DUSHANBE, November 30, 2011, Asia-Plus -- High Level International Meeting of the project “Implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia” is being held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan today.

United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), the meeting is a joint initiative of the Government of Turkmenistan, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task-Force (CTITF) and the European Union’s External Action Service working with the UNRCCA to assist Central Asian countries in their efforts to implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (“Strategy”).  The initiative is funded by the European Union and Norway.

The Ashgabat meeting marks the culmination of a process aimed at elaborating a joint Plan of Action for Central Asian countries on implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  It was preceded by a series of three consultative meetings at expert level, held in Bratislava, Dushanbe and Almaty between December 2010 and July 2011, to contribute to the substantive preparation of the joint Action Plan through expert recommendations.

The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2006, is a unique instrument to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terror­ism.  It builds on Member States’ consistent, unequivocal and strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  The Strategy calls on Member States to take measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; prevent and combat terrorism; build States’ capacity to prevent and combat terrorism and to ensure full respect for human rights and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism.

The adoption of a joint Action Plan for Central Asia will be the first example of a region pulling its efforts together to fight terrorism through a common approach based on the Strategy and enhanced international partnership.

Meeting participants include high level representatives of the five Central Asian states, senior officials of relevant Member States of the United Nations, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and the United States, and high level UN and EU officials.  They are expected to adopt a Declaration expressing support for the joint Central Asia Action Plan and for its implementation in cooperation with regional organizations and other interested stakeholders.