The first India-Central Asia Meeting of National Security Advisers/Secretaries of Security Councils was held on 6 December, 2022 in New Delhi. The National Security Advisers/ Secretaries of the National Security Councils of the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan participated in the meeting. Turkmenistan was represented by their Ambassador in New Delhi. The meeting flows from the agreement reached during the first India- Central Asia Summit (27 January 2022) on holding regular meetings of Secretaries of the Security Council to discuss issues of regional security.
2. The meeting comes at a time when India and Central Asian countries celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations. The relations between India and the Central Asian countries including in the political, trade, economy, security and defence fields have transformed into multifaceted and mutually beneficial relations based on mutual trust, understanding and friendship.
3. During the meeting, the National Security Advisers/ Secretaries of the Security Councils:
(i) Discussed the current situation in Afghanistan and its impact on the security and stability of the region, reiterating strong support for a peaceful, stable and secure Afghanistan, emphasising respect for its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and urging non-interference in its internal affairs.
(ii) Emphasised that the territory of Afghanistan should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist acts and reaffirmed the importance of UNSC Resolution 2593 (2021), that no terrorist organisations including those designated by the UNSC Resolution 1267 should be provided sanctuary or allowed to use the territory of Afghanistan.
(iii) Noted the current deteriorating humanitarian situation and the need to jointly act to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
(iv) Condemned in the strongest terms” all forms and manifestations of terrorism and underscored the need to work collectively to fight this menace.
(v) Agreed that the expansion of terrorist propaganda, recruitment and fundraising efforts have serious security implications for the region and, therefore, a collective and coordinated response is essential. The misuse of new and emerging technologies, arms and drugs trafficking, using terrorist proxies for cross-border terrorism, abuse of cyber space to spread disinformation and unmanned aerial systems present new challenges in counterterrorism efforts and call for collective action.
(vi) Called strongly for the early adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
(vii) Reiterated that greater connectivity could be a force multiplier for enhancing trade and commerce as well as closer interactions between India and Central Asian Countries and accordingly deserved priority attention. They agreed that connectivity initiatives should be based on the principles of transparency, broad participation, local priorities, financial sustainability and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.
(viii) Emphasised the important role that Chabahar Port played during the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and its immense potential in enhancing trade and connectivity, as well as the logistics infrastructure of the Central Asian countries in the delivery of humanitarian goods to the Afghan people by international organisations. They also took note of the increase in trade between India and Central Asian countries through the Shaheed Baheshti Terminal, Chabahar Port and discussed further development of this transport corridor. The participants supported India's proposal to include the Chabahar port within the framework of INSTC.
(ix) India and Central Asian member countries of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) as well as the Ashgabat Agreement on International Transport and Transit Corridor called upon other Central Asian countries to consider joining these initiatives.
(x) The participants also noted the following:
(a) The initiative of India to host the special meeting of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee on "countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes" which took place in Mumbai and New Delhi from 28 to 29 October leading to the adoption of the Delhi Declaration. The third edition of the "No Money for Terror" Conference (Counter-Terrorism Financing) in New Delhi in November 2022 which discussed emerging trends in terror financing and misuse of new emerging financial technologies.
(b) The initiative of Kazakhstan to create a network of Regional Centres for Disease Control and Biosafety under the UN auspices and a specialised multilateral agency — the International Agency for Biological Safety (IABS).
(c) The initiative of the Kyrgyz Republic in the field of climate change including the implementation of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution proclaiming 2022 as the International Year of Sustainable Mountain Development.
(d) The importance of the "Dushanbe Declaration on Border Security and Management Cooperation on Counter Terrorism and Prevent the Movement of Terrorists” adopted as a result of the Counter Terrorism Conference held in Tajikistan in October 2022.
(e) The importance of implementation of TAPI gas pipeline project in expanding connectivity between Central Asian countries and India as stated by Turkmenistan.
(f) The importance of the activities of the Multifunctional Transport and Logistics Hub in Termez for the delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan as stated by Uzbekistan.
4. The participants underscored the importance of regular dialogue between the Security Councils of their countries in view of the common challenges of terrorism, extremism and radicalisation in the region. In this context, they highly appreciated the outcomes of Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan held in New Delhi in November 2021 and in Dushanbe in May 2022.
5. The Heads of delegations expressed their gratitude to the Indian side for organizing and hosting the meeting, as well as for providing the traditional hospitality and reaffirmed the importance of continuing the meeting. The participants agreed that the second meeting of the India-Central Asia National Security Advisers/Secretaries of the Security Councils will be held in the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2023.
December 06, 2022