Norwegian officer following the situation in Tajikistan for the OSCE
Neving Rudskjær has had the unique opportunity to report first hand from the situation in Tajikistan through the mandate of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Rudskjær presenting his work with the OSCE for NORDEM. Photo: NORDEM.
Rudskjær is following the political, economic and security developments in Tajikistan in his role as a political officer for the OSCE in the capital Dushanbe.
He is seconded through NORDEM and visited our office to give relevant actors and NORDEM his latest views on his work and the situation in Tajikistan.
Reporting from a challenging political situation
The OSCE office in Dushanbe focuses on a number of issues, working closely with the government in tackling security issues and supporting conflict prevention and crisis management. Rule of law, counter-terrorism measures and border related issues are areas Rudskjær has been following closely.
He states that there is overall a good dialogue with the Tajik government on these issues, despite it sometimes being challenging to implement the mandate of the OSCE.
The Norwegian officer works closely with the Head and Deputy Head of mission and is excited to learn that a Nordic representative, Finnish Ambassador Tuula Yrjölä, soon will be leading the mission. The OSCE staff in Dushanbe are very experienced, says Rudskjær, an important asset when working in a challenging climate. Rudskjær’s focus is to follow the political situation by reading up on social media and relevant reports. He also meets with representatives of local media, political parties and foreign missions. This enables him to provide relevant reports and advice on the current situation in Tajikistan to decision-making bodies in the OSCE.
Monitoring human rights in Central Asia
Central Asia is an exciting and increasingly important region and there are few other Norwegians working in similar positions in the area. Rudskjær, who now has three years of experience, is considered a key resource for NORDEM and for the OSCE.
These are challenging times for the Central Asian countries which experience economic setbacks and diminishing foreign direct investments, despite some interest from the surrounding states such as China, Russia and Iran. Civil society has also experienced an increasingly difficult environment for them to conduct their work over the past two years. Neving explained to NORDEM how the OSCE assists NGOs both by working through them as partners, but also by building their competence understanding new laws and regulations set out by the government. Monitoring the situation for human rights, such as freedom of press and freedom of organization, is high on the agenda for the OSCE in Dushanbe.
Inspiring to work with local population
However, despite challenges in the region, it is important to highlight the resilience and initiatives from the local population, says Rudskjær. A recent successful establishment of a hydroelectric power plant, which NORDEM employees got to see first-hand, is just one example of a project where the local population played an important part. “Working on projects through the OSCE that directly affects people’s lives for the better, gives great satisfaction amidst a challenging political climate” says Neving Rudskjær to NORDEM.
Neving Rudskjær is at the moment the only secondment through NORDEM in the Central Asian region.