On 13 October 2023, the CIS Summit of the Heads of state was held in Bishkek under the chairmanship of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov.
The summit was attended by:
- President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev
- President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko
- President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
- President of Russia Vladimir Putin
- President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon
- President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov
- President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev
- Secretary General of the CIS Executive Committee Sergey Lebedev.
In a narrow format, the heads of state exchanged views on topical issues of cooperation within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The expanded broad format began work by decision on awarding the Honorary Badge of the CIS to President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev for his contribution to the development of the CIS and strengthening friendship, good-neighborliness, and mutually beneficial cooperation between the member states.
Then the summit participants adopted an Agreement on the establishment of an International Organization for the Russian Language. It will aim at strengthening the relations of friendship, good-neighborliness, mutual understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation between the countries, including on the issues of maintaining and promoting the Russian language as a language of interstate communication, its use as a means of access to world knowledge bases in the field of culture, literature, history, as well as strengthening the status of the Russian language as an official and/or the working language of international and regional intergovernmental organizations and structures.
The Council of CIS Heads of State adopted four statements.
- The Statement on cooperation in the field of digitalization in public administration is aimed at deepening the interaction of the CIS member states in the field of digital transformation of the public sector, contributing to improving the efficiency of public services and ensuring information security, regulating the digital sphere to ensure respect for human rights in the context of digitalization.
- The Statement on International Relations in a multipolar world declares the importance of forming a stable multipolar world order. It envisages the intention of the CIS member States to contribute to building a secure architecture of international relations to solve problems of international and regional development. The document notes the desire to turn the CIS region into a space of peace, cooperation, sustainable development and shared prosperity, confirms the openness of the Commonwealth of Independent States for broad international cooperation in accordance with international law on the basis of mutual consideration of interests and common approaches.
- The Statement of the Heads of State on the protection of the human and citizen’s right to freedom of religion underlines the importance of understanding religious and cultural diversity in the CIS member States. The document calls for encouraging dialogue and cooperation in matters of religious freedom, emphasizes the value of education, including education in the spirit of citizenship and religious tolerance.
- The Statement of the Heads of State on the Support and Promotion of the Russian Language as a Language of Interethnic Communication notes the role of the Russian language in the world, including as one of the official languages of the United Nations and a number of other international organizations. It emphasizes the need to preserve and promote the unique linguistic and historical-cultural heritage of the CIS member states, and states the importance of the Russian language in strengthening the common cultural and humanitarian space of the Commonwealth. The document also confirms the commitment to using the Russian language in mutual contacts and on the platforms of international organizations and forums, and emphasizes the inadmissibility of discrimination on the basis of language.
It is envisaged that all the statements signed at the meeting in Bishkek will be distributed to the United Nations and other international organizations.
A number of documents adopted by the Council of Heads of State relate to cooperation in the field of security. These include:
- Agreement on the Establishment of the International Center for the Assessment of Risks of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism
- Agreement on the Establishment of the Coordination Council in the Field of Forensic Activities
- Interstate Program of Joint Measures to Combat Crime for 2024-2028. The Interstate Program includes a complex of organizational, legal, practical, informational, and scientific measures related to countering crime, including the illegal trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, human trafficking, illegal migration, as well as crimes committed using information technologies.
The Heads of State adopted a Decision to Establish a Medal for Contribution to Peace. The award will become a single interstate distinction that reflects the recognition of the special personal merits of citizens of the CIS member states, as well as representatives of other states, in strengthening peace and maintaining international security.
The Council of Heads of State of the CIS declared the city of Samarkand the Cultural Capital of the CIS in 2024.
On 1 January 2024, the chairmanship in CIS will pass to Russia. The next CIS summit will be held in Moscow on 8 October 2024.
Security and Economy are Key Topics in the Speech of Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdimuhamedov
In his speech at the summit, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov reiterated the initiative to develop a Global Security Strategy, which was announced at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in September this year.
