The Fourth Consultative Meeting of the heads of state of Central Asian countries was held in Cholpon-Ata, Issyk-Kul region of Kyrgyzstan on 21 July 2022.
Unlike the previous summits, the leaders of Central Asia met at a time when a new political and post-pandemic world order is being shaped. The extent of intraregional cohesion will largely determine the power of the voice of Central Asia on the greater Eurasian continent.
The changing security paradigm has set a prominent part of the agenda of the current high-level forum. Since the last summit in Turkmenistan, two of the five Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan – have been shaken by externally orchestrated unrests. The power transformation occurred in neighboring Afghanistan and the risks emanating from ragtag terrorist groups pose a threat to the entire region. In this context, it is quite understandable that the heads of state showed their resolve to push forward security cooperation.
The global food crisis is another challenge for all mankind after the pandemic. Each of the Central Asian countries implements its own strategies, trying to forestall food shortages and soaring food prices. However, the synergy of these efforts can ensure the Central Asian region with reliable food security. And this was also widely discussed at the summit.
The desire for better use of transport corridors was emphasized in the remarks of all five presidents. The presented endeavors are aimed at further unlocking the transport and transit potentials of the countries and improving connectivity, so that Central Asia ultimately benefits from its significant location at the crossroads of North-South, East-West routes.
The regional situation in the field of water interdependence was also assessed by the heads of state. The summit proposals can set in motion mutually beneficial partnership schemes in the Central Asian region in a practical way.
In general, the ideas voiced by the heads of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan indicate a strong political will for dialogue, compromise, accord, peaceful, sustainable development. Here is a summary of initiatives, which are able to become a game-changer on a regional scale and beyond the region:
- Launching a network of border trade and economic hubs as a basis for the Unified Commodity Distribution System of the Central Asian countries
- Development of General approaches to the formation of the Central Asian space of industrial localization and import substitution on the basis of national industrial development programs
- Joint development of the transport route Central Asia-Caspian-Black Sea and Central Asia-Persian Gulf
- Development of a comprehensive scheme for guaranteed provision of the population with a wide range of food products
- Establishing direct contacts between business communities – the creation of a Business Council
- Coordination through special services and security councils in order to create concrete mechanisms for joint struggle against challenges and threats to regional security
- Development of a Roadmap envisaging the entire spectrum of the security agenda
- Creation of an expert platform for the development of mutually acceptable approaches to the delimitation of borders
- Cooperation in hydropower (Kambarata HPP-1 construction project in Kyrgyzstan)
- Creation of the Project Office of the Central Asian countries for environmental protection and the implementation of a coordinated policy on climate change in the region.
- Creation of a regional TV channel or Internet news portal – formation of a regional information mainstream
- Cooperation in the field of higher education through the opening of branches of leading universities
- Development of a multilateral agreement on general directions for the implementation of youth policy.
- Continuation of close cooperation in promoting long-term peace and social and economic reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Following the summit, a package of documents was signed and a joint statement was issued.
The next consultative meeting will be held on 14-15 September 2023 in the city of Dushanbe, Tajikistan, simultaneously with the next meeting of the Council of the Heads of the Founding States of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.
President Sadyr Zhaparov: In the current crisis conditions of international relations, the Central Asian countries will cooperate even more closely to promote the shared interests of the region on the world stage
Speech by the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov:
“This and next year we celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Over the past centuries of strong friendship and harmonious coexistence of our five fraternal peoples, we have withstood all the ups and downs of history together, and today we appear on the political map of the world as independent, sovereign states.
It is our ancient peoples, carrying a unique civilization through the centuries, who today personify Central Asia. This is a common asset that we are proud of!
The historical mission before us is to preserve the integrity and security, to ensure the development and prosperity of our countries and peoples. Fortunately, our region is self-sufficient and diverse in terms of opportunities and resources for the implementation of such an important mission.
Kyrgyzstan supports the format of the Consultative Meeting of the heads of Central Asian states, which is a guide of region-wide cooperation in political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres and in international affairs.
I believe that in the current crisis conditions of international relations, our countries will cooperate even more closely in order to protect and promote the common interests of the region on the world stage.
Unfortunately, the international situation does not inspire optimism, both from the point of view of global security and the world economy.
Today, the Central Asian States face traditional challenges and security threats, and their new hybrid forms have appeared.
In this regard, I would like to touch upon a very important issue that continues to have a significant impact on regional security in Central Asia. I mean the situation in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the situation there remains complicated and unpredictable.
In our opinion, the coming to power of the Taliban and the government formed by them is a hard reality and we need to work out a joint line of conduct in this direction, including making every effort to put neighboring Afghanistan on the track of peaceful and sustainable development.
In this context, I would like to note Kyrgyzstan’s desire for close cooperation with the countries of the Central Asian region in this direction both on a bilateral basis and within the framework of participation in international and regional dialogue platforms.
I would also like to inform you that we are in contact with the government of Afghanistan on current issues of bilateral cooperation. Our embassy there continues its work. Last year we delivered humanitarian cargo to Kabul and Badakhshan. We held a number of meetings with the leadership of Afghanistan, during which we raised our concern about the regional security and cooperation, as well as the importance of creating an inclusive government in the interests of the people of Afghanistan.
I hope that we will move in concert on the Afghan problem, actively interact with each other, especially with the UN and the countries of the region in order to ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan, provide the Afghan people with the necessary humanitarian and economic assistance, held in their counteraction against international terrorism, drugs and in spheres of ensuring regional security and stability, on the principles of non-interference in internal affairs. Kyrgyzstan, for its part, is ready to actively contribute to this process.
Dear Heads of State,
The tragic events in the region have brought to the fore the issues of ensuring security from destructive forces, including external ones, attracting religious fanatics and criminals to their side.
For its part, Kyrgyzstan fully supports the resolute and wise steps of the leadership of neighboring countries to restore constitutional order and socio-political stability.
It is no longer possible to allow such security crises created for far-fetched socio-economic, inter-ethnic, religious and other motives.
I call for joining mutual efforts in this direction.
Finally, common security, stability and well-being depend on the atmosphere of relations between the states of the region. Currently, the delimitation of the state border of Kyrgyzstan with fraternal Uzbekistan and Tajikistan is ongoing.
I would like to confirm our political will to complete the negotiation process in a mutually beneficial manner in order to turn these borders into open bridges of peace, friendship and trust, and the Fergana Valley – into a true oasis of Central Asia.
The global economy, which has not yet fully recovered from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, is now experiencing new shocks due to international tensions.
In such a crisis, the issues of ensuring food and energy security, macroeconomic stability and social stability require our priority attention and coordinated activities.
Due to the disruption of global trade chains and the imposed export restrictions on goods and raw materials, I believe that our countries are quite capable of providing themselves with food, given the capacities and reserves of the agricultural and food processing industries.
