DUSHANBE (TCA) — High-ranking officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Tajik Government as well as civil society representatives convened to assess co-operation in 2017 and develop a joint programmatic vision for 2019 on April 11 in Dushanbe. The meeting was the first of two annual consultations under the new format “OSCE – Tajikistan Partnership Platform”, aimed at reinforcing co-operation between the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe and Tajikistan on the basis of genuine partnership, local ownership, openness and transparency, the OSCE said.
The Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe, Ambassador Tuula Yrjölä, explained that since 2007, the OSCE has met with Tajik counterparts once a year in the format of a Task Force. Under the renewed mandate, which reflects the OSCE comprehensive approach to security, the Partnership Platform meetings inaugurate a new season of co-operation across the three dimensions of security. “We will strive to ensure that our efforts respond to the needs of the host country and are in line with the OSCE principles and commitments. In addition to our comprehensive work in the politico-military and human dimensions, we are looking forward to working together with the government and civil society of Tajikistan to strengthen our support in the economic and environmental dimension,” Yrjölä said.
Tajikistan’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ismatullo Nasredin, said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has acted as coordinator of OSCE activities and relations with Tajik ministries and agencies, in order for this cooperation to take on a new shape. Our meeting today differs from the previous ones. First of all, using the opportunity presented by this meeting, we aim to clearly and openly express our needs and proposals to colleagues from the OSCE.” Deputy Minister Nasredin went on to note that the current reality of Tajikistan is completely different from the past years, and that with the guidance of the President “we should comprehensively co-operate with all international and regional organizations, including the OSCE, for the benefit of our country.”
Ambassador Marcel Peṧko, Director of the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre, acknowledged Tajikistan’s important role in the OSCE in promoting regional security and stability. “We particularly appreciate Tajikistan’s support in OSCE engagement with Afghanistan. Tajikistan is ideally located for supporting a regional stabilization and integration process, including through the work of the Border Management Staff College,” Peṧko added.
Marco Lapadura, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Management and Finance and representative of the Italian OSCE Chairmanship and OSCE Troika, who took part in the meeting, highlighted the importance of the work done by the Office in Dushanbe to support the government in all three dimensions.
The meeting gathered valuable feedback from governmental partners and civil society which will be used to further improve the programmatic work across the three dimensions. The second Partnership Platform Meeting is expected to take place in the summer to discuss concrete activities planned for 2019.