Kyrgyzstan’s recent upheaval and the war in Afghanistan have obscured the fact that other important developments are occurring in Central Asia. For example, Nikolai Bordyuzha, the secretary-general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), announced in March that the Russia-dominated security group and the United Nations would henceforth cooperate in countering terrorism, transnational crime (including illegal arms trafficking), and in settling conflicts.
This declaration has far-reaching implications for Central Asia, given that Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are CSTO members. [For background see EurasiaNet’s archive]. For one, it signifies Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s desire to raise the UN’s profile in Central Asia. Not only is the UN prepared to recognize and work with the CSTO, it also is prepared to work with Central Asian governments on a variety of issues, including water management.
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Stephen Blank is a professor at the US Army War College. The views expressed this article do not in any way represent the views of the US Army, Defense Department or the US Government.