We stand for expanded cooperation in all areas that will enhance food security and agricultural development in the region.
One of these areas is water resources, the volume of which is fatally reduced due to climate change. The existing mechanisms for managing water resources no longer meet the realities of the present, do not meet the needs of the countries of Central Asia.
In particular, Kyrgyzstan does not yet receive adequate compensation from the accumulation and conservation of water resources. I again propose to jointly develop mutually beneficial mechanisms for water use, so that the upstream countries have the opportunity and interest to accumulate water resources for irrigation during the crop season, regardless of water availability, including during low water periods.
We stand for the renewal and improvement of cooperation within the framework of the Agreement on the Use of Water and Energy Resources of the Naryn-Syrdarya River between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan of 1998, which provides for a balanced exchange of water and energy resources.
Kyrgyzstan also advocates expanded cooperation in the hydropower sector in order to increase the energy self-sufficiency and security of the countries of Central Asia.
We welcome the investment participation of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in hydropower projects in Kyrgyzstan. It should be noted that the accident that took place in the spring of this year showed vulnerability, and therefore it is necessary to strengthen the security of the Unified Energy System of Central Asia.
Dear Heads of State,
According to expert forecasts, the global economic “center of gravity” is gradually shifting towards Asia, which opens up new opportunities for our region, including for the development of “green”, digital and creative sectors of the economy.
Over the past ten years, dynamic rates of economic growth and gross product growth have been observed in Central Asia. In 2021, the total share of GDP exceeded US$ 300 billion.
I believe that the driver of growth in Central Asia is free trade and investment, the development of transport and transit infrastructure and digitalization. Today there are already positive examples of mutually beneficial cooperation in these sectors.
Trade intensification will be facilitated by the trade centers on the border of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, as well as an industrial trade and logistics center near the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border.
It is extremely important to completely remove tariff and non-tariff barriers that impede free trade, including unjustified waiting time at the borders. I hope that digitalization tools will help solve the outstanding issues.
Considering that our countries have no access to the sea, it is necessary to make efforts to improve the transport, transit and logistics infrastructure of the countries of Central Asia, primarily in terms of increasing the level of integration within the region, as well as connecting to world transport hubs and corridors.
The development of rail and road corridors in the coming decades could transform Central Asia into a crossroads for new trade routes that will be equal to the historic Silk Road.
An important project is the construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway, the successful implementation of which will boost the international trade, investment and transit potential of Central Asia.
Being on the shore of Issyk-Kul, I cannot ignore the issues of cooperation in the field of tourism.
Central Asia on the way of the Great Transcontinental Route attracts tourists from all over the world like a magnet.
Kyrgyzstan proposes the joint organization of specialized tourist routes, to ease border crossing procedures, to set up the information centers with a database of tourism opportunities for each of the countries of the region, as well as to hold joint tourism exhibitions and fairs.
Deep historical traditions of good neighborliness between our peoples are a good prerequisite for positioning Central Asia as a single cultural and humanitarian space. The ties between our citizens, creative teams, and scientific circles have no boundaries.
Taking into account the spiritual closeness of our countries, we propose to create a common Central Asian TV channel and prepare a series of TV projects informing about the potential of the region, friendship and unity of the peoples living in this territory, a series of educational television and radio programs on the history and identity of our peoples.
Central Asia is a young region in terms of demography.
Young people living in our countries will be the engine of the future prosperity of our region. We need to hold events to support young talents in all areas: economy, culture, innovation. We consider it important to invest in our youth, in their education, training of highly qualified specialists, including in new “digital” areas, in the field of the creative industry.
Dear Heads of State,
Today we will sign the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation for the Development of Central Asia in the 21st century. I am confident that this important document will have a positive impact on the processes of further rapprochement between the countries of our region and the consolidation of joint efforts in overcoming the emerging challenges and threats of our time. This is a historic moment, and I hope that this Treaty will become a reliable basis for common prosperity in the space of Central Asia.”
Speech by the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev:
“First of all, I express my deep gratitude to the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, respected Sadyr Nurgozhoevich Zhaparov, for the warm welcome, hospitality, excellent organization of the event on the picturesque coast of Issyk-Kul. Our Consultative Meetings have become an important factor in international politics; they allow us to determine the further vector of development of this region in a confidential manner. In the context of geopolitical turbulence and instability of the world economy, our meeting demonstrates the cohesion of the countries of Central Asia, testifies to a common desire to jointly confront new challenges and threats. The all-round rapprochement of our states is an imperative and fully meets the fundamental interests of the fraternal peoples. Since the first Consultative Meeting in Kazakhstan in 2018, regional cooperation has been steadily growing in all areas. The interstate political dialogue has reached a qualitatively new level, setting the tone for the dynamic development of relations in the spirit of genuine good neighborliness and alliance.
Mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation is steadily expanding. The joint efforts allowed us to restore the pre-pandemic level of interaction, but also to significantly increase trade turnover. According to our data, last year the internal regional trade grew by 27%, exceeding US $8 billion.
Active cultural and humanitarian ties remain an unshakable foundation for long-term relations between the states of Central Asia. The mutual days of culture, large-scale forums and exhibitions are regularly held, joint scientific and historical research is organized, student exchange is actively carried out, and much more.
The productive partnership in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus has become a vivid confirmation of the sense of community inherent in our relations. In the most difficult days of the pandemic, we showed unity and solidarity, without hesitation in providing each other with all the necessary food, medical and other humanitarian aid.
The special nature of our relations is enshrined in the Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation for the Development of Central Asia in the 21st century, which is adopted today, unique in its content and historical perspective. It is deeply symbolic that its signing will take place in the year of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of interstate diplomatic relations between our countries. This historic document marks a new milestone in our five-way strategic partnership. Ensuring sustainable development, stability and security of the region is a common task that imposes on us a huge responsibility to future generations. I would like to assure that Kazakhstan remains committed to its strategic course towards strengthening regional cooperation in every possible way, enhancing the role of Central Asia in the world arena.
Currently, cooperation in Central Asia is facing new challenges. They are well known. Despite this, I am sure that our relations will stand the test of time and become even more stable in a difficult geopolitical situation. The countries of the region take the high road in a critical period of growing international tension. Our pragmatic and balanced foreign policy contributes to this. From time immemorial, the territories of our countries have been an important link between civilizations. And today the most important mission of Central Asia, in my opinion, is building bridges between the competing poles of global politics and economy. Sooner or later, the period of geopolitical confrontation will end, but the bridges will remain. They will become an invaluable heritage for future generations of our fraternal peoples. Based on common interests, I propose to focus on solving the following fundamental problems.
FIRST. Strengthening cooperation in the sphere of security and diplomacy remains a key issue on the agenda. This is essential for the prosperity of the peoples of Central Asia. The Central Asian region should become a vast zone of sustainable socio-economic development, all-round cooperation, peace and prosperity. For the joint development of solutions to prevent threats to security, a mechanism for regular consultations between the Secretaries of the security Councils should be launched.
