Over 25 experts from the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan attended a workshop from 4 to 6 July 2023 dedicated to enhancing the protection of vulnerable targets — critical infrastructure and soft targets, such as public places — from terrorist attacks. The workshop was co-organized by the OSCE Secretariat’s Transnational Threats Department, the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe, and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism.
One of the main events of the workshop was the launch of the Republic of Tajikistan’s Roadmap to Strengthen the Protection of Vulnerable Targets against Terrorist Threats, which is one of the outcomes of the United Nations Global Programme on the Protection of Vulnerable Targets from Terrorist Attacks. With this Roadmap, UN agencies and others such as the OSCE can pursue co-ordinated support to the Republic of Tajikistan in this important domain.
“As the Republic of Tajikistan continues to grow its critical sectors such as tourism, industry, education and transportation, it is important that we support the development of national frameworks for protecting these sectors against terrorist threats. This will help to contribute to both the safe and sustainable development of the country,” said Rati Japaridze, Officer-in-Charge of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe.
Sahobiddin Sadriddinzod, a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, highlighted the importance of protecting vulnerable targets from terrorist threats during the opening remarks: “Common security threats require united and co-ordinated regional and international efforts. A vivid practical example of this is the successful co-operation of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan with international partners and relevant stakeholders in organizing a series of high-level international conferences within the framework of the Dushanbe Process on Countering Terrorism, a platform that promotes multi-pronged co-operation to combat terrorism and violent extremism that leads to terrorism.”
During the workshop, national and international experts discussed diverse approaches to designing protective strategies for critical infrastructure and soft targets, including public places. They focused on national legislative and policy frameworks, facility security and public-private partnerships. They also underscored the importance of protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular during crisis situations when critical services are disrupted or terrorist attacks take place.
Feedback and outcomes from the workshop will be used by the OSCE in future initiatives for delivering tailored support to the Republic of Tajikistan as part of the Organization’s continuous support in preventing terrorism and violent extremism.
The workshop was also the first national activity on this topic in Central Asia since the regional expert workshop on the protection of vulnerable targets from terrorist attacks held in November 2022 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.