UNRCCA (Central Asia)
Expected Council Action
In June, the Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), Natalia Gherman, will brief Council members in consultations.
Key Recent Developments
UNRCCA and the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre within the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism launched the third phase of the Joint Plan of Action for Central Asia (JPoA) on 30 April, implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia.
In addition to organising workshops in line with its mandate, Gherman undertook bilateral visits and attended conferences, including one on Afghanistan entitled “Peace Process, Security Cooperation and Regional Connectivity” on 26 to 27 March, initiated by Uzbekistan together with Afghanistan.
Issues and Options
A key issue for the Council is what more the Council could do to support UNRCCA’s work. An option for the Council would be to hear Gherman’s briefing in an open meeting, followed by closed consultations. That format would allow Council members to publicly express support for the work of UNRCCA and to raise awareness of its activities.
Council members are broadly supportive of the UNRCCA. Until early 2015, Council members used to issue a press statement following a briefing in consultations by the head of UNRCCA, encouraging increased cooperation and coordination among the Central Asian countries, UNRCCA, and “relevant regional organizations”. In September 2015, Russia, the penholder on the UNRCCA, sought to add specific references to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), as well as the OSCE and the EU. The P3 opposed these additions, seeing the CIS, the CSTO and the SCO as vehicles for enhancing Russian influence. No press statements could be agreed upon for more than two years. Kazakhstan sought to overcome those differences as a member of the Council and in February 2017 Council members agreed on press elements. In January, the Council found consensus on a press statement, referring to “relevant regional organizations” without naming them. It appears that this was acceptable to Russia with the addition of “including those organizations of which the Central Asian States are members”.
During its presidency in January, Kazakhstan held an open debate entitled ‘Building regional partnership in Afghanistan and Central Asia as a model to link security and development’ with Gherman being present in the Chamber. A presidential statement was adopted.
UN DOCUMENTS ON UNRCCA (CENTRAL ASIA)
|Security Council Presidential Statements|
|19 January 2018 S/PRST/2018/2||This presidential statement emphasised the importance of advancing regional, interregional and international cooperation to achieve stability and sustainable development in Afghanistan and the Central Asian region.|
|Security Council Press Statements|
|25 January 2018 SC/13179||This was a press statement welcoming further cooperation and coordination between UNRCCA, the Central Asian States, and relevant regional organisations, including those organisations of which the Central Asian States are members.|
|23 January 2015 SC/11751||This press statement welcomed the briefing in consultations on 21 January by Miroslav Jenĉa, the Special Representative and head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, and reiterated support for UNRCCA as an early-warning and preventive-diplomacy tool.|
|Security Council Meeting Records|
|19 January 2018 S/PV.8162||This was a ministerial-level chaired by Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kairat Abdrakhmanov on “Building Regional Partnership in Afghanistan and Central Asia as a Model to Link Security and Development”.|
|General Assembly Documents|
|17 November 2017 A/RES/72/7||This resolution was on the tenth anniversary of the establishment of UNRCCA and emphasising the Centre’s role in preventive diplomacy in the region.|