The Secretary-General's Remarks to the Press
I am very pleased to be in Dushanbe once again. I thank His Excellency President Emomali Rahmon, the Government and the people of Tajikistan for their warm welcome and hospitality.
I am on a five-country tour of Central Asia, and this is my first stop. This is a vital part of the world and I am here to underscore the importance of regional cooperation and preventive diplomacy in a time of turbulence and tests around the globe.
We need to work together to advance peace, development and human rights.
Tajikistan and the United Nations have a strong record of cooperation stretching back more than two decades.
In recent years, Tajikistan has made important inroads in reducing poverty, getting more girls in school, cutting the maternal mortality rate by half and nearly eliminating malaria.
I also salute Tajikistan’s global leadership on issues related to water and sanitation and the unique needs of land-locked countries.
Today, I addressed the High-Level International Conference on the Implementation of the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015.
I noted the progress that has been made, while also drawing attention to the work that remains to be done -- including the importance of improving access to sanitation, and ensuring the right to water, in particular its accessibility and quality.
I also highlighted Tajikistan’s valuable contributions to advancing the global water agenda, and the particular needs of Central Asia.
I urge the countries of the region to find consensus over the management of trans-boundary water resources and to continue to work with the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia on these crucial issues.
Climate change is further highlighting the need to establish and achieve ambitious internationally agreed water-related goals in the context of the post-2015 development agenda and the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.
With respect to the vital issue of human rights, I want to underscore our support for the Government's continued engagement with United Nations human rights mechanisms – particularly to address key human rights challenges.
Strengthening national coordination mechanisms and implementing UN human rights recommendations holistically and in cooperation with civil society will be important as Tajikistan’s prepares for the second round of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review.
Adoption of a comprehensive national human rights action plan could streamline these efforts.
I also encourage further cooperation with Afghanistan.
In addition, I want to express gratitude for the Government’s support to humanitarian efforts and for hosting the World Humanitarian Summit regional consultations for Central and South Asia in Dushanbe next month.
Once again, I thank H.E. President Rahmon and the people of Tajikistan for their hospitality and warm welcome here in Dushanbe.
Tashakur. Thank you.