To His Excellency Mr Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-GeneralEsteemed Mr Gutterres,
It gives me great pleasure to genuinely congratulate you on the successful beginning of your responsible work in the post of Secretary-General of the United Nations and to wish you every success in this noble work that is very important to the world community.
On 2 March, we celebrate a significant date of our cooperation – the 25th anniversary of the Republic of Uzbekistan becoming a full member of the UN. This historic event was one of the most important milestones of our country’s independent development, the recognition of its national statehood and sovereignty in the world arena.
I am sure that independent Uzbekistan as an equal entity in international relations has made a worthy contribution to raising the prestige of the UN and strengthening its potential and also to implementing goals and tasks specified in its charter.
UN membership gave our country a possibility to more actively participate in the promotion of peace, development and cooperation globally and to resolve a number of the most complicated modern world and regional problems.
Uzbekistan’s initiative on creating a nuclear-free zone in Central Asia that was put forward in 1993 and successfully implemented with support from the UN was a weighty contribution to observing the comprehensive nuclear non-proliferation regime.
Practical proposals submitted by the Uzbek side in 1995 on the introduction of an arms embargo on the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and in 1997 on the creation of the 6+2 contact group directed towards searching for ways of a political resolution of the Afghan conflict made it possible in quite a short space of time to consolidate the efforts of key states and international organizations for the promotion of Afghanistan’s peace process.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s visit to Uzbekistan in 2002 and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Uzbekistan in 2010 and 2015 helped to promote the global development agenda in the Central Asian region and to step up partnership between our country and the UN. Moreover, Mr Ban Ki-moon’s visit to the Aral Sea region in 2010 was an important catalyst for the strengthening of the world community’s attention to the Aral tragedy and that environmental disaster zone.
In this context, I would like to express gratitude to you and the entire United Nations for firmly supporting efforts to create a special trust fund under the aegis of the UN for the Aral Sea and Aral zone. One of the significant steps in this direction was the 10 February 2017 launch of the UN’s Joint Programme Building the resilience of communities affected by the Aral Sea disaster through the Multi-partner Human Security Fund for the Aral Sea.
Today the world faces an increasingly greater number of various challenges and threats ranging from socio-political to ecological problems. Considering the current volatile state of the world economy as globalization and competition increase, there is a need to work out and implement completely new ideas and principles for the sustainable and harmonious development of all the countries of the world in future.
For its part, Uzbekistan welcomes and supports in every way possible measures being taken globally for the effective realization of sustainable development goals adopted at a UN summit in September 2015. Moreover, at a national level, our country is doing large-scale work to raise the effectiveness of reforms and to create conditions for ensuring the comprehensive and rapid modernization of the state and society.
For this purpose, on 7 February 2017 we approved an action strategy for five priority areas of the development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021 where attention is mainly concentrated on conceptual issues of socio-political, socio-economic and cultural-humanitarian changes in the country.
I would like to emphasize that the key provisions of the action strategy coincide with the sustainable development goals. I am sure that this creates a firm foundation for our fruitful cooperation.
I hope to meet you soon in New York at the forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly in September this year.
Making use of this opportunity, let me wish you, Mr Guterres, robust health, wellbeing and further success in your responsible work.
With genuine respect,
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan