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Kazakh FM Calls for Regional Alliance to Combat Islamic State
28th November 2016 – During a trip to Kabul last week, Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov met with Afghan officials in a bid to push for a wider regional alliance aimed at hampering the expansion of the so-called “Islamic State”.
Minister Idrissov took the opportunity to reiterate his country’s longstanding cooperation with Afghanistan in fighting common threats and improving security, and called on the international community to take firm steps in the fight against the growing number of ISIS fighters in Afghanistan:
“No country is able to combat this global threat individually, we have to make collective efforts. We must put aside our political differences and stand against this global threat like a unifying force”.
“The message which I am conveying from my President here in Kabul is that the security and development of Afghanistan has been among the top priorities of our government. Our membership in the UN Security Council is not only the membership of Kazakhstan, but also the membership of the whole region,” said Idrissov.
Kazakh Parliament Approves Law on LEU Bank
21st November 2016 – Kazakhstan’s lower chamber of Parliament, the Mazhilis, has approved the draft law “On ratification of the agreement between the Kazakh government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on establishing the low-enriched uranium (LEU) bank in Kazakhstan.”
The IAEA’s LEU Bank, to be located at the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Ust-Kamenogorsk, will provide a supply of nuclear fuel to IAEA member states for use in civil nuclear power plants. The bank itself will be a reserve of low-enriched uranium, the starting material for the production of fuel.
The IAEA set requirements for the country to host the LEU reserve: that it should have technologies and experience in this area, an effective system of export controls and be a nuclear-weapons-free zone.
Kazakh Minister of Energy, Kanat Bozumbayev, stated: “Kazakhstan, as the largest producer of uranium, has an ability to process highly enriched uranium to low-enriched and intends to contribute to the development of peaceful nuclear energy. President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced the possibility of considering the bank’s placement in Kazakhstan in 2009. This intent was also confirmed by his statements at nuclear security summits”.
He concluded: “Recommendations to improve the legislation, the regulatory framework, public infrastructure and to control security in the use of nuclear energy were made […] to meet the provisions of the agency’s safety standards, its nuclear safety and security documents, which ensures the highest level of security both for the environment and for the population.”
Kazakh President Addresses Astana Club
November 17th 2016 – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed leading figures in economic, political and international relations during the second annual meeting of the Astana Club on November 14 – 16th.
The meeting, held at the Nazarbayev Centre in Astana, was attended by experts from the United States, Russia, China, Turkey, Iran and the European Union and addressed Kazakhstan’s role in global and regional issues, including nuclear disarmament.
President Nazarbayev stated that the world needs new approaches to national, regional and global development, while emphasizing prospects for cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the European Union.
“It is important to jointly determine a route for the creation of a common economic space of the Big Eurasia. In my view, such a perspective is unavoidable. The organisations such as the SCO [Shanghai Cooperation Organisation], EAEU, EU and the Silk Road Economic Belt project should deeply interact. This vector of continental and world development is impossible to ignore without damage to the progress, prosperity and security of each Eurasian nation. That is my principal position,” he concluded.
Kazakhstan among Top Global Improvers in 2017 Doing Business Report
November 7th 2016 – The 2017 World Bank Doing Business report, released on October 25th, puts Kazakhstan among the 10 most-improved economies in the world – along with Brunei, Kenya, Indonesia and the UAE among others.
Kazakhstan climbed 16 positions since the 2015 edition, and is ranked 35th among 190 nations in terms of “ease of doing business.”
Olzhas Khudaibergenov, Senior Partner at Astana’s Centre for Strategic Initiatives, noted: “this significant improvement has been ensured by four of 10 indicators; namely, by facilitating the procedures for obtaining permits for construction, ease of registering property, improving the protection of the rights of minority investors and contract enforcement. It is a good achievement for Kazakhstan”.
Kazakh and Turkish Foreign Ministers discuss partnership in Almaty
25th October 2016 – Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu co-chaired the third session of the Joint Strategic Planning Group in Almaty on October 20th.
The parties discussed Kazakh-Turkish cooperation, particularly the implementation of agreements reached during Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s visits to Turkey in April and May, and preparations for the bilateral High Level Strategic Cooperation Council session next year.
Idrissov and Cavusoglu agreed to enhance bilateral trade and economic ties and facilitate the work of the Kazakh-Turkish Intergovernmental Economic Commission.
“Under the conditions of persisting difficulties in the global economy, our common objective is to find new ways for increasing the volume of bilateral trade and mutual investments. Free movement of goods, capital, services and working force is guaranteed within the EAEU, therefore, Turkish businesses should consider Kazakhstan as a common market with a population more than 180 million,” Idrissov added.
Kazakh President announces establishment of new prize for nuclear disarmament and global security
11th October 2016 – Twenty five years since Kazakhstan voluntarily shut down the world’s largest nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk, the Nazarbayev Prize for a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World and Global Security was launched today by President Nursultan Nazarbayev to acknowledge world leaders and organizations, officials and non-officials, who have made significant contributions to regional stability, strengthened global security, and have stood steadfast against war, terror, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and poverty.
“Today I would like to tell you and our people about the new initiative. I have made a decision to establish international award for contribution to nuclear disarmament and security,” Nazarbayev said Oct. 10 at the Akorda presidential residence.
King Abdullah II of Jordan has been chosen as the first laureate of the award, and will receive the inaugural prize in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on 16th November 2016, at a special gala award ceremony.
His Majesty’s commitment to global peace and security in recent years is reflected in his efforts to integrate over 1.5 million Syrian refugees into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and to turn the Middle East into a zone of peace, notably through the establishment of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov meets with UK Counterpart Boris Johnson
6th October 2016 – Erlan Idrissov, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, together with his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, held a Kazakh-British strategic dialogue meeting in London, and attended the presentation of the UK national pavilion at the upcoming “EXPO-2017” exhibition which will take place in Astana next year.
The two Ministers discussed bilateral and multilateral aspects of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom and exchanged views on international issues, including Kazakhstan’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017 – 18. Other topics covered included the situation in Syria and Afghanistan, the implementation of the Minsk agreement to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and regional cooperation in Central Asia.
During the talks, the two sides noted the high level of development of economic and political cooperation between the two countries and underlined the growing strategic partnership between Astana and London. The Ministers also discussed the implementation of agreements reached during the official visit of the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, in London in November 2015.
Following the talks, the Ministers issued a joint statement, in which they reaffirmed their intention to maintain the high-level of relations in all areas of bilateral cooperation.
100 States Confirmed for EXPO 2017
19th September 2016 – One hundred countries have confirmed their participation in Astana’s EXPO 2017, said the event’s Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev during a briefing at the Central Communications Service (CCS).
Mr. Zhoshybayev stated: “Thus, the plan has been fulfilled. However, our work is not completed. The campaign on attracting international participants will be continued until the end of the year. In addition, currently activities are being conducted on appointing commissioners of national sections and signing participation agreements.”
Next month exhibition pavilions in the Kazakh capital will be handed over to participating states, who will begin their preparatory work.
Astana to Host Major Nuclear Disarmament Conference
25th August 2016 – On August 29th – which the UN declared an International Day against Nuclear Tests in 2009, at Kazakhstan’s initiative – the Palace of Independence in Astana will host the international conference “Building a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World,” dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site.
The conference will be addressed by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and will bring together parliamentarians, civil activists, scholars and media from around the world. Conference participants will consider current disarmament issues and make proposals on how to strengthen international security.
Speaker of the Kazakh Senate Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stated: “President Nursultan Nazarbayev is recognized as a leader of the global antinuclear movement. His decision on the full closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site is the first and the only such case in the disarmament history of the world. The idea of complete nuclear disarmament underpins the Manifesto, “The World. The 21st Century.” The anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk Test Site is the best opportunity for the entire world community to consider the paramount importance of establishing sustainable peace on the planet and to propose new common solutions to security problems.”
President Nazarbayev Pays State Visit to Poland with Business Delegation
23rd August 2016 – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev met yesterday in Warsaw with Polish President Andrzej Duda and other top officials, marking the first ever state visit by a Kazakh head of state to Poland.
The two leaders discussed cooperation in trade, economic, investment, agriculture, transit and transport, as well as in the cultural and humanitarian spheres. They also discussed international issues and implementing joint projects.
During a joint press conference with his Polish counterpart following the talks, President Nazarbayev stated: “We discussed political and economic issues. More than 100 Kazakhstan businessmen came to Poland to take part in the business forum to take place tomorrow. It is planned to sign bilateral economic contracts to the amount of $1 billion.”
Nazarbayev thanked Duda for the invitation and warm reception, noting progress in bilateral relations and the potential for additional cooperation. In turn, Duda said the Kazakh President’s visit is evidence of the strengthening of bilateral relations and that the two countries have common interests in deepening cooperation in the transport, logistics, oil and gas sectors. He also noted that Poland will participate in EXPO 2017 and said he will attend the event.
During his visit, Nazarbayev also met with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and Senate Speaker Stanislaw Karczewski.
Kazakhstan launches assistance project for Afghanistan with UN, Japan
22nd August 2016 — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan has launched a pilot project aimed at expanding the economic independence and rights of Afghan women, entitled “Promoting Kazakhstan’s ODA Cooperation with Afghanistan”.
The project, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, the Government of Japan and Japan International Cooperation Agency, will mark Kazakhstan’s first international cooperation in the framework of the Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme.
In October 2014 the Kazakh MFA worked with the UNDP to develop a national institute of ODA in Kazakhstan, in order to systematize Kazakh assistance to other countries and to align it with the country’s foreign policy priorities. To date Kazakhstan has provided humanitarian and development assistance to countries in Central Asia, Latin America and the Pacific Islands.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov stated: “Kazakhstan over the last years has been putting in a lot of effort to develop and institutionalise its ODA capacity on the national level. Many reform efforts in Kazakhstan are done in the context of our ambition to join the OECD. Official Development Assistance is a very important part of this.”
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Norimasa Shimomura added: “as a strong supporter of multilateralism and as a development partner, Kazakhstan can play a big role in delivering the Sustainable Development Agenda, and in putting the world on track to achieve sustainable and inclusive development. By sharing its experiences and technical expertise and by fostering trade and investment through South-South Co-operation and Official Development Assistance, Kazakhstan will support others to develop.”
Kazakhstan Plays Key Role in Russian, Turkish Reconciliation
9th August 2016 – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, today in St. Petersburg to normalize relations between Ankara and Moscow – thanks, in part, to Kazakh diplomacy.
