On 14 September 2023, the fifth anniversary Consultative Meeting of the heads of state of Central Asia was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
The Central Asian summit, chaired by the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, was attended by:
- Kazakhstan – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
- Kyrgyzstan – President Sadyr Zhaparov
- Turkmenistan – President Serdar Berdimuhamedov
- Uzbekistan – President Shavkat Mirziyoyev
- Azerbaijan as the guest of honor – President Ilham Aliyev
- Special Representative of the UN Secretary General – Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Kakha Imnadze.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the summit via video message. He was represented in Dushanbe by his Special Representative Kakha Imnadze, and WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge.
Following the summit, a package of five documents was adopted, including a Joint Statement as the main document of the meeting, and four additional documents. This was stated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan Sirodjiddin Mukhriddin on Thursday at the final briefing. The package includes:
- Joint statement of the Heads of State
- Agreement on Strengthening the Interconnectedness of Land Transport in Central Asia.
- Agreement between the Central Asian countries on general directions of youth policy.
- Regulations on the Council of National Coordinators for Consultative Meetings of the Heads of Central Asian States (approved by the Heads of State)
- Approved Roadmap to Support Health and Well-being in Central Asia for 2022-2025.
In a Joint statement, the Presidents confirmed the exceptional importance of the mechanism of Consultative Meetings for the consistent strengthening of friendly relations between the countries of Central Asia.
The Heads of State called for the solution of all regional issues by political and diplomatic means on the basis of equality and respect for each other’s interests.
The document emphasizes that the United Nations is the only universal organization of global scope, possessing universally recognized legitimacy and playing a central role in preserving peace and security on the planet and promoting universal development.
In the context of security issues, the heads of state stated that countering terrorism and extremism, drug trafficking, as well as other challenges will remain under their focus.
In this regard, the countries of the region will step up efforts at the national and regional levels to counter the spread of extremist ideas, especially among young people.
The Central Asian leaders reviewed the situation in Afghanistan, stressing the importance of resolving it and advocating for an independent, united and peaceful state.
The heads of Central Asian countries once again stressed the importance of creating an inclusive government in Afghanistan with the participation of representatives of the main ethnic, religious and political groups of Afghan society. They also reaffirmed their commitment to assist the fraternal Afghan people in overcoming the humanitarian and economic crisis.
The heads of state identified the development of cooperation in the trade and economic field and the creation of favorable conditions for trade and investment as a priority task.
Thus, it is planned to consider the possibility of cooperation on increasing the share of national currencies in mutual trade.
The necessity of intensifying cooperation in the field of industry and industrial cooperation, increasing the efficiency of using the transit potential of Central Asia is emphasized.
The heads of state called for strengthening regional cooperation on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
In terms of cultural and humanitarian cooperation, Central Asian leaders supported efforts to promote mutual respect and tolerance for each other’s cultural heritage, as well as increased cooperation in science, technology, the humanities, and tourism.
Central Asian leaders stressed the importance of cooperating to submit and promote joint UNESCO World Heritage List applications.
The Presidents expressed strong support for efforts to ensure broad participation of women in all spheres of activity.
The Agreement on strengthening the interconnectedness of Land Transport in Central Asia will create favorable conditions for the development of international land transport, provide a competitive environment in the transport services market in the region.
The Agreement between the Central Asian countries on the general directions of youth policy will facilitate an environment for further involvement of young people in the social, cultural, political, social and economic life of the Central Asian states.
The Regulation on the Council of National Coordinators for Consultative Meetings of the Heads of Central Asian States creates the Institute of National Coordinators, which will monitor the implementation of the agreements reached and develop new proposals for deepening cooperation.
Approved Roadmap to Support Health and Well-being in Central Asia for 2022-2025 was developed jointly with the World Health Organization. It is the first strategy in the field of health and well-being in the region.
“The Dushanbe Anniversary Consultative Meeting of the heads of Central Asian States gave a new impetus to the development of multifaceted cooperation in the region and the further movement of our countries forward. At the same time, our goals remain unchanged, clear and simple – peace, stability and progress in Central Asia,” summed up foreign minister of Tajikistan.
The sixth Consultative Meeting of the heads of Central Asian States will be held in Kazakhstan in 2024.
On the sidelines of the summit in Dushanbe, 14 side events have been held and are taking place. This:
- EXPO Central Asia 2023
- Gala concert “Evening of Friendship”
- Economic Forum
- The Second Forum of Rectors of Higher educational institutions
- First meeting of Transport Ministers
- Dialogue of Women Leaders of Central Asia
- Exhibition of artists
- Forum of Scientists
- Festival of National dishes
- International Swimming Tournament
- Volunteer Forum
- Forum of Youth Organizations
- Forum of Young Entrepreneurs
- Forum of heads of state bodies on youth affairs.
After the summit, the presidents attended the Gala concert “Friendship Evening”.
On the evening of 14 September, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon hosted an official reception for the heads of Central Asian states participating in the Fifth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of Central Asian States and the meeting of the Council of the Heads of the Founding States of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea at the Kohi Istiqlol Palace.
The Presidents of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan went for an evening walk and visited an exhibition of Tajikistan’s natural resources, which featured fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, honey and other natural goods. ///nCa, 15 September 2023
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