On April 20, 2022, a UN delegation consisting of Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Head of the Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia Natalia Gherman, UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey, Deputy Head of UNRCCA Philipp Saprykin and Representative of UNRCCA in Kazakhstan Bakhit Abdildina met with the leadership of KAZISS.
The UNRCCA mission is aimed at implementing the concept of preventive diplomacy based on enhanced dialogue, confidence-building measures and cooperation in addressing existing threats and emerging problems in Central Asia. The Center carries out specific projects related to water resources, energy, counter-terrorism and capacity building for conflict prevention, promotion of dialogue and mobilization of support.
During the meeting, the parties discussed a number of topics and reached an agreement on further cooperation:
– continue the practice of holding the annual Central Asian Expert Forum (CAEF), which has been operating since 2018 and brings together the leading analytical structures of the five countries of the region;
– develop an expert dialogue on water issues, climate change, which are the most important in the countries of Central Asia;
– participate in joint activities dedicated to strengthening the role of women and gender equality in the country and region.
Particular attention is paid to the Afghan problem. The participants of the meeting noted the difficult humanitarian situation in this country. It was noted that in order to conduct a comprehensive expert discussion on the key problems of the region, it is important to hear the opinion of the Afghan side as well.
The current geopolitical situation has greatly exacerbated the situation with food security. In this regard, the head of UNRCCA N. German noted the existing opportunities of Kazakhstan to provide food for the entire region, which, of course, will improve the current situation. UN representatives, in turn, are ready to assist the Kazakh side in this matter.
The topic of ongoing political and economic reforms in Kazakhstan was also discussed in detail. UNRCCA expressed support for ongoing structural changes in Kazakhstan, as well as readiness to provide advisory and legal support in their practical implementation.
Following the meeting, KazISS Director Ye. Tukumov pointed to the possibility of holding an extraordinary CAEF meeting in Kazakhstan on the most pressing regional issues related to the current global turbulence.