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Tajikistan and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Tajikistan has signed the Helsinki Final Act in February 1992. The desire of the Republic of Tajikistan to join the OSCE was the need for the use of its experience, authority and resources for the democratic transformation of society, maintaining and strengthening security at the national, regional and international levels, as well as the establishment of the key elements of civil society.

The establishment of the deep ties and cooperation with various international bodies dealing with enhancement of security, including the OSCE is in line with the purposes and principles of the foreign policy of Tajikistan and the interests of strengthening its sovereignty, statehood and national security.

The OSCE Mission in the Republic of Tajikistan opened in February 17, 1994. The Mission was entrusted with a task to help for stabilization of the situation in the country and to create favorable conditions for the promotion of democratic processes.

In October 2, 1996, in accordance with the Decree #427 of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, the first Permanent Representative of the country to the OSCE in Vienna was appointed.

Since the first mandate of the OSCE Mission in 1993, the situation drastically changed in Tajikistan. Most of the tasks assigned to the mission for the post-conflict period have lost their relevance. Then problems related to the socio- economic and environmental aspects of OSCE activities were in foreground. Hence, with decision of the Permanent Council of the OSCE from 31 October 2002 #500 was approved a new mandate of the OSCE Mission in Tajikistan to convert it to the OSCE Centre in Dushanbe with an expanded mandate. The OSCE Centre opened five field offices in Tajikistan (Khujand, Kulob, Kurgan-Tube, Gharm and Shaartuz).

Since 1996, every year the OSCE Acting Heads, Secretary General, Senior officials of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the High Commissioner on National Minorities, the Representative on the media visit Tajikistan to be familiar with the political, social and economic situation in the country as well as cooperation of the Republic of Tajikistan and the OSCE. In 1999, during regular visit of the OSCE Chairman, Norway Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the OSCE and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, and several projects on establishment of the democratic institutions and human rights in Tajikistan.

After the stabilization of the situation in the country there appeared a need to review and revise the mandate of the Centre. According to the decision of the OSCE Permanent Council, which was adopted on June 19, 2008, the OSCE Centre renamed to the OSCE Office in Tajikistan. In June 11, 2011 during the visit of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan to Vienna was signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the status of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan between Tajikistan and the OSCE.

The OSCE Office in Tajikistan operates on the basis of three established dimensions: military-political, economic - environmental and human. The Office continues to support the implementation of projects to promote effective dialogue between the government, civil society and political parties.

Within the framework of military and political dimensions, the OSCE Office cooperates closely with law enforcement bodies in combating terrorism and extremism, organized crime, police reforms, demining, as well as issues related to border security.

Considering the comprehensive approach of the OSCE to the security problems, Tajikistan suggested strengthening the cooperation in border security and border management. This initiative was fully in the line with the concept of the OSCE in the field of border security and border management, adopted at the Ministerial Meeting in 2005 in Ljubljana (Slovenia). For implementation of this initiative In Dushanbe was established the OSCE Border Management Staff College 27 of May 2009. The main objective of this training center is to increase knowledge of acting and future senior representatives of agencies providing border security to the OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation as well as to foster closer cooperation and exchange of information between them.

The cooperation of the OSCE and the Republic of Tajikistan in the economic and environmental dimensions has gained a new impetus. In this direction, Tajikistan is taking active steps to focus attention on the economic and environmental component of cooperation. In this regard, the priority areas are: the development of energy sector, transport infrastructures and efficient water resources management, improving the investment climate and business, the development of small hydropower plants, improvement of legislation in the environmental field in the country, access to environmental information and raising environmental awareness among citizens in order to prevent environmental problems, promote the green economy, prevention and elimination of corruption factors.

The Republic of Tajikistan pays a special attention to the human dimension of the OSCE, as it contributes to the development of democratization processes through the promotion of human rights, free and transparent elections, and freedom of the media and the political participation of women. Also within this dimension, various projects to reform the Central Election Commission, education and protection of human rights, reform the criminal justice system and raise awareness among young people to promote free media, improve the status of women in society, and prevent domestic violence were implemented. In addition, since 2000 the OSCE observers have been invited to observe the elections in the Republic of Tajikistan. As part of this program, representatives of the Republic of Tajikistan, participate in parliamentary elections of OSCE participating States as long-term and short-term observers.

Within the human dimension, an important project entitled "Prevention of violent extremism and radicalism leading to terrorism" has implemented. To develop and adopt a national strategy in this area, a working group of national experts was established. As a result of a close cooperation, on November 12, 2016, by the Decree of the Leader of the Nation, the Founder of Peace and National Unity, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon adopted the National Strategy on countering Extremism and Terrorism for 2016-2020.

Every year, within the framework of its activities, the OSCE organizes Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the participating States. In the framework of this political campaign the issues of common concern such as strengthening peace, security, promoting democracy, human rights and other important issues are being addressed. In one of the sessions of the OSCE Permanent Council (April 3, 2003), by the initiative of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, the resolution #537 was adopted according to which Afghanistan has given the status of partner for cooperation with the OSCE.

It should be noted that in 2016, there appeared a need for the revision of the presence and further cooperation with the OSCE Office in Tajikistan. As a result, on June 1, 2017, the OSCE Permanent Council adopted a corresponding Decision 1248 #1258 on the status of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan. According to that, the OSCE Office in Tajikistan changed to the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe, which was supported by all the OSCE participating States.

In accordance with the new mandate, all five field offices of the OSCE (Khujand, Kulyab, Kurgan-Tube, Rasht and Shaartuz) suspended their activities.

Currently, the cooperation of the Republic of Tajikistan with the OSCE continues in accordance with the priorities of the country in the military-political, economic-ecologic and human dimensions, in particular in the field of police reform, prevention of corruption, combating terrorism, extremism, prevention of domestic violence, gender inequality, human rights, border issues and humanitarian demining.
   

17/09/2018

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