In addition, I propose to instruct the foreign ministers on a regular basis, at least once every six months, to hold meetings to work out coordinated approaches to key issues of regional and international problems.
As for cooperation with non-regional strategic partners, Kazakhstan considers it possible to adopt the Concept of Interaction between the Central Asian States within the framework of multilateral formats. In my opinion, we should not lock ourselves into fixed geographic boundaries.
In the work of the Consultative Meetings of the Leaders of Central Asia, high representatives of other neighboring states, for example, Russia and China, could take part as invited guests. I am sure that this will benefit the countries of Central Asia, especially when considering specific issues.
SECOND. We, the leaders of the states, must do everything possible to eliminate as much as possible the factors of instability still remaining in the region. Every shot at interstate borders resounds heavily, not only in the countries involved, but throughout the region.
On the contrary, it is in the present crisis climate that our states should demonstrate an example of a civilized, responsible overcoming of contradictions. We know from our own experience that the process of legal formalization of borders is very complicated and thorny.
The dispute resolution is possible only by peaceful means in the spirit of genuine good neighborliness and respect for the fundamental principles of international law. There is no other alternative. Dragging out or ignoring this set of problems is fraught with escalation and, ultimately, may bring to nullify all efforts to develop cooperation in Central Asia.
Kazakhstan, as the only state in the post-Soviet space that has carried out a complete delimitation of its long border, is ready to provide all possible assistance in the search for mutually acceptable solutions. In particular, we propose to create an expert platform for developing mutually acceptable approaches to border delimitation. Experienced lawyers, cartographers, border guards and other specialists should be involved in this work, and the Council of Foreign Ministers can take over the coordination.
THIRD. Forming a solid economic base for multilateral cooperation remains an urgent task. In recent years, tangible results have been achieved in this direction. Over the past 5 years, Kazakhstan’s trade with other Central Asian countries has grown by 42%, reaching US $6.3 billion. Given the existence of huge reserves for increasing mutual trade, it is desirable to bring this figure up to US $15 billion in the foreseeable future.
The threat of an impending global recession, largely provoked by sanctions wars and growing protectionism, brings to the fore the issue of accelerated development of regional economic cooperation. With collapsing production and trade supply chains, the trend towards regionalization is becoming increasingly apparent.
Against this background, the figures I have given for trade between our countries still do not reflect the full potential. Central Asian economic cooperation may well become, if not the main, then at least one of the key sources of growth for our national economies. To take full advantage of the economic potential and the advantages of a favorable geographical position, it is important to establish close cooperation in order to eliminate structural and infrastructural constraints. It would be practically useful to take effective measures to launch a network of border trade and economic hubs that will serve as reference points for the Unified Commodity Distribution System of the Central Asian countries with the prospect of its further expansion.
Kazakhstan is already taking practical steps in this direction with Kyrgyz and Uzbek partners. In particular, the project of the International Center for Industrial Cooperation “Central Asia” is being implemented on the Kazakh-Uzbek border, and the Industrial Trade and Logistics Complex is being implemented on the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border.
There is an agreement with Tajikistan on the establishment of wholesale distribution centers, and together with Turkmenistan we are planning to build a grain terminal. These projects meet our common interests in increasing the mutual trade, as well as exporting products to the markets of the EAEU and other countries.
Along with traditional approaches, it is necessary to make wider use of modern ways to increase the export of goods. In particular, recent widespread restrictions and lockdowns have shown the critical importance of developing e-commerce. Bearing in mind the competitive position of the Central Asian countries, at the initial stage, Kazakhstan proposes to organize a joint promotion of products at upcoming online exhibitions.
For example, during the last exhibition at the Alibaba site, Russia alone presented over 50,000 items of goods. This year, Kazakhstan became the 18th country that opened the National Pavilion on the Alibaba platform. The pavilion was opened on 24 June 2022, in total, 7,500 units of Kazakhstani goods from about 130 companies are showcased on the platform. The total sales since 2020 were US $167 million.
But this, of course, is not a matter of complete satisfaction, there are reserves. Strengthening the socio-economic stability of the region now largely depends on effective measures to attract investment.
According to international experts, our total potential for attracting foreign direct investment over the next 10 years is estimated at up to $170 billion, including about $70 billion in non-oil industries.
In this context, the Astana International Financial Center can become an effective platform for stimulating direct and portfolio investments in regional projects. The AIFC combines the best experience of world financial institutions and the latest tools. More than 1400 companies from 64 countries of the world are registered in the Center. At the same time, most of the foreign AIFC participants show interest in doing business not only in Kazakhstan, but also in neighboring countries. To increase the investment attractiveness of the region, a new product has been developed – AIFC Multipass. This is a special category of visa that will provide AIFC partners with unhindered access to the territory of the participating countries for business trips. We are open to any formats of bilateral and multilateral cooperation at the AIFC site.
FOURTH. It is necessary to increase the transport connectivity of the region and consistently improve transit conditions. Even a cursory glance at the map shows of the unique geographic location of Central Asia at the junction of Russia, China, South Asia, the Middle East and the South Caucasus. In the new geopolitical realities, the role of our region in the promotion and development of transcontinental trade is growing rapidly.
Under these conditions, Kazakhstan is actively developing the Trans-Caspian international transport route. Since 2017, the transportation of containers along the routes of this corridor has grown almost 3 times – up to 25 thousand.
In addition, Kazakhstan is ready to participate in the construction of the Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar railway. In particular, we can ensure the uninterrupted supply of materials for the superstructure of the railway tracks and provide rolling stock.
For our part, we urge our partners to make more active use of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway, the shortest route between East Asia and the countries of the Persian Gulf.
During my recent visit to Iran, the first container train was launched from Kazakhstan to Turkey through the territory of Turkmenistan and Iran. This new logistics solution makes it possible to cover over 6,000 kilometers in just 12 days. Access to the markets of the countries of the Middle East and Europe can be provided by the Kazakh seaports of Aktau and Kuryk. I am sure that Turkmenistan, which is successfully developing the infrastructure of the port of Turkmenbashi, adheres to the same position. At the same time, our countries should not lose sight of the development of transport communications.
We are currently actively cooperating with Uzbekistan. The launch of the railway line “Darbaza – Maktaral” will increase the capacity by 2 times and reduce the time of transportation of goods by 1.5 times.
We also support the construction of a new highway “Turkmenbashi – Garabogaz – the border of Kazakhstan.” From 2025, it is planned to begin work on the reconstruction of the section of the Zhanaozen-Turkmenistan border highway. Coordination of activities in this area would significantly increase the return on our transport and logistics projects. Therefore, governments should work closely on the optimization of tariff policy and the simplification of administrative procedures for transit traffic. Of course, our ambitions should not be limited to positioning Central Asia as a purely land bridge and supplier of raw materials. Building a truly sustainable economic model requires large-scale industrialization and accelerated development of new promising sectors of the economy.
