological dimension. Climate change and environmental disasters are gaining more and more impact on economic development and power supply and regional security. We are deeply convinced that these problems are not only a subject of concern of the separate states but also collective responsibility of the international community, including OSCE. 

Now, reduction of area and volume of glaciers is taking place in Tajikistan that is explained by overall temperature increase in the region and change in precipitation pattern. The results of a research conducted by the European Economic Commission of the United Nations (UNECE) show that glaciers of Tajikistan in the XX century have lost more than 20 cubic kilometers of ice. According to UNECE forecasts, till 2050 the area of all glaciers in Tajikistan will decrease by 20 %, ice volume by 25%, and the glacial flow of many rivers will considerably be reduced. For advancement of joint efforts of international community in this direction, we hope for support of the initiative of the Republic of Tajikistan on establishment of International Fund for Preserving of Glaciers sounded in the Copenhagen Summit on Climate Change. It is necessary to notice that in Tajikistan, the Government Program on Studying and Preserving of Glaciers of the Country for 2010‐2030 is being currently implemented, the purpose of which is taking of measures on improvement of monitoring and study process of countryʹs glaciers. 5. Thawing of mountain glaciers and drying Aral Sea demonstrate a close connection between climate changes and problems of water delivery, energy safety and development of the Central Asia. Drying of Aral Sea, in particular, is a consequence of pernicious for the nature water policy and excessive economic activities of man. Overcoming this crisis is possible only by joint efforts, essentially changing existing out‐of‐date approaches. Unfortunately, it should be noted that for the last few years because of an inefficient method of agricultural industry the average rate of water consumption in the countries of the Central Asia is extremely high. By the estimates of the World Bank, about 80% of water, which is used for irrigation, simply is lost irretrievable. The rate of water use per capita in the region is considerable higher than in many other regions of the world that seriously slows down growth of social and economic development. The hydro‐energy and renewable energy sources are those important spheres of economy on which in the future the sustainable development and well‐being of the population of all region of OSCE will depend. Tajikistan possessing huge hydro‐energy resources, in the absence of other kinds of power resources, for the last years continues to suffer from chronic deficit of electricity during winter time, from what the population, social infrastructure, and industrial production suffer. Unfortunately, at present existing hydro‐energy issues and problems in the region, being inherently economic, are strongly politicized and seriously impede development of regional cooperation. Only due to collective efforts of all countries of the region, it is possible to achieve appreciable successes in this direction. With that end in view, in due time, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Emomali Rahmon has initiated creation of an international hydro‐energy consortium on construction of Roghun Hydro Power Station. Under the conditions of the most severe deficit of electricity during winter period, Tajikistan, not having considerable reserves of hydrocarbons, stakes on development of hydro‐energy as a priority national task for the next years. National hydropower projects of Tajikistan, including construction of Roghun Hydro Power Station, will be implemented openly and taking into account interests of all countries of region to what our initiative by the invitation of the World Bank for carrying out of complex technical and economic and ecological examination of Roghun Project testifies. We count that during implementation of the examination by the World Bank, interested parties in the region will abstain from hasty and not fully thought‐out statements and actions which may run counter to achieved international arrangements and contradict the spirit of friendship, cooperation, and good neighborhood. Along with this, we consider it necessary and reasonable to carry out a complex examination of impact of absolutely out‐of‐date, inefficient system of water use. We see a key role of OSCE in assistance to political dialogue in Central Asia for overcoming disagreements on entire complex of hydro‐energy problems, creation of the integrated system of water use and rendering assistance to the region countries in achievement of compromise alternatives of long‐term settlement of this issue. We call on OSCE to deal closely with these problems in a context of experience already gained by the European countries on cooperation in the Danube river basin. 6. Tajikistan makes considerable efforts for protection of the borders from external, transnational threats. We are inclined to consider our border with Afghanistan not only as our own, but also as a common boundaries of the countries of the Central Asia and OSCE participating states. We welcome progress in realization of OSCE border related projects in Tajikistan. With high interest we wait for continuation of Organization’s activity on further strengthening of the Tajik‐Afghan border. We consider OSCE Dushanbe Border College of OSCE as an effective antiterrorist and border centre of OSCE in the Central Asia. We express gratitude to all donors for active support of OSCE Border College and we urge to support the proposal on inclusion of financing of the OSCE Border College in Dushanbe into the Organization consolidated budget. It would allow to provide long‐term stable activity of this important structure of the Organization. 