KISI expert: With Central Asia included in OSCE projects, more opportunities to come up


Dauren Zhailin

KISI expert: With Central Asia included in OSCE projects, more opportunities to come upEnsuring security in Central Asian region is a priority direction for Kazakhstan and chairmanship of our country in the OSCE will let us expand opportunities for solution of this objective. Advisor to the Director of the Kazakhstan Institute of Strategic Researches under the Kazakh President Kazbek Issayev shared his view on this issue with a Kazinform correspondent.

Do you think regional security is a determining factor for Central Asia?

First of all, when we speak about Central Asia as a single regional formation, we try to find common features or the so called reproaching factors. The countries of this region have much in common in historical and cultural heritage, common Turkic roots, traditions and mentality.

There are some other reproaching factors too, like geopolitical location and homogeneity of economic and political problems. However, the most determining factor of the region is commonness of the threats which can not be countered alone. Therefore Central Asian states must unite their forces for fighting together with religious extremism and terrorism, drug-business and illegal migration.

Are these threats so serious that they require consolidation of the CA countries?

It should be noted that the potential of the CA states does not allow reflecting them separately. Secondly, national security of each of the states should not be considered alone. Therefore it is quite evident that the countries must unite and coordinate their efforts to respond common threats and challenges.

Along with this, cooperation in security directly depends on the level of economic ties of the region’s countries. Why? If the level of economic cooperation is high enough, the countries become more inter-depended and inter-connected which make them protect the interest and ensure stability and security of the common economic system.

To date the ties among the CA states are not so strong as they are to be. Lack of close economic ties leads them to building cooperation outside the region. Each state is worried primarily about its national interests. This factor enhances separation of the countries and forms quite different visions of security in them.

Cooperation in security sphere is carried out not within the region but through participation of other countries and organization today. How much are they efficient? I mean here the CSTO, SCO, CICA, the OSCE. These organizations play various roles in ensuring security and stability in the CA region.

Many experts think Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the OSCE should lead to appreciable dividends for all Central Asian countries. What do you think of it?

These experts are right. Development and strengthening of the Central Asian component within the framework of this Organization is suggested in the light of the upcoming chairmanship of our country in the OSCE in 2010.

First of all, Kazakhstan counts on attraction of international attention to Central Asia in solution of the problems regarding regional security and its steady development. Delivering a speech at the 17th annual session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (PA) in Astana on June 29, 2009, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the OSCE will promote solution of problems of the Central Asian region and significant activation of its cooperation with Europe.

In accordance with the Kazakh President’s instruction there was elaborated and approved “Path to Europe” state program for 2009-2011 for creation of conditions for Kazakhstan chairmanship in the OSCE in 2010 and development and strengthening cooperation of the country with the states of the Old World. According to this document’s provisions, the important task is use of the OSCE potential and instrumentation in the process of construction secure, stable and prosperous Central Asia, and improvement of the region’s attractiveness.

Besides, geographical location of Central Asia at the strategic crossroads of transport and trade routes opens great opportunities for development of economic ties with the European countries. The EU and Central Asia have great potential for cooperation, especially in energy, ore mining industry, transport connection, agriculture, tourism and IT.

For many political scientists it is clear, that Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the OSCE will lead to principal changes in the Europeans vision of what Central Asia represents. What does the OSCE expects from Central Asia? How is our region interested in this cooperation?

It is necessary to note, that Central Asia’s inclusion in the OSCE projects will create additional opportunities in the Organization’s activity. The region’s countries join economic, political and military regional alliances. It opens opportunity of determination of interface points between them and the OSCE in countering international terrorism, illicit trafficking in human beings, drug trafficking and other threats. Touching upon the region’s countries, in the light of the Central Asian integration political experience of the European states will be useful in accommodation of the common foreign policy and elaboration of collective responses to challenges of modernity.

In addition to development and strengthening cooperation of the Central Asian states with Europe Kazakhstan’s efforts on the post of the OSCE chairman will be directed to security and stability support in the OSCE space and Central Asia. In particular, the topical one could be interaction of the OSCE, SCO and CSTO in ensuring security, strengthening environmental component in the OSCE activity, including the Central Asian environmental projects.