Monday 1 November 2004
October 27, 2004
Central Asia: French Scholar Highlights 'Women Of Authority'
In a recent book, "The Women of Authority in Contemporary Central Asia," French scholar Habiba Fathi asserts that Muslim women in Central Asia not only actively participate in religious life but often come to occupy positions of authority. Fathi's in-field study affirms women's considerable religious presence in Central Asia, particularly in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Last week, Fathi presented her findings at the New York-based Open Society Institute and spoke with RFE/RL.
October 20, 2004
Central Asia: Putin Visit Takes Russian-Tajik Relations To New Level
By Massoumeh Torfeh http://gdb.rferl.org/B3115D5F-A199-4214-8FBD-14BA89607526_w203.jpg Russian President Vladimir Putin has asserted in clear terms that Russia attaches a great deal of military importance to Central Asia, especially Tajikistan. In a landmark visit to the country this week, Putin opened a new military base in the Tajik capital and pledged Russia's membership in the Central Asian Cooperation Organization. He also promised more investment in the Tajik economy than had ever been envisioned.
October 17, 2004
Tajikistan: First Permanent Russian Military Base Opened
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov dedicated the first permanent Russian military base in Tajikistan today. Russian troops have been in Tajikistan for years, but the presidents have legally agreed on a new way to look at their presence.
October 13, 2004
East: UNICEF Report Highlights Plight Of Impoverished Children In Former Socialist Countries
A new report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) states that millions of children in former Socialist countries are living in severe poverty. The study, released in Moscow today, suggests that although countries in the region are all experiencing economic growth, the benefits are not reaching the most defenseless segment of their populations. UNICEF says poverty is robbing children of their health, education opportunities, and hope for a better future.
October 07, 2004
Central Asia: Corruption, Lack of Vision Seen As Stunting Economic Growth
Thirteen years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the economies of Central Asia are still struggling. One problem is that Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are not relying enough on one another for the boost necessary to start their economies after 70 years of central control. Corruption is another problem, as is a lack of economic innovation. These were among the conclusions drawn at a daylong forum in Washington earlier this week.
September 23, 2004
Central Asia: Shanghai Cooperation Organization Signs Agreement In Bishkek
The Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) met today in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek. Officials from the member countries -- Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and China -- discussed plans to develop regional economic cooperation and signed an economic agreement. The group was formed in 1996 to fight terrorism and Islamic extremism, but now is taking on other priorities aimed at regional development.
September 17, 2004
Central Asia: NGOs Face Rising Tide Of Suspicion From Governments (Part 2)
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) face a double challenge in Central Asia. Not only must they carry out their difficult mission, but they must also contend with often-hostile authorities. The Central Asian countries are in the processes of a radical transition and suspicions of the motives of foreign NGOs are easily aroused among officials. In the second of a two-part series, RFE/RL correspondent Bruce Pannier looks at the trials and tribulations of foreign NGOs in Central Asia. To see Part 1, click here --> /featuresarticle/2004/09/521ae994-dbf2-4ea3-a36a-c9d3215ea1f4.html .
September 17, 2004
Central Asia: NGOs Helping To Develop Civil Society (Part 1)
Working with refugees is one of the many areas NGOs focus on in the region In free societies, individuals and groups often pursue their interests -- and safeguard them -- in ways that are independent of the state. Collectively, their private actions belong to what is termed "civil society" -- and are the foundation of any democracy. Yet while vital to helping repressed peoples achieve greater political freedom, civil society is not born overnight. It takes time -- and hard work -- to develop. And that's where nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are playing a key role in Central Asia and Afghanistan as they seek to overcome decades of authoritarianism and war. This is the first of a two-part series on NGOs in Central Asia. To see Part 2, click here --> /featuresarticle/2004/09/4ad7f4c1-8aad-481a-a6b3-d7d3201dc023.html .
September 14, 2004
Afghanistan: Asian ECO Leaders Create Reconstruction Fund
Asian political leaders have created a special fund to help Afghanistan with priority reconstruction projects. The fund was announced today as heads of state from 10 countries in the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) gathered in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. On the sidelines of the summit, the presidents of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan have been talking about a proposed highway project that could become a major trade route for their countries.