The speech of E. Abdyldaev at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly

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The speech of E. Abdyldaev is published in full and without any adjustments:

«Allow me, first of all, to congratulate Mr. Peter Thompson on his election as the Chairman of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly. Also, allow me to thank the Chairman of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly Mr. Mogens Lykketoft for productive governance of its work.

Kyrgyzstan supports the topic of the current discussion «Sustainable Development Goals: overall efforts to change the world» which is considered timely in light of the adoption of the seventeen Sustainable development goals and Paris climate change agreement in 2015.

1.     National agenda

This year, on August 31st , Kyrgyzstan celebrated its 25th anniversary of Independence. All this time Kyrgyzstan has been on a difficult path of building a democratic, constitutional and economically developed state.

Only six years have passed since the April People’s Revolution of 2010, an event that paved the way for the revival of Kyrgyzstan. We are proud of the achievements our country has made during this period. Our country has gone through its own, distinct, and very challenging path to freedom and democracy. And it has paid a high price for them. Drawing hard lessons from mistakes of the first twenty years of independence, today, the freedom-loving nation of Kyrgyzstan has got on the path of stability and introduced to the world a unique experience of overcoming critical socio-political crises and building a society of free people.

For the first time in the history of our country, we held national parliament elections using biometric technology in October of 2015. Election results were accepted by all political forces and became the key to the unity of the people. In addition, the international community unanimously recognized them as democratic.

Taking advantage of this opportunity, I express our appreciation to the UN Secretary General and friendly countries for their support in preparing for the parliamentary elections.

In the year of 2017, our country will hold scheduled presidential elections. In this regard, we believe for the UN and partner countries to continue to support Kyrgyzstan in its efforts to conduct presidential elections in accordance with international standards

2. Sustainable development goals and climate change

Kyrgyzstan fully supports the adopted comprehensive agenda on international development until 2030. We laud the fact that Sustainable development goals took into account lessons from implementing the Millennium Development Goals as well as needs of developing mountainous countries that do not have access to the sea, much like our country. 

Among Sustainable development goals, of the highest priority to Kyrgyzstan are goals such as poverty reduction, food security, quality education and healthcare, economic growth, energy and environmental protection.

Kyrgyzstan intends to implement SDGs considering national development characteristics and in keeping with financial possibilities. However, their full-scale implementation in Kyrgyzstan and other countries needs external assistance, for which reason we urge donor countries to honor commitments on financing for international development in full.

As is well-known, environmental dimension is one of the three pillars of the agenda on international development until 2030. Together we reached a consensus on climate change agreement in Paris. For its part, Kyrgyzstan is fully supportive of this global agreement. Yesterday, on General Discussion margins we signed the Paris Agreement.

In Kyrgyzstan, global warming effects have already manifested in natural calamities and emergencies, vibrations of the water content of Mountain Rivers, excessive melting of glaciers, degradation of unique mountain ecosystems and subsequently led to negative social consequences. Significant damage is caused to economic sectors. According to our estimates, the annual damage from natural disasters in Kyrgyzstan is about 35 million US dollars. Significant damage is caused to economic sectors. According to our estimates, the annual damage from natural disasters in Kyrgyzstan is about 35 million US dollars. In this regard, our country needs international support for adaptation to climate change.

Of particular concern is the intense melting of Kyrgyzstan’s glaciers that naturally store water resources in Central Asia. According to forecasts, by 2025 in Kyrgyzstan the total land area covered by ​​glaciers could be reduced on average by 30-40%, resulting in reduced water content of the Kyrgyz Rivers by 25-35%. Of particular concern is the intense melting of Kyrgyzstan’s glaciers that naturally store water resources in Central Asia. According to forecasts, by 2025 the total land area covered by ​​glaciers in Kyrgyzstan could be reduced by 30-40% on average, resulting in a reduction of the water content of the Kyrgyz Rivers by 25-35%. To that end, Kyrgyzstan advocates realization of joint projects on preserving glaciers in upstream countries.

In addition, due to climate change biodiversity of our mountain ecosystems is under threat of extinction. In particular, since the 90s snow leopards’ population has declined by half - from 600 to 300 species. In 2013, Kyrgyzstan conducted its first-ever Global Snow Leopard Conservation Forum, which departed cooperation between countries of snow leopard’s habitat as well as our international partners.

