Uzbekistan’s Role in Strengthening Peace and Security in Central Asia

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Uzbekistan plays a key role in strengthening peace and security in the Central Asian region. As one of the largest and most powerful countries in the region in terms of human resources, Uzbekistan is active in bilateral relations and in the framework of international organisations to ensure stability and security in the Central Asian region. Uzbekistan works actively at the level of bilateral relations and within the framework of international organisations to ensure stability and security.

The main objective of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy is to strengthen the state’s independence and sovereignty, as well as its position and role on the international stage. The state strives to create a belt of security and stability around itself and to actively promote its foreign economic interests. Uzbekistan’s main foreign policy stance is to refuse to be part of military-political blocs, as well as not to accept the deployment of foreign military bases and facilities on its territory. In addition, the country does not send its military to participate in peacekeeping operations abroad. Uzbekistan strives to resolve all contradictions and conflicts exclusively by peaceful political means.

Uzbekistan maintains its non-aligned status and strives to expand cooperation with all partners to achieve peace, progress and prosperity. Uzbekistan adheres to the principle of peaceful cooperation and seeks to establish dialogue with other states. One of the main and priority tasks of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy is the effective implementation of the Strategy for Action on the Five Priority Areas of Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021.

To achieve this goal, the republic’s foreign policy department has set itself the following tasks:

– create the most favorable foreign policy conditions for the effective implementation of the democratic reforms underway in the country and the dynamic processes of modernization of society and the economy;

– preserve and strengthen peace and stability in Central Asia, making the region a zone of security and sustainable development;

– to form a balanced multidimensional system of strategic partnership with the world’s leading states and international organizations;

– to promote Uzbekistan’s international initiatives in the most important areas of regional and international politics;

– assistance to increase the volume of exports of domestic products and expand their geography;

– active assistance in attracting foreign direct investment and advanced technologies in priority sectors of the national economy;

– promotion of attraction of foreign tourists and development of the republic’s tourism infrastructure; and

– assistance to broaden and deepen cooperation in the field of transport and transit, development of international transport communications and logistics infrastructure;

– ensuring comprehensive protection of the rights and interests of Uzbek citizens and legal entities outside Uzbekistan;

– strengthening ties with compatriots living abroad.

The main foreign policy priority is the Central Asian region

Uzbekistan strives to ensure peace and stability in this region and actively works to resolve major regional security problems. One of the important aspects of Uzbekistan’s policy in Central Asia is to help resolve the situation in Afghanistan. The Uzbek side strives to support the peace process and stabilization in Afghanistan, aware that the sustainable development of Afghanistan has a direct impact on the security and prosperity of the whole region. Uzbekistan is actively working to strengthen regional trade and economic cooperation and to develop transport and transit infrastructure in Central Asia. This includes developing transport corridors and improving connectivity and trade flows between the countries of the region.

Uzbekistan is also committed to the rational and integrated use of water and energy resources of the transboundary rivers of Central Asia and attaches importance to the environmental sustainability of the region. Furthermore, Uzbekistan is actively working to complete border delimitation and demarcation processes with neighboring Central Asian states. This contributes to establishing clarity and stability in relations with its neighbors and promotes mutually beneficial cooperation. Uzbekistan’s comprehensive approach in Central Asia aims to promote peace, stability, economic development and the strengthening of mutually beneficial cooperation in the region.

Central Asia is a region that has undergone significant changes in recent decades. The importance of increased regional cooperation for development has become evident. The Central Asian region is significant not only politically and economically, but also culturally and historically. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, principled conflict and competition between the countries of the region prevented closer and more engaged interaction. With the arrival of Shavkat Mirziyoyev as president of Uzbekistan, Central Asia has entered a new era of cooperation.

The President of Uzbekistan officially announced that the country’s main foreign policy priority is the Central Asian region. He made this statement during his speech at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly on 19 September 2017. The President stressed that a peaceful and economically prosperous Central Asia is the most important goal and the key objective for Uzbekistan.

At the initiative of the Uzbek President, a high-level International Conference “Central Asia: A Common Past and Future, Cooperation for Sustainable Development and Mutual Prosperity” was held in Samarkand on 10-11 November 2017 under the auspices of the UN. The success of this conference served as the basis for the subsequent unanimous adoption of a special resolution by the UN General Assembly on 22 June 2018. The resolution “Strengthening regional and international cooperation to ensure peace, stability and sustainable development in the Central Asian region” was supported by all UN members.

The President of Uzbekistan also paid special attention to cooperation between the countries of the region in his address to the 75th session of the UN General Assembly on 23 September 2020. In his speech, he noted that fundamental changes are taking place in the Central Asian region and an atmosphere of good neighborliness, mutual trust, friendship and respect has been created among the countries of the region. The President underlined that in difficult times, all states in the region have been supporting each other without distancing themselves from each other. Taking into account the important strategic task of the Central Asian countries to ensure deep integration of the region into the global economic, transport and transit corridors, the President proposed to establish a Regional Centre for the Development of Transport and Communications Interconnectivity under the auspices of the United Nations.

During his address to the 78th session of the UN General Assembly on 19 September 2023, the President once again underlined his firm intention to continue on the path of strengthening good neighborliness, stability, cooperation and development in Central Asia. The President expressed his confidence that, with the support of the international community, Central Asia will continue on the path of consolidation. Making it a peaceful and prosperous region will remain a priority objective of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy.

It is noteworthy that in his first year as President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev has made cardinal changes, visiting more than a dozen countries and spearheading important new policy initiatives. This has provided a strong impetus for the development and resolution of regional problems in Central Asian countries. Uzbek leaders emphasized the common cultural heritage of Central Asian peoples, the interconnectedness of regional economic and security networks, the importance of jointly addressing transnational problems in water, energy and other areas, and the need to definitively establish state borders, making Central Asian solidarity an important foreign policy objective.

In general, relations between the countries of the region have evolved positively in recent years.

It is important to note the changing position of Central Asian countries on the international scene as a result of their interaction. Today, Central Asia has become a strategically important partner for the European Union, as reflected in the EU’s updated strategy for 2019. The US has also adopted its own strategy towards Central Asia and held the first C5+1 presidential summit. Cooperation between Central Asian countries and Russia and between Central Asia and China has intensified. In addition, Central Asian countries are exploring inter-regional cooperation, including cooperation with South Asia, which is a key factor in ensuring security, stability and good neighborliness.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev adheres to the principle “from instability and destruction to peace and creation” with regard to the stabilization of Afghanistan. This principle defines the basis for joint regional cooperation and implies that the countries of the region should join their efforts to support the stability, security and reconstruction of Afghanistan. It underlines the importance of a long-term and sustainable approach to addressing Afghanistan’s challenges and calls for the cooperation of all stakeholders, including regional states, international organizations and other actors, to achieve this goal.

Uzbekistan has been providing humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan. From September 2021 to date, more than 10,000 tons of humanitarian goods have been sent to Afghanistan. In addition, Uzbekistan actively cooperates with international organizations and provides comprehensive support for the delivery of humanitarian aid, contributing to the improvement of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The consolidated approach of Central Asian countries is a key factor in establishing sustainable peace in Afghanistan and returning the country to the path of peaceful development. It includes not only political and diplomatic efforts, but also economic development, social harmony and institution building. It also includes processes to rebuild and develop infrastructure, provide access to education, health and other basic services, and create jobs and economic opportunities for the population. Lasting peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved by addressing the root causes of the conflict, including the political, ethnic and economic aspects, and by creating an enabling environment for long-term development and prosperity in the country.

Source : Thediplomatinspain