Organized by the Government of Tajikistan in close cooperation with the OSCE, the United Nations, and the European Union, a two-day high-level conference on “International and Regional Co-operation on Countering Terrorism and Its Financing through Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime” concluded in Dushanbe on May 17, 2019..

The objective of the conference was to discuss the complex inter-connection between terrorism and transnational organized crime, such as illicit trade in natural resources, cultural artifacts, weapons and trafficking in human beings.

The OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe supported the host country with relevant organizational modalities and the development of a conceptual framework for the conference.

Foreign ministers of Central Asian participating States and Afghanistan, as well as high-level delegations from other countries, including representatives of regional and international organizations, and diplomatic missions accredited in Tajikistan, participated in the event.

According to the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe, the participants were presented with a consolidated list of recommendations on strengthening regional co-operation in countering terrorist financing and organized crime that resulted from discussions at the High-Level Regional Conference on Countering Terrorist Financing and Organized Crime held in Ashgabat last month.  With this list the OSCE will contribute to global discussions coordinated by the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) that will culminate in a UN summit in 2020.

The conference concluded with a declaration emphasizing that “illicit drug trafficking continues to pose one of the major threats to international peace and security and undermine sustainable development, human rights and the rule of law”. It calls upon “all States to promote and strengthen international co-operation in accordance with all their obligations under international law”.

Opening the conference, the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, stated that his country will “continue to work with relevant international organizations, including the United Nations and the OSCE, to effectively respond to these threats.”

In his video statement the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Slovak Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Miroslav Lajčák, emphasized that greater multilateral cooperation is needed:  “Government agencies, the private sector and civil society have to work together.  Public-private-partnerships are essential to prevent and suppress terrorist financing.”

The Under-Secretary-General of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov, referred to the previously adopted Joint Plan of Action on Counter-Terrorism as the “first regional initiative of its kind in the world.”  He emphasized that the OSCE and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are allies and partners in countering the financing of terrorism.

The Director of the OSCE’s Conflict Prevention Center, Marcel Peṧko, underlined that Tajikistan, with its strategic location, is a factor of stability in Central Asia.  He noted that the vast and uneasy border it shares with Afghanistan demands closer attention from the international community: "Approaches to address these challenges should include all actors, including government, civil society and private sector, to be effective and sustainable."

In addition to its work on countering and preventing violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism, the OSCE also continues to offer its assistance to Tajikistan in strengthening international legal cooperation in terrorism cases, countering the financing of terrorism and the abuse of the Internet for terrorist purposes.  Protecting critical energy infrastructure, as well as safeguarding human rights in counter-terrorism investigations is also a part of such cooperation.