Ambassador Robert Wood
Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs
New York, New York
May 16, 2023
Thank you, President.
The United States commends Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan on General Assembly resolution 76/299 declaring Central Asia a zone of peace, trust, and cooperation.
The intent to establish the region as a zone of peace creates a foundation for greater cooperation. It reinforces the interconnected pillars of a peaceful and prosperous society: sustainable development, peace and security, human rights, and the rule of law.
Central Asia’s commitment to the principles of preventive diplomacy strengthens the security of states within the region, and it is vital to maintaining international peace and security.
Even so, we were disappointed that last year some delegations fought vigorously to prevent the resolution from reaffirming the mutually reinforcing relationship between human rights and the rule of law in peacebuilding and sustaining peace. Just as this resolution notes the important role of sustainable development in advancing peace and security, it should also note the same of human rights and the rule of law.
The idea that no country or region can flourish without respect for the human rights of all or for the rule of law is enshrined in the preamble of the UN Charter. It is our responsibility as a General Assembly to continuously reaffirm our commitment to these principles.
We were delighted by the resolution’s acknowledgement of the critical role women play in the promotion of peace, security, and sustainable development. Let us not forget that women must always – always – meaningfully participate in policy leadership, development, and implementation. Their involvement in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution, and at all levels of decision making will ensure we can move quickly and comprehensively to address shared challenges.
Here today, the United States again reinforces its strong commitment to each Central Asian country’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, as well as to supporting a prosperous, secure, and democratic Central Asia.
Thank you, President.