During the week-end of 9-10 April 2016 thirty-five young professionals gathered in Bishkek for a two-day Model OSCE conference. At the conference they were simulating a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council and then a Ministerial Council to discuss challenges to cross-border water management in Central Asia with the aim to move this major issue out of the stalemate in the region.
This is the first Model OSCE conference in Kyrgyzstan and it is organized by the OSCE Centre in Bishkek jointly with the American Councils for International Education and hosted at the OSCE Academy. Its aim is to encourage students to brainstorm possible solutions to the major issues facing the region, practice their negotiation skills, learn about OSCE activities and encourage them to constructive dialogue. Participants have developed an ‘action plan’ of measures and recommendations which they have adopted by consensus at the simulation of an OSCE Ministerial Council meeting.
“The conference will give students an opportunity to better understand the workings of one of the main OSCE’s decision-making bodies, and to expand their knowledge of the Organization as a comprehensive security actor,” - said Diana Digol, Institution Building Officer at the OSCE Centre in Bishkek in her opening remarks. The activity is part of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek’s project on strengthening democratic governance in Kyrgyzstan. The activity is part of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek’s project on strengthening democratic governance in Kyrgyzstan.
Participants of the Model OSCE underwent an open and competitive selection process. Among the finalists are students from Kyrgyzstan, and also from Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. Before taking part in the two days event, participants attended a one-day intensive preparation training course in strategic multilateral negotiation and public speaking and took part in a workshop on OSCE institutions and activities.
“It is essential to foster the cooperation of young professionals in this region that will contribute to more cooperation and will hopefully ‘build’ a region of Central Asia in the long run. The development of cooperation and mutual understanding among students and young graduates is an essential condition,” – emphasized OSCE Academy Director Pál Dunay in his welcome.