Press Releases

Mechanism for regional cooperation on rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees from combat and armed conflict zones created in Central Asia

Secretary General of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Ambassador Kairat Sarybay participated online in the First Meeting of the Central Asia Regional Expert Council on the Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Returnees from combat and armed conflict zones. The meeting was held on 14 May 2024 in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) under the auspices of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

In his remarks, Ambassador Sarybay welcomed the initiative of the Republic of Uzbekistan to establish the Regional Expert Council, noting its relevance and timeliness. The CICA Secretary General emphasized that the CICA Member States of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – showed their responsible approach, not only by repatriating a significant number of their citizens, primarily children and women, from the conflict zone, but also by making maximum efforts to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into society.

K. Sarybay called for the consolidation of efforts of the states of the region, international and regional organizations to exchange information and accumulated best practices on the matter and stated the readiness of the CICA Secretariat for such cooperation.

UN Under-Secretary-General, Head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov inaugurated the Regional Expert Council. It was decided that the second meeting would be held in Astana (Kazakhstan).

Central Asian states have become global leaders in the repatriation and reintegration of their citizens from combat and armed conflict zones, repatriating more than 2,100 citizens through humanitarian operations. The initiative to create the Regional Expert Council under the auspices of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism was put forward by President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in March 2022 in Tashkent at the High-level International Conference on “Regional cooperation among Central Asian countries within the framework of the Joint Action Plan for the Implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.”