Secretary-General Hails Central Asian Countries’ Adoption of Ashgabat Declaration, Efforts to Implement Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Region

PA/19
13 June 2017

Secretary-General Hails Central Asian Countries’ Adoption of Ashgabat Declaration, Efforts to Implement Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Region

ASHGABAT, 13 June (Department of Political Affairs) — United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres chaired a high-level Central Asian dialogue on implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in that region today, as Ministers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan adopted a joint declaration on strengthening regional collaboration in countering terrorism.

The meeting’s objective was to review progress on implementation of the Joint Plan of Action for the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia and to define future strategic counter-terrorism priorities for the region.  “Central Asian countries are leading by example in the joint implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy at the regional level,” Mr. Guterres said, hailing the Joint Plan of Action for Central Asia as the first of its kind around the world.  “Policies that limit human rights only end up alienating religious and ethnic communities, who would normally have every interest in fighting violent extremism,” the Secretary-General added.

He expressed appreciation for the Central Asian countries’ “commitment to jointly addressing and defeating the scourge of terrorism” and for further strengthening regional cooperation and coordination in that field.  “No one country can defeat terrorism alone,” he declared, while reiterating the readiness of the United Nations to continue supporting the regional and national efforts of Central Asian countries in that regard.

The Secretary-General said that his proposed initiative to reform the counter-terrorism architecture would entail the establishment of a new Office of Counter-Terrorism that “will provide stronger leadership, enhance coordination and coherence across the system, strengthen capacity-building support, mobilize political will and robust partnership to ensure a balanced implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”.

Ministers expressed their concerns about the threat of terrorism, resolving to implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy as well as the recommendations of the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism by promoting dialogue and conflict prevention, addressing the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters, promoting skills development and facilitating employment, and by countering terrorist narratives and the misuse of information technologies.

The Joint Declaration welcomes the Secretary-General’s recent initiative to reform the United Nations counter-terrorism architecture by establishing a new Office of Counter-Terrorism and acknowledges the importance of United Nations counter-terrorism efforts in Central Asia.  It recognizes the valuable support of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) Office and the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), as well as the expertise and support provided by other international, regional and subregional organizations in implementing the Joint Plan of Action.

The Ashgabat event was held at the conclusion of the second phase of the project “Towards the Implementation of the Joint Plan of Action for the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia”, which is being jointly implemented by UNCCT of the CTITF Office and UNRCCA, with support from Norway and the European Union.

Adopting the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by consensus in 2006, the General Assembly also established the CTITF Office to bring system-wide coordination and coherence to the Organization’s counter-terrorism work.  The Office coordinates a CTITF membership extending to 36 United Nations entities as well as the World Customs Organization and INTERPOL.  The UNCCT provides capacity-building support to Member States implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, established within the CTITF Office in 2011.

For more information, visit unrcca.unmissions.org/joint-plan-action for the Joint Plan of Action, www.un.org/CTITF and www.un.org/UNCCT for UNCCT/CTITF, or contact Ms. Bahargul Rahmanova, Public Information Specialist, at rahmanova@un.org, tel.: +99365 02 42 53.

For information media. Not an official record.