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Uzbekistan and International Security Issues

The war in Afghanistan, where tensions have a tendency to deteriorate, today is one of the main sources of concern of the world community and, first of all, of security threats in Central Asia.

This problem and ways of its settling are, without any exaggeration, in the focus of attention of the world’s largest powers and international community.

It is not a secret anymore that the Afghan problem, which has begun 30 years ago, has no military solution. The overwhelming majority of countries involved in settling the conflict agrees with this.

It is impossible to improve and radically change situation in the country without solving such urgent issues as reconstruction of Afghanistan’s economy, communications and social infrastructure destroyed by war, without involving in this process of the Afghan people, without thoroughly considered and seriously organized process of negotiations and achievement of consensus between the confronting parties, without strengthening of the vertical power structure.

It is extremely important to pay full respect to the deep historical and ethno-demographic roots of the multinational people in Afghanistan, traditional values of Islam and all confessions. That should become the major condition and a guarantee for the negotiating process.

The settlement of the Afghan problem could be facilitated by creation under the auspices of the United Nations of the Contact Group «6+3» with participation of plenipotentiary representatives of the states neighboring on Afghanistan plus Russia, the United States and NATO. President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has repeatedly emphasized that implementation of this initiative involving neighboring countries would allow achievement of an accord both in and around Afghanistan.

ACTIVITY OF UZBEKISTAN IN SPHERE OF COMBATING THE INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

At the turn of the century the events in the world have indicated the international character of terrorism, have demanded reconsideration of current vision of it as a global threat. Now the international cooperation is a core strategy of counteracting the international terrorism.

Uzbekistan faced acts of the international terrorism in February, 1999. In this regard Uzbekistan takes active part in process of fight against it. The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan I.A.Karimov in his performances from tribunes of the international organizations as the UN, OSCE, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, EAPC, etc. repeatedly emphasized the need of strengthening cooperation in the fight against this phenomenon on a global scale.

In November, 1999 at the Istanbul OSCE summit the President I.A.Karimov proposed to establish within UN structures the International Center for Combating Terrorism (ICCT). This initiative was announced in the UN during the Millennium Summit which was held September 7-8, 2000 in New York.

Only after the tragic events in the USA on September 11, 2001, to be more precisely - on September 28, 2001 by the UN Security Council resolution No.1373 (2001) there was established the Counter terrorism Committee (CTC), vested with the big authorities in the sphere of suppression of financing of the international terrorism as well. ICCT concept is reflected in activity of this committee.

In pursuance of the above UNSC resolution Uzbekistan presented reports on implementation of its provisions to CTC in December, 2001 and August, 2002.

In October, 2000 at the international conference in Tashkent which was organized by UN, OSCE and the government of Uzbekistan on "International Conference on Enhancing Security and Stability in Central Asia: An Integrated Approach to Counter Drugs, Organized Crime and Terrorism", the experts from 70 countries and 40 international organizations developed proposals on general approaches to counteraction to the international terrorism strategy. In considering the measures of counteraction the experts indicated the need of the special accounting of external challenges and threats.

Uzbekistan participates in work of UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, CIS anti-terrorism center, carries out an appropriate work within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, actively facilitates the efforts of the International Coalition Forces Against Terrorism.

Today there are 13 documents of the UN directed on terrorism counteraction. More precisely there are 11 conventions and two protocols. The drafts the International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism are being elaborated.

In this regard it is necessary to emphasize that Uzbekistan is the participant of all existing conventions and UN protocols on counter terrorism.

One of the main priorities of cooperation of our country with UN is combating the contemporary threats and security challenges, stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The principles of such cooperation consist in the following:

First, effectively to resist contemporary threats it is possible only by strengthening collective mechanisms of the international cooperation, acceptance of the consecutive measures which excludes the possibility of application of dual standards and based on strict observance of international law;

Secondly, the paramount attention must be paid to fight against the reasons of contemporary threats, and not only against their consequences. It is important to international community to make active a contribution to combat the numerous radical and extremist centers which cultivate ideology of hatred, create the conveyor of formation of future terrorists.

In a context of combat international terrorism Uzbekistan supports the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and considers necessary to sign the Comprehensive convention on international terrorism. It must be based on the clear and coordinated definition of terrorism. Uzbekistan insists on need of taking measures against the threats proceeding from the radical and extremist organizations, including "Hizb ut-Tahrir", and applying heavy sanction to them. 

ACTIVITY OF UZBEKISTAN IN THE FIELD OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGAINST DRUG TRAFFICKING

According to UNODC, 900 tons of opium and 375 tons of heroin is smuggled annually from Afghanistan. Market resulting from the production of the world's most pernicious drug is valued at 65 billion USD: there are 15 million addicts, it takes annually up to 100,000 lives, promotes an unprecedented high rates of HIV infection. In addition, it is a source of livelihood for criminal groups, insurgents and terrorists.

