First Meeting of the Deputy Foreign Ministers

16 Oct 2008

First Meeting of the Deputy Foreign Ministers

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -

On 16 October, UNRCCA convened a first meeting of the Deputy Foreign Ministers of the five Central Asian countries. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the draft Program of Action of UNRCCA for the period 2009-2011. Participants discussed the challenges facing the region, status of regional cooperation, and the draft document. They expressed strong support for the concept of the Centre and its Program of Action.

The participants put forward many common points on the topic of regional challenges. The equitable use of water and energy resources, situation in Afghanistan, drug trafficking, and cross-border issues such as terrorism, extremism, and organized crime received particular attention.

The participants noted that the universal character and authority of the UN, valuable for assisting the five Governments in reaching consensus, should be tempered by respect for the cultural and historical experience of the countries and their ability to peacefully coexist. In this context, it was agreed that UNRCCA should seek the role of convener, facilitator, and, by calling on the UN system, provider of specialized expertise and technical assistance.

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