Tajikistan presented two OSCE requirements: first, to change the mandate or mission in Tajikistan, the second, to transfer one of its economic structures to the city of Dushanbe.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, Hamrokhon Zarifi, at the last press conference, said that the OSCE mandate in the country is outdated and needs to be revised to reflect the plans and prospects of the Tajik government. “We have a clear task - an economic transformation. The president set the task to change the economic situation in the country within five years, the minister explained. - This is our organization, we are its equal member. And we want the OSCE to change the course for the implementation of economic projects. ”
Another requirement concerns the relocation of an OSCE regional center for the coordination of economic projects in Central Asia in Dushanbe. “What is happening in the region is difficult to see from Prague or Vienna. This center is needed here, ”the minister stressed. According to him, some problems, including water-energy ones, seem to Europe to be distorted. “We want them to be correctly presented to Europeans, and the center coordinated economic assistance not only to Tajikistan, but to the entire region,” the minister concluded.
According to the OSCE Center's Advisor in Dushanbe, Abduali Toirov, these requirements of Tajikistan are already being considered at the head office of the organization. “Mandate is not something eternal. It can change in accordance with the transformations in every society. Any OSCE member state has the right to demand its change, ”he explained.
Tajikistan has been a member of the OSCE since 1993. In 2003, the organization’s embassy was transformed into the OSCE Center in Tajikistan. According to the Tajik Foreign Ministry, at the moment in Tajikistan, the OSCE has the largest office among all CIS countries. One in Dushanbe, five in the regions.
So, what caused the requirements of Tajikistan from the OSCE? According to Marat Mamadshoeva, a political expert, this organization has repeatedly harshly criticized Tajikistan for violations of human rights, freedom of speech and the holding of undemocratic elections. “Attracting the OSCE to the economic problems of Tajikistan is a step to prevent the following such critical speeches,” the expert said. However, according to Mamadshoeva, a change in the OSCE mandate in Tajikistan can serve both sides, as in the case of acquiring strong economic leverage, political criticism of the OSCE can become serious. “It seems the problem lies elsewhere. Every economic problem in the country has a political plane. Therefore, the demands of Tajikistan cannot be fully accepted, ”the expert concluded.
The goals and objectives of the OSCE in Tajikistan, as in other countries, have so far been the protection of human rights and freedoms, the promotion of political pluralism, a multiparty system, the formation of a civil society, the liberalization of the information space and the overall democratization of social and political life. The OSCE also defines one of its strategic goals to ensure the security and peaceful existence of member countries.
“This is not the first time that some CIS countries are trying to reconsider the conditions of their cooperation with the OSCE, in particular, by asking them to pay attention to solving social and economic problems. Previously, such a statement was made by Russia, Uzbekistan and Belarus, who have big problems in democratization, ”said Shokirjon Khakimov, deputy chairman of the Social Democratic Party. According to him, Tajikistan, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, decided to continue the idea of his colleagues in the CIS. “In essence, and according to logic, the question is incorrect. The OSCE is not the World Bank, and not an international credit organization, but a regional international organization whose goals and objectives are to contribute to the improvement of the political and legal culture of the member states. It is better not to interfere with the work of the OSCE and the normal functioning and not to impose obligations of the Government of Tajikistan on economic reform and improvement of the welfare of the Tajik society on this organization and other international organizations, ”said Khakimov. According to him, there are many significant issues in resolving problems with respect for human rights, political pluralism, reforms of the judicial system and socio-political transformations in general, which can be solved by strengthening the work of the government with the assistance of the OSCE and other international organizations.
According to experts, the criticism of the OSCE to Tajikistan has worsened the image of this country, especially in terms of its investment attractiveness. “In Tajikistan, they realized the results of criticism of this influential organization. Today it is becoming more and more obvious that attracting investments to our gigantic projects requires a positive image, said political expert Abdullo Hakim. “From here, these requirements of Tajikistan are real.” According to the expert, Tajikistan needs OSCE assistance in two directions: in creating a positive image to international financial institutions, as well as official support for specific projects for investors. “US membership in the OSCE attaches even more importance to this organization. To enlist the support of the OSCE also means the favor of this superpower, which has a great influence on international financial institutions, ”the expert concludes.
According to Tahir Abdujabbar, an expert on economic issues, the first requirement is unreal, since “an international organization like the OSCE operates on the financial resources of its members and cannot directly invest in the economic projects of individual states. “You can attract countries or companies, but is the country itself ready for investments? If we are talking about Tajikistan, the answer to this question is unsatisfactory, ”the expert stressed. According to him, the West views Tajikistan as a corrupt and bureaucratic state. “Corruption is their only reason to curtail their investments, that is, it is impossible to force the OSCE to play to its tune. If we discard this moment, Tajikistan has a good investment attractiveness. This is primarily due to the wide economic opportunities and cheap labor, ”the expert stressed.
With all this, many experts are unanimous in the fact that in the event of Russia's inactivity, the OSCE member states and the United States can use the requirements of Tajikistan to participate in economic, and first of all, energy projects. According to them, the lack of response to these requirements may mean a kind of "consent sign".