This “historic visit,” as it was labeled by Erdogan, marked the first trip abroad by the Turkish President since the failed coup attempt in Turkey, and – according to confidential sources – owed a great deal to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s mediation efforts, which began immediately after the downing of a Russian fighter by Turkey in November 2015 and intensified in the spring.
“The ice that was in the relations (between Russia and Turkey) has melted, thanks to the contribution of our sister countries, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, who exerted every effort to normalize relations. We express our gratitude to these countries,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on June 28th.
Kazakhstan’s mediation culminated a few days earlier in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, where Nazarbayev and Putin met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.
On Aug. 5, the Kazakh President travelled to Ankara – making him the first leader to visit the Turkish capital since the attempted military coup in July – four days before the meeting between Erdogan and Putin. As a recognized “aksakal” (elder) by the Turks and someone with whom Putin often consults, President Nazarbayev was uniquely positioned to play the role of mediator.
Kazakhstan Joins OECD Competition Committee
1st August 2016 – The antimonopoly body of Kazakhstan has acceded to the Competition Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an organisation made up of 35 member states from Europe, the US, Japan and Australia.
According to an official statement by the Kazakh Ministry of Economy, as a new member of Competition Committee with unlimited access to OECD research and analytical materials, Kazakhstan can learn from the best world practices, strengthening the integration process with the world’s most developed countries and speeding up antimonopoly regulation reforms.
Kazakhstan’s aim is to comply with the main principles and standards of the OECD on competition issues, creating better conditions for competition in domestic commodity markets and strengthening the country’s competitiveness as part of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Kazakh Foreign Minister outlines UNSC Priorities during New York Visit
30th June 2016 – Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov visited New York on June 27 – 29th to oversee Kazakhstan’s election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017 – 2018, and emphasized that the active promotion of Kazakhstan’s candidacy by President Nursultan Nazarbayev played a crucial role in the final result.
“It is a historic day for Kazakhstan. Our country has become the first country in Central Asia to be elected as a member of the most important UN political body. This result provides clear evidence of the high authority of Kazakhstan, and its Head of State President Nursultan Nazarbayev, on the international stage,” Minister Idrissov stated.
Following the vote, the Minister expressed gratitude to all delegations that supported Kazakhstan’s bid, and praised the fair and transparent campaigns of all candidate-states.
On the eve of the vote, the Foreign Minister addressed the permanent representatives of the two major unions in the United Nations – Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, which include 120 and 33 countries respectively. At these meetings, the Minister introduced the relevant priorities of Kazakhstan’s Foreign Policy, elaborating on global initiatives in counter-terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation.
In addition, he held meetings and negotiations with the Foreign Ministers of Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Ethiopia, Thailand, the Permanent Representatives to the UN of the Great Britain, France, China, USA, Japan, Finland, India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and other countries, during which they discussed issues of bilateral relations and cooperation in multilateral areas.
Kazakhstan Elected as Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council for 2017 – 18
28th June 2016 – Kazakhstan has been elected to the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member for 2017 – 18, beating Thailand in the Asian-Pacific group after a second round of voting. Kazakhstan will join Sweden, Ethiopia and Bolivia for a two-year term beginning on January 1st 2017, becoming the first ever Central Asian country to be elected to the Security Council.
The 193-member UN General Assembly gathered in the New York City headquarters to elect Kazakhstan with 138 votes, while Thailand gathered 55 votes. A third round of voting is due to take place for the final available seat, with Italy competing against The Netherlands.
Tunisia Backs Kazakhstans’ Bid for UNSC Non-Permanent Membership
6th June 2016 – Kazakhstan’s Special Envoy for Middle East and Africa Baghdad Amreyev has visited Tunisia to meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs of this country Khemaies Jhinaoui.
The parties discussed the state and prospects of expansion of cooperation in different spheres, including within the UN and other international structures. Mr. Jhinaoui highly appraised Kazakhstan’s internal and foreign policy conducted by its President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and stated that he backs Kazakhstan’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2017 – 2018.
Kazakhstan Receives Official Observer Status at the Association of the Caribbean States
5th June 2016 – Kazakhstan has received official observer status at the Association of the Caribbean States (ACS). The decision was adopted at the 7th Summit of ACS Heads of State and Government in Havana, attended by a Kazakh delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Yerzhan Ashikbayev.
The Association of the Caribbean States is one of the most reputable organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, comprising the region’s 25 sovereign states. In addition to Kazakhstan, among the other ACS observer states are Great Britain, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Canada, South Korea and Russia.
Kazakhstan’s bid to join the ACS has been dictated by the desire to develop mutually beneficial partnership with the countries of the region on a wide range of issues, including tourism, energy, health, etc. The relevance of this direction in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy was demonstrated by the state visit of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Cuba in April 2016.
Lord Sheikh: “The UK admires Kazakhstan’s role in building global peace and security”
2nd June 2016 – Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov held a meeting with Lord Mohammed Sheikh of the UK in Astana, to discuss the state and prospects of Kazakh-British cooperation, implementation of agreements between the two countries following the official visit of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to the United Kingdom in November 2015, and a wide range of topical issues of the international agenda.
The Foreign Minister welcomed the establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Kazakhstan in the British Parliament and expressed hope for further strengthening of inter-parliamentary relations. “I am confident that the official visit of the delegation of the All-Party Parliamentary Group this autumn will give an additional impetus to the comprehensive development of our relations and create a good basis for the deepening of a trust-based and open dialogue in all areas,” Idrissov stated.
“We admire Kazakhstan’s role in building global peace and security, its assistance in the settlement of international disputes,” Sheikh said. He also highlighted Kazakhstan’s special contribution to the global efforts to promote reconciliation and tolerance, respect and friendship among nations.
Kazakhstan Joins NATO Discussions in Brussels
2nd June 2016 – Representatives of the Kazakh Defence Ministry, led by Deputy Minister Major-General Talgat Mukhtarov, recently discussed with 28 member countries the implementation of goals at the NATO headquarters in Brussels.
The main goal of the programme is training and assessment of the peacekeeping units of the Armed Forces of Kazakhstan. The country views its strategic partnership with NATO as an opportunity to integrate into international security systems in order to reinforce national security by making use of the enormous military, technical, and economic potential that this organisation and its members possess. Since 1994, the Republic of Kazakhstan has been a participant in NATO’s programme of PRP.
At the session on May 28th, participants admitted a high level of cooperation and expressed support for further development of Kazakhstan’s training centre Partnership for Peace and the Steppe Eagle peacekeeping exercises that have been held annually with participation of the Kazakh Armed Forces and military units of NATO countries since 2003. In 2014, for the first time, the training was held outside of Kazakhstan, in Germany. The parties have been planning to provide joint trainings in Britain in the framework of the Steppe Eagle competition.
During his working visit to Brussels, Mukhtarov also met with NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow to discuss regional and global security, cooperation between the Kazakh ministry and NATO. Vershbow emphasised the importance on continuing cooperation with Kazakhstan and noted the leading position of the country in the development of a peacekeeping capacity.
The exercises have been conducted since 2003 and normally attract more than 1,500 troops and international military observers. In addition, KAZBAT officers are serving in UN missions in Western Sahara (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara or MINURSO) and Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI or United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire).
Religious leaders denounce terrorism at Kazakhstan conference
The chairman of the Kazakh Senate, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, read an address from President Nursultan Nazarbayev to legislators, religious figures, heads of international organizations and experts from 41 countries at the opening of the “Religions Against Terrorism” conference at Astana’s iconic Palace of Peace and Reconciliation.
“Today, the threat of terrorism has radically changed our conception of international security. Terrorism knows no borders and doesn’t distinguish between rich and poor. We still don’t have a single and universal solution to counter this danger, and so we need to step up our joint efforts to resist this global threat in a dignified way,” Nazarbayev said. “In directing our efforts to eliminate the ideological basis of terrorism, it’s essential to expand and improve the quality of education of politicians, spiritual teachers, opinion leaders and the media,” the president added.
Kazakhstan hosted the conference as it seeks to implement anti-terrorism initiatives outlined by President Nazarbayev at the 70th session of the U.N. General Assembly in late 2015. The 63 delegations included representatives of Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Taoism and Shintoism, the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe.
Kazakh-based IAEA fuel bank on target for September 2017 launch
27th May 2016 – The IAEA’s Low-Enriched Uranium Storage Facility is on track to launch in Oskemen, Kazakhstan, in September 2017 following a partnership agreement between the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Ulba Metallurgical Plant (UMP) in Kazakhstan this week. The agreement was signed in Vienna by IAEA LEU Bank project executive Mark Bassett and UMP sales director Alexander Khodanov.
The facility is designed to help international efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation, by dissuading countries from building enrichment facilities that might be misused to purify uranium to weapons-grade levels. The bank will hold a physical stock of up to 90 tonnes of LEU, which can be used to make enough nuclear fuel to provide power for a large city for three years.
In an IAEA statement issued yesterday, Mr. Khodanov said: “We expect to receive the necessary approvals from the relevant Kazakhstan authorities, and have the facility built and ready for operation by September 2017.”
Kazakhstan to chair Shanghai Cooperation Organization in June
27th May 2016 – Kazakhstan will assume chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at the upcoming SCO summit in Tashkent in late June 2016.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov stated: “Kazakhstan takes over the SCO chairmanship from Uzbekistan – in Tashkent in June. It is very important for us. Kazakhstan within its chairmanship will continue policy of making dynamic the SCO comprehensive development”.
“We are talking about such activities as interference of integration processes in the Eurasian space. I mean, first of all, the Eurasian Economic Union, the largest infrastructure initiative of Chinese leadership – an economic belt of the Silk Road. The SCO seems to be for us a very convenient platform for implementation of this interference, major infrastructure and integration processes,” he continued.
“The summit is significant due its 15th anniversary since the establishment. Three days ago, Tashkent hosted a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the SCO. We have prepared the agenda of the SCO Summit, the main documents, declaration of the SCO 15th anniversary to be adopted, the SCO Development Strategy until 2025, in other words basic documents that open wide prospects for the SCO.”
EBRD President visits Kazakhstan
May 27th 2016 – Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), visited Kazakhstan and met with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev as well as key government officials.
