BISHKEK, December 20 (Kabar). Current and future pan-regional energy projects and their social and environmental management were the focus of a conference held today at the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. OSCE Center in Bishkek reports.
The event entitled “Regional/transboundary cooperation in energy” was jointly organized by the OSCE Academy in Bishkek and the Embassy of France in Kyrgyzstan in the framework of France’s G8 Chairmanship. It brought together representatives of the French foreign ministry, bilateral ambassadors in Kyrgyzstan, international and non-governmental organizations, the World Bank, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, and other international financial institutions as well as local authorities.
Participants discussed presentations by international experts on topics such as cross-border energy supply and the region’s energy deficits as well as current projects such as the Central Asia South Asia Regional Electricity and Trade (CASA-1000) and the Tapi pipeline.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Andrew Tesoriere, the Head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, highlighted the “need for political stability and mutual confidence as vital prerequisites for successful regional infrastructural development,” and pointed to “exciting new pan-regional project possibilities” and their “significant strategic, economic and social impact promise.” He also underlined that the “delivery and operational management of such large projects should incentivize regional nations in their co-operation on enhanced collective peace and security.”
Dinara Kemelova, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan, said: “Kyrgyzstan is interested in the stabilization of Afghanistan and strongly supports the active involvement of Afghanistan into economic, social and other projects at regional level, which will help the people of the country to achieve a peaceful life. The realization of the international projects, discussed today, could have a very positive impact on the whole situation in the country.”
Thibaut Fourriere, the Ambassador of France in Kyrgyzstan, said: “It is important to note that arranging efficient co-operation between the countries of the Central Asian region in the sphere of energy is crucial. Therefore the initiative of France, aimed at promoting tranboundary co-operation around Afghanistan, was supported by international agencies and Kyrgyzstan’s Ministry of Foreign affairs. Today’s seminar is unique as an example of efficient co-operation of many interested parties, and also because it offers the possibility for the students of the OSCE Academy, coming from the countries of the region under question, including Afghanistan, to participate in such a high-level event.”
Representative of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Kyrgyzstan Zahidullah Jalali added: “From the Afghan perspective it can be said that the initiative of building and developing energy security in the region is highly required and timely, therefore it is highly appreciated and will be actively supported from our side”.
The event formed part of the Initiative for Prosperity of the Border Regions, launched earlier in 2011 by France in the framework of its G8 Chairmanship and aimed at developing cross-border co-operation around Afghanistan.
The OSCE Academy in Bishkek was establish to promote and enhance the OSCE’s principles and values in Central Asia by providing a forum for professionals and students to study international relations, comprehensive security, democratization, the rule of law and human rights.