Abnormal, although it is well known that after 2006 opium production in Afghanistan exceeded its global consumption. Currently, around 12 000 tons of opium produced in Afghanistan stored somewhere in the world and this amount is sufficient to meet a two-year demand for the heroin worldwide.

In such circumstances, the State Commission for Drug Control together with the relevant ministries and organizations of the republic is paying an important attention on the continuation of complex measures to detect and prevent drug trafficking, to prevent drug addiction, to develop interagency cooperation and international cooperation in these areas.

In the framework of implementation international obligations adopted by Uzbekistan in the fight against drug trafficking, the State Commission for Drug Control Programme adopted comprehensive measures to counter drug abuse and illicit trafficking.

Uzbekistan is continuing to take the measures to implement the international obligations in the field of drug control, fight against illicit trafficking and drug addiction.

Within the framework of the SCO Agreement on cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking Uzbekistan updated and sent to the SCO Secretariat details of the authorized and central competent structures of SCO members to distribute them among the member countries.

In terms of expanding cooperation with foreign partners, representatives of competent authorities of Armenia, Pakistan, USA, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey and the EU, OSCE, CARICC and UNODC visited Uzbekistan and conducted negotiations with appropriate ministries.

In accordance with existing agreements and in the framework of the signed agreements, Uzbekistan provided competent structures of Central Asia, Russia, Pakistan, Turkey, Italy, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Iran, as well as UNODC, CARICC and OSCE with the materials on the drug situation and received appropriate information from them.

The prospects of cooperation with Afghanistan, Austria, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Russia, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, USA, Finland, Lithuania, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Spain, Portugal, the European Union and CIS in the field of countering drug trafficking.

In 2013, representatives of competent ministries visited UK and Austria in order to study the experience of these countries in the fight against drug trafficking. During the visit a further deepening of bilateral cooperation has also been discussed.

In terms of strengthening the material and technical base and human capacities of ministries and departments involved in the fight against drug trafficking and to boost regional cooperation in this field, Uzbekistan participates in 9 international projects.

28 trainings and courses to secure the participation of 280 representatives from law enforcement and other relevant ministries and organizations of the republic have been counducted.

Under these projects a number of organizational and practical activities hold, during which ministries and relevant organizations were equipped with technical means of verification and inspection, computers. 

ACTIVITY OF UZBEKISTAN IN THE FIELD OF INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Human trafficking as one of the most dangerous types of transnational organized crime has become a problem for the entire world society, including Uzbekistan. Therefore, fight against this phenomenon in Uzbekistan has been considered at the state level.

In order to take effective measures to prevent and counter human trafficking on April 17, 2008, the Law of Uzbekistan "On Countering Human Trafficking" was adopted. This law defines the concept of "human trafficking", such as:

"Human trafficking - is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons for the purpose of exploitation by the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or a position of vulnerability or giving of payments or benefits to obtain the consent of a person having control over another person. Exploitation of people means use of people in prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs or tissues".

In accordance with the abovementioned Law, on July 8, 2008 Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan (№PP-911) "Measures to improve the efficiency of fighting against human trafficking" was adopted.

In order to coordinate activities of competent departments of the republic involved in fighting against human trafficking, the National Interagency Commission on combating human trafficking was formed. Its main objectives were defined in accordance with Law of Uzbekistan "On Countering Human Trafficking".

The National Interagency Commission consists of heads of state bodies and public organizations, ministries and departments, the Women's Committee, the National Centre for Human Rights, Commissioner of the Oliy Majlis for Human Rights (Ombudsman), "Mahalla" Fund, the Youth Movement "Camolot" and Center of "Ijtimoiy Fikr".

Given the General Office of Public Prosecution of Uzbekistan the coordinating role in the fight against human trafficking, Prosecutor-General appointed as a chairman of the National Interagency Commission on countering human trafficking.

In the framework of implementation the Law "On Countering Human Trafficking", the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan on November 5, 2008, adopted Decree "On the formation of the National Rehabilitation Center for assistance and protection of victims of human trafficking".

One of the important ways to prevent illegal migration for overseas employment is to increase citizens' awareness of its negative impact and explaining the responsibility for violations of labor, tax, customs, passport and visa procedure legislations of the countries where potential victims plan to reside in.

In this regard, a wide-ranging campaign has been launched using various forms of propaganda to increase awareness of people not only about the legal norms of crimes on human trafficking, but also about the specific facts of crimes related to human trafficking and its negative consequences.

In cases of determination the facts of illegal exportation of citizens abroad for labor exploitation, criminal actions are commenced against people who are directly involved in human trafficking.

However, given the fact that no country can solve the problem of human trafficking alone, Uzbekistan acceded to the main international documents and comprehensive international approach to ensure the rights of men, women and children, including measures to combat illegal drug trafficking, protection of victims and punishment of those involved in this criminal activity.

However, recognizing that the legal fruitful cooperation with international organizations is essential for an effective response to the challenges of human trafficking and for solving this problem at the state level, competent structures of the Republic of Uzbekistan have been cooperating with the UN, OSCE and IOM through active participation in their projects in the field of prevention of human trafficking and protection of its victims in Uzbekistan.