During his visit, the EBRD President also spoke at the 9th edition of the Astana Economic Forum and co-chaired the Foreign Investors’ Council devoted to the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), alongside President Nazarbayev.
He spoke highly of Kazakhstan’s political development and multi-party system, and stated that, having invested more than €1.2bn in 2015 – a record for the Central Asian region – the Bank plans to maintain its ambitious operational targets, and invest over €700 million in Kazakhstan during 2016. The EBRD has invested over €6.3 billion in Kazakhstan to date.
During the visit, Sir Suma signed a number of investments totalling over €350 million in projects ranging from gas storage and distribution to water and heating utilities and dairy farming.
International Experts Address Global Economy at 9th Astana Economic Forum
26th May 2016 – The 9th annual Astana Economic Forum (AEF) took place in the Kazakh capital between May 25 – 26th, attended by global experts, politicians, economists, businessmen and Nobel prize laureates.
This year’s theme – “New Economic Reality: the diversification, innovations and the knowledge economy” – inspired heated debates and discussions throughout numerous panel sessions. Notably, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde noted that Kazakhstan is heading in the right economic direction, stating:
“Kazakhstan for over a decade showed a good pace of economic development. If one looks at the average rate of growth in recent years, it was about 7 percent. In many ways, these indicators have provided high commodity prices, especially for oil. It was very wise to postpone part of the funds in the sovereign fund, then to use it as a buffer in case of extreme situations. … We think that despite the negative atmosphere with such programmes as The 100 Concrete Steps and the Strategy 2050 with key structural reforms proposed by the President of Kazakhstan the country is moving in the right direction”.
Economics Nobel Prize Laureate Christopher Pissarides added: “the Astana Economic Forum is the main one for Central Asia for sure. It is also important outside this major area for the entire world economic order. And [President Nazarbayev] is taking many good economic initiatives, like those relating to nuclear disarmament, which I think is extremely important”.
IMF Managing Director meets with President Nazarbayev in Astana
26th May 2016 – International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde has met with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in Astana, to discuss priority areas of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the fund, as well as the key trends in the global financial and economic system.
President Nazarbayev stated: “The [IMF] provided enormous technical and financial assistance in Kazakhstan’s early years of independence. Today, approaching the 25th anniversary of independence, our country is able to implement more in comparison with other post-Soviet countries. Currently the Kazakh economy, as well as the global economy, are in difficult conditions. A number of factors including the decline in commodity prices and the delay of the structural reforms we are implementing, as well as the situation in Russia and the economic situation in China, impact this fact. Despite this, we have not allowed the reduction of the GDP and have ensured positive dynamics which we hope to maintain this year.”
Lagarde, who later participated in the 9th Astana Economic Forum, added: “I would like to thank you very much for your partnership with the IMF. We highly value Kazakhstan as one of our long-standing members. Very shortly after your independence you joined the IMF and I am pleased that we could help at the beginning and we continue to provide the technical assistance that you want.”
Construction Starts on Central Asia’s Largest Solar Power Plant
23rd May 2016 – Construction has begun on a new 100 MW solar plant 40 kilometres from Astana, in the village of Kabanbai Batyr, with production expected to commence next year. Kazakh-Dutch-German company KB Enterprises has been developing the project in Kazakhstan, in close cooperation with Siemens, since 2013.
An official press release added: “EXPO 2017 takes place in Astana and starts in June 2017. The theme is Future Energy. This Solar Plant is located only 40 kilometres from EXPO 2017. KB Enterprises will bring visitors to this solar park to show that Kazakhstan is a great place to invest and that solar power plants work effectively even in relatively cold regions.”
Kazakh and Chinese Foreign Ministers discuss cooperation development
23rd May 2016 – The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, H.E. Erlan Idrissov, has met with Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi in Almaty.
During the negotiations the sides discussed priority issues of development of Kazakh-Chinese cooperation in various spheres.
Particular attention was paid to the preparation for the forthcoming visits of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to China to participate in G20 Summit, and the visit of the Premier of the State Council of China Li Keqiang to Kazakhstan.
The Ministers reiterated the importance of interface programs such as “Nurly Zhol” and the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative to stimulate bilateral trade, emphasizing the relevance of diversification of transport routes, the development of industrial and innovative cooperation, and the expansion of trade and investment ties between Kazakhstan and China.
Kazakh and Kyrgyz Heads of Government meet in Yerevan
20th May 2016 – Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov held a meeting with Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov in Yerevan.
During the talks the parties discussed the current issues and prospects of cooperation in trade, economy, transport and logistics, financial and other fields.
Mr. Massimov congratulated his Kyrgyz counterpart on his appointment, and noted that Kazakhstan attaches great importance to the development of economic relations with Kyrgyzstan, expressing hope for the continuation of the work directed at progressive deepening of mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation.
Mr. Massimov was in Yerevan to in Yerevan to participate in the meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, and also took part in the collective meeting of Heads of Government of EAEC member-states, with the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan.
Leaders of Kazakhstan and Senegal outline potential sectors of cooperation
“We paid attention to trade and economic cooperation in particular. This sphere of our cooperation is at a low level. Obviously, there are big territorial and transport problems in this field. Of course, the energy sphere, agriculture and Islamic banking are our priorities as of now,” Nazarbayev said.
President Nazarbayev noted that the sides agreed to expand cooperation in the spheres of culture, education and sport. The Head of State also expressed his hope for active participaiton of Senegal in the international exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana.
“I am confident that the agreements we have reached would help our countries deepen the interaction in all spheres. The African continent is like a reserve of our planet. One billion people and over 300 million sq kilometers and great riches of the continent, it’s all Africa. This continent is going to develop sharply soon, and Kazakhstan needs to step up cooperation with the African countries now. I think that Africa has great future in the 21st century,” Nazarbayev added.
Contribution of Kazakhstan to the Development of Multilateral Cooperation Noted in New York
May 17th 2016 – Kazakhstan’s contribution to the development of multilateral cooperation was noted at the High Level Committee meeting of the UN General Assembly on 17 May, 2016, UN HQ, New York.
At the nineteenth session of the High-level Committee on South-South Cooperation of the UN General Assembly, the Regional Hub of Civil Service in Astana was praised as an effective international cooperation platform.
Welcome Remarks were addressed by Mr. Jorge Chediek, Envoy of the Secretary General on South-South Cooperation and Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation. The session was also attended by the permanent representatives of the UN member states, observer states, and Heads of UN agencies, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
Congo Pledges Support for Kazakhstan’s International Initiatives
11th May 2016 – Special Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Ambassador Baghdad Amreyev visited Brazzavil on May 9th 2016 and was received by President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso.
Ambassador Amreev conveyed the message of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev concerning support of Kazakhstan’s candidature to a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in 2017-2018 to the Congolese government. During the meeting, both parties discussed the prospects of bilateral relations and cooperation within international organizations.
The President of Congo praised Kazakhstan’s achievements in statehood building, developing the economy and building up a balanced foreign policy. He also highlighted the great contribution of President Nazarbayev in ensuring international and regional security, disarmament process and establishment of a global dialogue of civilizations. The Kazakh Ambassador thanked the Congolese leader for supporting the international initiatives of Kazakhstan in the framework of international organizations and expressed hope for the establishment of constructive cooperation between Kazakhstan and Congo in trade and economic spheres.
President Nazarbayev Signs Law Promoting Green Economy Development
2nd May 2016 – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has signed a law “On introducing amendments and addenda to some legislative acts of Kazakhstan on the transition to green economy”.
The amendments seek to improve legislation related to ecology and renewable energy. Changes were made to articles of the Land, Water, Environment, Tax, Enterprise codes and the law “On Administrative Offences.”
The environmental code updated environmental and natural resources protections and was complemented by the principles of extended producer responsibility. The changes also increased environmental monitoring of mineral resource activity in the state protection area in the northern part of the Caspian Sea in the winter.
Kazakhstan’s transition to a green economy involves multiple sectors, such as the sustainable use of water resources, the development of a sustainable and highly productive agriculture, energy saving and energy efficiency, electric power development, waste management system, reduction of air pollution, conservation and efficient management of ecosystems.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Discusses Kazakh-Chinese Relations in Beijing
29th April 2016 – Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov met today with Yang Jiechi, State Councilor and Executive Secretary of the Steering Group on Foreign Affairs at the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, at the government residence Zhongnanhai in Beijing.
During the meeting the sides discussed in detail the further development of multifaceted Kazakh-Chinese cooperation and also commended the successful outcome of the Fifth Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.
Considerable attention was given to the in-depth exchange of views on topical global and regional issues, including the situation in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Iran, the Middle East and others. The need for joint efforts to ensure security, sustainable political and economic development in the Eurasian region was highlighted.
Yang Jiechi noted that China is grateful to Kazakhstan for accepting its invitation, attaches great importance to the participation of President Nazarbayev in the G20 Hangzhou Summit this September, and supports Kazakhstan’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2017 – 2018.
The general conviction that the fight against terrorism and extremism required concerted efforts of the entire international community was expressed. In this regard, Minister Idrissov drew particular attention of his interlocutor to Kazakhstan’s position in international security and presented him with the Chinese text of President Nazarbayev’s Manifesto “The World. The 21st century.”
On the same day, Minister Idrissov visited the SCO Secretariat, where he took part in the opening of the SCO Lawn together with the Foreign Ministers of China, Kyrgyzstan and Deputy Foreign Ministers of Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. He also granted to the SCO Secretariat library a collection of more than 100 scientific works of Kazakh authors, including President Nazarbayev “Kazakhstan’s Way” and Speaker of the Senate Kassym-Jomart Tokayev “Overcoming. Essays of a Diplomat”.
Kazakhstan calls for establishment of Organization for Security and Development in Asia
28th April 2016 – During the 5th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICMA), Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov called for the creation of a comprehensive Organization for Security and Development in Asia.
“We should recognize that despite of the efforts taken by the international community to strengthen security measure, unfortunately, challenges and threats are not reduced but rather increased. The existing security systems in Asia do not meet the objectives of protecting the whole territory of Asia. It is obvious that we need to take comprehensive and preventive measures which will be able to combat current negative trend. We believe that we can achieve these measures by creating a mechanism (…) Organization for Security and Development in Asia on the basis of the CICMA,” the Minister stated.
Idrissov noted the initiatives of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and expressed Kazakhstan’s position on a number of regional problems such as the arms race in Asia, instability in Syria and Afghanistan, the process of the Arab-Israeli peace settlement and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and others.
