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The situation in the Republics of Central Asia

Reply to Recommendation | Doc. 11842 | 17 February 2009

Committee of Ministers
adopted at the 1048th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies (11 February 2009)
Reply to Recommendation
: Recommendation 1826 (2008)
1 The Committee of Ministers has carefully reviewed Recommendation 1826 (2008) on “The situation in the Republics of Central Asia”, also in the light of Resolution 1599 (2008), and has forwarded it to the attention of the member states’ governments.
2 In accordance with a decision of the Ministers' Deputies, the Secretary General presents each year an Annual Report on External Relations of the Council of Europe. This report also contains information about the relations with the Republics of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The report covering the calendar year 2007 is at the Assembly's disposal. The next report will be submitted in anticipation of the Ministerial Session of the Committee of Ministers to be held on 12 May 2009. This report will also be made available to the Assembly.
3 The issue of inviting non-member states, including representatives of Central Asian states, to the conferences of specialised ministers of the Council of Europe, is currently under examination by the Committee of Ministers.
4 The possibility of a Council of Europe contribution to the implementation of the European Union strategy for a new partnership with Central Asia adopted in June 2007 and to the OSCE programmes of assistance to Central Asia in the field of core activities of our Organisation is regularly discussed in the course of meetings and other contacts with representatives of these partners (for example with the EU Special Representative for Central Asia, or the OSCE Permanent Council and ODIHR). These meetings are also used to remind the Central Asian states about the possibility and feasibility of participation in those Council of Europe conventions which are open for accession by non-member states. Moreover, the Venice Commission already carries out activities in Kyrgyzstan (a member state of the Venice Commission) and Kazakhstan (which has observer status with the Venice Commission) in the framework of joint programmes with the European Commission. It recently adopted joint opinions with the OSCE-ODIHR on draft laws on freedom of assembly and freedom of religion in Kyrgyzstan.
5 An example of how inter-institutional contacts with regional organisations in which Central Asian states take part have been strengthened is the official relationship established by the Council of Europe Secretariat in 2007 with the Secretariat of the Commonwealth of Independent States (“CIS”).
6 The Committee of Ministers is committed to fostering dialogue with the Central Asian Republics, by offering the expertise of the Council of Europe as regards the promotion of human rights, consolidation of democracy and the rule of law, and on the basis of a firm undertaking on their part in this respect, in accordance with the Action Plan adopted at the Third Summit.