Following the independence, Tajikistan has entered international relations as a sovereign actor of the international law. It declared that its relations, as a full-fledged member, will be directed towards maintaining peace, elimination of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction and prevention of use of force in solving disputes between sovereign states. This point is enshrined at the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Tajikistan that states: “Republic of Tajikistan, as a sovereign subject of international law establishes diplomatic, consular, trade and other relations with foreign countries, makes exchange of authorized representatives with them and concludes international agreements.”
Today independence of the Republic of Tajikistan is officially recognized by 150 countries of the world. By recognizing the international acts regulating international relations, such as United Nations Charter, Helsinki Final Act, Paris Declaration and others, the Republic of Tajikistan established the foundation of its internal and external policies, considering the people and protection of their rights and freedoms as the highest value, regardless of nationality, religion, race and sex.
In 1993 twelve international organizations, including United Nations, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in 1994 eight international organizations, in 1995 two organizations and in 1996 another two international entities opened their representations in the Republic of Tajikistan and started operations.
Despite the difficult internal situation, Tajikistan rightly defined its priority national interests and the main directions of its foreign policy. As the President of the Republic of Tajikistan underlined — “The Republic of Tajikistan belongs to five political regions, based on its geographic location, geopolitical position and economic interests. First region is the Commonwealth of Independent States, which seeks to develop internal links, despite the challenges of the period of its formation. Second region is Central Asia, in which, development of regional cooperation and economic integration among the countries of the region may benefit all countries and peoples of the region. Third region is composed of space of life and activity of the neighboring Persian-speaking states, which, although haven’t yet organized any political or economic alliances, are united by historical, religious and cultural commonness as well as the actual stances of national revival. Fourth region is the area of influence of the Islamic Orient countries, which are linked not only by the common religion, tradition and culture, but also by opportunities and needs of national renaissance. Finally, the fifth region is the international community, internal and external integration of which is increasing day by day and gradually going towards the global human civilization”.
Clear understanding of its geopolical position and definite determination of the main directions of its foreign policy allowed Tajikistan to find its place in contemporary world and consistently strengthen it, applying rich international opportunities in solving its internal difficulties. As the President of the country Emomali Rahmon mentioned “… all kinds of state policy is ultimately a safeguarding of national interests, policy-making skills and finding constructive balance of varying interests of states in the international arena”.
Beneficial cooperation with influential international organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the European Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and others plays important role in the foreign policy of the Republic of Tajikistan. It is worth noting that the expedient links introduced Tajikistan to the world, familiarizing the international community with internal and external policy of the country, as a democratic and jural state. Aforementioned organizations established advantageous cooperation with the Republic of Tajikistan, promoting not only restoration of peace and signing Peace Agreement, but also contributed to implementation of post-conflict rehabilitation projects and development of the country’s national economy.
One of the priority directions of Tajikistan’s foreign policy is its participation within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Not all purposes of the CIS are achieved today, but nonetheless, currently the Commonwealth embodies unity and interests of millions of people of the former Soviet space.
Along with the CIS, Tajikistan considers the cooperation within two other organizations that operate in the space of the former Soviet Union – Euro-Asian Economic Community and Collective Security Treaty Organization – also as priority of its foreign policy.
The Republic of Tajikistan pays special attention to regional issues, particularly to the issue of Aral Sea Basin. Our country is one of the founders of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and along with other countries it continues taking necessary measures for solving this regional and international issue. During the talks of head of states of Central Asian countries the issue of rational use of water resources is considered as a serious regional difficulty.
Republic of Tajikistan pays significant attention not only to the issue of saving the Aral Sea, but also focuses on providing safe drinking water to the world as well as rational use of water resources. The initiatives of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan on declaration of the year 2003 the International Year of fresh water, International Decade of Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015, which was supported by 180 countries of the world, and announcement of the year 2013 “The International Year of Water Cooperation” are indicators of increasing reputation of Tajikistan in the international arena.
In 20 years of cooperation with the United Nations, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan took 14 times part and made speeches in the General Assembly sessions of this influencial global organizaiton, and making proposals of regional and global interests attracted the attention of global community to the difficulties of Tajikistan, Central Asia and the war-ravaged Afghanistan.
Recognition of Tajikistan as an active promoter of Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) implementation is also considered to be as one of the achievements of a country that is going currently on the right path of development.
