Kazakhstan hosts conference on security cooperation in Central Asia
ASTANA (TCA) — New challenges and approaches to regional and global security in Central Asia were the focus of an OSCE-supported international conference held in Astana on 26 October.
The event was jointly organized by the OSCE Programme Office in Astana, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and the Kazakhstan Council on International Relations, with support from the Institute of Diplomacy under the Academy of Public Administration and the Public Opinion Research Institute.
The conference aimed to promote dialogue between stakeholders from OSCE participating States on ways to address security challenges. The conference’s sessions focused on ways to enhance the co-operation of regional security organizations in Central Asia and the OSCE, to counter the involvement of youth in violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism and the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes, and to rehabilitate and reintegrate foreign terrorist fighters.
“The OSCE promotes co-operation not only among participating States, but also between institutions, to develop new ideas and plans for further partnership to help address growing security challenges,” said György Szabó, the Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana.
“In times of increasing disagreements among OSCE participating States, it is important to continue our dialogue on common challenges where progress can only be made through co-operation,” added Henriette Kiefer, Regional Director of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Kazakhstan. “Today’s event will give us the opportunity to discuss challenges related to radicalization of youth and the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes. By co-operating in these areas, we can build trust and help to ensure the stable and peaceful development of our region.”
Yerlan Karin, Chairperson of the Kazakhstan Council on International Relations, said: “The conflict in the Middle East has revealed new aspects of radicalization… A new problem has arisen involving women and children in radical activities, and the issue of their further reintegration into society. Therefore, this issue should be the main focus of attention of experts, the state and non-governmental organizations.”
Some 100 government officials, representatives of international and civil society organizations, national institutes of strategic studies, think tanks and academia, as well as international experts from Afghanistan, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, the United States and Uzbekistan participated in the event.
The conference is part of the OSCE Programme Office’s activities to promote dialogue and regional co-operation across all three dimensions of the OSCE’s comprehensive approach to security, as well as to engage experts in finding creative solutions to contemporary threats and challenges.