Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in Response to the Report of Ambassador Markus Mueller, Head of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan, at the 965th Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 19.09.2013
Thank you Mr. Chairperson,

I join the previous speakers in welcoming Ambassador Mueller in his first appearance before the Permanent Council in his capacity as the Head of the OSCE Office in Tajikistan and would like to express our thanks for his comprehensive presentation. The balanced and objective approach displayed in the report successfully highlights the progress achieved by Tajikistan on its reform path as well as positive developments in the economic field. Besides, we are pleased to hear that the constructive working relationship between the Government of Tajikistan and the Office is laying solid foundations for effective OSCE programme activity across the country.

The transition period in Afghanistan leading to 2014 and beyond puts the efforts for regional security and stability with the ownership of the countries in the region high on the agenda. In view of the foregoing, we appreciate the focus of the Office on engaging and assisting the host government in countering the threats associated with the prevailing security environment. Particular focus on the integrated border management on the Tajik-Afghan border covering not only border security but also other related areas such as trade and transportation is timely and pertinent.

Turkey actively and strongly supports the activities of the Border Management Staff College (BMSC) in contributing to border security. This is an excellent example of capacity building through training. We are pleased to observe that the BMSC strengthened its scope and international outreach and streamlined its planning capacity in line with Tajikistan’s National Border Management Strategy. The working relationship that the College has built with Tajik authorities is also commendable. Today, once again, I take this opportunity to express our earnest belief that the proposal of the Office to include the BMSC in the 2014 Unified Budget requires our positive consideration.

Moreover we welcome the Office’s contribution to police reform including technical assistance to the Tajik authorities. Within this context, we note with satisfaction that field offices have been instrumental in regional outreach activities in such areas.

Mr. Chairperson,

We observe with appreciation that the activities related to economic and environmental issues constitute a considerable part of the Office’s efforts towards enhancing regional security and confidence building. The efforts towards developing regional trade and transit, improving business climate and combating corruption are also valuable tools for enhancing the economic situation in the country and beyond. In terms of addressing water management and energy security issues, we took note of the Office’s prioritization of water management and regional water dialogue. Furthermore, we find the continuation of training government officials and civil society representatives on principles of integrated water resources as noteworthy.

Tajikistan’s cooperation with the Office and the support given to the relevant authorities on human dimension issues are also of import. We particularly value the support provided to the Ombudsman in convening several meetings of a newly established Co-ordination Council for Human Rights Education. In addition to that, we believe that training activities of the Office in human rights, gender equality and rule of law together with media development, democratization and electoral reform, youth participation in political life need to be underlined.

In conclusion, we thank Ambassador Mueller and his able team for their hard work. We believe Tajikistan has made significant progress, and the OSCE Office has contributed thereto considerably. We are optimistic that this progress will continue and wish the Office every success in its future work.

Thank you.