“We condemn terrorism in all its forms (…) International terrorism should not be associated with any religion, especially Islam,” Idrissov concluded.
Kazakh Prime Minister Takes Part in General Assembly of Islamic Organization for Food Security
Opening the event, Massimov read the welcome speech of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, in which he expresses gratitude for the support of Kazakhstan’s initiative to establish the Islamic Organization for Food Security, first raised in 2011 at the 38th session of the Council of OIC Foreign Ministers.
“The Islamic world should not stay out of such issues of current importance as abolition of starvation, agricultural development, food security. The member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation can make a huge contribution to food security by means of uniting their efforts,” the address concluded. “I am confident that in future, all member states the OIC will join the Islamic Organization for Food Security.”
Within the framework of the event, Minister of Agriculture of Kazakhstan Asylzhan Mamytbekov and president of the Islamic Development Bank Ahmad Mohammad Ali Al Madani signed an Agreement to implement two $300m projects aimed at improving the supply of drinking water to rural communities and restoring irrigation systems.
Five States Agree to Join Islamic Organization for Food Security
28th April 2016 – Five members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) today joined Kazakhstan’s initiative to establish the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) in Astana.
“We have received applications from states of intention to join the IOFS. It is proposed to hold the ceremony of signing the Charter of IOFS with a number of states. In addition, the signing of a number of documents with the Islamic Development Bank,” Minister of Agriculture of Kazakhstan Asylzhan Mamytbekov said during the 7th session of the Ministerial Conference on Food Security of the OIC and the development of agriculture.
The agreement was signed by Ministers from Bangladesh, Qatar, Mozambique, Tajikistan and Cameroon.
The new organization, proposed by Kazakh President Nazarbayev in 2011, will aim to solve the problem of providing the population of Islamic countries with more affordable food, via the creation of transport and logistics routes to minimize the cost of food supplies in the Member States of the OIC.
Kazakhstan and Liberia Establish Diplomatic Relations
27th April 2016 – Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations Kairat Abdrakhmanov and Chargés d’Affaires of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations George S. W. Patten (pictured) signed a joint communiqué in New York to establish diplomatic relations between the two states.
During the signing ceremony, both sides exchanged views on the prospects of bilateral cooperation, as well as a number of issues of the UN agenda, important for both Kazakhstan and Liberia. Among them are Sustainable Development Goals implementation, environmental protection, healthcare, peacekeeping and post-conflict development. The importance of expanding mutually beneficial contacts between the two states in the field of education was recognized.
The Kazakh side expressed gratitude to the Charge d’Affaires of Liberia for the decision to take part in the international exhibition EXPO-2017, devoted to the “FutureEnergy”, which will be held in Astana in 2017. Patten spoke positively of Kazakhstan’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2017-2018.
President Nazarbayev Meets with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir
27th April 2016 – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev held a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia Adel Al-Jubeir in Astana, to discuss issues of strengthening of bilateral relations in trade and economic, financial and investment, petrochemical and cultural and humanitarian spheres.
The President drew attention to the productive cooperation between both countries in different spheres, stressing the necessity of strengthening economic cooperation. In turn, Minister Al-Jubeir emphasized the importance of further strengthening of the relations between Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia, noting the role of the former in the development of the Islamic world.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov met with his counterpart and added: “This is the first official visit of the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia to Kazakhstan since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries. We attach great importance to the development of cooperation with friendly Saudi Arabia and are ready to deepen the political dialogue at all levels.”
The Foreign Ministers also discussed the preparations of the visit of President Nazarbayev to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, planned for this fall, before signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Political Consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
During his press conference, Minister Al-Jubeir stated: “Your President made the historically right decision to renounce the nuclear arsenal of Kazakhstan. It was a sign that Kazakhstan had the main priority in its initiatives – building peace. It was the main idea since your independence. Therefore we have some initiatives so we could develop similar ideas and dialogues, especially in terms of peaceful resolution of conflicts and promotion of cooperation between organizations and countries, with the OIC in particular. We are happy to support your initiatives that were announced within that OIC Summit.
“We have good relations and are ready to develop them in many spheres. There are different trade delegations of Saudi Arabia that are expected to visit Kazakhstan soon. We would also like to increase the frequency of mutual visits between our countries,” he added
President Nazarbayev Meets with Spanish Foreign Minister García-Margallo
25th April 2016 – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has met with Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo in Astana. During the meeting, the sides discussed key directions of Kazakh-Spanish cooperation and touched upon the prospects of further interaction between the two nations.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and Spain has a positive impact on the strengthening of interaction between the countries. It was noted that joint projects in railway machinery, oil &gas, communications and construction spheres create a solid foundation for further bilateral cooperation.
President Nazarbayev invites the King of Spain to visit Kazakhstan
25th April 2016 – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has invited King Felipe VI of Spain to visit Kazakhstan, said Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov at today’s meeting with his Spanish counterpart.
Mr. Idrissov said that Kazakhstan intends to cooperate with Spain including in the framework of the signed agreement on expanded partnership with the European Union.
He noted that Kazakhstan and Spain share common positions on major issues of regional and global security, and stated that Spain supports Kazakhstan’s candidacy for non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, as a major partner of Kazakhstan’s in the trade-economic and investment fields.
Spanish-Kazakh Trade Relations Discussed at Prime-Ministerial Meeting in Astana
25th April 2016 – Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov has held a meeting with Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain José Manuel García-Margallo, who arrived in Astana on Sunday on an official visit.
The participants discussed the state of trade and economic relations between the two countries, and noted the prospects of investment cooperation in the fields of transport, infrastructure, agriculture, engineering, and construction.
The sides also expressed confidence that the Kazakh-Spanish Business Council would contribute to the intensification of bilateral business partnership.
Kazakh Minister Of Internal Affairs delivers Statement at UN Drug Debate
21st April 2016 – Mr. Marat Demeuov, First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, made a statement at the 30th Special session of the United Nations General Assembly on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS), which took place in New York between 19 – 21st April 2016.
In his speech, Mr. Demeuov informed the participants of the forum on measures taken by Kazakhstan at the national and international level to combat drug trafficking, and the country’s priorities in this area. He also confirmed Kazakhstan’s commitment to further strengthening multilateral cooperation in this field, and fully supported the adoption of the outcome document of the UN Special Session.
Hamid Karzai praises Kazakhstan’s peacemaking efforts
21st April 2016 – Former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai has praised the peacemaking efforts of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, during the 13th Eurasian Media Forum at the Rixos Hotel in Astana.
Speaking to participants, he stated: “I’m glad to be here in Kazakhstan again. Kazakhstan is the country that helped Afghanistan a lot and contributed greatly to its development. President Nursultan Nazarbayev has always been a friend of Afghanistan and a good partner in restoration of the country. First of all, I would like to remind you that President Nazarbayev and the people of Kazakhstan offered Afghani students thousands of scholarships to pursue their studies in Kazakhstan. Over 180 of those scholars major in medicine. This is a huge contribution for the country that has been denied the opportunity to offer education to its youth for a long period of time. President Nazarbayev also contributed to achieving stability and peace in Afghanistan. His recent speech “Manifesto: The World. The 21st century” is of paramount importance. I would like to wish Nursultan Nazarbayev the best in everything he does and we all must join and help him”.
“Eurasia is foundation of modern world” – K. Tokayev
19th April 2016 – The first sitting of Parliaments’ Speakers of Eurasian countries was held in Moscow today, under the theme: “Inter-parliamentary cooperation for the good of common prosperity of Eurasian countries in the 21st century”. The delegation of Kazakhstan was headed by Speaker of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
The Speaker noted that, being in the center of Eurasia, Kazakhstan was concerned about the events taking place in the continent. According to him, mutual mistrust and the growing militarism along with the other international threats to the international security pose a threat to the humankind.
In this regard, K. Tokayev drew attention to the Manifesto of President of Kazakhstan titled “The World. The 21stcentury”, which provides a deep analysis of the consequences of the spread of war.
“Leaders of all states have to finally show their political will and free the civilization from so many armed conflicts and threats of war. Obviously, it is in vain to hope for the prosperity of the planet without joining efforts”, he concluded.
Kazakh Ambassador to France meets with UNESCO Director-General
16th April 2016 – Mr. Nurlan Danenov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to France and Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to UNESCO, met with UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova on April 15th, to discuss topical issues of multilateral and bilateral cooperation.
Ambassador Danenov highlighted Kazakhstan’s contributions during the recently concluded 199th session of the Executive Council, relating to the preservation of cultural heritage, promotion of a culture of mutual respect and tolerance, as well as education and research.
The Ambassador also presented the concept of the Director-General to establish the International Centre for the Rapprochement of Cultures under the auspices of UNESCO in Almaty, and mentioned the consultations and preliminary proposals for the establishment of the World Academy of UNESCO.
Presidents of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan hold talks in Tashkent
Economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is developing stably, with a solid trade and legal foundation based on 107 interstate, intergovernmental and interdepartmental documents encompassing almost all spheres of economic cooperation.
Kazakh-Polish cooperation discussed in Warsaw
15th April 2016 – A Kazakh delegation led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko has agreed plans to develop trading partnerships and joint implementation of new investment projects with Poland, during the seventh meeting of the Kazakh-Polish Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation (IGC) in Warsaw.
The Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “during the meeting we discussed the prospects of development of Kazakh-Polish economic, industrial, innovative and agricultural cooperation, new challenges in transport and logistics, tourism, environment, housing and utilities and industrial areas, diversification of Kazakhstan’s export structure in the Republic of Poland, the interest of Polish business in the second wave of privatization in the Republic of Kazakhstan”.
Mr. Vassilenko informed his counterparts of the benefits and opportunities for potential investors and business community in the light of the Agreement on expanded partnership and cooperation between Kazakhstan and the EU, which will be temporarily applied from May 1st 2016, and on the objectives and priorities of the Government in the framework of the “100 concrete steps” National Plan.
Majilis Speaker discusses simplification of visa regime with Head of EU Delegation to Kazakhstan
15th April 2016 – Chairman of the Majilis Baktikoja Izmuhambetov today received the head of the EU delegation to Kazakhstan, Mr. Traian Hristea. Mr. Izmukhambetov stated that strengthening relations with the European Union is one of the top priorities of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, as both parties considered facilitation of the visa regime for Kazakh citizens.
