On 3 December 2014 the OSCE Academy hosted a public lecture by the US Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, Pamela Spratlen. In what was one of her last public talks in official capacity in Bishkek, Ambassador Spratlen talked on the US policy priorities on the matters related to regional security in Central Asia, with particular emphasis on how those priorities are reflected in the activities of the OSCE in the region and in Kyrgyzstan.
Ambassador Spratlen highlighted three aspects of the US and the OSCE work in promoting comprehensive security in the region: with focus upon people, on peace and on prosperity. These areas, she argued, correspond to the OSCE’s three dimensions of comprehensive security, and are of crucial importance towards achieving long-term sustainable security and development.
The focus on people is first of all about the young generation. Ambassador Spratlen stressed the vital importance of the active involvement of educated young men and women in the government, civil society and the private sector of the region. The OSCE Academy, as she pointed out, stands as an exemplary institution that brings young and active citizens of Central Asian states and Afghanistan for education and professional training, to benefit the states and societies of the region.
Talking on the focus on peace and regional security, Ambassador Spratlen highlighted the importance of the developments in Afghanistan as well as the work in countering extremism and terrorism and improving border management. She praised the work being done by the OSCE in building-up professional capacity of relevant state agencies, particularly at the Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe and the customs training centre in Bishkek. The ambassador also highlighted the work done by the OSCE, with support of the OSCE participating states, in reforming police and developing community policing in Kyrgyzstan as important areas of work towards ensuring human security.
Ambassador Spratlen has also stressed the importance of connecting people and businesses in the region for achieving another aspect of comprehensive security – prosperity. In this respect, she pointed out the vision of the New Silk Road, articulated by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, which connect various parts of this vast region, Central Asia, South and South-East Asia via energy, trade and people exchanges.
The questions and answers session covered various issues, including US-Afghanistan relations after 2014, the US development projects in the post-conflict period in southern Kyrgyzstan, the challenges of developing civil society and so on.
The Head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, Ambassador Sergey Kapinos chaired the event.