Tajikistan Time Zone UTC+05:00
Capital City Dushanbe
Currency Tajikistani somoni
National Day 9 September
Tajikistan’s new Ambassador Her Excellency Mrs Rukhshona Emomali arrived in London with her family at the start of the year. Since then, the Ambassador has been interested to observe that “more than 40 per cent of London’s territory is green areas and parks. London is beautiful and diverse, especially for people who care about the environment and nature.” She continues: “This historic city has been familiar to me for a long time. Although I have been here several times and have even been an employee of the Embassy in the past, every time I visit London I am filled with positive emotions and pleasant memories. Earlier this year, it was a great honour for me to take part in the celebrations of the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.”
Throughout her life, Ambassador Emomali explains that she’s had a strong interest in travelling and learning about different cultures. So, it is no wonder that Her Excellency has now been working for Tajikistan’s diplomatic service for the past 17 years. “Every day of my career as a diplomat being engaged with dynamic global issues has been memorable. Naturally, I began in lower positions, but over the years I have worked in various departments of the Foreign Ministry, including the Department of Analytics and Strategic Studies and the Department for International Organisations. And my first overseas assignment was in Tajikistan Embassy here in London,” which was great preparation for her present assignment in the capital.
As head of the Foreign Ministry Directorate for International Organisations, Ambassador Emomali “strived to advance Tajikistan’s role within the multilateral arena. As you know, Tajikistan is a champion in promoting the global water agenda. During my tenure, several resolutions initiated by Tajikistan were unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly, including the declaration that 2018-2028 would be the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Sustainable Development.’
Indeed, Tajikistan has been the host of several international water forums. “For instance, in June this year my country hosted the Second High-Level International Conference on the abovementioned Water Action Decade, the outcomes of which will feed into the UN 2023 Water Conference.”
She recalls her involvement with “international conferences within the framework of the ‘Dushanbe Process’ on the fight against terrorism and the sources of its financing. Other highlights of my work in Dushanbe were the first Tajikistan OSCE Forum Chairmanship on Security and Cooperation in 2019, and the hosting of the Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in the same year.
“And, of course, the Department has spent much of the last couple of years managing cooperation with international and regional organisations to combat the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Now in London, Ambassador Emomali notes “it is my honour to represent my country in the United Kingdom. One of the priority areas of Tajikistan’s foreign policy is to enhance bilateral relations with the UK. Therefore, in my capacity as Ambassador, I prioritise to contribute to the further development of beneficial cooperation in the spheres of mutual interest, as well as to build friendly relations with the country and recognise shared interests based on reciprocal respect and equality.”
Looking forward to COP27, the Ambassador explains that climate issues are a major consideration for Tajikistan’s agenda. “Climate change is a serious and complex challenge that undermines the efforts of the international community in achieving sustainable development. As a mountainous country with an abundance of water resources and difficult geographical conditions, Tajikistan is hugely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Over recent decades, more than a thousand of Tajikistan’s glaciers, which are of vital importance for the entire of Central Asia, have melted and completely disappeared due to the global warming.
“The current glacier situation – not only in Tajikistan, but worldwide – requires the adoption of measures by international and regional structures. To address the issue of glacier degradation, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan His Excellency Emomali Rahmon has proposed to declare 2025 as the International Year for the Glaciers Preservation within international and regional platforms. Tajikistan has also proposed to establish a special international fund for glaciers.
“In my opinion, the outcomes of the abovementioned Dushanbe Water Conference, the Ocean Conference in Portugal, COP27 in Egypt and the 2023 United Nations Water Conference are opportunities that the international community should take advantage of, to advance a concerted water and climate agenda at all levels.”
What does Her Excellency think is Tajikistan’s greatest diplomatic challenge? “The world we live in now has undergone significant changes, particularly economic and ecological crises. As a landlocked, developing country and due to its geopolitical location, Tajikistan has also been affected by these challenges. Nevertheless, guided by our open-door policy, we will expand and develop cooperation with all interested parties.”