COOPERATION BETWEEN UZBEKISTAN AND THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME UNODC

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated by international conventions and UN resolutions, to assist Member States in implementing UN treaties on drug control, transnational organized crime, corruption and criminal justice reform. It also works to suppress terrorism and human trafficking.

The Regional Office for Central Asia (ROCA) assists the five Central Asian states in reducing the use and trade of illicit drugs, in fighting organized crime, and in preventing and prosecuting terrorism.

The Regional Office is located in Tashkent and has sub-offices in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Dushanbe (Tajikistan), Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), Astana and Almaty (Kazakhstan) and Baku (Azerbaijan). With a population of over 30 million, Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia and its role in the region's stability is pivotal. Reflecting this, the UNODC has been in Uzbekistan since 1993, and has since helped to develop the country by addressing issues that affect the security, safety and health of its population, particularly its young people. Development is unsustainable unless issues of drug trafficking and abuse, organized crime, corruption and terrorism are effectively addressed.

Currently, in collaboration with UNODC following projects are being implemented in Uzbekistan:

1. Regional project - «Establishment of CARICC" (total budget - 15.4 million USD). Under this project several meetings of the Council of National Coordinators of the Agreement of Establishment of CARICC took place, which resulted to determine the basic directions of activity for the next 2 years and discussed the most actual issues of CARICC agenda.

2. Regional project «Treatment II - Treatment of drug addiction and its consequences for health" (total budget - 1 million 490 thousand USD). In the framework of the project 7 experts of the ministries of health, labor and social protection of the population have passed training courses held from August 24 to September 12, 2009 in Tashkent. According to the plan of implementation of the project, the trainings were organized in 2010-2011.

3. Regional Project «Prevention of substance abuse, HIV / AIDS and crime among youth through skills training programs in family life."Uzbekistan participates in the implementation of the project until 2017. At present, the project is implemented the program "Family and School Together" for primary school children in Tashkent and three regions of the country.

4. Regional project - "Countering the trafficking of Afghan opiates via the northern route by enhancing the capacity of key border crossings points (BCPs) and through the establishment of Border Liaison Offices (BLOs)" (total budget of 1.3 million USD).

Considering that the main flow of people and vehicles to the Republic of Uzbekistan and in transit to the CIS countries, is carried out through the checkpoint "Oybek-road" on the Uzbek-Tajik state border, the main flow of technical assistance is sent to this checkpoint.

In 2011 Regional program to support efforts in the fight against drugs in Afghanistan and neighboring countries for the period of 2011 - 2015 has been launched. This program is a comprehensive recommendation document for countries of the region to achieve high results in the fight against drug trafficking.

The purpose of the program is to strengthen the capacity of countries of the region in countering the drug trafficking through regional activities aimed at developing a coordinated policy and allocation of resources to maintain the international operations.

The preliminary budget of the Regional Programme is 60 million USD. Major donor countries are Japan, Russia, Sweden, Norway and Italy. Participants of the Program: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

5. "Global Programme of UNODC and the World Customs Organization Container Control". "The UNODC Global Program and World Customs Organization on control of container transportations". The global program for control of container transportations (GPCT) created in 2004 by Management of the United Nations Office on drugs and crime (UNODC) and World Customs Organization (WCO) with the purpose to prevent such criminal activity by association of efforts of customs and other law enforcement agencies.

GPCT recorded the considerable success achieved in 10 years of its existence. Only in 2013 23 tons of cocaine, about 6 tons of cannabis, 1,2 tons of heroin, 60 tons of a tramadol and 725 kg of an ivory were intercepted. Counterfeit goods were found in 119 containers. From the moment of the creation, GPCT founded more than 30 operational divisions of port control that leads to significant increase in detection and withdrawal of drugs and other forbidden goods, including more than 100 tons of cocaine, 3 million tons of heroin, 60 tons of cannabis, and 1 273 tons of the chemical substances precursors used for production of the forbidden drugs, and also cigarettes, elite cars, drugs, electronic waste, dangerous materials and wild animals;

6. Regional project "Control over precursors in Central Asia and Azerbaijan" (total budget - 6 million USD). Under the project, more than 30 workshops, seminars and meetings have been organized. Moreover, more than 220 representatives of the competent authorities of the Republic of Uzbekistan passed training courses.

In the framework of implementing this project, ministries and organizations were equipped with computers and laboratory equipments, transport and technical facilities, materials, manuals etc.

The project also funds law enforcement agencies in order to conduct regional and national operations to fight against illegal shipments of precursor chemicals into Afghanistan.

7. Regional Project of the NATO-Russia Council - "Training of personnel of law enforcement agencies of Central Asian countries and Afghanistan in the fight against drug trafficking" (total budget - 2.140.000 USD). Under the project, 28 trainings in Moscow, Tashkent, Bishkek, Ashgabat, and Ankara were conducted in which more than 144 representatives of law enforcement and other competent authorities of the Republic of Uzbekistan took part.

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