Irish Senator, Fiona O’Malley, volunteered through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) with The State Committee on Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism of Tajikistan and the local government of Penjkent. Open Central Asia tracked her down to get an exclusive interview.
Please tell us a little bit about your background?
I have been in politics for more than ten years – as a counsellor, TD and Senator. The Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) appointed me to the upper house of The Irish Parliament in 2007. I am a public servant and believe passionately in my responsibility to represent the people who put me where I am today. Continue reading →
Dushanbe, Tajikistan, January 24, 2013 – The USAID Land Reform Project hosted an event in Dushanbe to mark the completion of a three-year project to create a market in land use rights and celebrate the major achievements of the Tajik government in advancing Land Reform. U.S. Ambassador Susan M. Elliott and Deputy Prime Minister Murodali Alimardon opened the event attended by donor representatives and government officials.
Ambassador Elliott noted that “Land reform is essential for the development of the agricultural sector, and the security of land use rights is a critical for the development of this sector. When farmers have confidence in the security of their land rights they are willing to make long-term investments that will increase land productivity and profitability.” Continue reading →
Dushanbe, Tajikistan (CNN) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton thanked Tajikistan’s president Saturday for his country’s support of efforts to defeat al-Qaeda and bring security to neighboring Afghanistan.
Clinton later flew to Uzbekistan, where she discussed Afghanistan, human rights and economic ties. Continue reading →
Nearly 400 smartly dressed spectators were treated to a fashion extravaganza at the new Dushanbe Serena Hotel in Dushanbe Tajikistan, hosted in the garden amidst flowers and fountains. The late afternoon autumn light was a perfect complement to the stunning ensembles that came down the catwalk. The event was a call to become a fashion-forward supporter of aspiring local designers who need a challenge and some Continue reading →
Officials are giving Tajikistan a flashy makeover to mark the country’s 20th anniversary of independence. But with vast numbers living in poverty, and with the government unable to provide basic social services, critics say the spending spree is an extravagance that the former Soviet Union’s poorest country can’t afford.
The September 9 independence celebration coincides with Dushanbe’s turn to host the annual summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States, an ineffectual club of former Soviet countries. The summit is scheduled for September 2-3 in Dushanbe. Several notables – including Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov and Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev – reportedly will not be attending. Continue reading →
My final OSCE report has just been published. I was appointed in 2010 by the Kazakh Presidency of the OSCE as Personal Representative of the Chairman in Office responsible for the ecology and environment of Central Asia. This massive 350 page report covers and looks for solutions to all of the environmental disasters which have afflicted the five Central Asian republics, such as the desiccation of the Aral Sea, the Soviet nuclear tests legacy in the Semipalatinsk region of East Kazakhstan and the uranium tailings dumps. In respect of the highly sensitive upstream/downstream water issues and the role played by Tajikistan, the report is both positive and optimistic. Skirmishes with drug smugglers crossing illegally from Afghanistan occur regularly, as Tajikistan is the first stop on the drugs route from there to Russia and the West. Tajikistan has also resisted attempts by Islamist rebels to operate training camps on its territory. In my own visit to the country I was impressed by the level of internal security and I believe President Rahmon must be congratulated on his efforts to maintain stability and security and should be widely supported by the West for his efforts to maintain Tajikistan as a strategic buffer state, preventing the incursion of drug smugglers and terrorists from Afghanistan and Pakistan.