President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev outlined key areas of cooperation, including in emergency management, during the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) Extraordinary Summit in Ankara on March 16, the Akorda press service reported.
According to President Tokayev, the first step is to join efforts to avert natural disasters, citing the earthquake in Türkiye as evidence of the need for constant disaster preparedness. He proposed establishing a mechanism on the basis of the Center for Emergency Situations and Disaster Risk Reduction in Almaty, created by the governments of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in 2016, which would combine the joint forces of emergency agencies from OTS member states.
“I think it is necessary to elevate the combined forces to the level of the Organization’s Civil Protection Secretariat, which will coordinate efforts to assist countries affected by natural disasters. This structure will also organize international events, including training for rescuers,” he noted.
The second priority for the OTS, according to Tokayev, is to improve the preparedness of search and rescue services. He offered to compile a list of all rescue troops and technical equipment in OTS countries, which would enable prompt response to critical situations and coordination of efforts to mitigate the effects of natural disasters.
Tokayev urged OTS member countries’ rescue agencies to participate in an international training session in Kazakhstan this autumn, citing the exchange of information and experience as the next critical point. He proposed holding the first conference of officials responsible for this area.