The Commonwealth of Independent States was established in December 1991 to assist in settling down the major issues of the independent states’ formation and preserving historically established ties. Currently, the CIS is an effective platform for political, economic, social and humanitarian dialogue between the participating countries.
December 8, 1991 – the leaders of the Republic of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine signed the Commonwealth of Independent States Creation Agreement in Viskuli – Belarusian government residence in the Bialowieza Forest.
December 21, 1991 – heads of 11 sovereign states (except for the Baltic States and Georgia) signed the Protocol to Creation Agreement in Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan). The parties stressed in this Protocol that the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Turkmenistan, the Republic of Ukraine and the Republic of Uzbekistan, “on an equal basis, and as high contracting parties, are forming a Commonwealth of Independent States". The Alma-Ata Declaration was also signed in this period.
The CIS operates under the Charter, adopted by the Council of Heads of State on January 22, 1993.
March 24, 1994 – the UN General Assembly has granted the Commonwealth of Independent States the UN observer status (resolution 48/237), and on August 3, 1994, in accordance with the Article 102 of the UN Charter, CIS Charter was registered by the UN Secretariat as a multilateral international agreement. Thus, the Commonwealth of Independent States was recognized as a regional international organization and on this basis participates in all major forums held by the UN and other international organizations.
The interaction within the Commonwealth is realized through its statutory bodies (in particular, through the higher bodies – the Council of Heads of State, the Council of Heads of Government, the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs). The CIS Executive Committee, headquartered in Minsk and presented in Moscow as Department, was set as executive, administrative and coordinating body of the Commonwealth.
More than 70 bodies which control cooperation in various fields operate in the frameworks of the CIS along with the above mentioned bodies. These bodies coordinate cooperation of the member-states in the most important spheres.
According to the CIS Charter, the sessions of the supreme bodies of the Commonwealth – Council of Heads of State, Heads of Government and Ministers of Foreign Affairs – are held on a regular basis at least twice a year.
Starting with the very first days of the CIS existence, the Republic of Tajikistan is a full member of the Commonwealth. The Republic of Tajikistan is adhered to its principles fixed in the basic documents; it is an active participant of the integration processes.
The development and strengthening of the bilateral and multilateral relations with the CIS member-countries is emphasized in the foreign policy of the Republic of Tajikistan. For the period since the formation of the CIS, the participating states managed to build a solid organizational and legal foundation, which helped to overcome the system crisis, boost economic growth and increase the volume of bilateral trade within the short period of time.
The Republic of Tajikistan has signed about two thousand documents adopted within the framework of the CIS. The total number of adopted documents is about 3 thousand. More than 400 of signed documents are the decisions of the Council of Heads of State, more than a thousand are the decisions of the Council of Heads of Government and more than 200 – of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
The Republic of Tajikistan is involved in the activities of the Council of Permanent Representatives of the member-states since the creation of this Council (June 20, 2000). Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tajikistan in Belarus K. Koimdodov is the Permanent Representative Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tajikistan in the Council of Permanent Representatives since November 2009.
F. S. Kholboboev is the Representative of Tajikistan in the Committee on Economic Affairs at the CIS Economic Council (Moscow). Furthermore, in accordance with quota allocation, the Republic of Tajikistan is represented by A.S. Eshonkulov, appointed as the Deputy Director of the CIS Executive Committee in January 2012.
The cooperation in the humanitarian sphere plays a vital role in a multifaceted CIS member-states’ partnership. Tajikistan is actively involved in humanitarian interaction with the CIS member-states.
The Republic of Tajikistan has signed 53 of 88 adopted documents on coordination of multilateral cooperation of the Commonwealth member-states.
The Interstate Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation was established at the meeting of the Council of Heads of Government in May 2006 in Dushanbe. The Statement of Heads of States on enhancement of cooperation in combating illicit traffic of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors was adopted at the initiative of Tajikistan in 2008.
Tajikistan actively supports the work of the Council for Humanitarian Cooperation of the CIS member-states (hereinafter - CHS) and the Board of the Interstate Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation of the CIS member-states (hereinafter - IFHC). Two of thirteen joint meetings of CHS and IFHC Board were held in Dushanbe.
The proposal to declare 2008 the Year of Literature and Reading in the CIS was presented by the Republic of Tajikistan.
In the framework of the celebration of the 1150th anniversary of the founder of Tajik-Persian literature A. Rudaki, powered by the IFHC, the collection of the poet’s works was published in three languages and sent to the libraries of the CIS member-states. In addition, updated textbooks of the Russian language were printed for the schools of the CIS countries, including Tajikistan. Two volumes of the series of books called “Classical literature of the CIS”, powered by the IFHC, include Tajik literature.
The sessions of the higher statutory bodies of the CIS are regularly held in Dushanbe. Thus, a regular meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States was held on 5 October, 2007 in Dushanbe. Such important documents as the CIS Development Strategy and the Action Plan to this Strategy, the Agreement on Formation of Council of Heads of Migration Bodies, the Treaty on countering the legalization of the criminal revenues and terrorism financing were adopted in Dushanbe.
The adoption of these documents provided the Commonwealth countries with a clear guidance for the further deepening of inter-state cooperation in the most important areas of interaction, enhancement of the CIS mechanisms and organizational improvement of the CIS.
The CIS Development Strategy is the basic document of the started reformation of the Commonwealth. At the same time, the reformation is not considered to be a single-stage action, but a sequential process of finding constructive arrangements and compromises that could give additional impetus to the development of the Commonwealth.
2011 was a symbolic year for the Commonwealth of Independent States – it was formed exactly twenty years before. Symbolically, the CIS chairmanship was relayed to Tajikistan.
As the presiding country of the CIS, Tajikistan developed the Concept of its chairmanship, which included the achieving the conceptual and strategic aims of the CIS embodied in the adopted documents.
The Chairmanship Concept included such issues as countering the ideology of extremism, terrorism, intolerance and xenophobia, the adoption of joint measures to overcome the consequences of the global financial and economic crisis. In general, the Concept is characterized by well-thought positions and system approach to addressing problems.
The activities of the Year of Industrial Security were approved at a meeting of the Council of Heads of Government on May 19, 2011 in Minsk, which was headed by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan A. G. Akilov. Draft project of Interstate program of innovation cooperation up to 2020 received high approval. Moreover, another significant step in the signing of the free trade zone agreement was taken.
The regular session of the Council of Heads of State under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan E. Rahmon was conducted in Dushanbe in September 2011. This meeting became symbolic as well. The Statement of the Council of Heads of State on the 20th anniversary of the CIS was adopted during this summit. Moreover, the analytical report “The Results of the CIS activities for 20 years and the future challenges” and the Interstate program “The cultural capitals of the Commonwealth” were discussed at this summit.
Tajikistan took an active part in the activities of the CIS as a co-chair of the Commonwealth in 2012, during the chairmanship of Turkmenistan. The Republic of Tajikistan participated at a high level in the meetings of the Heads of the CIS States (December 3), the Heads of Government (May 30) and the Foreign Ministers (December 4), all held in Ashgabat.
Tajikistan pays significant attention towards strengthening of the good-neighborly relations between the CIS member-states, based on the principles of mutual respect and economic cooperation.
At the current stage, the Commonwealth of Independent States proves its relevance and sustainability by its activities. A solid legal base, the mechanisms of cooperation, economic and humanitarian coordination system were developed; stability and security was promoted.
Tajikistan attaches great importance to the participation in the activities of the regional organization CIS.