Statement at the General Debate of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly

21.09.2023 08:14

Mr. President,


Mr. Secretary-General,

Heads od states and governments,

Ladies and gentlemen,


In today's challenging and turbulent time, international community more than ever needs integration and trust.

We are now witnessing alarming developments in the international arena against the backdrop of increasing modern threats and challenges.

Terrorism, extremism and transnational organized crime, rapid armament, as well as the escalation of the Cold War threaten international peace, security and development.

At the same time, the disastrous impacts of climate change - extreme heat, floods, droughts, fires and other natural disasters, as well as water shortages and famine - pose a serious threat to humanity.

In this context, joint concerted efforts to address these threats and challenges and achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda have become imperative.

To this end, we welcome the theme of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity: accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda and SDGs towards peace, prosperity, progress, and sustainability for all.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Despite the efforts of the international community to attain the 2030 Agenda, the world is not on track to meet most of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Unfortunately, developing countries, least developed countries and small island developing states are bearing the brunt.

Despite significant progress made on some SDGs, in particular SDG1, SDG7, SDG12, and SDG13, Tajikistan still faces challenges in fulfilling its promise – to attain SDGs by 2030.

Therefore, we understand that solidarity, financing, implementation of commitments and other practical measures should be strengthened, and this requires truly fundamental shift.

Therefore, Tajikistan supported the Secretary-General’s proposal, “Our Common Agenda”, to reverse the course and turbo-charge the SDGs.

We also welcome the Secretary-General’s SDG Stimulus to Deliver Agenda 2030 and call for at least 500 billion dollars to be made available to developing countries, least developed countries and small island developing states annually to accelerate progress towards the 2030 Agenda.

We also welcome the call to reform international financial architecture to ensure the mobilization of stable and long-term financing scale for investments needed, among other things, to achieve SDGs and tackle climate issues.

Distinguished participants,

As we all observe, climate change impacts are increasing across the globe.

This year we witnessed the highest air temperature over the entire period of observation.

Asia is warming faster than the global average, as a recent World Meteorological Organization latest report, “State of the Global Climate” indicates.

The negative consequences of this process, such as droughts, floods, landslides and fires in different regions of the world, including Tajikistan, are very alarming phenomena.

Tajikistan, with 93% of its territory covered by mountains, is experiencing the impact of climate change firsthand and considered one of the world's most vulnerable countries to climate change's impact.

Frequent climate-related disasters in the forms of landslides, mudflows, floods and draughts in Tajikistan result in human and infrastructure loss.

To this end, Tajikistan attaches particular importance to the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which is called upon to promote the improvement of early warning systems, to increase investments in programs on natural disaster risk reduction, and to render financial assistance to developing countries.

Tajikistan is one of the pilot countries to implement the UN Secretary-General’s "Early Warning for All” initiative.

Ladies and gentlemen,

More than 13 thousand glaciers are registered in the Republic of Tajikistan. 60% of the region’s water resources form in our country.

Unfortunately, over the past decades, Tajikistan has lost more than one thousands of glaciers, which will have significant implications for future food security, water availability, and ecosystems of Central Asia and beyond.

The intense melting of glaciers as the primary source of freshwater requires the adoption of concrete measures, including research, data collection and processing, and enhanced international cooperation.

I express my gratitude to all Member States for their cooperation in adopting the UNGA Resolution 77/158 from 14 December 2022 on “International Year of Glaciers’ Preservation, 2025.

I invite all interested parties to join efforts to ensure the targeted implementation of this Resolution.

We stand ready to work with the international community within the newly created Group of Friends of Glaciers and beyond to implement the mandates of the Resolution.

Tajikistan is convinced that this initiative will give a powerful impetus to a new global movement to take necessary collective action and to protect glaciers from intense melting.

I would also like to highlight the successful outcomes of the United Nations Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018–2028.

I believe that fulfilling the commitments made by the international community at the Conference will contribute to achieving SDG6 and addressing other internationally agreed water-related goals.

Recently, the General Assembly unanimously adopted another Resolution following this Conference, proposed by Tajikistan, the Netherlands and Senegal.

We hope that member states and other partners will join our efforts in this process.

It is worth noting that Dushanbe will host the Third High-Level Conference on the Implementation of the Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development” in 2024 and the International Conference on Glaciers’ Preservation in 2025.

We expect the international community to take an active part in these important international events.

As a proactive and champion country in the global water and climate agenda, Tajikistan will continue to strive to promote cooperation between countries and organizations.

In modern conditions, the formation of a “green economy” has become one of the urgent tasks of humanity.

