Tajik FM voices need for UN reform, engagement in Afghanistan

Tajik FM voices need for UN reform, engagement in Afghanistan
# 30 September 2012 03:12 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The need for reform of the United Nations, illicit drug trafficking and the situation in Afghanistan were among the topics covered in the speech by the foreign minister of Tajikistan, Hamrokhon Zarifi here Saturday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Zarifi made the statement at the General Debate of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly, the week-long event which is scheduled to conclude on Monday.

"The recent developments in the world proved once again that it is impossible to address global and regional issues without strengthening the central role of the United Nations in the international affairs and without collective initiatives in world politics, with due respect of the norms of international law," the minister said.

"In this regard, it is becoming obvious that it is necessary to carry out a rational reform of the Organization, as a result of which the renewed United Nations will emerge capable to respond to the developments in the world in a quick and adequate manner, and to effectively meet numerous global challenges and threats of a new generation," he added.

Turning to his country’s southern neighbor, Afghanistan -- which he said will acquire "an exclusive importance not only for the region but for the world" with the departure of the International Security Assistance Force in 2014 -- Zarifi said that its social and economic development will be "the key" for ensuring its stable peace.

"For this reason, the international assistance rendered to Afghanistan should be aimed, first and foremost, at its utmost economic rehabilitation, further strengthening of its social sphere, job creation, etc," he said.

"In this regard, realization of projects on construction of railroads, motorways, power transmission lines, gas pipelines and etc. that connect Afghanistan with Tajikistan and other countries of the region is of utmost importance," he said.

The prevention of illicit drug trafficking demands cooperation from the international community, the foreign minister said.

An estimated 15 percent of Afghanistan’s illegal opiates and 20 percent of its heroin are trafficked through Tajikistan, according to estimates of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

"It is essential that the international community unite the measures aimed at reducing both the demand and supply of drugs, and integrate the efforts undertaken at the national level into the international strategy for drug control," he said, adding that Tajikistan has started developing a new anti-narcotics strategy for the 2013-2020 period.