FIFTH. Modern climate challenges, growing demand for water and energy resources require the adoption of decisive measures to ensure the rational use of water resources in the Aral Sea basin.
According to the report of the International Panel on Climate Change, the temperature in our region is rising much faster than the average on the planet. Climate change leads to a reduction in the area of glaciers – the main source of water for our region. Their amount in Central Asia over the past 50 years has decreased by 20-30%, which in the future will significantly reduce the flow of the Syrdarya and Amudarya rivers. All this entails serious risks for the food, energy and environmental security of the region, requiring the adoption of urgent joint measures.
In this vein, we welcome the initiative of Kyrgyzstan to declare 2022 the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development. In addition, we consider it timely the proposal of Tajikistan to declare 2025 the International Year for the Preservation of Glaciers. I am deeply convinced that it is no longer possible to overcome the consequences of climate change in Central Asia without consolidating our efforts. Therefore, in order to coordinate joint actions, we propose to establish a Project Office of the Central Asian countries for environmental protection and the implementation of a coordinated policy on climate change in the region.
Taking the opportunity, I would like to present interesting facts on this burning, topical problem. The special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on 1.5 degrees predicts an increase in temperature in Central Asia by the end of the century to 6 degrees Celsius. This is twice the predicted rise in global temperatures. Today there are 2724 glaciers in Kazakhstan. The largest one – Tuyuksu – has decreased by 1 km over the past 38 years. It annually loses about 1 million tons of its volume, equaling to 58 million tons. This will lead to a decrease in water resources by more than 20% by 2040.
Kazakhstan also attaches particular importance to the implementation of joint hydropower projects for the mutually beneficial use of water resources of transboundary rivers. In this context, the construction project of the Kambarata HPP-1 in Kyrgyzstan is being actively discussed. Yesterday we, the three presidents, discussed this problem in detail and came to preliminary concrete and very useful agreements. The hydroelectric power plant will strengthen the energy security of the countries of Central Asia, improve conditions for expanding agricultural production.
We also call for strengthening the interaction of countries within the framework of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. We positively note the participation of the Kyrgyz side in the regional Working Group on improving its organizational structure and legal framework. We express hope for the resumption of full-fledged cooperation with the Kyrgyz side within the framework of this Fund.
A common history, strong ties of friendship and traditions of good neighborliness have always served as an unshakable basis for the rapprochement of our fraternal peoples. In this regard, I would like to share my vision of further strengthening our ties and filling the cultural and humanitarian agenda with new content.
An urgent task is to expand cooperation in the field of science and education. The basis for this is the Declaration signed last year on the creation of a single Central Asian space of higher education. As part of this initiative, Kazakhstan supported the proposals of partners to expand inter-university exchanges and significantly increased quotas for training young people in Central Asia. We are also ready to create branches of our leading universities and advanced schools in the states of the region. For example, recently in Bishkek, a branch of the Kazakh National University named after A. Al-Farabi. The opening of educational centers on a mutual basis with Uzbekistan is being worked out.
I consider the popularization of the rich historical and cultural heritage of the peoples of Central Asia to be an important vector of joint work. To this end, it is proposed to establish close ties between the academies of sciences of our states in order to jointly organize ethno-geographical and historical research, as well as the publication of scientific works. On the basis of cooperation between national archival centers and libraries, I propose to create a joint online platform for the exchange of archival and research data, which will contribute to deepening cooperation in the field of science.
Cooperation should be strengthened to prevent negative phenomena in the information space that are harmful to the entire region. The essence of this work should be the inviolability of our friendship. We need to unite in countering any attempts to divide peoples and split our relations by inciting interstate and interethnic hatred. Unfortunately, there is still an acute informational hunger in our media in terms of coverage of life in the countries of the region. It is advisable to break this trend, perhaps it makes sense to create a regional TV channel or news website.
For a detailed study of these points, it would be useful to hold meetings of the heads of relevant departments and news agencies in Central Asia on a regular basis. In order to position the region as a single cultural space, it is worth starting the practice of annually electing the “cultural capital of Central Asia”.
I believe that the results of today’s Summit will open a new page in the development of regional cooperation for the sake of peace, security and progress in Central Asia. The Kazakhs say: “Tatulyk – tausylmas bakyt”, which means “Friendship is an inexhaustible wealth.” I am sure that time-tested close trusting relationships, common historical and spiritual roots will always be an inexhaustible source of friendship between our countries.
In his speech, the President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan stressed the importance of further progressive development of regional cooperation based on historically established friendly and good neighborly relations.
The head of Tajikistan focused on the growing threats of terrorism, extremism, drug and arms trafficking, cybercrime and other forms of cross-border organized crime. Tendencies to plant the ideology of religious radicalism in the region, as well as the so-called “sleeping cells” of international terrorism and extremism, were named as a serious challenge to security.
The President of Tajikistan also raised the issue of the negative impact on the countries of the region of the processes taking place in Afghanistan. In this regard, he called for strengthening coordination between special services in order to create specific mechanisms for joint struggle against challenges and threats to regional security.
Emomali Rahmon highlighted the issues of joint activities of the states of the region for the socio-economic development of Central Asia. In this context, he stressed the need to create favorable conditions for expanding trade, close cooperation ties, developing the transport and transit potential of the region and improving transport corridors to create favorable conditions for the movement of goods.
The President of Tajikistan spoke in favor of taking additional measures to develop a common cultural and humanitarian space in Central Asia. The need to strengthen cooperation between scientific institutions of the countries of the region in the development of applied disciplines, further development of intercultural dialogue and joint promotion of the tangible and intangible cultural and natural heritage of the peoples of the countries of the region in the world was emphasized.
President of Turkmenistan: Security challenges urge to set up a strong and long-term regional security system
Speech by President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov:
“Dear Heads of Central Asian States! Dear participants!
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the Kyrgyz Republic for the invitation to participate in this meeting, hospitality and warm welcome.
In the year that has passed since the third Consultative Meeting of the Heads of Central Asian States in the city of Turkmenbashi, significant transformations have taken place in the world, new realities and challenges have emerged. They did not bypass our region.
With all the urgency, the key issue arose – ensuring security. Unfortunately, we cannot yet say that peace in the wide Eurasian space is unshakable, and stability has acquired an irreversible character. There are threats, they manifest themselves in different forms and under various circumstances.
I would like to highlight the main ones.
Firstly, these are attempts to destabilize the internal political situation in the states of our region.