Next year, in 2017, Kyrgyzstan will convene the second Global Forum where we will summarize what has been done and determine further joint actions to preserve these rare animals.

Another pressing issue that cannot be resolved without the participation of the international community - the numerous uranium tailings ponds located in the countries of our region. The scale of this issue requires targeted and coordinated work under the General Assembly resolution № 68/218 « The role of the international community in the prevention of the radiation threat».

In view of this, a proposal is put forth to organize a High-Level International Forum regarding this resolution in May-June of 2017. The Kyrgyz Republic is ready to carry out appropriate preparatory work together with interested countries and international organizations. We express our for the support of the international community in this direction.

3. International security

Sustainable development of each state depends on ensuring security and stability, including at the global level. Unfortunately, our present meeting at the UN against the backdrop of international tensions and instability caused by the current events in Afghanistan, the Middle East and North Africa, and Ukraine. In relations between leading powers of the world differences on pressing concerns of international politics are not removed, sanctions standoff continues. Thus, international situation and confrontational attitude of some countries do not contribute to the resolution of modern day challenges and threats based on team strategy under the UN auspices. However, their global nature requires from all countries of the world without exception to continue cooperation and interaction in the interest of all mankind.

In this regard, we believe that the leading powers of the world must put aside their differences and with consolidated efforts combat threats to international security.

In the era of globalization, everything that happens affects not just parties to the conflict but other countries as well. Kyrgyzstan is no exception. Phenomena such as terrorism, extremism, religious intolerance, and radicalization, that have started and developed far beyond the borders of Kyrgyzstan, unfortunately, did not spare us. We will be forced to protect the interests of the state and our citizens. However, we believe it is effective, first and foremost, to «localize» them at focal points. It is important to provide international assistance to countries that are fighting with them at the national level, including within the framework of the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, proposed by UN Secretary-General in January this year.

In the fight against terrorism and extremism along with the military approaches, it is important to use preventive measures and develop intercultural dialogue. Just as every nation, ethnic group, and country, Kyrgyzstan has a unique history and culture.

To promote peaceful values, traditions and customs of nomadic civilization, in 2011 Kyrgyzstan put forward the initiative on the World Games Nomads. So, in 2014 the first ever World Nomad Games were successfully held in Kyrgyzstan on the mountain lake Issyk-Kul.

Two weeks ago at the same place in Issyk-Kul, the Second World Nomads Games were held, at which representatives and athletes from 62 countries participated. Thousands of people witnessed spectacular sporting competitions different in their originality and uniqueness. World Nomad Games contribute to the strengthening of mutual understanding and cooperation between countries and nations across cultures and religions. Therefore, Kyrgyzstan pushes the inclusion of the provision to support the World Nomad Games on a periodic basis into the resolution of the UN General Assembly titled «Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding, and cooperation for peace». Kyrgyzstan relies on the support of this initiative from the UN member states.

4. Regional agenda

Kyrgyzstan considers that for sustainable development and security of the Central Asian countries it is necessary to strengthen trust and cooperation.

Today, it must be noted that not all existing problems in the region of Central Asia can be successfully and expeditiously resolve. Efforts to ensure regional security, relax trade rules, ensure transit through interstate, automotive, and railway highways and other issues are not active enough. Resolution of border issues should be an important factor for regional stability.

Unfortunately, today with ever increasing frequency individual states, guided by purely selfish interests, seek to realize their own development at the expense of other countries, limiting their opportunities. It is believed that such tendencies have no place in the modern civilized world.

To ensure enforcement of rights for development it is very important for big states and transnational corporations to not dictate their terms and limit the development of other countries, impede implementation of effective projects and moreover to not interfere in their internal affairs.

In the civilized world development of some states at the expense of others should not be permitted. Any international cooperation should be based on principles of mutual benefit and respect for each other's interests. To achieve this it is extremely important to strengthen the «right of the state to development» at an international legal level.

Water-Energy Relationship in Central Asia deserves special attention. As is well-known, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, disintegration processes began in Central Asia.

Agreed upon structures of water and energy resources interchange were destroyed. Despite this, the Kyrgyz Republic continues to accumulate water in its reservoirs, while prices of the energy supplied by neighboring countries grew from year to year. In effect, it was a “one-way street” case.

Under these conditions, Kyrgyzstan was forced to produce affordable and clean electricity at its hydro-electric power stations to provide the population with heat and energy. We are still experiencing electrical shortages, especially in the winter.