The sign of stabilization of the situation, recognition and respect of the policy led by the leadership of the country was a conduct of various international and regional events in Dushanbe since 90s of the past century, despite the ongoing military conflicts in the country.
Currently Embassies of such countries as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Azerbaijan, Germany, Pakistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, France, Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, Iran, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, the Republic of Tajikistan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan are opened and operate in the country. A number of other foreign states are also expected to open their embassies in the country.
Following its national interests and foreign policy priorities the Republic of Tajikistan, in its turn, opened its diplomatic missions (embassies) in 23 foreign countries – Austria, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Belgium, Great Britain and Nothern Ireland, the United States of America, Azerbaijan, Germany, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Iran, China, Japan, Switzerland, India, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan as well as its permanent representations in the United Nations, the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe, Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, NATO and the European Union. Currently Consulate General of the Republic of Tajikistan functions in United Arab Emirates.
Representations of 30 international and regional organizations, 9 UN agencies are opened and operate in Tajikistan. Currently there are 46 registered international non-governmental organizations in the country that along with interstate and inter-governmental organizations essentially contribute to development of various areas of public life.
Implementation of a regional and international strategy of Tajikistan is taking place in very challenging, complicated and inconsistent circumstances of early XXIst century world, the processes and trends of which, significantly will continue influencing the social life in the country and our people.
Despite internal difficulties and the influence of the critical situation of our region, we hold a decisive position against these challenges to safeguard our country as well as peace and security in the region from disparaging consequences. In this relation, the life proved rightfulness of position taken by the leadership of the state and the Government of Tajikistan.
Challenges related to globalization processes, terrorism and extremism, illegal drug trafficking, transnational crimes, natural disasters and not always positive position-taking and influence by big powers in Central Asia are apparent, as this region is rich of vital for economy natural resources and has geo-strategic and important geopolitical location. It is obvious that big world powers clash for influence in our region.
These major trends of contemporary world and the relevant processes introduce a necessity to understand and promote global interest with a sense of responsibility.
Under these circumstances developing beneficial international cooperation aimed at prevention and elimination of the main global threats is the most important direction of joint activities of human community. Prevention of consequences of another trend of the day – “clash of civilizations” is also one of the crucial tasks of humanity.
While developing complex strategy and evaluating foreign policy in the period of independence, Tajikistan considered these developments and trends as well as other aspects of rapidly changing world, and takes all necessary measures to safeguard strategic national interests of this country and its people in the framework of the “open doors” policy.
Particularly thanks to successful and productive policy of the President of the country Emomali Rahmon, the international community looks with confidence and benevolence at Tajikistan and its determination, consistent efforts of the head of state for establishing peace and prosperity in the country, respect paid to glorious history of Tajik nation as well as his constructive and benign initiatives. Therefore, Tajikistan has transformed from conflict region to the venue of convening high-level global and regional events.
Holding at one point of time summits of head of states of three organizations of former Soviet space – CIS, Euro-Asian Economic Community and CSTO on 5-6 October 2007, regular session of Council of Head of states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization and trilateral talks of Head of states of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Iran on 28 August 2008, trilateral talks of Head of states of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as quadrilateral talks of the Head of states of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russian Federation on 30 July 2009, International Scientific Conference devoted to 800 anniversary of the great Tajik poet and thinker Jaloliddini Rumi on 6-8 September 2007, the International Symposium “The Heritage of Imam Azam Abu Hanifa and its significance in the Dialogue of Civilizations” on 5 October 2009 with participation of more than 500 scientists and thinkers as well as famous representatives of global politics, science and culture from 50 countries of the world, 37th Session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers on 18-20 May 2010, the International United Nations Conference on assessment of the first five years of the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” (2005-2015) and drafting plan of action for the second half of the Decade on 8-9 June 2010 with participation of high-level representatives of 70 countries of the world and 65 international and regional organizations along with other numerous conferences, seminars and symposiums are illustrations of Tajikistan becoming the central location for holding regional and international events.
In general, development and consistent implementation of well-founded and widely assessed international strategy, taking into account highest national interests and aims of the country, and also corresponding them to global demands and interests endorsed independent Tajikistan as sovereign, active, initiatory and respected member of the world community.