Afghanistan and the OSCE
Security in Afghanistan is intrinsically linked with security not only in Central Asia but in the OSCE region as a whole. Three OSCE participating States have borders with Afghanistan – Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – and instability here is felt much further afield through the flow of drugs, organized crime and extremism.
In 2007 the OSCE decided to strengthen its engagement with Afghanistan, which has been an OSCE Asian Partner for Co-operation since 2003.
Responding to a request from the Afghan Government, the OSCE agreed to provide assistance in the fields of border security, police training and combating drug trafficking.
The OSCE has been active in providing training for Afghan officials, including through the Vienna-based Strategic Police Matters Unit, the Action against Terrorism Unit, the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, the OSCE Centres in Ashgabat, Astana and Bishkek, the OSCE Office in Tajikistan and the OSCE Staff Border Management College, which opened this year in Dushanbe. To date, more than one hundred Afghan customs and border guard officers have been trained.
Thailand, another OSCE Partner for Co-operation, also held a workshop in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in January 2010 with Afghan participants to share its extensive experience in successfully combating opium poppy cultivation and enhancing border security and management.
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights has also sent elections experts to Afghanistan in 2004, 2005 and 2009 as well as earlier this year, to support the country’s democratic development.