Statement by Sirodjidin Aslov
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan
at the 14th Asia Cooperation Dialogue
(Bangkok, 10 March 2016)
Distinguished Mr. Chair,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand for warm hospitality and its extraordinary arrangements for the success of todays’ meeting.
Over a very short historical period the ACD has approved itself as one of the effective and promising institutions of multidimensional cooperation, which facilitates confidence building measures, good neighbourhood and constructive search for mutually acceptable approaches in addressing common problems of Asia. It is encouraging, that number of member-countries of the Dialogue is increasing year by year. With great pleasure, I would like to welcome the membership of Nepal in our organization.
The Asian region has been characterized by a dynamic economic growth over the recent decades. Although the international economy is exposed to periodic difficulties, however, our region is growing comparatively faster than the other regions of the world.
Therefore, our Dialogue should focus towards strengthening the regional integration and trade on goods and services, as well as restoring balanced economic growth in the whole Asia. In this connection, we would like to support the first pillar – connectivity. The measures in this cluster should embrace the increase in investments in the regional infrastructures, which facilitate connectivity among the peoples, countries and sub-regions.
With regard to the second and third pillars, namely Science, Technology and Innovation and Education and Human Resource Development, I would like to underline that we could look at merits of merging the both of them in one cluster. In our understanding, the both directions are closely interrelated and have a common goal – strengthening regional potential for human development.
We support a separate pillar on Water, Food and Energy Security Nexus. Although the Asian region is rich in energy resources, however, according to expert data, almost every fourth resident of the region lives without access to energy. This seriously affects the efforts in providing our population with access to the basic human needs - education, medicine, food and safe drinking water. It is well known, that access to modern energy is crucial for economic and social development, as well as for poverty eradication. To achieve this goal, we need solutions in improving access to energy through the promotion of reliable and affordable energy services, which would be environmentally friendly and economically feasible. The main problem of the countries in our region is the inadequate use of the renewable energy sources. Our communities should make efforts to promote the development and use of renewable and clean energy. We should encourage and promote an increase of the share of renewable energy in the regional and global scale, transfer of new and advanced technologies, increasing energy efficiency.
At the same time, efforts should be mobilized to provide financial support to countries that have potential to expand the use of the renewable energy.
Moreover, the problem of providing an access to clean drinking water and food is one of the most important issues for the region. The growth of population in our region requires more effective and rational initiatives to ensure drinking water and food supply. An integrated approach to water management, access to safe drinking water, and basic sanitation and hygiene can improve the quality of life of billions of people and reduce frequency of the infectious diseases.
Today an intercultural and inter-faith dialogue in our region, embraced with the ancient civilizations and the rich diversity of cultures, plays an important role. We believe that our economic relations should be accompanied by strengthening of the intercultural ties between the peoples of our region.
In this context, we should accelerate efforts for the implementation of the projects on academic and cultural exchanges. Therefore, we support a separate pillar for future activities of the Dialogue on Culture and Tourism.
In conclusion, I would like to stress that without proper coordination and coherence, which could be facilitated only through the Secretariat, it will be difficult to implement all goals and tasks. We support the proposal to upgrade the Provisional Secretariat to a Permanent Secretariat and welcome generous contribution of the State Kuwait to support the Secretariat. In our opinion, the Secretariat of the ACD should be compact and efficient. At the same time, it could be strengthened through the secondment of additional experts. We should also take into account financial potential of the LDCs, in order do not to create new disparities in the implementation process. Moreover, we should increase our cooperation with the UN regional economic commissions, the regional financial institutions and other partners.
I thank you for attention.