We see the consequences they lead to. And this requires us to be united and determined to confront them together. Here I want to confirm Turkmenistan’s firm support for the timely and decisive actions of the leaders of the Central Asian States aimed at preserving peace in the country, protecting the lives and security of citizens, and ensuring the sustainability of State and public institutions.
Secondly, these are attempts to infiltrate extremist and radical elements into Central Asia, terrorist danger, drug trafficking, and other types of illegal activities.
Thirdly, the possible negative impact on the situation in Central Asia of the consequences of military-political conflicts taking place in relative proximity to the borders of our region.
Fourth, it is the illegal use of information technologies, the imposition from the outside of ideas and attitudes that run counter to the historical traditions of the peoples of Central Asia, basic values and age-old foundations of live.
These challenges require taking effective measures to create a solid and long-term security system in the region, neutralizing potential threats that could hinder or slow down our progress. Together, we must ensure that Central Asia remains a zone of stability and trust, not subject to risks to peace and development.
In this regard, we consider it expedient to intensify and strengthen political and diplomatic cooperation. The coordination of the work should be undertaken by the foreign ministries of our countries through the mechanism of five-sided regular consultations. We need constant monitoring of the situation, timely exchange of information, objective analysis of events taking place in the world as a basis for decision-making.
I propose to instruct the foreign ministries of the Central Asian states to develop a Roadmap on the entire spectrum of the security agenda for the next two years, with the participation of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia.
Also, in order to effectively protect the information space in the region, we suggest thinking about strengthening professional ties between the state information structures of our countries. It is possible to develop a “code of conduct” when covering sensitive topics.
In this context, we can consider the idea of holding a Central Asian media forum dedicated to security issues with the participation of state news agencies, the press, and electronic media.
I believe that this will give a good incentive to create a positive information background, a better understanding of the real situation in the region, the course and direction of the processes taking place here, the efforts of States and governments to ensure conditions for the peaceful and stable development of Central Asia, the well-being of our peoples.
The most important part of cooperation in the field of regional security is still joint work in the Afghan track.
As neighboring States of Afghanistan, which have special historical ties with it, we need to continue to step up efforts aimed at stabilizing the situation in this country, creating conditions for achieving national accord through peaceful dialogue, contributing to international efforts to combat terrorism, and providing economic and humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
In this context, Turkmenistan welcomes the International Conference on Afghanistan scheduled for the end of July this year in Tashkent.
The topic of trust in interstate relations and the culture of dialogue is gaining global importance today against the background of the crisis phenomena that we are witnessing in global politics and the economy. The Central Asian countries are called upon to set an example of respect, equality and trust in relations with each other and actively promote these ideas in the international arena.
Turkmenistan is currently preparing an initiative at the UN to declare 2023 the International Year of “Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace”, and we expect that this constructive proposal will be supported by all Central Asian countries.
At the same time, we made a proposal to the UN to draft a resolution of the General Assembly “Zone of Peace and Confidence in Central Asia”. We also hope to support this initiative.
Against the background of the increased intensity of regional conflicts, our coordinated position on their neutralization and prevention is of particular importance.
I think it is expedient to intensify diplomatic cooperation both within the regional framework and with other States in order to support international efforts to de-escalate conflicts and create favorable conditions for their transfer to the negotiating channel.
Here we can and should offer our vision of the use of preventive diplomacy mechanisms in the region, in particular, through the activities of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, to provide it with all possible support and assistance. In this regard, I propose this autumn to hold consultations at the level of the heads of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Central Asian States and the Regional Center.
We reasonably consider Turkmenistan’s neutrality to be an important factor in conflict prevention. I would like to note that the constructive role of Turkmen neutrality has been recognized and confirmed by two resolutions of the UN General Assembly adopted with the co-authorship of all Central Asian states. We propose to use this factor in the further practical implementation by our countries of their international agenda to strengthen universal peace and stability.
Dear Heads of State!
Our countries form a single geo-economic space, which implies the development and strengthening of cooperation based on a common vision of their place and role in continental and global processes, awareness and clear formulation of goals, the use of available objective opportunities and advantages to achieve them.
Turkmenistan believes that today the trade, economic and investment cooperation of the Central Asian states should acquire a strategic orientation, namely, turning it into one of the foundations for the formation of a new geo-economic landscape of Eurasia.
The cornerstone of this strategy is transport and logistics.
I believe that the efforts of our countries can and should be aimed at achieving the main goal – the creation of a powerful and modern infrastructure that would ensure the integration of transport systems in Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. In particular, Turkmenistan is ready to work together on the development of the Central Asia–Caspian–Black Sea and Central Asia–Persian Gulf transport routes.
Let me remind you that an International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked Developing Countries is planned to be held in Turkmenistan in August.
We hope for the proactive participation of the Central Asian countries in this forum, aimed at developing coordinated approaches to the formation of international transport and logistics corridors, their configuration and principles of functioning.
Within the framework of the conference, we propose to hold a separate meeting of the heads of transport departments of Central Asian countries. The topic is the possibility of increasing cargo flows both within the region and outbound, from Central Asia to China and Europe.
In general, speaking about the transport importance of the region, we can reasonably set an ambitious, but realistic goal of turning it into an integral part of the revival of the “Great Silk Road”.
We look forward to continuing and expanding our partnership in the energy sector. We already have a major energy project implemented in our common asset – the Turkmenistan–Uzbekistan–Kazakhstan–China gas pipeline.
We are ready to consider together with our partners the possibilities for a significant increase in energy supplies and expansion of their transit configuration.
Today, international business and financial institutions are attentive and interested in our region, they perfectly understand its potential and geo-economic value. We have all the opportunities for creating a comfortable environment for entrepreneurship, freeing it from unnecessary, often outdated barriers, making Central Asia attractive for solid and long–term investments.
The most important issue is Central Asian industrial cooperation. Our countries have vast natural resources, strong industrial and technological potential. Their unification, the creation of partnership production lines, “integration corridors” are an urgent topic.
Private business has an important role to play in this. We need to launch targeted business forums in our countries, during which our entrepreneurs could communicate directly, independently build partnership schemes where it is profitable and expedient for them. In this regard, we propose to return to the idea of creating a Business Cooperation Council of Central Asian countries, expressed at the last Consultative Meeting.
A few words about cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
Central Asia is one of the cradles of world civilization. Today, the task is to create a single cultural space in the region as a system of complex, multifaceted interaction of cultural communities of our countries, popularization of the richest spiritual and historical heritage of the peoples of Central Asia, modern achievements in the field of literature, art, cinema, encouraging broad contacts between representatives of the creative intelligentsia.
It is up to them to take the initiative on creating prerequisites for launching a regional cultural dialogue that would have a regular character. We can call it the Forum of Cultural Dialogue of Central Asia.
To encourage activities in this area, I propose to establish an annual Prize of the Presidents of the Central Asian countries for achievements in the field of culture.
