UN commends Afghanistan’s inclusion in regional projects

Monitoring Desk
Saturday - January 20, 2018
NEW YORK (United States): United Nations (UN) secretary general António Guterres, on Friday, in his remarks to the UN security council (UNSC) on building regional partnership in Afghanistan and central Asia, to link security and development observed, “Several cross-border initiatives are now being planned or are under way, including the central Asia-south Asia power project, a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India, and a new power transmission line from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan.”

He continued, “I was encouraged to see positive developments in energy cooperation, which is fundamental to promote development and security.”

UN secretary general Guterres said, “The United Nations family stands ready to support these initiatives and others that can bring greater investment and prosperity to this region.”

He added, “Increased trade is a prerequisite for growth, and also for sustainable development and to build resilience to external economic shocks” educating “The personal contacts brought by trade can also help dismantle informal barriers and increase trust.”

Guterres appreciated, “Central Asian countries bordering Afghanistan are now improving cross-border infrastructure, while Uzbekistan launched direct flights between Tashkent and Kabul last year” commending “Several railway and powerline projects that are creating physical connections between Afghanistan and its northern neighbours, including the Lapis Lazuli railway connecting Turkmenistan with Afghanistan.”

He stated, “The Afghan government’s fight against violent extremism, terrorism and transnational organised crime has implications for the entire region, and the world” asserting “Responding to these threats cannot be the responsibility of the Afghan government alone” adding “Effective counter-terrorism relies on regional and multilateral cooperation, based firmly on human rights.”

Guterres implied, “Regional cooperation offers opportunities to address common concerns, including counter-terrorist financing, improving border security, fostering dialogue with religious institutions and leaders, and countering human trafficking and drug smuggling.”

He hoped, “The upcoming meeting of the Kabul process for peace and security cooperation will be an opportunity for the Afghan government to set out its vision for a more structured peace and security process coordinated with the wider region, including regional efforts to fight terrorism and violent extremism” assuring “The UN stands ready to support.”

Guterres reiterated, “The UN development system is engaged in supporting governments throughout the region to implement the 2030 agenda for sustainable development and to invest in sustainable economic growth, including greater opportunities for young people, women and girls” adding “Education, vocational training and jobs must be an absolute priority in national and regional development cooperation.”

He reported, “Central Asia has made significant progress on sustainable development in recent decades” highlighting “In Tajikistan, for example, the poverty rate has been halved, from 81 percent in 2003 to 31 percent in 2015.”

Guterres recalled, “Despite the centuries during which the silk road was one of the most important trading routes in the world, trade between central Asian countries has fallen to low levels since they achieved independence nearly 30 years ago” educating “Opportunities for intra-regional trade are significant, and even modest improvements can result in substantial gains for all the people of the region.”

He appreciated, “New efforts are taking place to better manage the water resources that are fundamental to economic development in this region.”

Guterres mentioned, “These resources are coming under unprecedented strain” grieving “As I witnessed during my visit, almost 30 percent of Tajikistan’s spectacular glaciers have melted in the last 10 years alone” adding “The Aral Sea stands as a terrible warning of the consequences of mismanagement” asserting “We must use these ecological disasters to spur greater cooperation and action.”