OSCE ambassadors visit Central Asia

BISHKEK (TCA) — From 6 to 11 October, a group of twenty-one Permanent Representatives to the OSCE visited Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to reconfirm their strong support for strengthening the OSCE’s cooperation with each of the three countries.

The ambassadors met with high-level government officials and representatives of civil society in Dushanbe, Nur-Sultan, Tashkent and Samarkand. During the meetings, they discussed the OSCE’s engagement in promoting stability and security in Central Asia and exchanged views on these countries’ priorities and needs.

Discussions with Tajikistan’s Prime Minister Qohir Rasulzoda, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sirojiddin Muhriddin on 7 October focused on border security and combatting violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism. In Dushanbe, the ambassadors also visited an exhibition marking the 10th anniversary of the Border Management Staff College hosted by the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe. Since its launch in 2009, more than 3,000 representatives of border security, from 45 OSCE participating States and nine Partners for Co-operation, have attended this OSCE’s internationally recognized educational institution.

In Kazakhstan, the ambassadors met with the Minister of Information and Social Development Dauren Abayev, Chairperson of the Specialized Judicial Board of the Supreme Court Aigul Kydyrbayeva, Commissioner for Human Rights Elmira Azimova and Deputy Chairperson of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan Zhanseit Tuimebaev.

They attended a roundtable discussion on “Afghanistan and the OSCE: Fostering Opportunities for Partnership and Co-operation”, held on 9 October in Nur-Sultan and organized jointly by the OSCE and Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry.

The aim of the event was to facilitate a meaningful discussion on how Central Asian countries and international organizations can work together to enhance co-operation with Afghanistan, which has been an OSCE Asian Partner for Co-operation since 2003.

The roundtable also focused on the OSCE’s engagement with the country. OSCE’s field operations in Central Asia are crucial for the implementation of activities with the participation of Afghanistan. These activities largely focus on promoting border and customs management and combatting illicit trafficking in narcotics and weapons.

In Uzbekistan, the ambassadors met with Chairperson of the Senate Tanzila Narbayeva, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ilkhomjon Nematov, Chairperson of the Central Election Commission Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov, Director of the National Centre for Human Rights Akmal Saidov and the Ombudsperson Ulugbek Muhammadiev.

They also participated in a roundtable discussion in Samarkand on freedom of the media in Uzbekistan attended by local journalists and bloggers. The event was organized by the Agency for Information and Mass Communications under the Administration of the President.

Sergey Kwan

TCA

Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
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Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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