It is also important to strengthen and intensify joint work at UNESCO, including on the preservation of the historical heritage of the peoples of Central Asia, highlighting this topic as a separate area of activity of our delegations in this Organization. I propose to instruct the foreign ministries to develop a joint action plan of the Central Asian countries to work with the UNESCO Secretariat.
Dear Heads of State!
Concluding my speech, I would like to emphasize that today, in the conditions of the extreme aggravation of the world situation, we, neighbors, fraternal peoples with a common history and roots, need at all costs to preserve unity and cohesion, show responsibility and foresight. And then, I am convinced, we will be able to ensure peace, prosperity and progress for our peoples and states, full and effective entry of Central Asia into a number of rapidly developing and promising economic regions of global importance.
Turkmenistan is ready for the closest cooperation to achieve these goals.”
President of Uzbekistan: Peace and stability of the entire region depend on unity and readiness to take decisive measures to protect the shared interests of Central Asia
The head of Uzbekistan in his speech noted that thanks to regular dialogue in this format, it was possible to strengthen relations of friendship and good neighborliness, to create a completely new, constructive atmosphere of regional cooperation in Central Asia.
We are consistently addressing the difficult tasks of ensuring security and stability, sustainable socio-economic development of Central Asia, Shavkat Mirziyoyev emphasized.
On this path, many barriers were removed, conditions were created for the free movement of our citizens, active cultural and tourist exchanges. A favorable environment has been formed that promotes the growth of mutual trade and investment.
The countries of the region embarked on implementing joint industrial cooperation projects, creating effective value chains, and developing transport and energy infrastructure.
“The most important thing is that our fraternal peoples feel all these positive changes,” Mirziyoyev said.
At the same time, the head of Uzbekistan noted the difficult situation in the world, which directly affects the Central Asian region.
There is a rapid transformation of the international order with hardly predictable consequences. The world is witnessing a growing lack of dialogue and trust at the global level.
As a result of the worsening crisis in the global economy, our countries are faced with the problems of breaking traditional supply chains, import inflation is growing, and the risks of food and energy security have increased many times over.
Under these conditions, the demand for coordination and increasing the effectiveness of multilateral cooperation within the framework of the Consultative Meetings format is even more growing, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev. I would like to emphasize that peace, stability and prosperity of the entire region depend on our solidarity and readiness to take decisive measures to protect the common interests of Central Asia.
The President of Uzbekistan expressed his vision on topical issues and put forward a number of proposals aimed at further strengthening multifaceted relations and developing practical regional cooperation.
It was noted that despite the positive dynamics, the potential for trade and economic cooperation between regional countries still remains untapped. Today intra-regional trade accounts for, according to various estimates, from 5 to 10 percent of the total trade turnover of regional countries.
In this regard, it was proposed to actively introduce new forms and mechanisms to stimulate mutual trade. We are talking about creating a system of border trade zones with unified rules and simplified procedures for the supply of goods.
The head of Uzbekistan called for intensifying efforts to implement projects aimed at replacing imports from third countries with products from manufacturers from the countries of the region.
Another important task is to promote joint projects of industrial cooperation. He stressed the importance of developing common approaches to the formation of the Central Asian space of industrial localization and import substitution based on national industrial development programs.
The leader of Uzbekistan called for paying special attention to the issues of digitalization of economic sectors, which will reduce costs and ensure the competitiveness of products.
In order to further develop trade and economic ties, it was also proposed to use the potential of direct interregional cooperation more widely and launch the annual Forum of Central Asian Regions.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed gratitude to partners in the region for supporting the recently adopted special Resolution of the UN General Assembly on strengthening the connectivity of Central and South Asia at the initiative of Uzbekistan, and in development of this initiative advocated the development of a roadmap to promote priority alternative transport corridors to enter the markets of India, Pakistan and China.
The attention of the participants was drawn to the importance of systematic joint work to ensure food security based, first of all, on the common interests of the Central Asian region.
For these purposes, Mirziyoyev proposed to jointly develop a Comprehensive Scheme for Guaranteed Supply of the Population with a wide range of food products, which are produced in sufficient volume in countries of Central Asia.
The importance of multilateral cooperation in the environmental direction was emphasized.
Within the framework of the “Green Agenda” program developed by Uzbekistan for Central Asia, partners were invited to focus on the issues of decarbonization of the economy, the advanced development of alternative energy with the organization of mutual supplies of electricity, the widespread introduction of water-saving and environmentally friendly technologies, as well as the rational use of water resources.
The President of Uzbekistan stated with regret that today the countries of Central Asia are far behind the leading regions of the world in the field of green development.
To ensure the competitiveness of our countries in the long term, today it is necessary to instruct governments to prepare a Plan of specific actions for the implementation of the program adopted today, he said.
For further rapprochement of the fraternal peoples of the countries of the region, a deep study of the common history, as well as joint programs in the field of culture, education, sports and tourism, is necessary.
In this context, the Uzbek leader proposed to alternately hold the Central Asian Festival of Art, Cinema and National Cuisine.
It was noted that intra-regional tourism should be actively stimulated through the development of tourist routes and products, and the conduct of joint PR campaigns.
An initiative has been put forward to prepare a multilateral agreement on general directions for the implementation of youth policy.
The head of our state paid special attention to the strategic areas of regional cooperation in the field of security.
“I emphasize that the security of the region is indivisible and, first of all, depends on effectiveness of our partnership”, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
“In this regard, we need to further increase practical cooperation in the fight against the traditional threats of extremism and terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking”, he added.
New challenges related to illegal activities on the Internet, the scale of which is increasing, require close attention. “Today there are no borders for these threats – they penetrate through mobile phones. Unfortunately, the recent tragic events in Uzbekistan have once again confirmed the presence of destructive forces that are trying to disrupt our plans, wreak havoc and instability in our region”, he said. In this regard, the President of Uzbekistan supported the proposal of the President of Tajikistan to launch regular consultations of the heads of security councils and special services of the countries of the region in these areas.
It was emphasized that continuing close cooperation in promoting long-term peace and the socio-economic reconstruction of Afghanistan should remain a top priority.
The states of the region, as close neighbors of this country, should be interested in its stability more than anyone else, the leader of Uzbekistan noted.
He argued for the active development of trade relations with this country, its involvement in regional economic processes, the expansion of humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people, and the promotion of important social and infrastructure projects.
Concluding his remarks, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed confidence that the results of the Consultative Meeting would serve to strengthen the strategic partnership and trust of Central Asian countries, encourage promoting joint practical cooperation projects.
The Fourth Consultative Central Asian summit has been ended with adoption of the following documents:
- Joint Statement
- The Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan signed a Treaty of Friendship, Good Neighborliness and Cooperation for the Development of Central Asia in the 21st century. Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will accede this document after completion of internal procedures at national level.
