Elyor Ganiev /UN Photo/Rick Bajornas/
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
Ethnic tensions between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz since deadly clashes last year will not be resolved until there is a full investigation into the violence and the perpetrators are punished, Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Elyor Ganiev told the General Assembly on 26 September.
Elyor Ganiev told the Assembly’s annual general debate that the clashes of June 2010 have become “a serious challenge to peace and stability in the Central Asian region.”
Hundreds of people were killed amid inter-ethnic clashes focused mainly in southern Kyrgyzstan, and an estimated 375,000 others were displaced from their homes.
Kyrgyzstan set up an inquiry commission into the violence and last week Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a meeting with Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbaeva, encouraged the country to implement the recommendations contained in the commission’s report.
But Mr. Ganiev said that “no political and legal findings were made to date with regard to all those forces and specific individuals who ordered, organized and perpetrated the crimes.
“Until these investigations are not carried out up to the end and the perpetrators – irrespective of their nationality, background and position – are not punished, it is difficult to expect the restoration of trust and cooperation between the Uzbek community and the Kyrgyz.”
Speaking about environment issues, he said that the socio-economic development not only of Uzbekistan but the entire Central Asian region is influenced by the environmental disaster of the Aral Sea which is practically for over the period of one generation turned from once one of the unique and most beautiful seas into a drying and disappearing pond.
“Today the Aral Sea basin has faced a set of not only ecological, but also the socio-economic and demographic problems of the planetary consequences. The UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki- moon was personally convinced of it while visiting the Aral Sea last year,” he said.
Uzbek Foreign Minister said: “In these circumstances the attempts to implement the projects on construction of the giant hydro facilities at the upper stream of the Amudarya and Syrdarya rivers is counterproductive and dangerous. Since, they pose serious threats to public safety both in terms of environmental, social and anthropogenic risks and maintaining the volume and regime of the river flow.
“In addressing the problems arising in this regard, we proceed from the fact that any action on using the resources of transboundary rivers must take into account the interests of all states located in their basin and on the basis of international law. This, in particular, the United Nations Conventions on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes of 17 March 1992 and on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses of 21 May 1997,” he added.
“We do not ignore the rights of the upper stream countries to develop their hydropower sector. In our view, it would be rather rational and safer to build the cascades of small hydropower facilities with the same total capacity of power generation,” Elyor Ganiev stated.
Elyor Ganiev said: “The position of our country not only fully goes in line with the international law and the rules in this area, but not least, comes out of them”.