The CSTO Deputy Secretary General Alymbay Sultanov spoke at the OSCE Security Review Conference in Vienna
Vienna, June 23, 2020
Dear conference participants, ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, let me express my gratitude to the organizers for the invitation to take part in today's event. As already noted, the coronavirus pandemic made a very tangible impact on international life. People had to hold up on direct communications, postpone some events until better days, or host these events via video-conferencing. Thus, the Second United Nations Anti-Terrorism Week was postponed to a later date, though with some compensation due to the organization of a series of webinars on this topic, at the same time, in early July this year. Our current OSCE Annual Security Review Conference is also being held in a video conference format. The pandemic has also created new essential elements to the substantive component of countering challenges and threats, which we traditionally discuss at this forum.
These new elements were reflected, in particular, in the statement in support of the call of the UN Secretary General for an immediate and global ceasefire in all corners of the world in connection with the threat caused by the spread of a new type of coronavirus infection - COVID – 19, adopted on a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization on May 26, 2020. At the same time, the need was emphasized for the world community focused on meaningful dialogue and joint actions to ensure practical measures in the fight against COVID-19 and its aftermath. The unacceptability of unilateral coercive measures and sanctions was pointed out and the importance of organizing corridors for delivering vital assistance to all those in need. At the same time, it was convinced that calls for an immediate and global ceasefire could not extend to countering the continued activity of international terrorist organizations recognized as such by the United Nations Security Council.
The Foreign Ministers of the CSTO member states also adopted a statement on solidarity and mutual assistance in the fight against coronavirus infection (COVID – 19). In this statement, in addition to calls for cooperation in the development and production of vaccines, as well as the development of treatment methods, was noted the need to provide technical assistance to the most affected countries and peoples, resolving problems based on good neighborliness, refusing to take protectionist and discriminatory measures, preventing financial speculation that impedes universal access to essential health services and high-quality, safe, effective and affordable essential medicines, vaccines, personal protective equipment, food. It was also pointed out the importance of preventing the spread of false information and its misuse in the media, avoiding stigmatization or discrimination of states, peoples or individuals in connection with COVID-19.
The CSTO member states, in the context of countering challenges and threats in a pandemic, attach particular importance to cooperation with international and regional organizations and conduct coherent efforts to build it up. An important step in this direction was the statement adopted by the CSTO Foreign Ministers in New York as margin notes of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, expressing the willingness of the Collective Security Treaty Organization to expand its mechanisms of interaction with other regional organizations and structures, to develop cooperation with them and practical contacts, which will contribute to the formation of equal and indivisible security, the creation of a global system of counteraction against international terrorism and the elimination of the worldwide problem of illegal drug production and trafficking.
The CSTO is actively cooperating with the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in which its member states participate, based on bilateral documents signed with them, also in a trilateral format. The foundation of this partnership, aimed at repelling international terrorism, illegal drug trafficking and cross-border crime in the Eurasian space, is the close coordination of the CSTO with the CIS Anti-Terrorism Center and the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure.
Expanding and deepening CSTO cooperation with the CIS and the SCO became one of the priority issues on the agenda of the abovementioned meeting of the CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers on May 26, 2020.
Effective cooperation has been established between the CSTO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. An example is the participation of OSCE observers in the annual events of the permanent Regional Anti-Drug Operation in the CSTO “Channel” format, regular speeches by representatives of the CSTO Secretariat at central OSCE security events - the Annual Security Review Conferences, plenary meetings of the Forum for Security Cooperation and the OSCE Annual Anti-Terrorism Conferences.
Experts from international organizations – the CSTO partners are invited to attend meetings of the Working Group on Afghanistan at the CSTO Ministerial Council.
The CSTO International Conference “On the Role and Character of Interaction of International and Regional Organizations in Combating International Terrorism”, which was held in Moscow on October 30, 2019, became a confirmation of a high level of mutual interest in joining efforts in countering international terrorism. It was attended by representatives of the leadership and experts of international organizations such as the UN and its specialized profile structures, the OSCE, the SCO and the RATS SCO, the CIS and the CIS Counter-Terrorism Center, the CICA, the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism, the International Committee for the Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration, INTERPOL and others.
The CSTO is open to close cooperation with all interested international and regional organizations active in the security sphere, including NATO. Confirming their readiness to establish contacts with the North Atlantic Alliance, the CSTO member states' foreign ministers adopted an open appeal to NATO foreign ministers on building confidence and developing cooperation in jointly countering global challenges and threats on May 22, 2019. The open appeal, in particular, proposes to establish direct contacts between the secretaries general of the two organizations, as well as a dialogue between the CSTO Permanent Council and the North Atlantic Council, establish a mechanism for regular consultations between the CSTO and NATO secretariats, and promote contacts between the CSTO and NATO in order to create mechanisms to prevent dangerous military incidents, conduct briefings on the most significant CSTO and NATO trainings, promote mutual participation as observers in military trainings in the CSTO and NATO formats, and cooperate in the fight against drug trafficking, including. These offers remain valid.
As you see, the CSTO proceeds from the need for broad cooperation with international organizations across the entire spectrum of cooperation in the field of global and regional security. Confirming the desire to consolidate the efforts of international organizations in the fight against modern challenges and threats, we urge you to act in a coordinated manner, adhering to the motto proposed by the organizers of the event: “Ensuring Stability through the Dialogue”.
Thank you for attention.