UNRCCA CONVENED ANNUAL MEETING WITH DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTERS OF CENTRAL ASIAN STATES IN BISHKEK
BISHKEK, Kyrgyz Republic
The thirteenth annual Meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers of the Central Asian states, convened by the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), took place in Bishkek on 27-28 November. The meeting brought together the Deputy Foreign Ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Taking into consideration the importance of Afghanistan for regional security and development, H.E. Roza Otunbayeva, the Special Representative of Secretary-General for Afghanistan, Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was also invited.
The high-level event was opened by H.E. Jeenbek Kulubayev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, who stressed the importance of close cooperation between the Central Asian states and the United Nations on issues of mutual concern related to strengthening peace and security in the region.
In his statement the Special Representative of Secretary-General for Central Asia, Head of UNRCCA, Kaha Imnadze, underlined that the Central Asian states are maintaining multi-vector foreign policy and strengthening their connectivity despite the complexity of intertwined global challenges. He stressed that UNRCCA will continue active cooperation with the Central Asian governments in the existing and new areas related to preventive diplomacy.
The meeting provided an opportunity to exchange views on challenges in Central Asia and ways to address them. Particular attention was paid to climate change and trans-boundary water management, preventing violent extremism and countering terrorism, as well as risks related to the situation in Afghanistan. Participants explored ways on how the UN Regional Centre could further support preventive diplomacy efforts, including through the increased role of women and youth in decision making.
During the event, UNRCCA also hosted the fifth regional dialogue between the high-level officials and young people of the Central Asian states. This year, the UNRCCA Preventive Diplomacy Academy participants shared their vision on sustainable development as a foundation for long-term peace, security and prosperity in the region.
The next annual Deputy Foreign Ministers meeting is tentatively planned to take place in Uzbekistan at the end of 2024.