Address by H.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, at the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation
Distinguished Mr. Guterres!
Distinguished Mr. Han Zheng!
Esteemed heads of delegations!
Ladies and gentlemen!
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the President of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, for the invitation to attend the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the extended warm welcome.
I would also like to echo the words of appreciation to our Chinese friends and all participants of the event on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative.
In a short historical period, the ambitious idea of reviving the Great Silk Road has gained many supporters and turned into a new model of international cooperation.
It has evolved into a relevant, inclusive, and open engagement platform in achieving common progress and prosperity.
The role and significance of this program have become ever more relevant under the current geopolitical instability caused by the crisis of trust among world powers.
I would like to underline that Uzbekistan, China’s comprehensive strategic partner, was among the first to support the Belt and Road Initiative. We are firmly committed to further promoting its main goals and objectives.
Dear participants of the forum!
We believe that China’s Green Silk Road Initiative is shaping the agenda for a common green future.
It is deeply symbolic that this idea was first expressed by the President of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, in 2016 in our country.
I should emphasize that Uzbekistan and Central Asia are among the most vulnerable regions of the world regarding climate change impacts.
Currently, the countries of our region are facing the serious challenges of global warming and disturbance of the ecological balance, manifested in the following:
- abnormal weather conditions;
- intensified droughts and dust storms,
- rapid land degradation and desertification, loss of biodiversity.
I will give just one example – many years of observations show that today, the average increase in air temperature in Central Asia is twice as high as the global average.
We are implementing a large-scale program to create an Environmental Innovation and Technology Zone in the Aral Sea region as provided by a special resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.
Uzbekistan also highly appreciates and hopes for the practical implementation of the outcomes of the Climate Ambition Summit initiated by the United Nations Secretary-General in September 2023.
In 2024, we intend to hold the Samarkand International Climate Forum to discuss and join the efforts in achieving the goals of green development in Central Asia.
We expect this forum to be a practical step towards establishing the Samarkand Dialogue for the Future to address the global challenges of sustainable development.
Dear participants of the summit!
Uzbekistan is interested in developing broad international cooperation as part of the “Green Silk Road”.
In this regard, I would like to share our vision for further deepening mutually beneficial partnerships with China and other Belt and Road Initiative participants.
First, to enhance the coordination of our joint efforts, we advocate for linking the conceptual initiatives of the Green Agenda of Central Asia and the Green Silk Road.
We propose the development of a comprehensive Green Development Program for the practical implementation of key objectives:
- Green transformation and digitization of economic sectors;
- Creation of sustainable infrastructure in the transport and energy sectors;
- Establishment of green industrial capacities;
- Poverty reduction and smart agriculture.
Second, we emphasize the importance of broadening practical cooperation in advancing green production chains and innovations.
We are ready to interact with the leading Chinese companies and involve other international partners in establishing a Special Technological Demonstration Park in the Aral Sea region. This park will focus on executing industrial and socially significant initiatives by broadly implementing green technologies.
Third, we support China’s initiative on the Green Investment Principles of the Belt and Road and intend to participate in its promotion.
We propose establishing a Green Financing Fund in Uzbekistan, which will serve as an effective tool to mobilize financial resources for developing a low-carbon economy and clean technologies. It will also facilitate the implementation of high environmental standards in the region.
Fourth, we call on the countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative to reduce restrictions and barriers in the mutual trade of green goods, especially agricultural products.
Fifth, we consider it important to intensify the dialog on the transition to green energy and hold regular meetings of Ministers of Belt and Road Initiative countries.
We are convinced that it will facilitate the development of coordinated approaches to expanding the international renewable energy agenda.
Sixth, we propose to launch a scientific and information platform for transferring green knowledge and solutions based on the International Innovation Center for the Aral Sea region.
Seventh, we advocate for developing a Joint Training and Academic Exchange Program in green development and ecology based on the Central Asian University of Environmental Studies and Climate Change.
We believe the leading universities and educational centers in China and other member countries of the Belt and Road could be our partners in this work.
Finally, we believe the transition to green development is impossible without promoting traditional values of a careful attitude to natural resources and the environment.
In this regard, we propose to launch a Global Green Culture Development Program as part of the Belt and Road Initiative and provide for the following activities:
- ethno-ecological festivals,
- presentations and events with the participation of well-known public figures and science, business, and culture representatives in our countries.
Dear heads of delegations!
Ladies and gentlemen!
As a wise Chinese proverb goes, “The happiness of the next century is built in this century”.
Today, by consolidating and increasing our efforts, we are laying a solid foundation for a green future for humanity.
I am confident that the outcomes of our meeting and the ideas and proposals voiced today will become a common, real contribution to achieving this noble goal.
I wish every success to all participants!
Thank you for your attention.