- Roadmap for the development of regional cooperation for 2022-2024
- Regional Green Agenda Program for Central Asia
- Concept of interaction between the states of Central Asia within the framework of multilateral formats
- Decision of the Heads of States – founders of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea to extend the powers of Emomali Rahmon as President of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.
In the cultural center “Rukh Ordo”, within the framework of the Fourth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov hosted an official reception for the presidents of the countries of Central Asia.
Colorful performances of pop artists, dance ensembles and artists clearly demonstrated the historical friendship, harmony, comprehensive cooperation and cultural and social interaction of the countries of Central Asia: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
The famous songs of the countries of Central Asia were performed during a joint concert.
On 21 July 2022, in the city of Cholpon-Ata of the Kyrgyz Republic, a regular Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia was held, which was attended by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan K. Tokaev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic S. Japarov, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan E. Rahmon, the President of Turkmenistan S. Berdimuhamedov and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh. Mirziyoyev.
Following the results of the negotiations, which took place in the traditional atmosphere of mutual understanding, trust, friendship and constructive cooperation, noting with satisfaction the progressive process of further rapprochement of countries and the deepening of regional cooperation in all aspects of interaction, marking the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the states of Central Asia,
emphasizing their significant contribution to strengthening the ideals of the UN, maintaining the central role of the Organization in the international system, expressing commitment to the goals and principles enshrined in the UN Charter, marking the 30th anniversary of the membership of the Central Asian states in the United Nations and participation in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe based on the universally recognized principles and norms of international law, including the principles of mutual respect, independence, state sovereignty and territorial integrity, inviolability of state borders, equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of states,
reaffirming the desire of the states of Central Asia to develop a regional dialogue based on strengthening trust and mutual understanding, consensus, equality, respect and consideration of each other’s interests,
emphasizing the primary and key role of the states of Central Asia in solving topical regional issues,
reaffirming their commitment to frankness and broad interaction in the interests of ensuring peace, stability, security and sustainable development both in the region and throughout the world,
emphasizing the common desire of the states of the region to create in Central Asia a zone of trust, peace and prosperity, as well as to strengthen regional cooperation that contributes to the achievement of this goal,
expressing firm intention to jointly face global and regional challenges,
noting the great potential of regional trade and economic cooperation and the interest in its full use to strengthen the competitiveness of national economies, improve the quality of life of their peoples, and enhance regional peace and stability,
emphasizing the common commitment to further strengthening cooperation in political, trade and economic, investment and financial, transport and logistics, water and energy, information technology, environmental, cultural and humanitarian and other areas of mutual interest,
highly appreciating the significance of the platform for the Consultative Meetings of the Heads of State of Central Asia as a unique five-sided mechanism at the highest level for maintaining political dialogue, discussing and determining further prospects for regional cooperation,
The parties declare the following:
1. The consultative meeting, held in Cholpon-Ata, the Kyrgyz Republic, once again confirmed the commitment of the heads of Central Asian states to a constructive and mutually beneficial dialogue in the interests of the peoples of all countries of the region and became an important stage in regional cooperation.
2. The Treaty between the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan on friendship, good-neighborliness and cooperation for the development of Central Asia in the 21st century was agreed upon, and the signing procedure started.
3. The heads of state highly appreciated the fact that the Consultative Meetings of the Heads of State of Central Asia are becoming regular and stressed the importance of the practical implementation of the previous agreements.
The heads of state noted the importance of strengthening political cooperation and continuing on a regular basis five-sided consultations at the level of foreign ministries, diplomatic institutions and representative offices at international organizations on topical issues of regional and international agendas of mutual interest.
The heads of state also noted the expediency of developing interaction mechanisms at the level of sectoral ministries and departments, including in accordance with the Roadmap for the development of regional cooperation.
4. The parties favored increasing the effectiveness of interaction within the framework of the multilateral formats “Central Asia +”, strengthening cooperation with the partner states of the countries of the region, international and regional organizations, as well as mutually beneficial use of the accumulated experience of multilateral diplomacy.
5. The Parties noted the importance of coordinating joint efforts to expedite the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 goals.
6. The Parties, emphasizing the need to ensure the broad participation of women in political, economic, public, social and other spheres of activity in Central Asia, consider it important to regularly hold forums, congresses and meetings of women.
7. The Heads of State stressed the importance of inter-parliamentary cooperation to strengthen friendly and mutually beneficial ties between the Central Asian States, and called for further intensification of dialogue in this area.
8. The Heads of State stated their commitment to strengthening peace, security and stability in the region and the world, noted the need for further development of cooperation between the States of the region within the framework of the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia of 8 November 2006, joint promotion of disarmament-related projects and initiatives in the international arena, as well as the importance of further cooperation with other nuclear-weapon-free zones in order to consolidate efforts in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
9. The Parties noted the need for further development of cooperation on radiation, chemical and biological safety.
10. The Heads of State stressed that one of the challenges in the modern world is the use of information and communication technologies for criminal and other purposes that pose a threat to international peace and security. In this regard, they called for strengthening regional cooperation in the field of information security.
11. The Parties noted the importance of cooperation in the fight against international terrorism, religious extremism, illegal migration, cross-border organized crime, and other types of crime and spoke about the need to create favorable organizational, legal, economic and other conditions for strengthening cooperation in these areas.
The parties reaffirmed their commitment to the current international system of combating drug trafficking based on the norms and principles of international law, as well as the relevant three UN anti-drug conventions. Noting the importance of international drug control conventions and other relevant legal instruments, the Parties considered it necessary to strengthen measures to combat the drug threat, production, manufacture and illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.
12. The Heads of State reiterated that an early settlement of the situation in Afghanistan remains one of the most crucial factors for maintaining and strengthening security and stability in Central Asia.
The parties expressed their intention to develop cooperation between the Central Asian countries, including within the framework of regional platforms and international organizations, aimed at ensuring security and stability in Afghanistan, improving the humanitarian situation, restoring socio-economic infrastructure and fully involving this country in regional economic ties to achieve civil peace and harmony in Afghan society.
The Heads of State consider it extremely important to create an inclusive Government in Afghanistan involving representatives of all ethnic and political groups of Afghan society.
13. The Parties noted the importance of solving tasks aimed at improving the welfare and standard of living of the population of the Central Asian States. In this context, the Heads of State expressed their readiness to develop cooperation in order to ensure sustainable growth of national economies, minimize the negative impact of global crisis on the socio-economic development of their States, as well as exchange information and experience on measures taken in this regard at the national level.
14. The Heads of State confirmed that one of the most important areas of cooperation between the Central Asian states is the development of cooperation in trade, economic and investment spheres. In this regard, the Parties consider it important to step up cooperation in the field of transport and logistics, energy, urban infrastructure, architecture and urban planning, processing and mining industries, agriculture, information and communication technologies, trade, tourism, etc. The parties confirmed their intention to create favorable conditions for the development of entrepreneurial activity and raise the investment attractiveness of their states.
