September 22, 2017
C5+1 is a format for dialogue and a platform for joint efforts to address common challenges faced by the United States and the five Central Asian states. It complements bilateral relationships in the region, particularly in issue areas where regional approaches may provide a comparative advantage. At the first C5+1 ministerial, held in Samarkand in November 2015, the six foreign ministers agreed to focus on three sectors of common interest – security, with a focus on terrorist threats; economics, with a focus on improving regional trade flows and prospects for U.S. trade and investment; and environmental challenges. They also agreed to form working groups for each sector and to focus on achieving practical results. At the second C5+1 ministerial, held in Washington in August 2016, the six ministers agreed to launch five projects across these three sectors, funded by a $15 million appropriation from the U.S. Congress.
Since the inception of C5+1, the Central Asian countries have been increasingly interested in regional approaches and view it as a catalyst for common action. Working group meetings have been characterized by a remarkable level of interaction and open exchange of information. As project activities progress, we hope that C5+1 will provide models for regional cooperation in other sectors as well.
The C5+1 Counter-Terrorism project – under the auspices of the U.S. Institute of Peace – will convene policymakers and experts to promote best practices and regional approaches to counter terrorism and foreign terrorist flows. An initial security working group meeting was held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on July 26 and reached broad consensus on a path forward on projects to address countering violent extremism and radicalization, and counter-messaging.
The C5+1 Central Asia Business Competitiveness project through USAID is facilitating private sector development of the internal Central Asian market, with an initial focus on the horticulture sector.
The C5+1 Transport Corridor Development project implemented by USAID will increase the competitiveness of Central Asian economies by improving their transport and logistics sectors.
The C5+1 Power the Future project through USAID is supporting the transition to, adoption, and scale-up of low emission and advanced energy solutions.
The C5+1 Supporting National and Regional Adaptation Planning project under USAID supports the development of national adaptation plans that identify environment risks and prioritize actions.