“International events of recent times clearly demonstrate that the preservation of peace, the strengthening of security and stability will be the main priorities of world politics,” Berdimuhamedov said.
The Turkmen President noted that the Global Security Strategy should include three important areas:
The first is the principles of preventive diplomacy as a tool for preventing and neutralizing conflicts and threats, and eradicating the causes that generate them.
The second key component of the Strategy is the use of the potential of positive neutrality as a political and legal category.
Third, the Global Security Strategy must take into account the importance of restoring a culture of trust-building dialogue as a guarantee of peace.
“We consider the development of the Strategy as an important step towards strengthening the atmosphere of understanding and cooperation, including within the framework of the Commonwealth, as well as for solving topical issues of political, economic, environmental, humanitarian nature, for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in general,” the Turkmen President stressed.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov invited the CIS countries to the first meeting of the Central Asia Security Conference, which will be held in Ashgabat next year.
According to the Turkmen President, the Conference is aimed at developing approaches and solutions to bring together and synchronize the efforts of the Central Asian countries and other interested states, international organizations, financial and economic institutions in ensuring sustainable, conflict-free development of the region.
Touching upon the economic cooperation in the CIS space, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov proposed to pay attention to debt obligations and settlements.
“Today, in the context of the global economic crisis and instability in the global fuel and energy market, we consider it necessary to seriously consider the financial component of our cooperation as well. We propose to pay attention to issues of debt obligations and settlements, and hold special consultations on their solution,” the Turkmenistan President noted.
“We consider the activation of cooperation in the economy to be a priority direction of our partnership,” said the head of state.
He recalled that in 2019, the Declaration on Strategic Economic Cooperation of the Member States of the Commonwealth, developed at the initiative of Turkmenistan, was signed at the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the CIS in Ashgabat, which then formed the basis of the Strategy of Economic Development of the CIS until 2030.
The Turkmen President expressed confidence in the relevance for the CIS countries of the projects initiated by the Turkmen side on the diversification of energy, transport and communication components in the context of the development of large-scale infrastructure corridors “North-South” and “East-West”.
As the head of Turkmenistan emphasized, Ashgabat attaches great importance to increasing logistical opportunities with transport links in the Caspian-Black Sea and Asia-Pacific regions, as well as with the countries of the Gulf and the Middle East.
Turkmenistan supports the declaration of Samarkand as the cultural capital of the Commonwealth in 2024, President Berdimuhamedov said.
The head of state also expressed confidence that the holding of cultural events within the framework of the delegated honorary status of the cultural capital will give a new impetus to the mutual enrichment of the cultures of the peoples of the CIS, and will also serve to strengthen the traditional ties of friendship and good neighborliness.
The list of documents signed following the CIS summit in Bishkek:
- Exchange of views on cooperation within the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
- On the Presidency of the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2024.
- On holding a regular meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
- On awarding the Honorary Badge of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
- On the Agreement on the Establishment of an International Organization for the Russian Language.
- Statement on cooperation in the field of digitalization in public administration
- Statement on the principles of interstate relations in a multipolar world.
- Statement on the protection of the human and civil rights to freedom of religion.
- Statement on the support and promotion of the Russian language as the language of interethnic communication.
- On the status of an Observer at the Commonwealth of Independent States and the status of a Partner of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
- Agreement on the Establishment of the International Center for Risk Assessment of the Legalization (Laundering) of Proceeds from Crime and the Financing of Terrorism.
- Agreement on the formation of the Coordinating Council of the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States in the Field of forensic expertise.
- On the Interstate Program of Joint measures to combat crime for 2024-2028.
- On the medal “For contribution to the consolidation of peace”.
- On the declaration of the city of Samarkand (Republic of Uzbekistan) as the Cultural Capital of the Commonwealth in 2024.
- Amendments to the Legal Acts of the Commonwealth of Independent States.///nCa, 13 October 2023 (based on the materials of the CIS Executive Committee and TDH)