A symposium on "Comprehensive Security within the OSCE Framework in Central Asia and Regional Challenges" has been in progress in Tashkent since April 23, with one special session held yesterday in Dushanbe. OSCE secretary-general Wilhelm Hoynck delivered the main report at the symposium, attended by officials from more than 30 countries, including Western powers, Russia, and some key Asian states. The symposium is discussing the development of OSCE models of regional security, conflict prevention, confidence building, and the promotion of stability. A dominant theme at the symposium is that Central Asia represents an integral part of the OSCE space and that all conflicts in that region can find resolution within the OSCE framework.
The Dushanbe session focused on democratic institution building as part of the resolution of local conflicts as this process applied to Tajikistan. The forum is an enhanced follow-up to the OSCE seminar on security and cooperation in Central Asia held last year in Tashkent. The president of host country Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, stressed the OSCE’s growing role in Central Asia "in the new geopolitical conditions" in his message to the conference. (Itar-Tass, Interfax, April 23 & 24) The event reflects the erosion of Moscow’s former role as sole security arbiter in Central Asia and the OSCE’s growing readiness to assume responsibilities in the region.