9-11 September 2012











A conference titled “Central Asia and Afghanistan in an Evolving Regional Order” was hosted by the Central Asian Studies Center (CASC), in cooperation with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, between September 9-11, 2012 at KIMEP University. The event attracted more than twenty international scholars and researchers from Central Asian states, Russia, China and Europe.


During the two days of the research conference, the participants discussed in details the future of Afghanistan with a special focus on the Central Asian involvement in the project. After the opening session by Alessandro Frigerio (KIMEP) and Neil Melvin (SIPRI), the first panel discussion was devoted to the current realities in Afghanistan. After the presentations, a heated debate ensued on whether the current American approach is the right one and whether the withdrawal in 2014 will solve more problems than it creates.


The following panels were devoted to the different main actors involved in the region. First, the role of the United States of America and the western powers were discussed. In the first afternoon session, presentation and discussion topics included the role of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, as the main regional powers in Central Asia and Afghanistan. Vadim Kozyulin from the Russian PIR-Centre and Farhod Tolipov an independent expert from Uzbekistan, with Nargis Kassenova as moderator, presented their opinions about the future of the region. The main concerns for Russia are the imminent security threat coming from the neighboring region, the issues of drug trafficking and instability spillovers. The Chinese perspective was explained by Wang Xu from Beijing University, China and Adil Kaukenov from the Agency for Investments Profitability Investigation, Astana, Kazakhstan.


The second day of the conference was completely reserved for the discussion on the role of Central Asia in Afghanistan. There is an increasing realization of the importance of Central Asian states included in the current approaches focusing on the future of Afghanistan. The participants from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Russia highlighted the importance of regional cooperation in order to solve not only the physical security threats but to connect the countries in the region to create a prospering future in economic, social and political sense.

By Laura Cseke
CASC Coordinator


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