UN Security Council discusses Afghanistan and Central Asia
New York: UN Secretary-General António Guterres told the UN Security Council on Friday (19 January 2017) that the entire international community has a stake in peace, stability and development in Afghanistan, and the countries of Central Asia have a particularly important role to play.
The UN Secretary General was addressing the Security Council on Building Regional Partnership In Afghanistan and Central Asia, to Link Security and Development.
Welcoming the debate convened by Kazakhstan, Guterres described it as a sign of enhanced cooperation between Member States in Central Asia and Afghanistan. He also welcome the Security Council’s continued support for Afghanistan, as demonstrated by a recent mission.
Guterres said that the common geography and history of Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, and their strong cultural ties, create enormous potential for mutually beneficial joint projects, trade and exchange.
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. Opportunities for intra-regional trade are significant, and even modest improvements can result in substantial gains for all the people of the region.
I am heartened over recent signs of change for the better.
During my visit to Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan last June, I was encouraged to see new bilateral and regional connections and better regional dynamics.
Sustainable development is a fundamental end in itself, enabling people, communities and societies to flourish and fulfil their potential. But sustainable and inclusive development is also an important factor in preventing and ending conflict, and in sustaining peace. Only by addressing the root causes of crisis, including inequality, exclusion and discrimination, will we build peaceful societies resilient to terrorism and violent extremism.
Click here for full remarks by UN Secretary-General António Guterres