The ninth annual Meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers of Central Asian states, convened by the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), took place in Tashkent on 14 December 2019. The meeting brought together the Deputy Foreign Ministers of the Central Asia states. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan and Iran also took part.
The discussion was devoted to the cooperation between Central Asia and Afghanistan. In her opening statement the Special Representative of Secretary-General for Central Asia, Natalia Gherman pointed out that “the meeting is taking place in a regional environment in which Central Asia is enjoying positive dynamics and ever-greater political will for expanding regional cooperation.”
Given that, the situation in Afghanistan has a direct impact on stability in the region, all Central Asian countries have expressed their strong desire in the stability of a neighboring state. The Central Asian region is doing a great job on the implementation of projects of infrastructural and economic importance in Afghanistan.
The active participation of Afghanistan in the construction of the railway, which would connect the three Central Asian states – Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan – would be cited as an example. This transport corridor would become one of the most important segments connecting Europe and Asia.
During this event, UNRCCA also arranged the first-ever regional dialogue between the Deputy Foreign Ministers and young people of Central Asian states and Afghanistan. Young people had an opportunity to present their views on how the region could benefit from closer contacts among youth and their involvement in policy making.
In addition, during the discussion, diplomats of the Central Asian region discussed issues related to water-energy relations, partnerships and socio-economic development.