SRSG NATALIA GHERMAN TAKES PART IN THE HEART OF ASIA – ISTANBUL PROCESS MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE
On 30 March, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Asia Ms. Natalia Gherman took part in the 9th Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process Ministerial Conference “Strengthening Consensus for Peace and Development” organized by the Governments of Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Addressing the forum, SRSG Gherman stressed that the Central Asian states consider cooperation with Afghanistan as one of their main regional priorities. Throughout years they have contributed as the Lead Countries to different confidence building measures of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process, including ones covering regional infrastructure, disaster management and environmental protection, and agriculture development.
The SRSG indicated that the Central Asian states have a common understanding regarding the future of Afghanistan. All states have expressed support to the current Peace Process. They see the stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan through the economic revival of the country as the main long-term solution. All countries in the region advocate for complex steps towards socio-economic and technical support.
In these very challenging times when pandemic was spreading and countries were forced to impose restrictive measures, Central Asia has continued to provide humanitarian and other assistance to Afghanistan.
The SRSG highlighted that UNRCCA, as a special political mission with a regional mandate, is well positioned to support efforts of Central Asian states as well as regional organizations and initiatives aimed at improved security, stability and development through imbedding Afghanistan in the regional processes. The Centre has been an active participant of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process and will continue to do so.
The Conference concluded with the adoption of the Dushanbe Declaration reaffirming to the commitments to promote peace, security and development in Afghanistan, including through enhanced regional cooperation and dialogue. Participants also endorsed the Implementation Plan for the Women Empowerment Confidence Building Measure and the amended Implementation Plan for the Environmental Protection and Disaster Management Confidence Building Measure.