On the invitation of the Government of Uzbekistan, the ECO Secretary General H.E. Ambassador Khusrav Noziri participated in the International Conference on Afghanistan hosted at Tashkent on July 26, 2022 to explore, discuss and figure out the possible ways and means for addressing the current economic and security challenges of Afghanistan.
The international event held under the title “Afghanistan: Security and Economic Development” was attended by Representatives from different countries, including ECO Member States, USA, Russia, China, India, some European and Middle Eastern nations, relevant UN agencies, EU, regional and international organizations, as well as the members of diplomatic community based in Uzbekistan. Afghanistan delegation was represented by country’s Acting Foreign Minister, Mr. Amir Khan Muttaqi.
The event was chaired by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan H.E. Mr. Vladimir Norov. In his opening remarks, the Acting Foreign Minister underscored the inevitability of serious and inclusive efforts by the global community to be aimed at facilitating smooth socioeconomic recovery, restoring stability and creating secure working conditions in Afghanistan, involving the country into regional integration process. Mentioning about the global multifunctional hub in Termez being utilized by various UN bodies to transport essential humanitarian aid into Afghanistan, he stressed the significance of the proposed “Mazar-i-Sharif ,“ Kabul ,“ Peshawar” railway track, particularly for the economic development of Afghanistan, and the collective wellbeing of the region. In this regard, he stated that a feasibility study is in process to identify the possible route for building the said railway line.
Speaking at the Conference, the Special Representative of the President of Uzbekistan on Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Abdulaziz Kamilov read out the message of His Excellency Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In the said message President Mirziyoyev extended sincere gratitude to the UN Secretary General for supporting their initiative to organize this important global event in Uzbekistan. He believed that this forum would help promote and build constructive approaches to lead interactions with the Afghan authorities based on the common interest of Afghan people and the world community as a whole. Highlighting the shared Uzbek-Afghan cultural, spiritual and historical values, he emphasized that the region’s wellbeing, progress and socioeconomic development were impractical without securing an inclusive and across-the-board peace, security and stability. The President expressed concerns over the lack of or diminishing global attention towards Afghanistan, noting that such neglect will intensify the socioeconomic and humanitarian crisis in the country. He said that the world should endorse and encourage the efforts of the current Afghan administration for reconstruction and economic development in their country, establishment of friendly relations with neighbouring nations and the mutually beneficial cooperation with international community. Meanwhile, he expected the Afghan side to form a broad-based representation, including all segments of their society for governance, to ensure the application of basic human rights, especially for women and ethnic-confessional groups that remains a pre-requisite for durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The ECO Secretary General felicitated Uzbekistan for organizing and hosting the gathering of global magnitude, hoping that this significant interaction would discover some feasible remedies to address Afghanistan’s crucial issues of security and economic development. He also appreciated the UN Security Council for deciding to extend the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) for the accomplishment of their envisioned targets, particularly the coordination for provision of humanitarian assistance and ensuring essential human needs and requirements, bridging contact between Afghan stakeholders and the international community, as well as continuing efforts to promote good governance and rule of law in Afghanistan. He mentioned that the ECO considers the restoration of peace, security and stability fundamentally necessary for maintaining the process of reconstruction, development and socioeconomic progress in Afghanistan. Such factors also play key role to upkeep an unimpeded regional connectivity and promote sustainable trade and investment activities in Afghanistan, the region and beyond, ECO Secretary General underlined. Referring some relevant ECO initiatives on regional connectivity, he stressed that an unhindered implementation of such projects will not only serve the larger regional interest, but also their smooth execution can support the overall economic development in Afghanistan. Lamenting the country’s continuously deteriorating situation, the ECO Secretary General stressed that isolated efforts cannot work or achieve any sane aim to bring relief to the sufferings of Afghan people, adding that more coordinated, mutual and strong response is required for the preservation of human prestige and dignity there. Moreover, he expected an accommodative approach to be resorted by both the international community and the country’s current regime to stave off further economic and human crunch in Afghanistan.
The prime goal of the Tashkent International Conference was to blend the global efforts targeted at countering the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, ensuring effective and emergency assistance to the people of the country. The event was further aimed at establishing an effective dialogue of the international community and developing coherence and synergies to oppose any postures that seem to sabotage the overall process of peace, stability and development in Afghanistan.