The School on Central Asia - 2018. Day 2. Problems of security in the region

06 June 2018

On June 5, final lectures and discussions on the problems of regional security, national branding and business diplomacy took place at Kazakh-German University during the School on Central Asia - 2018.

In his welcome speech to the first session, Advisor to the Executive Director of the Gorchakov Fund Valery Kantorov stressed utmost importance of the field of security, grouped together major challenges and threats for the region and mentioned that, besides vicinity of Central Asia to the zones of instability and uncertainty of problems related to drug trafficking, the five Asian republics had a number of near-border disputes, interference of extraregional actors, internal socioeconomic and ecological problems, continuing illegal migration and guns trade and, finally, the problem of drinking water remains unresolved.

Continuing on the topic, Professor of Kazakh-German University Dr. Rustam Burnashev stressed the need to increase a level of cooperation among the Central Asian states in order to strengthen regional security. Specifics of power in those countries and their influence on security of the states and the citizens were mentioned.

Head of NGO Information-Communication Service “Dialogue” Dr. Vladimir Paramonov dedicated his report to the essential necessity to conduct complex, fundamental studies of all factors directly or indirectly associated with security and draft balanced concepts of development strategies.

Problems of security cannot be discussed separately from Afghanistan. Consultant to the Administration of Political Cooperation of the OSCE Secretariat Valery Oknyansky presented a detailed analysis of challenges and threats and stressed efforts made by OSCE in initiating a peaceful dialogue, strengthening southern borders of Tajikistan and training the army. The expert mentioned the position of Kazakhstan on anti-terrorist problems and joint operations of OSCE with the countries of Central Asia in cutting off drug trafficking corridors and ending illegal migration.

During the next session, Executive Director of the Kazakh International Affairs Council Iskander Akylbayev told about the role of the expert community in international relations and specifically mentioned the Valdai Discussion Club, the Russian International Affairs Council and other expert and dialogue platforms.

When sharing tools and principles of creating a positive image of Kazakhstan abroad, Deputy Director of the Administration for Analytical and Innovation Studies of think tank “Yupiter” Dr. Taisia Marmontova told about the non-nuclear status of Kazakhstan, field-related departments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country engaged in projecting the image of Kazakhstan in other countries, organizing economic forums, expo- and media forums as consistent measures taken the by government of the republic to develop the national brand.

During the following session, representative of Rossotrudnichestvo in Almaty Irina Pereverzeva answered questions from the experts and the participants. The attendees also had an opportunity to learn about successes and problems of the Russian agency in Kazakhstan.

The sessional part of the School ended with a presentation made by Director for Strategy and Development of the Russian-Singapore Business Council Dr. Andrey Bykov, who, keeping with the theme of projecting the Russian image abroad, but this time by means of business diplomacy, told in detail about achievements of the Russian business in Singapore.

The second day of the event ended with presentations made by the participants, during which the representatives of practically all countries of the region had a chance to tell about their work, successes and difficulties they face while working in the countries of Central Asia.

Lectures, discussions and questions demonstrated an increasing interest in the region, a high level of experts and participants, readiness to have a dialogue and discuss a whole spectrum of problems despite the political climate.

On June 6, an official closing ceremony of the School on Central Asia - 2018 and awarding of the certificates will take place.