The OSCE, in co-operation with the Government of Kazakhstan, concluded a two-day Central Asian Border Management Initiative (CABMI) conference on 6 November 2019 in Almaty. More than 30 participants gathered to discuss the achievements and challenges of border management in the region.
The conference reflected on the changing regional dynamics and the importance of border security and management issues in the Central Asian region.
Officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Austria, as well as key international actors from the European External Action Service, the EU’s Border Management in Central Asia programme (BOMCA), the EU’s Foreign Policy Instrument (FPI), the International Organization for Migration, International Centre for Migration Policy Development, and the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia attended the conference. Border experts from Lithuania, Belarus and Estonia also contributed to the event.
The Central Asian delegations exchanged information on the current situation and their progress in the area of border security and management.
Participants discussed threats and challenges, such as Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs), return migration, human rights of migrants, connectivity and regional security.
Related tools and mechanisms, strategies and approaches to enable state agencies to deal with cross-border trafficking activities, FTF identification and profiling, migration governance, and trade facilitation were all given consideration.
The international actors agreed to discuss ways to explore possibilities to foster co-operation and co-ordinate their programmes and plans for 2020–2021 with a view to avoiding activities overlap.
In 2003, the Austrian Federal Interior Ministry launched the Central Asia Border Security Initiative (CABSI). Through its annual conferences, the initiative provided a forum to exchange information between border security and management agencies in Central Asia, relevant international partners and other stakeholders.
The OSCE’s Transnational Threats Department’s Border Security and Management Unit conducted the current conference under its new name, CABMI, two years after the 13th Ministerial CABSI Conference held Vienna in 2017, to better reflect the OSCE’s new role as the host and organizer.