He stressed that Kazakhstan condemns any manifestations of terrorism, and noted the importance of the President Nazarbayev’s recent “The world. XXI century” Manifesto.
The EU is the largest trading and investment partner of Kazakhstan. Over the past 10 years the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and the EU increased by a factor of 13, and the volume of European investments into Kazakhstan’s economy by a factor of 10.
President Nazarbayev meets with President Lukashenko of Belarus
Over the course of the meeting the two leaders reviewed key areas of bilateral cooperation in trade and economy, as well as further strengthening of the interaction between the member states within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union.
Presidents Nazarbayev and Lukashenko also discussed urgent issues of the international agenda and the main measures taken to ensure global security.
Kazakhstan’s Initiatives included into Draft of OIC Summit’s Final Communiqué
14th April 2016 – Kazakh initiatives and proposals are to be featured in the draft of the final communiqué of the 13th Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), held in Istanbul, Turkey.
The OIC Secretary General will hold consultations with its member states and will present a comprehensive plan of action on the process of Islamic Reconciliation at the next session of the Council of OIC Foreign Ministers.
The Istanbul Summit also lauded the creation of the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS) in Astana, a new specialized body of the organization which will play an active role in the strengthening of cooperation between the OIC member countries in this important sphere.
Participants backed the framework proposal of the Kazakh President on the implementation of the “Islamic Infrastructural Integration” initiative, aimed at promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth, regional integration and establishing of cooperation between the OIC member states.
President Nazarbayev meets with King of Saudi Arabia
14th April 2016 – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has met with King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, on the margins of the 13th Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
During the meeting, both sides discussed the state and prospects of bilateral cooperation in commercial and economic, investment, scientific and technical, cultural and humanitarian sectors.
The Heads of State exchanged views on the most pressing issues of international agenda as well as the fight against terrorism and extremism worldwide. Additionally, they touched upon the OIC Summit, expressing hope it will be fruitful and that decisions made at the Istanbul Summit will be effective.
Kazakh Prime Minister meets with European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
14th April 2016 – Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov met today with European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, to discuss the current state and prospects of expansion of Kazakh-European investment cooperation, including in the agricultural sector.
Both parties expressed satisfaction with the rate of development of bilateral relations, and emphasized the importance of the implementation of the Agreement on the Expanded Partnership and Cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union, signed in December 2015.
The Prime Minister stressed that the country paid great attention to the creation of favorable investment climate and invited European business partners to implement joint projects in the field of agriculture using advanced technologies. At the end of the meeting both parties expressed confidence in the further development of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
Kazakh President offers to hold OIC Summit on Science and Technology in Astana
14th April 2016 – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has taken part in the XIII Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, held under the motto “Unity and solidarity in the name of justice and peace” and attended by representatives from 56 member-states.
President Nazarbayev noted the importance to the OIC of addressing issues including lack of investment and limited access to education and medicine. He stated said that the Islamic world should not participate in the arms race and violate the nuclear nonproliferation regime, stressing that Kazakhstan supports the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons.
Nazarbayev proposed to consistently implement the general agreement on trade and economic and technical cooperation of the OIC member-states, establishing a free trade area within the organization. Secondly, he recommended developing and implementing a strategic project entitled “Islamic Infrastructure Integration”. Thirdly, given the dynamic development of such areas as alternative energy, biotechnology, materials science, the President invited to consider the possibility of holding an OIC Summit on Science and Technology in Astana next year.
Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation between Kazakhstan and Czech Republic discussed in Prague
14th April 2016 – Serzhan Abdykarimov, Kazakh Ambassador to the Czech Republic, met with Jan Hamáček, Chair of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, to discuss inter-parliamentary cooperation and bilateral relations.
Mr. Hamáček congratulated Kazakhstan on the Parliamentary elections held this March, and invited the new board of the Mazhilis to visit Prague at any time. Mr. Abdykarimov informed his counterpart about the ongoing Nurly Zhol Programme and the “100 Concrete Steps” Plan of the Nation, inviting the Czech Republic to actively participate in the upcoming EXPO 2017 International Exhibition in Astana and support Kazakhstan’s bid to secure a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2017-2018.
Kazakh Company Signs Transportation Agreement with Georgia and Azerbaijan
13th April 2016 – Representatives from major transport and logistics operators in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia have signed an agreement in Baku to establish the International Trans-Caspian Transport Consortium.
The key objective of the Consortium is to increase turnover, ensure uninterrupted traffic and transit of goods between member countries of the Trans-Caspian international transport route (TMTM). In addition, within the framework of the Agreement the parties will conduct a unified pricing policy, and apply the most competitive rates to the route.
Germany Intensifies Cooperation with Kazakhstan on Sustainable Development Projects
12th April 2016 – Mr. Bolat Nussupov, Kazakh Ambassador to Germany, has met with Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany and Bundestag Member Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, to discuss the intensification of bilateral cooperation on a number of important projects in sustainable development.
Projects discussed included the practical implementation of a Nazarbayev-Merkel initiative aimed at introducing the German model of dual vocational education in Kazakhstan; support for bilateral economic projects within public-private partnership (PPP); interaction over the development of alternative energy sources within Astana’s EXPO 2017; and the implementation of EU and UN social and environmental programs to address the Aral Sea problems and restoration of the former Semipalatinsk Test Site region.
Parliamentary State Secretary Fuchtel commended the recent socio-economic reforms in Kazakhstan, and made a number of practical proposals to increase cooperation in the implementation of the joint projects mentioned above.
Kazakh President Nazarbayev meets with President of Iran Hassan Rouhani
11th April 2016 – President Nursultan Nazarbayev has met in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani. The two leaders discussed the implementation of agreements reached during Mr. Rouhani’s previous state visit to Astana in September 2014.
The heads of state also discussed the strengthening of interaction in trade and economy, investment, agriculture, transit and transport, before sharing views on topical regional and global issues.
President Nazarbayev noted Kazakhstan longstanding friendly relations with Iran, while President Rouhani expressed confidence that the current visit of the President of Kazakhstan to Tehran would give new impetus to the development of bilateral relations between both states.
CIS Foreign Ministers Debate Kazakh Modernization Proposals
9th April 2016 – Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov joined his Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) counterparts for a meeting in Moscow on April 8th, to discuss cooperation within the CIS and preparations for the CIS Heads of State summit in Bishkek this autumn.
“There is hope that in due time for the Bishkek summit, we will prepare appropriate decisions to shape a new form for our organisation in order to modernize it,” said Minister Idrissov, citing recent initiatives by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) discussed regional and international issues and the foreign ministers of the three countries co-chairing the CIS – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia – adopted a joint statement in response to the worsening situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The statement called for the intensification of efforts for its peaceful settlement based on the principles defined by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group.
IFCA Delegation holds European Talks
7th April 2016 – A Kazakh delegation led by Kairat Kelimbetov, governor of the International Financial Centre “Astana”, visited Germany on April 6th, for bilateral talks with the heads of a number of international financial institutions, including European Central Bank board member Gilles Noblet, German Bundesbank board member Karl-Ludwig Thiele, Co-Chairman of the Board of Deutsche Bank AG Jörg Fitschen and others.
During the meetings, the head of IFCA informed his German and European partners about the operation of the International Financial Centre “Astana”, its objectives and priorities to enter top-10 Asian financial centres and provide 18,000 employment opportunities within the next 7 to 10 years. It was also pointed out that the IFCA is a free financial zone with a special legal status and regime, and its operation will be based on the experience of the world’s leading financial centres.
UN Resident Coordinator praises Kazakhstan’s national and international initiatives
7th April 2016 – Mr. Norimasa Shimomura, United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Kazakhstan, shared his thoughts on Kazakhstan’s initiatives to transform the organization at a meeting with Ms. Gulshara Abdykalikova, Secretary of State of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in Astana.
Mr. Shimomura said Kazakhstan is doing a lot both on national and international levels, lauding five recent institutional reforms and the ‘100 concrete steps’ National Plan, as well as President’s Nazarbayev proposal to transform the UN.
Mr. Shimomura stated: “The [UN] was founded in the 20th Century, the world at that time was different as well as the rules of the game. But today, as Nursultan Nazarbayev said, the world is changing and the UN should also be transformed”.
For her part, Ms Abdykalikova touched upon Kazakhstan’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2017 – 2018, where it would seek to make even greater contributions to solving global problems and draw the attention of the international community to the issues faced by the Central Asian region.
Kazakh President’s Manifesto awarded status of UN Official Document
7th April 2016 – UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has declared a recent Manifesto authored by President Nazarbayev an official UN document.
The Manifesto was distributed at the Fourth Summit on Nuclear Security in Washington D.C, and today acquired the high status of an official document of the two main organs of the world body – the General Assembly and the Security Council. It will now be available in the electronic system of the United Nations to all States members of the organization.
Kazakhstan heads a Working Group of the UN Commission on Disarmament
7th April 2016 – Kazakhstan has headed a working group of the UN Commission on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Participants in the session were briefed on the results of the recent Fourth Nuclear Security Summit in Washington D.C.
UN Commission delegates noted the global initiatives of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and welcomed a new Manifesto authored by the head of state.
According to participants in the UN anti-nuclear forum, Kazakhstan has made a huge contribution to the fight against weapons of mass destruction. At Kazakhstan’s initiative, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration on the construction of a world free of nuclear weapons.
Kazakh Foreign Minister meets with U.S. Secretary of Energy
During the meeting a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues on energy cooperation were discussed, with particular attention paid to the process of implementation of the agreements reached during the recent Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C., with the participation of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The Foreign Minister congratulated the U.S. Energy Secretary on its successful completion of the negotiations on Iran’s Nuclear Programme, and noted that Kazakhstan pays close attention to this issue as it is important to improvе trade and economic climate in the region.
They also discussed issues of strengthening global nuclear security regime and nonproliferation. The U.S. side highly appreciated Kazakhstan’s contribution to creation of the IAEA’s Low-Enriched Uranium Bank as well as hosting two rounds of talks on Iran’s nuclear programme.
Annual Session of the UN Disarmament Commission begins in New York
5th April 2016 – The annual session of United Nations Disarmament Commission began in New York yesterday, and will continue until April 22nd. Kazakhstan chairs the Working Group on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation during 2015 – 17.
