UNRCCA CONDUCTED EIGHTH MEETING WITH DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTERS OF CENTRAL ASIAN STATES AND AFGHANISTAN
The eighth annual Meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers of Central Asian states, organized by the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), took place in Bishkek on 16 November 2018.
This meeting, opened by H.E. Chingiz Aidarbekov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, brought together Deputy Foreign Ministers from the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Miroslav Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, as well as representatives of the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan. As part of the C5+1 format established by UNRCCA in December 2017, the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. Idrees Zaman was also in attendance of this meeting.
The event provided an opportunity to exchange views on common interests, advance regional cooperation and explore ways in which the UN Regional Centre could further assist these countries in addressing existing and emerging threats to security and stability that the region is facing.
In her speech, Natalia Gherman, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Asia underlined that positive regional dynamics were conducive to significant progress in solving key issues in the field of security, economic and trade cooperation and cross border exchanges. Central Asian states renewed their commitment to pursue their preventive efforts through the UNRCCA as a platform.
Mr. Miroslav Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs elaborated on the UN reforms by the Secretary-General starting January 2019 and underlined their significance for a more streamlined and effective UN support to Central Asian countries. He also welcomed the constructive discussions between Central Asia and Afghanistan to jointly address peace, security and development issues.
During the meeting, participants discussed ongoing and planned intra-regional and cross border initiatives to tackle threats such as radicalization that leads to violent extremism, terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking, as well as economic and environmental challenges. The meeting also focused on the main priorities for cooperation between Central Asian states and the UNRCCA in 2019.
Representatives of Central Asian states expressed support to the efforts of the Regional Centre in creating conditions conducive for achieving durable solutions to regional challenges and stressed the importance of enhanced regional cooperation through dialogue and preventive diplomacy initiatives.