7. Considering forthcoming withdrawal of ISAF contingents from Afghanistan in 2014, we consider that the important factor of provision of sustained peace in this country is its social and economic development. The international assistance to Afghanistan should be aimed, first of all, at all‐round economic revival, further strengthening of social sphere, creation of new jobs etc. A complex approach, which would provide simultaneous solution of important tasks, first of all, prompt social and economic restoration of Afghanistan and drafting of a comprehensive plan of its development with neighboring Central Asian countries, including Tajikistan, is needed. In this context, the special importance is attached to realization of the projects on building rail ways and roads (highways), construction of power transmission lines, gas pipelines etc., connecting Afghanistan with Tajikistan and other countries of the region, which were presented during the Fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA V) in March this year in Dushanbe. We hope for support of OSCE participating states in realization of the decisions of this Conference. Tajikistan continues to render to friendly Afghanistan multidimensional practical assistance in economic rehabilitation of its northern areas on bilateral and multilateral basis. These include projects on building of high‐voltage transmission lines, preparation and retraining of civil and military personals, building of railway and highways and the bridges connecting our countries. We are convinced that efforts are necessary for development of Afghanistan on its electrification, for building of transport corridors and bridges connecting this country with the Central Asia and other regions of OSCE. Our country continues to make its own contribution to solution this issue. This, first of all, means accomplishment of construction of a 220 KV power transmission line from Tajikistan to Afghanistan, commissioning five bridges and the beginning of building of the new bridge on the Panj River. Support of the OSCE participating states is necessary in realization of CASA‐1000 project, creation of free economic zones, encouragement of frontier trade, preparation of the Afghani civil and military personnel and many other things. 8. Fight against drug trafficking, among transnational threats, remains rather actual for the OSCE region. Emanating from Afghanistan threat of spread of drug concerns not only the countries neighboring this country, but also Europe as a whole. According to United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), considering steady high prices on drug, this year in Afghanistan it is expected that the crop area and production level of opium will remain at the level of the last year. Particularly subject of concern is predicted growth in the northeast and northwest parts of the country. In this regard, we welcome adoption of "OSCE Concept for Combating the Threat of Illicit Drugs and the Diversion of Chemical Precursors” this year and we call upon participating states and partners of the Organization for cooperation to achieve the purpose of the Concept. 9. Despite achieved certain progress, still there exists mine threat in the Central Asia, which causes casualties among civilian and innocent people and it represents serious concern for us. The number of victims of explosions from antipersonnel mines and unexploded ammunitions since 1992 in Tajikistan is more than 800 persons, including 367 causalities. Much work has to be done for cleaning of considerable territories from mines; for the next 8 years, it is necessary to clean 191 minefields with total area of more than 7,6 million square meters. We support the further strengthening and expansion of activity of OSCE in the Central Asia in this field. 

Confirming our interest, once again we call OSCE and the future Ukrainian Presidency, to put necessary efforts for expediting the issues of opening of Office of Regional Anti‐mine Coordination Council of the Organization in Dushanbe and the beginning of scale practical actions in this direction. Adoption of initiative for announcement of Central Asia a Mine‐free Zone, would also serve for achieving definite goals in this field. 10. We welcome Mongolia in OSCE as the 57th Participating State and we hope that the country will bring its contribution to Organization development. 11. Possibility to improve main objectives of the Organization, which remains a platform for wide, open and equal dialogue and search of common points in security issues and cooperation, is given to us. Tajikistan expresses its readiness for constructive and fruitful interaction with forthcoming Ukrainian Presidency in OSCE and with all participating states of the Organization. In conclusion, I would like to express our hope of further continuation of effective and constructive cooperation with OSCE which is an important partner of Tajikistan. I wish all of you successes and productive work for the sake of the further strengthening of stability and prosperity in our region.

Viewed: 1214 | Date: 12.02.2013