The Parties see the need to further develop industrial and agro-industrial cooperation of the Central Asian states in order to produce competitive products, including for joint export to the markets of third countries.
15. The Parties expressed their intention to make efforts for the full functioning of the global supply chain and ensuring sustainable trade and economic activity, the creation of a distribution network, border trade centers, and the implementation of trade and logistics projects.
16. The Parties mentioned the importance of using the potential opportunities of cooperation against the background of the ongoing technological revolution, industrial, scientific and technological progress. In this regard, the Heads of State feel the need to intensify cooperation in the field of information and communication technologies, digitalization, strengthen the interconnection of digital infrastructure, expand cooperation in the field of digital economy, innovation and “green” technologies.
17. The Parties noted that e-commerce is one of the most rapidly developing and promising areas of cooperation and expressed their readiness to strengthen cooperation in this area and make efforts to bring the countries of the region to global e-commerce platforms.
18. Recognizing the importance of creating an integrated transportation management system on the territory of the Central Asian States, the Parties are working to create favorable conditions for ensuring the effective use of transit potential.
19. The Heads of State reiterated that the geographical location of the Central Asian States allows the region to become an essential transit zone for commercial transportation and trade between Russia, China, South Asia and the Middle East, Europe, and, given that the States of the region are landlocked developing countries, noted the importance of creating a highly efficient regional logistics chain, including the construction of new roads and railways, and ensuring its integration into the international logistics system.
The Heads of State stressed that one of the most important tasks in the further development of cooperation is the realization of the large transport and transit potential of the Central Asian region. In this regard, they noted the importance of developing transport infrastructure, optimizing the activities of checkpoints, improving the quality of transport services and creating favorable conditions for the functioning of all modes of transport carrying out transportation between the countries of the region and transit through their territories.
20. The Parties noted the importance of strengthening regional cooperation in the field of financial markets, in order to increase the investment attractiveness of the region through the development of stock markets.
21. The Parties reiterated the need for continued cooperation in the field of agriculture and food security.
22. Recognizing the urgency of environmental threats and challenges, the Heads of State highlighted the importance of expanding cooperation and coordination in the field of the climate agenda, building a low-carbon economy, introducing resource-saving and “green” technologies, including the development of renewable energy sources.
23. The Heads of State note the importance of further strengthening regional cooperation on mitigation of the effects of climate change and adaptation to it, combating desertification, rational use of water and energy resources, provision of clean drinking water, environmental protection, ecology, conservation of biodiversity, glaciers and recultivation of uranium tailings, promotion of projects and programs in these areas.
The Parties, noting the importance of existing and under construction hydropower facilities to facilitate the solution of water and energy issues in Central Asia, advocated the strengthening of mutually beneficial multilateral cooperation of the Central Asian countries on the integrated and rational use of water and energy resources in the region, taking into account the interests of all countries in the region.
The Heads of State stressed the importance of the ongoing work to improve the organizational structure and legal framework of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and noted the need for their early finalization, taking into account the interests of all Central Asian countries.
The Parties emphasize the importance of promoting international and regional initiatives on the UN platform to address the most urgent environmental issues in the region.
24. Recognizing the relevance and necessity of further strengthening the interaction of the competent authorities of the Central Asian States in the field of emergency situations, the Parties noted the need for further consolidation of efforts within the framework of the consultative platform of the Regional Forum – the Meeting of Heads of Emergency Departments of the Central Asian Countries.
25. The Parties recognize the importance of strengthening the interaction of competent authorities in the field of regulation of migration processes between the Central Asian States, as well as the need to ensure the protection of the rights and interests of citizens, including those engaged in temporary work, providing them with legal, social and advisory assistance.
26. The Heads of State noted the need for close cooperation in the field of tourism, including in order to resume tourist exchange between the countries of the region after the pandemic, as well as the organization of joint expeditions to study the prospects of cross-border tours, improve road infrastructure, launch certified tourist bus routes.
The Parties called for close cooperation between the tourism authorities and tourism companies involved in the development of international and domestic tourism.
The Parties expressed their readiness to further facilitate the exchange of information on the development of tourism activities, printed materials, films, cooperate in advertising campaigns, conferences and seminars, organization of exhibitions, fairs and road shows.
27. The Parties called for further strengthening of multilateral cooperation between the States of the region in the field of education and science by holding bilateral and multilateral events, scientific conferences, symposiums, as well as within the framework of the forum of rectors of universities of Central Asian countries, which contribute to the development of joint scientific and educational projects in priority areas and expansion of cooperation at the regional level.
28. The Parties expressed their readiness to promote the study of national languages and the dissemination of literature, as well as the development of contacts between scientists, writers and artists.
The Parties intend to make efforts for the comprehensive development of relations in the cultural and humanitarian sphere, as well as to support national and cultural associations operating in the Central Asian states.
29. The Heads of State noted the exceptional importance of coordinating efforts to preserve the cultural heritage and traditions of the peoples living in the region, popularize the Navruz holiday, form a single cultural and historical space in Central Asia, as well as creative value orientations and regional unity of peoples.
30. The parties agreed on the need to pay special attention to youth issues and the adoption of joint measures and programs aimed at supporting young people, realizing their potential, as well as developing dialogue and cooperation between youth organizations of the states of the region in the fields of culture, science, technology, entrepreneurship, including within the framework of Forums of Young Entrepreneurs of the Central Asian states Asia, round tables on the exchange of experience among young leaders.
31. The Heads of State, taking into account the serious socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, spoke in favor of increasing cooperation in the field of prevention and control of the spread of infectious diseases, preparedness for rapid response to complications of the sanitary and epidemiological situation in the region, strengthening cooperation in the field of public health and scientific and technical cooperation in the field of medical science.
32. The Heads of State noted the high potential of interregional and cross-border cooperation and spoke in favor of creating the necessary conditions for the development of ties between the regions.
33. The Heads of State decided to approve the Roadmap for the Development of Regional Cooperation for 2022-2024, the Concept of Interaction of Central Asian States within Multilateral Formats and the Regional Program “Green Agenda” for Central Asia.
34. The Parties supported the proposal to hold the Fifth Anniversary Consultative Meeting of the Heads of Central Asian States on 14-15 September 2023 in the Republic of Tajikistan.
The consultative meeting of the heads of Central Asian States in Cholpon-Ata was held in a traditionally friendly, warm and trusting atmosphere.
The Parties expressed gratitude to the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Nurgojoyevich Zhaparov for the hospitality and the high level of organization of the Consultative Meeting.
Cholpon-Ata, 21 July 2022
///nCa, 22 July 2022 (photo source – Press-services of President of Kyrgyzstan, President of Uzbekistan, President of Kazakhstan, TDH)