Friday 26 February 2010

OSCE: Kazakhstan's focus on Afghanistan is just distraction

The 2010 Kazakh OSCE presidency just has applauded the organisation's focus on Afghanistan.

And although the OSCE engagement with Afghanistan is not new, this press release is part of an obvious strategy:

By refocussing the attention and resources of the pan-European organisation to the political and military problems outside its actual scope - Afghanistan is not a member of the OSCE - countries like Kazakhstan with obvious human rights problems can distract from these issues.

Countries like Russia, that is trying for years to re-organise the OSCE to get rid of the disturbing issues like free elections or human right, Belarus or the Central Asian countries surely also agree with everything that makes the work of ODIHR less important.

But even outside these rights-oriented questions, there are still many security and co-operation problems within the Eurasian region, and the OSCE should focus its resources to these issues before thinking about something that is far beyond its competence and problem-solving ability.

In short: It is wrong that the OSCE looks outside its borders as long as there are so many problems within its member countries, and I can see nothing but distraction in the strategy of the Kazakh presidency that hasn't shown any particular interest in human and civil rights topics over the last two months.