For information only - not an official document.
    16 October 2000
 International Conference in Tashkent Will Seek Ways to Counter Drugs,
Organized Crime and Terrorism in Central Asia

VIENNA, 16 October (UN Information Service) -- Concerned about enhancing the security of Central Asian States and the common threat of drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism, the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship and the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) are staging a two-day conference in Tashkent, 19-20 October.

Representatives from 67 countries and 44 international organizations will attend the conference, which enjoys the active support and the high-level participation of the governments of the five Central Asian States.

The Conference aims at achieving sub-regional cooperation among Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to promote security and stability in the region, coupled with strengthened democratic institutions.

Increased flow of illicit drug from neighboring Afghanistan, the presence of criminal groups, growing trafficking in human beings and firearms are perceived by the Central Asian countries as potential threat to their stability.  Many states and observers are increasingly looking at the current situation with interest and concern.

Countries of Central Asia are strengthening cooperation and coordination at national, regional and sub-regional levels and are adopting measures to prevent and combat the phenomena of illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism.  These include the development of improved information systems for the collection, analysis, sharing and evaluation of data and addressing the root causes of these phenomena.

Improved coordination between specialized law enforcement structures and strengthened social and educational policies are considered as effective measures in this regard.  Coordination would be enhanced through the broadening of co-operation with NGOs and civil society. 

Mr. Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ms. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Austrian Foreign Minister, Mr. Pino Arlacchi, Under-Secretary-General of the UN, OSCE Secretary-General Jan Kubis and a number of other high-level officials will address the Conference.

The Tashkent conference, formally titled:  „International Conference on Enhancing Security and Stability in Central Asia: An Integrated Approach to Counter Drugs, Organized Crime and Terrorism," will be open to the press.  All interested journalists covering the region are encouraged to attend.

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