Reply to Head of OSCE Center in Bishkek and Director of the OSCE Academy: Statement to the PC

The United States welcomes Head of the OSCE Center in Bishkek Ambassador Sergey Kapinos and Director of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek Mr. Maxim Ryabkov to the Permanent Council. We thank you both for your reports.

Ambassador Kapinos, your mission is an important part of the OSCE’s efforts to promote peace and stability throughout our region. With its ongoing efforts to consolidate its democracy, its multi-ethnic society, and its close proximity to Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan represents many of the challenges and opportunities the OSCE participating States face in coming years. We believe the OSCE Center in Bishkek continues to have an important role to play.

We support the Center’s work in all three dimensions, as well as the priorities you outlined, including strengthening inter-ethnic relations, promoting good governance and anti-corruption, combating transnational threats, promoting rule of law and protection of human rights, as well as gender equality.

We support the Center’s activities on judicial and criminal justice reform, as well as strengthening national mechanisms to prevent torture. We support continued programs on police reform, including community policing. We are sorry that the Community Security Initiative (CSI) will close at the end of this year. We hope that some elements of the CSI can continue in a follow-on project, including the Mobile Police Reception Vehicles project.

Mr. Ryabkov, the OSCE Academy is a positive example of cooperation in Central Asia, which we support with extra-budgetary resources in addition to our unified budget contribution. Its regional focus and devotion to serious scholarship in Politics and Security, and Economic Governance and Development, are key to training Central Asia’s future leaders, and its efforts to maintain a robust alumni network to promote lasting connections among these future leaders. The success of the Academy is reflected in the high number of applicants you receive – and that it grows each year.

Thank you again, Ambassador Kapinos and Mr. Ryabkov, for your remarks to the Permanent Council today, and for your important work in Bishkek.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the OSCE Permanent Council, Vienna