Speaking at the opening session Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN, informed the delegations of UN member states on several important initiatives by President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Kazakhstan’s positions in the sphere of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
Delegates were introduced to a new document authored by the Kazakh President, a Manifesto entitled “Peace. Twenty-first century.” Which sets out Kazakhstan’s position on crucial issues of war and peace. The Manifesto was then posted as an official document of the United Nations Secretariat, accessible to all Member States.
Kazakhstan’s delegation also assessed the role of the Nuclear Security Summit and announced the results of the participation of the country’s leadership in the 4th Summit in Washington, D.C, including on a joint statement with several countries and groups aimed at strengthening the non-proliferation regime and nuclear safety.
Nuclear Security Summits Should Continue – President Nazarbayev
3rd April 2016 – Although the nuclear security summits held at the initiative of U.S. President Barack Obama’s have produced a remarkable legacy in strengthening the security of dangerous materials around the world, more remains to be done in the area of nuclear security, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in Washington last week.
“We believe the holding of nuclear security summits should continue. This is the only way we can change the world, leaving a safer planet for future generations,” the Kazakh leader told international Heads of State in Washington, emphasizing his country’s readiness to assist by hosting a Summit.
The event gathered together more than 50 world leaders, as well as heads of the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Interpol and other major international organisations.
Presidents Nazarbayev and Castro discuss cooperation in Havana
The presidents discussed means of strengthening bilateral cooperation via the expansion of trade, and interaction in the spheres of education, culture, sport, agriculture and further political dialogue.
Having discussed relevant issues on the international agenda, President Nazarbayev expressed his gratitude to Cuba for their support of Kazakhstan’s bid to secure a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for 2017 – 2018.
Constructing World without Nuclear Weapons Would be Act of Supreme Wisdom – President Nazarbayev
2nd April 2016 – Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington D.C., Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev stated that: “the construction of a world without nuclear weapons must be the main goal of humanity in the twenty-first century”.
President Nazarbayev was in the American capital to attend the fourth and final Nuclear Security Summit. During the visit, he outlined his vision for a secure nuclear future, with special focus on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank and his nation’s contributions to international efforts to curb nuclear terrorism.
Since the Nuclear Security Summit in 2014, Kazakhstan has taken a set of practical steps to strengthen nuclear security, non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and peaceful use of atomic energy. Nazarbayev shared some of the results of the country’s achievements at a meeting with analysts, diplomats and politicians, drawing attention to the phenomenon that lack of trust between players has become a primary cause of global security crises.
“I am deeply convinced that a path to a fair, transparent, multi-polar world order is meaningful only through participation of all countries in discussions and searching for political rather than military solutions to global problems,” said the Kazakh leader.
Kazakhstan ranked among world’s 50 richest countries
2nd April 2016 – Kazakhstan has been ranked in the world’s 50 richest countries, according to a study by Global Finance Magazine, based on information from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Kazakhstan was ranked 50th on the list.
“Kazakhstan has moral right to host Nuclear Security Summit” – President Nazarbayev
1st April 2016 – Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed the Opening Plenary Session of the Nuclear Security Summit 2016 in Washington this Friday, emphasizing that Kazakhstan is among the world’s top 20 countries in terms of high level of security of nuclear facilities and materials.
Nazarbayev also stressed that Kazakhstan is currently the world’s leading uranium producer and exporter, adding that Astana is committed to peaceful use of nuclear energy: “I would like to inform your of Kazakhstan’s important contribution which is the establishment of the Low-Enriched Uranium Bank together with the IAEA. In the future those countries willing to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes may use the bank’s resources”.
The Head of State noted it is high time for the international community to work out measures to encourage domestic industries to make a transition to low-enriched fuel.
In conclusion, President Nazarbayev expressed confidence that Barack Obama’s initiative to hold the NSS has to have continuation, as the problem is far from being solved: “I believe Kazakhstan has the moral right to host such event. It would be a token of appreciation for the country which shut down the nuclear test site and abandoned the world’s 4th largest nuclear arsenal”.
Kazakhstan and US adopt joint statement on cooperation in non-proliferation, nuclear security
31st March 2016 – Kazakhstan and the U.S. have adopted a joint statement on cooperation in the sphere of non-proliferation and nuclear security, within the framework of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s participation in the Nuclear Security Summit 2016 in Washington.
The document lists a complex of specific measures taken by the two nations in order to increase security of the nuclear materials storage. Both sides also reiterated overall commitment to continue practical cooperation in that sphere.
President Nazarbayev meets with President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker
30th March 2016 – President Nazarbayev met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels last week, as both parties discussed ways to strengthen political, trade and economic ties between Kazakhstan and the European Union. The parties also focused on the international agenda, including key issues of regional cooperation in the Central Asian region.
The Presidents held a joint press briefing, in which Nazarbayev noted that Kazakhstan has been cooperating with the European Union for almost 23 years:“Today Kazakhstan is the only post-Soviet country that has concluded an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union. The document was signed last year and our country has already ratified it, therefore starting from May 1 we are able to apply the provisions that deal with economic issues,” he said.
The President of Kazakhstan also thanked Jean-Claude Juncker for the congratulations on the successful presidential and parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan: “More than 1,000 international observers monitored the elections, many of whom reiterated that the election process was based on the principles of democracy, freedom and competitiveness and fully complied with the appropriate laws,” he added.
Nursultan Nazarbayev invited the EU member states to take part in the upcoming EXPO 2017 to be held in the capital of Kazakhstan and called them to support the establishment of the Astana International Financial Centre.
President Juncker, in turn, expressed his hope for further development of trade and economic partnership with Kazakhstan:“Our close ties take many different forms. The European Union is among the most important economic partners of Kazakhstan,” he noted.
European Union one of the most important vectors of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy – President Nazarbayev
At the meeting the sides mainly focused on the issues of bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union in political, commercial, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres.
The Kazakh President stressed that the EU is one of the most important vectors of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy and crucial trade partner, drawing attention to the fact that half of the country’s foreign trade comes from the EU.
The Kazakh leader noted that this month the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament ratified the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU, and expressed confidence that the signing of the document will elevate the bilateral cooperation to a brand new level.
For his part, Donald Tusk congratulated President Nazarbayev and Kazakhstan on the upcoming 25th anniversary of its independence, expressing hope that the close Kazakhstan-EU partnership will strengthen further despite recessionary trends in the global economy.
Kazakh Delegation takes part in UNSC Meeting on Food Security
29th March 2016 – A Kazakh delegation today took part in the Arria-Formula Meeting of the UN Security Council on “Food Security, Nutrition and Peace.”
The participants of the meeting discussed the close links between food security and global security, with delegations stressing that food insecurity is both a cause and a consequence of violence and conflicts.
Kazakh Ambassador to the UN Kairat Abdrakhmanov made a statement regarding Kazakhstan’s contribution to the further development of global and regional cooperation in the field of food security and nutrition to promote peace and development, in particular its proposal to create the Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), headquartered in Astana.
The Inaugural session of the General Assembly of the Islamic Organization for Food Security will be held in Astana during 26–28 April 2016. IOFS aims to greatly increase food security providing expertise, conducting research and promoting knowledge on food security, as well as coordinating practical support and emergency response in times of crisis.
Food security along with energy, water and nuclear security is among the top priorities of Kazakhstan’s campaign to win a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for 2017 – 18.
UN Headquarters hosts International symposium on “Synergy on the Silk Road and the Plan of 2030”
28th March 2016 – An international symposium on the theme of “Synergy on the Silk Road and the Plan of 2030” was held at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York.
Yerzhan Ashikbayev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, read the letter of congratulation of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev at the opening ceremony.
The responsible executives of the United Nations Organization, international organizations, diplomats and famous scientists participated in the event held by the International Turkic Academy.
The symposium hosted two panels on the topics of “Strengthening of peace and security on the Silk Road and beyond; combating the transnational crime and extremism” and “The implementation of sustainable development by means of the revival of the Silk Road through the rapprochement of cultures”.
Kazakhstan keen on strengthening economic cooperation with Singapore
25th March 2016 – Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, Chairman of the Senate of the Kazakh Parliament, has received the Ambassador of Singapore to Kazakhstan, Mr. Zulkifli bin Baharudin.
Both parties discussed areas of bilateral cooperation as well as Mr. Tokayev’s upcoming visit to Singapore, scheduled for March 31st – April 2nd. Mr. Tokayev noted that Kazakhstan is keen to strengthen economic cooperation with Singapore and develop interparliamentary dialogue.
Kazakh-US Security Cooperation Discussed at Conference in Astana Think Tank
24th March 2016 – A military cooperation project for 2016 – 2017 has been developed between the Kazakh and American armed forces, according to the President of the Kazakh Ministry of Defence Centre for Military and Strategic Studies, Kozykorpesh Karbuzov.
The comments were made in Astana during the international “Contemporary U.S. Foreign Policy and its Realisation in Central Asia,” conference held in the city.
Karbuzov noted that Kazakh-American military relations for the next two years will be aimed at peacekeeping, armed forces professionalisation and enhancing military education.
“We plan to improve the teaching methods of the military educational institutions of Kazakhstan and promote the development of the non-commissioned officers corps. At the same time, we are going to continue working on language learning. In the near future, the exchange of cadets of military educational institutions of Kazakhstan and the United States is planned as well,” he added.
“The U.S. stands for security in the Central Asian region,” added Hudson Institute (U.S.) Centre for Political-Military Analysis Director Richard Weitz. “Kazakhstan has succeeded in the construction of a multi-vector policy. The Kazakh government is developing a variety of tools to combat corruption. And this is the main kernel, the ‘heart’ of Kazakhstan’s policy, which is very important”.
“Kazakhstan ready to become transition hub between Europe and Asia” – Deputy Prime Minister Sagintayev
24th March 2016 – Asia is turning into the main platform of global international relations and Kazakhstan is ready to play a role of the transition hub between Europe and Asia due to its unique location, stated First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakytzhan Sagintayev during the 15th session of the Boao Forum for Asia in China.
In his speech Mr. Sagintayev stressed that the Boao Forum for Asia would contribute to deepening of the interaction and search for new ways to economic recovery. He drew parallels between the “Nurly Zhol” program initiated by President Nursultan Nazarbayev and the “One belt, one Road” initiative of Xi Jinping.
Mr. Sagintayev met with Prime Minister of China Li Keqiang, President of the Asian Bank for Infrastructure Investments Jin Liqun, Chairperson of the Board of Director of CITIC Construction Hong Bo and the Governor of Shaanxi province. Both sides discussed the measures on development of multilateral strategic partnership between Kazakhstan and China.
