OSCE Secretary General visits Uzbekistan, calls for increased co-operation
The OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier, during his visit to Uzbekistan from 21 to 23 January 2013, discussed with the country’s Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev and other senior officials ways to strengthen co-operation.
“Uzbekistan plays an important role in the security of Central Asia and of the OSCE region as a whole,” Zannier said. “We are ready to continue and step up the dialogue with Uzbekistan, and expand our practical co-operation, including through the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan.”
Zannier highlighted increased focus of the OSCE on addressing challenges such as combating terrorism, trafficking and border management, and underlined existing good co-operation with Uzbekistan on countering transnational threats.
He said border security management is an area where practical co-operation could be beneficial for the country and for the whole region, and emphasized that the experience of Uzbekistan could be useful for other participating States in their efforts to effectively address the challenges of the 2014 transition in Afghanistan for the OSCE region.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the OSCE Project Co-ordinator office and National Information Analytical Centre on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan was signed on the occasion of the visit.
Zannier discussed co-operation at the expert level on water management and environment issues in the region, and stressed the importance of human rights and strong civil society to the OSCE’s comprehensive approach to security.
During the visit Zannier also held meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also met with the Parliament Speaker, the Interior Minister, Ombudsperson, Director of the National Human Rights Centre, as well as with researchers and civil society representatives.
He also delivered a lecture at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy and took part in the opening ceremony for an OSCE-supported sewing workshop in the town of Qibray in Tashkent region for representatives of vulnerable social groups prone to becoming victims of human trafficking.
This was the first visit of Zannier to Uzbekistan as the OSCE Secretary General.