Central Asian and Afghan students discuss peace and security in Tajikistan
The 11th Central Asian Regional Summer Diplomatic Course (Summer Academy) took place from 7 to 11 July in Romit, Tajikistan. This year’s theme, “Partnership for Peace: Common Interests and Challenges in Central Asia”, focused on socio-political developments in the region, possible future security scenarios, the role of international organisations and the benefits of partnership.
Around 30 university students from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan interacted with senior academics, diplomats and foreign experts on international affairs and security challenges. Topics included democracy-building, violent extremism, drug-trafficking, energy and other issues facing the region.
During the course of the week ambassadors of all NATO Allies represented in Dushanbe (France, Germany, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States) visited the Summer Academy to exchange ideas with the students. The heads of the European Union (EU) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) missions in Tajikistan also gave lectures on their respective organisations’ activities in the Central Asia region. NATO’s Liaison Officer in Central Asia, Alexander Vinnikov, delivered a briefing on NATO’s engagement with partners in the region and the Alliance’s continued commitment to Afghanistan.
This unique initiative brings together future leaders from Central Asian states and helps build cooperation among them through lectures, presentations, discussions and debate. The annual event was organised by the Dushanbe-based civil society organisation Vector Intellect with support from NATO’s Public Diplomacy Division, the office of the NATO Liaison Officer in Central Asia and the Embassy of Germany, NATO’s Contact Point Embassy in Tajikistan.
In the framework of his visit, the NATO Liaison Officer also held meetings with senior representatives of Tajikistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and Border Troops to examine activities to be implemented in the framework of the Individual Partnership and Cooperation Programme agreed between NATO and Tajikistan. They also discussed recent developments in Afghanistan, the Middle East and Ukraine.
Mr Vinnikov also continued his regular information-sharing meetings with the heads of the EU, OSCE and United Nations representations in Dushanbe, and debriefed Allied embassies on the results of his visit.