OSCE supports regional course on demilitarization activities in Central Asia

An eight-day OSCE regional course “Management of Specialist Demilitarization Activities” for some 40 military and civilian experts focusing on Advanced Explosive Ordnance Disposal Level 3 Plus began on 16 October 2017 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Participants from Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will enhance their managerial skills in adherence with specific requirements of international guidelines and best practices for the safe, effective and efficient demilitarization of conventional ammunition and explosives. Experts from Belarus, Slovenia and the United Kingdom will share their experiences.

The theoretical part of the course is being held at Kazakhstan's Ministry of Defence Partnership for Peace Training Centre (KAZCENT) in Almaty, while the practical exercises will be carried out in Arys, at the demilitarization facilities of the joint-stock company KAZTEC.

“Kazakhstan has always been and remains an active participant in the international sphere on issues such as arms control and the fight against terrorism. We must maintain an open dialogue to enhance trust and identify our common priorities,” said Col. Alibek Kulbayev, Head of the Arms Control and Inspections Support Centre in Kazakhstan’s Defence Ministry. “Common security presumes respect and security of each country. Our interests are becoming so closely intertwined that we share a common fate.”

“This week you will be learning theory and gaining experience and knowledge on explosive ordnance disposal. I am sure that you will not only find this useful and interesting, but also make new friends as a result,” said Col. Amangeldy Aubakirov, Head of the Centre for Co-operation at Kazakhstan’s Defence Ministry.

Colin McCullough, Political Officer at the OSCE Programme Office in Astana, said: “The storage of munitions comes with a unique responsibility to ensure the safety not only of military personnel, but civilian populations that live near arms depots. This requires a unique vigilance that is enhanced by sharing international experience in this field.”

The course is organized by Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defence together with the OSCE Programme Office in Astana and the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe, supported by the OSCE Secretariat in Vienna. It was financed with support from the US State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement as well as in-kind support from the government of South Korea via ITF Enhancing Human Security.

The course is part of the OSCE’s long-term support in developing a co-operative mechanism among states in Central Asia to address concerns and challenges stemming from the disposal of explosive hazards.

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