The OSCE Academy organized the conference themed: “Central Asian Security: Factors of Fragility, Sources of Resilience”, held on 11-14 October 2018, merging two of our annually held successive conferences – Annual Security Seminar and Alumni Conference - in a new format, comprising conference panels, practical workshops, and side events. The conference generously funded by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In a time when old and new challenges are gaining momentum all over the globe, it is paramount to develop an analytical clarity regarding what makes security fragile and what is capable of making it resilient. Security is not a static good, but a condition in time, ever open to change and to being impacted by numberless factors. The challenge for political leaders and their governments, for societies at large, and for scholars and knowledge communities is to train our eyes and to fit our actions to the understanding of the evolving nature of security and, hence, to addressing factors of fragility and tapping into sources of resilience to threats, in Central Asia or elsewhere. Relevant actors are many, within and across states, in Central Asia and outside, all with different interests, backgrounds and capabilities. A critical and topical scholarly inquiry into these actors, the processes they are involved in, interests and capabilities they bring, and generally, into bridling fragility and enhancing resilience, with a concentrated look on the nexus between the two in the wider region of Central Asia, is what the conference hopes to engender.
Certainly, main challenges and themes of security in Central Asia remain, and we are not aiming to invent new ones. Some of the broad themes of particular interest include, but are not limited to:
- the renewed role of Uzbekistan and how it affects Central Asian regional inter-governmental dynamics;
- the evolving and ever-topical implications of China’s Bridge and Road Initiative;
- the instability and fragile status quo, amid the need for political change, in Afghanistan, and
- comparative analyses and discussions of regions other than Central Asia, and how they relate to Central Asian futures.
The annual meeting of international experts on Central Asia is one of hallmark events at the Academy. The seminar has been running since 2008 and is a unique forum for representatives of Central Asian, European, Russian, and other policy and scholarly communities who work on matters related to comprehensive security in Central Asia.
The seminar has been previously hosted and organized by the OSCE Academy jointly with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and the Near East-South Asia Strategic Studies Center (Washington D.C.).
The seminar discussion usually follows the Chatham House Rule
The key findings were published in the Geneva Papers series run by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy.