The CSTO Secretariat delegation took part in the online event "Experience of Central Asia in working with returnees from Syria and Iraq: successes, problems and lessons learned"


On September 25, 2020, the UN Counter-Terrorism Center, functioning as a part of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office (CTO), together with the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, held as margin notes of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly a parallel online event "Experience of Central Asia in work with returnees from Syria and Iraq: successes, problems and lessons learned." The relevance of this topic is determined primarily by the growing acuteness of the problem of keeping in camps in Syria and Iraq of thousands of people associated with ISIL and other terrorist groups, most of them are women and children.

Several hundred women and children repatriated from these camps to the Republic of Kazakhstan, as well as to the Republic of Uzbekistan, Russia and the Republic of Tajikistan, represent today the main positive result of efforts undertaken towards solving the problem, including through a number of UN specialized organizations. Meanwhile, in addition to the humanitarian perspective, it is also interconnected with the problem of returning foreign terrorist fighters to the countries of origin, which has come to the fore in the fight against international terrorism.

The representatives of the CSTO member state, the Republic of Kazakhstan, who spoke in the format of videoconferencing, shared their experience of carrying out humanitarian operations "Zhusan" and "Rusafa" on the return of almost 600 Kazakhstani citizens from Syria and Iraq to their homeland, most of whom are women and children. The Republic of Tajikistan, which is a member of the Organization, has this experience, which repatriated 84 children, as told by a speaker from this country. Corresponding work is being developed in the Kyrgyz Republic. The practice of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which managed to return 260 people from camps in Syria and Iraq, was highlighted in their speeches by its representatives.

The reports revealed the complex painstaking work of various government services, public organizations, first of all done to rescue children from troubles, who, as it was emphasized, should always be considered a victim of terrorists. They noted the assistance provided by the relevant UN structures. It was indicated that it would take a lot of effort to reintegrate the repatriates into society in their homeland.

In the speeches of representatives of various departments of the world organization involved in solving the problems of countering terrorism, including the UN Deputy Secretary General, head of the CTO V. I. Voronkov, and the head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia N. German, the work carried out by the Central Asian states, "regularly performing their duty", was highly assessed. The speakers called on other countries (it was mentioned that 37 states had started to take their citizens out of camps in Syria and Iraq) to use this experience for the speedy deployment of the same activities themselves.

In the UN online event, following the established practice of close cooperation with the UN in the counterterrorism sector, the CSTO Secretariat delegation, consisting of experts from its specialized departments, took part in the videoconferencing format.

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