On July 16, 2021, at the initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a high-level conference “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities ”.
Opening the plenary session, the Head of the Uzbek state noted the priority importance of trade and economic cooperation and proposed an annual interregional forum to discuss topical issues of expanding the economic agenda of cooperation, deepening cooperation and investment interaction between the countries of the two regions.
Particular attention in his speech was paid to the issues of building an international transport and logistics infrastructure, the implementation of digital interconnectivity in the field of trade, transit and border crossing, the development of joint plans for food security, the fight against terrorism and the spread of drugs.
During the meeting, an address by UN Secretary General António Guterres was broadcast, noting the extreme importance of maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan through regional cooperation between the countries of Central and South Asia.
At the plenary session of the conference, President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell spoke about the prospects for cooperation in the region.
The main goal of the representative international forum was to strengthen historically close and friendly ties, trust and good-neighborliness between the states of Central and South Asia in the interests of all peoples and countries of both regions.
During the plenary and breakout sessions, the conference participants discussed the possibilities of promoting initiatives aimed at developing trade, economic, transport, communication and cultural and humanitarian cooperation in the context of further deepening regional connectivity.
The conference was also attended by the ministers of foreign affairs of the countries of Central and South Asia, delegations from 44 countries and about 30 international organizations, heads of authoritative research and analytical centers.
On behalf of the KazISS, the event was attended by the Deputy Director of the KazISS under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Sanat Kushkumbayev and the chief expert Bulat Auelbayev. In the third session on the topic “Regional security. Challenges and Threats ”Sanat Kushkumbayev made comments on the prospects for CICA assistance to interregional cooperation in Central and South Asia.