President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Speech at the 40th session of UNESCO General Conference on the issues related to climate change

12.11.2019 20:31, France

Dear Chairperson,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen!

I would first of all like to extend sincere appreciation and gratitude to UNESCO Director-General Ms. Audrey Azulay for the excellent arrangement of the 40th session of UNESCO General Conference.

Climate change and elimination of its consequences are considered one of the serious problems nowadays.

An adverse impact of this global phenomenon on the quantity and quality of fresh water resources becomes ever more apparent.

Tajikistan has seen a significant decline in glaciers over the recent decades, which is of vital importance for the entire Central Asian region.

According to observations, about 35% of small glaciers in Tajikistan have been lost over the period of 70 years.

Of 13 thousand glaciers located in the mountains of Tajikistan to date one thousand have been lost.

And this is in the conditions that up to 60 percent of water resources of Central Asia originate in the territory of Tajikistan.

All nations of our region are concerned about shifts in hydrological cycles that may cause additional risks of floods and severe droughts and adversely affect water, energy and food.

It is essential that UNESCO together with other international and regional institutions facilitate the expedition of research of glaciers in Central Asia.

In the light of climate change preservation of safe drinking water sources has become one of the major challenges the population of the planet is facing.

Tajikistan is recognized as an initiator and pioneer of global water agenda, particularly within the United Nations.

Our initiatives are aimed at creating a broad platform for the review and identification of best and effective solutions of water-related goals and challenges.

We hope UNESCO will continue its efforts to address water issues, including through facilitation of comprehensive mid-term review of an implementation of the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” scheduled in 2023.

Republic of Tajikistan has decided to host on 18-20 June 2020 the Second Conference of the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028” in Dushanbe under the “Dushanbe Process related to the Decade”.

I take this opportunity to invite all participants of today’s meeting to attend this important Conference.

Tajikistan ranks 135th in terms of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions in Tajikistan make up more than one ton per person per year and the share of the country in the region is less than 3%.

Widespread use of renewable energy sources, mainly hydropower, which is one of the main sources of generation of “green” energy, contributes to maintaining the lowest levels of harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

Hydropower plants, which produce 98% of electricity, form the basis of the country’s energy sector.

In terms of this indicator Tajikistan ranks one of the first places in the world.

Taking into account the above, to further address challenges related to or stemming from climate change I propose:

1) Comprehensively support the wide use of renewable energy sources that lay the ground for the “green economy”.

2) Donor countries, international and regional financial institutions should comprehensively support practical implementation of national strategies and programs on adaptation to climate change.

3) To intensify systematic monitoring of sources of generation of water resources, first of all glaciers.

4) To strengthen international cooperation in the field of preservation of water sources. To this end we propose implement Tajikistan’s initiative about the International Fund for Glacier Preservation.

5) The issue of the impact of climate change on the state of water resources and ways to prevent its negative consequences should be considered as key topic in the agenda of international and regional meetings.

6) Developed countries and international organizations should provide comprehensive financial and technical assistance to developing and least-developed countries for monitoring and preservation of glaciers and other sources of water resources.

I hope that our international partners will support further initiatives of Tajikistan in these areas.

Thank you!

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