Kazakh Delegation Discusses Prevention and Resolution of Conflicts in the Great Lakes Region
21st March 2016 – A Kazakh delegation participated in the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on the theme “Prevention and Resolution of Conflicts in the Great Lakes Region”.
As a Member-Observer of the African Union, Kazakhstan recommended a more comprehensive regional strategy of the UN system together with the African Union, the European Union, and other African sub-regional organizations, with financial outlays by the IMF, World Bank, African Development Bank and donor countries.
In September 2015 Kazakhstan on its part signed with UNDP a cost-sharing agreement for a new project: “Africa-Kazakhstan Partnership for the SDGs” which focuses on technical support to 45 African countries, including of Great Lakes region.
Kazakhstan underlined its commitment to support progress in the Great Lakes Region and throughout this critically important African continent and called for full implementation of the recommendations of the Review of UN peacekeeping operations, the Peacebuilding Architecture Review, Resolution 1325, and most importantly, Agenda 2030 in the region.
Kazakh Secretary State Shares Country’s Gender-Sensitive Policies with UN Commission on Women
17th March 2016 – Kazakh Secretary of State Gulshara Abdykalikova addressed the 60th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, stating that her country’s women-oriented and gender-sensitive policies enable women to succeed at the national level.
Kazakhstan, as a member of the UN, advocates for gender equality and empowerment of women throughout almost all of the issues and processes on the agenda of the organisation. Kazakhstan has been a member of the Commission on the Status of Women several times and is a member until 2018.
Abdykalikova addressed the commission in her capacity as Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, Family and Demographic Policy under President Nazarbayev, focusing on the structural causes of gender inequality and discrimination, and putting forward gender-responsive state policies and programmes. In light of the newly adopted 2030 development agenda, Abdykalikova shared the goals of the country’s gender-sensitive policies.
The Kazakh delegation also met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Under-Secretary-Generals, Executive Director of the UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Administrator of the UN Development Programme Helen Clark. The delegation also met with Executive Secretary of Inter-American Commission on the Status of Women Ambassador Carmen Moreno, as well as Ban Soon-taek, spouse of Ban Ki-moon, who is an advocate for the protection of women’s rights and their empowerment. The sides expressed a desire to expand cooperation.
On 14 March, Abdykalikova and Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to UN Ambassador Kairat Abdrakhmanov hosted a Ministerial Working Luncheon with the theme “Gender and Family Demographic Policy of Kazakhstan: Growth, Reforms and Sustainable Development,” with the participation of ministers and ambassadors from Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Kazakh Senate ratifies Partnership Agreement with EU
17th March 2016 – Kazakhstan’s upper house of parliament has today ratified the agreement on expanded partnership and cooperation between Kazakhstan and the European Union, signed by both parties in December 2015.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov stated: “The focus of enhanced cooperation in foreign and security policy will be in the spheres of regional stability, weapons of mass destruction, international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, conflict prevention and crisis management”.
Idrissov said that the EU is currently “one of the biggest trading partners and investors for Kazakhstan”, and that the implementation of the agreement “will give impetus to the promotion of issues which have had no solution for quite long time: the facilitation of a visa regime, granting a market economy status to Kazakhstan, and withdrawal of Kazakh airlines from the EU restrictive lists”.
Kazakhstan signs support agreement with CARICOM
15th March 2016 – A US$770,000 grant support package will become available to Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states from the Republic of Kazakhstan to strengthen capacity in the areas of climate change and sustainable development.
CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and Ambassador of Kazakhstan to CARICOM, Konstantin Zhigalov signed the agreement of financial support on the side-lines of the Fourth High-Level Donor Forum in Guyana. The agreement formalizes arrangements through the CARICOM Secretariat for CARICOM member states to benefit from the package.
At the regional level, it is intended to support CARICOM as it seeks to position itself on issues related to climate change and sustainable development on the international stage. At the level of member states, the financial support will strengthen the capacities of Ministries of Foreign Affairs to develop national positions on those issues. Member States will also benefit from improved capacity to engage in regional and international discussions related to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), linking the global development discourse with regional integration efforts.
Secretary-General LaRocque, in expressing appreciation, told the Kazakhstan Ambassador that the assistance was timely as capacity-building was often a challenge in achieving desired objectives. The Kazakhstan Ambassador said the agreement represented another “good start” in strengthening the relatively new partnership with CARICOM.
Kazakh-UN cooperation “elevated to new level” – President Nazarbayev
15th March 2016 – The cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UN has reached a new level, said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev during the ceremony of presentation of credentials by ambassadors of several foreign states in the Presidential Residence.
“Stable development of the country presents Kazakhstan as a politically and economically attractive partner. The framework partnership program for 2016 – 2020 between the Government of Kazakhstan and the UN is a demonstration of reaching of a new level of cooperation by the two sides,” he stated.
The president called the program on development of Semey region an example of successful cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UN. Norimasa Shimomura, UN Resident Coordinator and Permanent Representative of the UNDP in Kazakhstan, presented the Head of State with a letter of credence.
Kazakhstan and Singapore hold ministerial consultations
15th March 2016 – Foreign Ministry representatives from Kazakhstan and Singapore held ministerial consultations in Singapore on Monday. Kazakhstan’s delegation was headed by Anarbek Karashev, Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while the Singaporean delegation was led by Non-Resident Ambassador to Kazakhstan Zulkifli Baharudin.
During the consultations Mr. Karashev briefed his counterparts on Kazakhstan’s foreign policy priorities, implementation of the presidential initiative on five institutional reforms, snap parliamentary elections, the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament, promotion of Kazakhstan’s bid to sit on the UN Security Council in 2017 – 2018 and preparations for the International specialized exhibition EXPO-2017 in Astana.
The Singaporean delegation noted that the two countries share a common stance on topical international problems, and expressed its intention to cooperate in terms of the modernization of day-to-day functioning of foreign ministries.
Kazakh Secretary of State meets UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Both parties exchanged their views on enhancing of the role and status of women in society, while Mr. Ki-moon noted the positive dynamics in promoting gender policy in Kazakhstan.
Finland to showcase latest green technologies at EXPO-2017
12th March 2016 – A number of Finnish companies are interested in the theme of the EXPO “Future Energy” and are willing to showcase their developments in Astana, the Economy Minister of Finland Olli Rehn said in a meeting in Helsinki with EXPO 2017 commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev.
Minister Rehn noted that in accordance with the energy development plan, by 2020 Finland is to increase the share of renewable energy sources to 50 %.
Mr. Zhoshybayev thanked Finland for supporting Kazakhstan’s candidacy for non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council in 2017 – 2018, and for assisting in the negotiations on Kazakhstan’s accession to the WTO.
He also discussed the possibility of increasing tourist and business trips with Finnair company management representatives, once direct flights between Astana and Helsinki open in 2017.
Hundreds Attend Kazakh Food Festival in New York City
11th March 2016 – The Festival of Kazakh Cuisine took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York between March 7th – 11th, attracting over 70 visitors. Five well-known chefs from Kazakhstan visited New York to take part in the festival and present Kazakh dishes, sweets and drinks to the public.
In attendance were Mr. Mogens Lyukketoff, President of the UN General Assembly, UN and Kazakh diplomats, high-level officials and UN Secretariat staff. Alongside national dishes, guests became acquainted with the rich historical traditions of Kazakh culture, art, national costumes, household items and utensils. Musical compositions and songs by Kazakh composers were also played at the opening ceremony and a string quartet of Kazakh and U.S. students performed famous Kazakh compositions.
Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, welcomed guests and thanked them for their interest in the culture and traditions of Kazakhstan.
Minister Idrissov chairs inaugural session of Kazakh Community Council
10th March 2016 – The inaugural session of the Community Council, established on February 29th under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, was held on March 5th at the MFA under the chairmanship of the Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs, Erlan Idrissov.
Mr. Idrissov noted the great importance of the activity of the state bodies to organize the Community Council, emphasizing its focus on improving the transparency and deeper involvement of civil society in the process of the government of the state.
He stated: “We are kind of pioneers in this matter, therefore we feel a special responsibility for the successful implementation of the initiative of President Nursultan Nazarbayev to raise the level of public control over the activity of governmental organizations. I am convinced that such a control is an integral part of efforts to build in Kazakhstan highly developed, high-tech, self-sufficient, liberal society, which will be characterized by one of the 30 most developed countries in the world”.
Kazakhstan and the EU agree to strengthen cooperation in Political and Economic Spheres
10th March 2016 – The 15th session of the “Republic of Kazakhstan – European Union” Cooperation Committee has been held in Astana. The Kazakh delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Roman Vassilenko, and Mr. Toivo Klaar, Managing Director of the Central Asia Division of the European External Action Service, chaired the EU delegation.
The event was attended by representatives from a number of state bodies and organizations in Kazakhstan, including the Ministry of National Economy, the Ministry of Investment and Development, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Public Service, the Supreme Court, the General Prosecutor’s Office, the National Centre for Human Rights and others.
The Cooperation Committee participants discussed topical issues on trade and investment, development of energy and transport, environmental protection and regional cooperation. Both sides also discussed questions of joint efforts in countering new threats and the enforcement of human rights. Separately, the implementation of the updated EU Strategy for Central Asia and the outcome of the European Union – Central Asia Conference held in Astana in December 2015 were considered.
Mr. Vassilenko stated: “Performing before the diplomatic corps a few days ago, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev emphasized that the Agreement on expanded partnership and cooperation with our largest investment and trade partner, the European Union, will be the framework for trade turnover increase and European investment attraction. Therefore special attention was paid to the prospects of performance of the Agreement in trade, economic and other spheres “.
Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister states nuclear disarmament priorities in Geneva
4th March 2016 – Kazakh Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexey Volkov has voiced the priorities and the objectives of Kazakhstan in the field of global nuclear disarmament and human rights in Geneva.
Between February 29th – March 2nd, Mr. Volkov made a working visit to Geneva to take part in the high-level segment of the UN Council on Human Rights (UNHRC) and the Conference on Disarmament (CD). During his speech at the Conference on Disarmament, he presented Kazakhstan’s position on topical issues on the agenda and stressed that the forum had a high potential to make a great contribution to the disarmament process.
