The CTITF Working Group on Preventing and Resolving Conflict, in collaboration with Member States in the region, has developed an initiative to assist Central Asian States to devise a regional Plan of Action to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The project, funded through the support of the European Union and the Government of Norway is being coordinated by the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) located in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
The initiative aims at supporting the Governments of Central Asia, as well as regional and international organizations operating in the region, in the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. This was achieved through organizing three expert meetings, designed to share experiences and address challenges in implementing the different pillars of the Strategy. They brought together key stakeholders, including the Governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, relevant regional and sub-regional organizations (e.g. CIS,CSTO, SCO, OIC, OSCE and NATO), the UN system, representatives of neighboring Governments, civil society, as well as regional and international experts.
- First Expert Meeting on Implementing Pillar I (December 2010)
- Second Expert Meeting on Implementing Pillar II (March 2011)
- Third Expert Meeting on Implementing Pillar III (July 2011)
The meetings aimed at facilitating an exchange of knowledge and good practices on countering terrorism, identifying gaps, catalyzing international support for initiatives and building consensus on common approaches and coordinated cooperation for implementing the Strategy in the region. A network of counter-terrorism practitioners in the region would be established to ensure continued dialogue, coordination and information-sharing in Central Asia.
Implementing the Strategy in Central Asia
The regional Joint Action Plan (JPoA) for the implementation of the Global UN Counter Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia was adopted on November 30th, 2011 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan during a High Level Meeting by the States of Central Asia, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, with Uzbekistan opting for observer status. The Ashgabat Meeting also led to the adoption of a Final Declaration expressing support for the Action Plan and for regional cooperation on countering terrorism by the 54 participants present, representing, in addition to the Central Asian States, ten other Member states of the United Nations, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and the United States, as well as senior United Nations and European Union officials.
The Central Asia Joint Action Plan is the first regional framework designed to address the threat of terrorism through a common approach, based on the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and strengthened international partnership.
A second phase of the project was launched in September 2013 to support the Central Asian countries in implementing the initiatives identified in JPoA through a series of capacity building workshops on its different pillars. These included:
- Regional Workshop I: Dialogue with religious institutions and leaders in Preventing Conflicts and Countering Extremism, November 20-22, 2013, Almaty, Kazakhstan
- Regional Workshop II: Engaging the Media in Countering Terrorism, July 9-11th 2014, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
- Regional Workshop III: Border Security and Management for Countering Terrorism, March 4- 6th 2015, Ashgabad, Turkmenistan.