Having considerable fresh water capacity, Kyrgyzstan, under the existing relationships, doesn’t receive adequate economic compensation for accumulation and preservation of water resources services that are significant for the entire region.

As such, it is our belief that Central Asian countries must reach a uniform understanding of what is the complex use of water and energy resources? For some reason, many grew accustomed to seeing in this only water resources for irrigation and only the responsibilities and duties of upstream countries.

Today, Central Asia has considerable potential to transition to clean energy. The implementation of projects on the construction of hydroelectric powerhouses in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan could meet energy needs of Central Asian countries in full and thus create favorable conditions for sustainable development of our region. This is consistent with the seventh sustainable development goal on inexpensive and clean energy.

Another important factor for regional stability in Central Asia is a speedy resolution of border issues based on the principles and norms of international law. We encourage an exclusively peaceful way of resolving the existing regional problems through political and diplomatic means, in accordance with the principles of international law, mutual understanding, and compromises. For its part, Kyrgyzstan remains open to dialogue and cooperation with all interested parties.

5. The UN

In our unity against contemporary challenges and threats, the role of the UN is increasing greatly. However, with the increase of the Organization’s importance, its responsibility for decisions taken and for the fate of the entire world community is also increasing.

Currently, 15 Members of the United Nations Security Council are actually addressing security issues of all the states. War and peace, security and stability issues in various parts of our planet depend on their ability to reach a consolidated position. Moreover, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have the right to veto any decision at any time. In this regard, a reform of the major international UN body that must take into account interests of the greater majority of states is long overdue.

Under the Charter of the Organization where initially there were 50 member-states, the number of members of the UN Security Council (15) was justified. But now the population of the Organization consists of 193 Member States. We believe that the spread of democracy should not be limited by national boundaries of states. The time has come to introduce democratic principles in the election of members of main UN bodies, including the Security Council.

In addition, the process of electing the UN Secretary-General should be reformed. We welcome procedural changes wherein for the first time in the 71-year history of the Organization, all Member States have had the opportunity to meet with the candidates for this high office and familiarize with their electoral programs in advance.

At the same time, we are convinced that this cannot be stopped. We support the introduction of direct elections for the position of the Secretary-General by a vote at the UN General Assembly.

I also want to touch upon another issue. From September 20-23, 2016 the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights provided a platform for Kadyrzhan Batyrov, a man convicted by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Kyrgyz Republic and sentenced to life imprisonment durante absentia for serious crimes in organizing and inciting interethnic clashes in 2010 , who is also under search.

Kyrgyzstan, in cooperation with the OSCE, has achieved many successes. However, OSCE ODIHR's policy provokes a conflict that could destabilize the situation and have unpredictable consequences in our country.

We are a country that has experienced great challenges in our path to building a parliamentary democracy. We rigorously and scrupulously carried out and are still carrying all of the OSCE and the ODIHR recommendations.

We believe that the above actions of ODIHR are a sign of extreme disrespect not only toward the judicial system of the state but also to all the people of Kyrgyzstan. We cannot regard this as anything other than a challenge to the Kyrgyz Republic, on a thorny and difficult path of building a genuine democracy.

In that way, the annual meetings of the OSCE ODIHR may turn into a platform, where even criminals who have committed the most serious crimes, can present. If today ODIHR acts in this manner in respect to Kyrgyzstan and other countries, then it cannot be excluded that terrorist representatives of ISIS, mired in bloody crimes against humanity that appall the world, may participate in its future activities!

The Kyrgyz Republic fully shares the democratic values ​​of the OSCE and implements them in practice.  However, we strongly oppose the double standards and the transformation of this organization into an institution of provocation and interference sovereign states’ internal affairs.

In conclusion, I want to note our conviction that the implementation of SDGs and the Paris climate change agreement should remain a top priority in consolidated actions of the international community. It is necessary to ensure that "no one is left behind" and, above all, mountain developing countries without access to the sea.

In the near future, it is necessary to achieve victory over the destructive forces of terrorism and extremism that undermine peace and stability in various regions of the world. Full cooperation of the leading world powers is necessary on this issue. Leading world powers should also cease imposition of reciprocal sanctions that only adversely affect other countries.

In our joint standoff against contemporary challenges and threats, the role of the UN is significant. Against this backdrop, I call for all-around support and strengthening of our Organization to solve global problems for the benefit of sustainable development as a team», - said E. Abdyldaev.