In our country, 98% of electricity is produced from renewable sources, that is, hydropower, and according to this indicator, Tajikistan ranks sixth in the world.

Effective and rational use of Tajikistan's tremendous hydropower resources can provide a favorable ground for the development of green energy generation throughout the region.

We consider the role of the Green Climate Fund to be positive and constructive in the process of addressing environmental challenges and adapting to climate change.

In support of the Fund's Strategic Plan for 2024-2027, we invite Member States, especially developed countries, and other stakeholders to contribute to financing its implementation.

Dear friends,

Regional solidarity and integration is of paramount importance in today’s interconnected world.

It enables countries to address shared challenges, promote peace, and respond effectively to emergencies.

Currently, as a result of joint measures taken by the countries of Central Asia, a favorable atmosphere has been created for strengthening regional integration.

It was fully demonstrated during the fifth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia, which took place on 14-15 September 2023 in Dushanbe.

This initiative will contribute to a stable atmosphere of peace, cooperation, sustainable development and prosperity in our region.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Security, stability and regional cooperation in Central Asia are directly linked with the situation in neighboring Afghanistan.

Afghanistan continues to face a difficult political, economic and social situation.

As the UN Secretary-General puts it, 97% of Afghans live in poverty.

In this challenging time, Tajikistan reaffirms its commitment to continue providing humanitarian assistance and its infrastructure as well as 6 bridges on the border to support the Afghan people.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to once again appeal to the international community to increase the volume of humanitarian aid to the suffering people of Afghanistan.

We in this regard are ready for further increased cooperation with international partners and other interested parties.

We continue to consider the establishment of intra-Afghan dialogue and the creation of a truly inclusive government with the participation of representatives of all peoples, nations and political and social groups as an important ground for achieving lasting peace and genuine stability in Afghanistan.

Drug trafficking, especially from Afghanistan, has increased dramatically over the past two years.

During this period, the competent authorities of Tajikistan seized more than ten (10) tons of narcotics on the border with this country, which is several times more than in previous years.

The Government of Tajikistan is continuously taking practical measures within the framework of the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism and Extremism for 2021-2025.

We in cooperation with international community intend to hold the next international conference on counter terrorism and its financing in Dushanbe in 2024.

Tajikistan reiterates that the response to the growing threats of terrorism, extremism, trafficking in narcotics and other global modern threats and challenges must be comprehensive.

We in this connection, do believe that the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) can and should contribute effectively to the integrated and balanced implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and other relevant documents to address all aspects of this threat.

The efforts should also be focused on preventing the use of the internet for radicalization, recruitment, and propaganda of extremism and violence.

Tajikistan welcomes the adoption in June 2023 the eighth review of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

We believe it provides a robust framework in further guiding our counterterrorism efforts.

Distinguished participants,

The fabric of our societies is woven with the threads of different cultures, traditions and faiths.

This solidarity is a good basis for peaceful life in a space of mutual understanding between different cultures and religions.

In this regard, manifestations of discrimination, racial and religious hostility, with an understanding of their negative consequences, are unacceptable.

These actions, as well as the politicization of religious issues undermine the very essence of our international community.

Insulting religious sentiments, hatred and violence against any religion or belief have tragic consequences.

In most cases, such provocative actions trigger intolerance and mistrust, causing divisions and conflicts among civilizations.

In this sense, Tajikistan strongly condemns any insult to the religious sanctity of the people, including the Holy Qur’an or other cultural and religious values of humanity.

As a co-sponsor of the recently adopted United Nations General Assembly Resolution entitled “Promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance in countering hate speech,” Tajikistan reiterates the importance of promoting dialogue and mutual understanding among civilizations for peace and harmony in the world.

We believe spreading the values of tolerance and peace is the best way to confront hate speech, fanaticism, extremism, violence, and incitement.

Let us stand united against actions that seek to divide us and instead work towards a world where mutual respect and recognition are the cornerstones of our global society.

Ladies and gentlemen,

As a nation, that has demonstrated resilience, stability, and commitment to peace, Tajikistan seeks to secure a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2028-2029.

I take this opportunity to call on the Member States to render their valuable support for Tajikistan’s candidacy during the 2027 elections.

To conclude, I would like to once again emphasize that achieving all our agreed goals is possible only based on mutual understanding, coordination, integration and tolerance.

To this end, let me recite a poem from the famous Tajik - Persian poet, writer and thinker Saadi Shirazi that is very relevant and speaks to the theme of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly and correspond to our shared commitments:

Human beings are members of a whole,
In the creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.

I thank you for your attention!