The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) says OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid is visiting Turkmenistan from March 4-6 for meetings with the Ministers for Environmental Protection from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and with the Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Kazakhstan.

In Ashgabat, the OSCE Secretary General will engage with the high-level officials at a strategic discussion organized and hosted by the government of Turkmenistan.  This discussion will focus on the implications of climate change for security and stability in Central Asia and the complex challenges the region faces in such areas as transboundary water management, energy security, sustainable connectivity, disaster risk reduction and others.

The meeting is part of continuing efforts following the OSCE High-Level Conference on Climate Change hosted by the Secretary General last July at which participating States discussed the potential implications of climate change for security and stability in the OSCE area, and how the OSCE has been effective in tackling climate change through concrete projects.

The meeting in Ashgabat will offer Central Asian participating States a forum to lay out key opportunities to foster regional co-operation to address these challenges and discuss how the OSCE can support these efforts.

During her visit, Secretary General Schmid will also have a bilateral program, including a meeting with the President of Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdimuhamedov.

With OSCE Field Operations being present in every Central Asian country, the Secretary General will also chair the annual gathering of the Heads of these Field Operations.  The meeting will examine not only the work of each Mission and the impact of OSCE projects in the respective States, but also look for ways to improve regional cooperation to achieve greater benefits for the nearly 79 million people in Central Asia.

Meanwhile, Tajik Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Muhriddin on March 2 met with Ms. Helga Schmid in Antalya, Turkiye on the sidelines of the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF).

photo / Tajik MFA.

The Tajik MFA information department says the two discussed current international and regional issues, including further strengthening of cooperation within the framework of this organization.

Under the direction of the Secretary General, the OSCE Secretariat provides operational support to the Organization.  Established by the Charter of Paris for a New Europe in 1990, the Secretariat is based in Vienna.  The Secretariat consists of administrative and programmatic departments and units focused on conflict prevention, economic and environmental activities, cooperation with Partner countries and organizations, gender equality, anti-trafficking, as well as transnational threats, including anti-terrorism, border management and policing reform. They monitor trends, provide expert analysis and implement projects in the field.  The Secretariat assists the OSCE Chairmanship; supports OSCE field activities; maintains contacts with international and non-governmental organizations, and provides conference, language, administrative, financial, personnel and information technology services.