Tashkent will host the first meeting of Central Asia Regional Expert Council in Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Returnees

Tashkent/New York/Vienna, May 10, 2024. On May 14 this year, the first meeting of Central Asia Regional Expert Council in Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Returnees from armed conflict zones will be held in Tashkent.

The Regional Expert Council is being established on the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan, Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, put forward in March 2022 in Tashkent at the high-level conference “Regional cooperation of the countries of Central Asia under the Joint Action Plan for the implementation UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy” and supported by international partners.

The event is organized by the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan (ISRS), the State Security Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Committee the Family and Women under the Ministry of Employment and Poverty Reduction of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan.

The first meeting of the Regional Expert Council in Tashkent will be attended by high-level representatives of Central Asian states, international organizations - the UN and the OSCE, as well as specialists in the field of rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees from conflict zones, including in matters of bringing to justice persons suspected of committing criminal acts.

The opening ceremony is expected to be addressed by Under-Secretary-General and Head of the UNOCT Vladimir Voronkov, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Central Asia, the Head of the UNRCCA Kaha Imnadze, Acting Executive Director of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate Weixiong Chen, the OSCE Co-ordinator of Activities to Address Transnational Threats Alena Kupchyna, as well as heads of delegations from the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Representatives of senior management of international and regional organizations, including the CIS Anti-Terrorism Centre, the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure, the CICA Secretariat, the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States, the CSTO, and UN entities such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, have also been invited to the event    

The event will become a unique platform for sharing the experience of Central Asian countries in the field of returning their citizens from conflict zones, institutionalization and increasing the effectiveness of regional cooperation in this area, will again demonstrate the achieved high level of consolidation of the Central Asian states and readiness to jointly bear common responsibility for ensuring peace and security in the region.

The event will also include two breakout sessions on implementing a comprehensive whole-of-government approach to the rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees from conflict zones, as well as enhancing the role of local communities and civil society organizations in ensuring a whole-of-society approach in this area.