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Dear Participants of the meeting, dear guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome you, on behalf of the European Union Delegation in Kazakhstan, to the third Regional Steering Group meeting of the European Union Border Management in Central Asia phase 9 Programme.
The European Union is promoting sustainable development, stability and security in all five countries in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. It is also encouraging closer regional cooperation between these countries and with the European Union, as reflected in the Central Asia Regional Strategy Paper for the period 2007-2013, which include: boosting sustainable development, promoting stability and security, and fostering closer regional cooperation both between countries of the region and with the European Union.
Security and the fight against drugs trafficking are major challenges for the five Central Asian countries. The European Union is committed to tackling both issues through two multi-annual regional programmes: the ‘Border Management Programme in Central Asia - BOMCA’, which is supporting the modernisation and reform of border management in the five Central Asian states; and the 'Central Asia Drug Action Programme - CADAP', which is assisting Central Asian countries in their policies and measures aimed at reducing the demand for illegal drugs substances.
Therefore, being one of the EU’s largest regional programmes in Central Asia, BOMCA assists the gradual adoption of modern border management methods in Central Asia to enhance border security and facilitate legal trade and transit. In this connection BOMCA introduces EU best practices supporting development of institutional and training capacities. It is obvious that implementation of recommendations made by the experts isn’t always easy and requires political will, developments in legislation, working methods, technical means and organisational culture of the state authorities. Let me remind the BOMCA Beneficiaries include: border guards, customs administration, ministries of the interior, health and agriculture and phyto-sanitary, veterinary and quarantine services.
The ongoing BOMCA 9 Programme seeks increased involvement of Customs services and enhanced cooperation of all border-related agencies to facilitate legitimate trade and transit of goods, as well as countering various forms of smuggling. Threats move across borders in a modern interconnected world. Therefore, a multi-national effort for border security is the most effective contribution to both national and international security.
The obligation to provide security for people is a task that no state can tackle alone. The ability of any country to raise necessary resources to deal with threats is limited. Therefore, we believe it is very good that BOMCA 9 Programme is still in the region, and the Central Asia Final Beneficiaries really understand what a value for them is opportunity to introduce the EU good practices in dealing with border management.
It should be noted that the Strategic BOMCA Evaluation will start at the beginning of the next year to assess the needs of the region in the new context, therefore the BOMCA Beneficiaries will be asked to provide the inputs.
I would like to express my appreciation to the Government of Kazakhstan, playing an important role in the regional stability and security, for the good and productive cooperation and already provided agreement with the BOMCA 9 Programme's extension.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I hope that at the end of today’s meeting you will have a good understanding of the progress made so far and of the future activities that will be implemented under the EU BOMCA 9 Progamme.
I would like to thank the Central Asia's State Authorities, Beneficiaries of the BOMCA Programme and the BOMCA Experts for their commitment and for making this programme a success.
Thank you for your attention.