We publish here in full the text of the speech given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Vladimir Norov, at a round table conference held on 18 December at Archazor in Uzbekistan.
I warmly welcome you to our already traditional New Year’s Eve diplomatic event, which this time takes place in the beautiful mountain resort of Archazor.
It gives me great pleasure to see here the heads and representatives of diplomatic missions of our neighbouring countries, leading partner states and international organizations. I would like to wish all of you a pleasant stay in this cozy corner of Uzbekistan and fruitful communication in a truly friendly and open atmosphere.
The theme of today’s round table could not better reflect the general paradigm of our country’s open, pragmatic and consistent foreign policy.
Having embarked on the path of full-scale reforms and democratic transformations, Uzbekistan, under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has initiated a new course in foreign policy. It is based on a commitment to the principles of international law and an aspiration to peace, good-neighbourliness, comprehensive cooperation and the strengthening of regional stability and international security, which fully meets the national interests of Uzbekistan.
The Republic of Uzbekistan is committed to constructive dialogue and the development of multilateral cooperation based on taking into account and respecting the interests of each State.
Uzbekistan’s regional interaction in Central Asia is an example of this. In recent years, we have managed to bring relations with all the states of the region to a high strategic level and through our joint efforts to form an entirely new, positive atmosphere of mutual trust and cooperation.
In the last five years alone, regional trade turnover has doubled.
Uzbekistan and brotherly neighbouring countries have embarked on joint industrial cooperation projects, the creation of efficient value chains and the development of transport and energy infrastructure.
Together we confront new challenges and risks in the difficult times of uncertainty and instability that the world is experiencing today.
Together we are building a new future for Central Asia as a united, consolidated, stable and prosperous region, dynamically integrated into global economic relations.
The regular Consultative Meetings of Central Asian Heads of State has been an important mechanism for achieving this high level of mutual trust and cooperation.
They contribute to the development of common positions on issues of regional trade, economic, transport and environmental interconnectedness, as well as on the resolution of the most acute intraregional issues.
Uzbekistan is a supporter of mutually beneficial, inclusive international cooperation based on respecting the interests of each partner.
In line with this open strategy, our country actively participates in the development of dialogue and interaction in the “Central Asia Plus” formats.
Such meetings are held with Russia, China, the United States, Germany, Italy, India, the Republic of Korea, Japan, the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council and the European Union.
We believe that such meetings provide participants with the opportunity to discuss on a regular basis the status and prospects for cooperation between the countries of the region and key foreign policy partners and organizations.
The Central Asia Plus format serves to strengthen and maintain regional balance and demonstrates our commitment to pursuing a calibrated, truly independent policy, without getting involved in various kinds of disagreements.
Recently, we successfully held in Samarkand the First International Conference “EU-Central Asia” Connectivity: “the Global Gateway”.
The actual topics of promoting sustainable connectivity, developing coordinated measures to support “green” development and recovery from the consequences of the pandemic were discussed.
The life itself shows the exceptional, one might say alternative importance of such pragmatic and constructive diplomacy in modern conditions. Uzbekistan firmly adheres to the position that conflicts and confrontations lead only to destructive consequences and situations in which there are no winners.
Only diplomacy based on reasonable compromise can equally and conflict-free satisfy the interests of all sides.
As the Head of Uzbekistan stresses, effective international interaction makes our interconnected world more stable, predictable and prosperous.
This is the most realistic, accessible and close way to solve the problems of our time and settle emergency crisis situations.
Our country demonstrates a strong commitment to the principles of multilateralism, opening up new horizons in the interaction with international organizations.
Uzbekistan consistently stands for strengthening the central role of the UN in solving global problems and ensuring international security.
As you know, our President put forward a number of major initiatives within the framework of the UN, including promoting regional and international cooperation in Central Asia, strengthening the connectivity of Central and South Asia, and creating conditions for achieving global sustainable development goals.
Just the other day, on December 14, during its 78th session, the UN General Assembly adopted a Resolution on Strengthening the Role of Parliaments in Accelerating the Achievement of the SDGs, initiated by the head of our state.
Following the goals of establishing lasting peace and stability in neighboring Afghanistan, the head of Uzbekistan made a proposal on the CICA platform to create an International Negotiating Group on Afghanistan under the auspices of the UN.
The joint practical implementation of these and many other initiatives put forward by the head of Uzbekistan will make it possible to form a wide space for interregional cooperation, free from “zero-sum” confrontation and rivalry.
During its chairmanship at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Uzbekistan made significant efforts to increase the value of multilateral cooperation through strengthening regional connectivity.
The priorities of our chairmanship were aimed at opening up new strategic vectors of mutually beneficial cooperation: transport, energy, food and ecological security, innovation, digital transformation and green economy.
In each of these areas, in close cooperation with our partners, we adopted a record number of documents, which demonstrates the growing interest of all SCO states in the development of multilateral cooperation.
This is a very good and positive signal from the Organization, whose membership continues to grow with new members, strengthening its international authority.
At the SCO summit, Uzbekistan proposed to the world community the Samarkand Solidarity Initiative for the Sake of Common Security and Prosperity. Its goal is to involve in the global inter-civilizational dialogue all those who are not indifferent to our common future, who are ready, despite disagreements, to seek agreed approaches and solutions.
Ancient and eternally young Samarkand has become the venue for another major international Summit of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS).
The Samarkand OTC Summit confirmed the course of transformation of this structure from a platform of interaction into a full-fledged regional organization of practical cooperation in trade, economic, transport, cultural and humanitarian spheres.
Having assumed the presidency of the OTS following its summit, Uzbekistan is committed to contributing to the further strengthening of the pragmatic line of cooperation within the Organization.
The Republic of Uzbekistan will continue to give priority to deepening and expanding mutually beneficial and multifaceted strategic ties with all our regional and global partners, both at the bilateral and multilateral levels.
In accordance with the Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan, aimed at building a strong rule of law state based, our country will continue to pursue a balanced foreign policy based on trust and respect, mutually beneficial cooperation.
Relations with the states of the CIS, Asia, Europe, America, the Near and Middle East will be elevated to a new, higher level.
In accordance with the initiatives of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, cooperation with high-profile international and regional organizations and global financial institutions will be expanded.
The diplomacy of Uzbekistan will make active efforts to promote national interests in global economic relations, attracting more foreign investment, advanced technologies and knowledge, as well as tourist flows to the country.
I hope that with your active participation, foreign policy and foreign economic relations between our countries will continue to grow stronger and be filled with new content, mutually beneficial projects and significant initiatives. Our further interaction will serve to further strengthening the friendly, mutually beneficial ties between our countries and peoples.
We have held an insightful and, to my mind, a very useful meeting, and discussed topical issues of the current state and prospects for interaction between our states in a rapidly changing international situation.
We have heard very interesting elaborations in terms of the path that we should take in order to achieve to the maximum the objectives we have set, and strengthen the resilience of our states in the face of modern challenges.
I am sincerely grateful to all of you for your active and fruitful participation in the discussions and for your valuable suggestions and recommendations.
We will certainly continue organizing such meetings and look forward to your active participation.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to sincerely congratulate you on the upcoming New Year 2023 and wish you all the best, sound health, prosperity, and great success in your diplomatic activity!
And now I am pleased to invite you and your spouses to dinner, where we can continue our friendly conversation in a warm and relaxed atmosphere.
The Author is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Vladimir Norov