Speaking about the resolution of UNGA on the Universal Declaration of the world free of nuclear weapons adopted by the initiative of the President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Deputy Minister stressed that the declaration, supported by the majority of UN member states, was an important step towards the adoption of legally binding international instruments for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
He then informed the participants about the ATOM Project, whose mission is to provide global public support for the final abolition of nuclear weapons testing be means of the entry into force of the Comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty (CTBT) and the complete elimination of nuclear weapons by all countries.
Kazakh Side-event at UN Headquarters promotes initiatives within the UN Agenda
2nd March 2016 – To mark the Anniversary of Kazakhstan’s accession to the United Nations on March 2nd 1992, and to promote Kazakhstan`s bid for the non-permanent seat for the UN Security Council for 2017-2018 as well as other initiatives within UN Agenda, a thematic side-event was held by the Kazakh Permanent Mission in the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations Kairat Abdrakhmanov introduced a report on practical measures of the Government to develop economy and infrastructure of Astana as a driving force of the region and Kazakhstan.
A full report and pictures of the side-event can be found here.
President Nazarbayev Congratulates Kazakh People on Day of Gratitude
1st March 2016 – President Nursultan Nazarbayev congratulated the people of Kazakhstan with the Day of Gratitude celebrated in the nation for the first time on March 1st. His proposal to establish the celebration was delivered at the 2015 session of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (APK) and received wide public support.
“At the event, representatives of the country’s various ethnic groups broached the subject of gratitude to each other and to the Kazakh people. In January of this year, I signed a corresponding decree. Now, along with other celebrations like Labour Day and Family Day, the Day of Gratitude is a new date on the national calendar. I am convinced that this holiday will further strengthen trust, harmony and friendship in our society, which are greatly needed at this present time,” he said.
Nazarbayev noted many pages of the country’s history are related to gratitude as one of the highest moral values: “In the tragic years of political repressions and deportations of the 20th century, millions of people were grateful to each other for help and support. This gave strength and ability to survive to people deprived of everything, to regain hope and rebuild their lives”.
Over 100 Countries Gather in Astana to Prepare for Expo 2017
29th February 2016 – Nearly 300 representatives from over 100 countries invited to participate in Expo 2017 in Astana gathered last Wednesday in the Kazakh capital for a preparatory meeting for the major international event, with which Kazakhstan hopes to consolidate itself as a regional power in Central Asia.
A total of 75 countries have confirmed their attendance at Expo 2017 ‘Future Energy’, an event during which Kazakhstan will showcase how far it has advanced since gaining independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
“This year we celebrate 25 years since our independence and we can see what we have achieved in that time. Since then, we have entered the club of the 50 most developed countries in the world and our goal is to be among the top 30,” Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister and Commissioner of Expo 2017, Rapil Zhoshybayev, told EFE.
Countries that have already confirmed their presence at the international exposition in Astana include Russia, China, Japan and a number of European nations, such as Germany, France, Hungary and Switzerland.
EXPO 2017 is a ‘Dialogue of the International Community,’ Says BIE Chief
26th February 2016 – International officials have deemed Kazakhstan’s preparations for Astana’s EXPO 2017 event to be well on track, in terms of the construction of facilities and the removal of hurdles for travel and participation.
Bureau of International Exhibitions (BIE) Secretary-General Vicente Loscertales, EXPO 2017 China Commissioner General and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade Vice Chairman Wang Jinzhen, French EXPO 2017 Commissioner Pascal Lorot and Astana EXPO 2017 Secretariat head Ayan Yerenov took part in a briefing on February 25th in Astana’s Central Communications Service, at the conclusion of the International Participants Meeting the day before.
Mr. Loscertales stated that 75 countries and 14 international organisations have already confirmed their involvement in the event, with more countries expected to join soon. Mr. Yerenov noted the countries from the list of top renewable energy producers, such as China, France, Germany, Britain, India, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and others, have confirmed their presence. “Now we are actively negotiating with Belgium, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and the United States on their possible participation in the event,” he added.
Kazakh Parliamentary Delegation attends OSCE PA session
26th February 2016 – The delegation of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, headed by Chairman of the Senate Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, is taking part in the winter session of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in Vienna.
Speaking at the opening of the winter session, Mr. Tokayev presented Kazakhstan’s position on the most topical issues of the OSCE activity. He emphasized the critical importance of the Minsk agreements and, in particular, the set of measures aimed at the settlement of the crisis in Ukraine. The speaker expressed support for the idea of creating within the OSCE PA the Liaison Group on Ukraine.
Senate Speaker stressed the timeliness of the OSCE Astana Declaration’s principle of common and indivisible security in the conditions of growing threat of terrorism, the situation in the Middle East and the migration crisis. He urged the OSCE to promote confidence between states in the interests of global security, as well as to join forces in order to create, on the proposal of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, a worldwide network of anti-terrorism.
Mr. Tokayev invited the OSCE PA deputies to attend the parliamentary conference with the participation of representatives of world and traditional religions themed “Religions against terrorism” which will be held in Astana on May 31, 2016.
India Signs Agreement on Participation in EXPO 2017
12th February 2016 – A Kazakh delegation headed by the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, EXPO 2017 Commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev paid a visit to the Republic of India this week.
In New Delhi, Zhoshybayev held meetings with Additional Secretary of External Affairs of India Ajay Gondane, Chairman of the India Trade Promotion Organisation, Commissioner of the Indian National Section in EXPO 2017 L. Goyal and representatives of Indian business circles.
At the Ministry of External Affairs, the sides discussed the state and prospects of bilateral cooperation in all directions. Zhoshybayev presented a letter of appreciation on behalf of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed to President of India Pranab Kumar Mukherjee for the support of Kazakhstan’s bid to secure a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018.
President of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly praises Kazakhstan
12th February 2016 – Ambassador of Kazakhstan Galymzhan Koishybayev met today with President of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Ilkka Kanerva in Helsinki.
The Kazakh diplomat informed President Kanerva about the preparation process to the upcoming early elections to the Mazhilis of the Parliament and local representative bodies, scheduled for March 20. Koishybayev underlined readiness of Kazakhstan to hold open and transparent elections in compliance with internal legislation and international standards of the election process. It was particularly noted that transparency and openness of the elections would be ensured by the institution of the international observers. In this regard, Kazakhstan expects their active participation in the monitoring of the elections.
The President of the Parliamentary Assembly praised Kazakhstan as a responsible and trustful partner which shares the core values of the Organization, as well as Kazakhstan’s contribution during the county’s tenure as the Chair of the OSCE in 2010.
During the talks the Kazakh diplomat introduced to the interlocutor Kazakhstan’s main foreign policy priorities, undergoing institutional reforms within the framework of implementation of the «100 concrete steps» and State of the Nation Address of the President of Kazakhstan «Kazakhstan in a new global reality: Growth. Reforms. Development».
Astana set to host EXPO 2017 Second International Participants Meeting
11th February 2016 – The EXPO 2017 Second International Participants Meeting – a platform for exchanging information among potential and confirmed participants in Astana’s EXPO 2017 event – will be hosted in Astana on February 24 – 25th.
The event will take place at the Palace of Independence and will feature a keynote address from Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov. More than 250 delegates from over 100 countries and international organizations are expected to participate.
For full information and schedule visit the International Participants Meeting website at http://www.ipm2016.kz/en/ To read our Occasional Paper on Kazakhstan’s Green Agenda, and EXPO 2017’s “Future Energy” theme, click here.
Kazakhstan Takes Part in “Responding to Current Challenges in Trafficking in Human Beings” discussion in New York
9th February 2016 – The Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations held an interactive discussion entitled “Responding to Current Challenges in Trafficking in Human Beings”. The Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Ambassador Madina Jarbussynova addressed the participants as the key note speaker.
The event gathered a wide range of representatives of the diplomatic community of the OSCE Participating States, together with the OSCE partner-countries for Cooperation from the Mediterranean and Asian region based in New York. Member States of the UN Group of Friends United Against Human Trafficking were also present. In addition, Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) of the United Nations and Head of the New York Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Ivan Šimonović, as well as a representative of the New York Liaison Office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime were among the other eminent guests.
Jarbussynova reported on the OSCE’s effective and comprehensive work to fight the scourge of human trafficking. In addition, she highlighted the latest findings reflected in the respective reports, as well as shared aims and goals set before the Organization. Šimonović underscored the complex issues of combating trafficking in human beings in the context of the deeply aggravated current situation of bloody conflicts and consequent mass forced displacement.
Cooperation between Kazakhstan and ESCAP Intensifies Significantly
The meeting focused on the intensification of cooperation between Kazakhstan and ESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific). In 2014, with the assistance of ESCAP, Kazakhstan extended support to 12 countries in the Pacific region to promote biogas-based renewable energy. In addition, last year the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan and ESCAP signed a memorandum on the joint implementation of sustainable development priorities within the Green Bridge Partnership Programme.
The parties also discussed the implementation of the initiative of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to establish an international UN center for the development of “green technologies and investment projects” in Astana, based on the infrastructure of EXPO 2017.
“I am convinced that the participation of ESCAP and its member states in the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana will make a significant contribution to solving the problem of global climate change, which is one of the key conditions for sustainable development, poverty reduction and ensuring socio-economic well-being of all countries in the region,” Idrissov said.
UN Under-Secretary-General Akhtar visited Kazakhstan to prepare for the 72th session of ESCAP, which will be held on May 15-19, 2016 in Bangkok and devoted to the development of Central Asia and landlocked countries. The event will be held as part of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals until 2030.
Kazakhstan sees “brilliant” future as Iran’s partner in Euro-Asian zone
9th February 2016 – Kazakhstan sees a “brilliant” future as Iran’s partner in the Euro-Asian market, with the two economies “ready to open up all possibilities” together, according to Central Asian officials on a trade mission to Tehran.
A significant Kazakh delegation, led by Investment and Development Minister Asset Issekeshev, has been involved in a number of meetings with Iranian authorities and businessmen.
“We’re here because we want to take advantage of opportunities for our companies. During the visit, we’ve spoken about how we’re all open and interested in expanding our capacities. We’re two relatively large economies in which there is still much room to develop,” Almas Aidarov, vice president for Kazakhstan’s Agency for Foreign Direct Investment and the delegation’s No. 2 figure, told EFE.
In addition, during the economic and political meetings, officials from both countries discussed “the opening of the Euro-Asian market”, where “Kazakhstan can be one step whereby the Iranians may enter that market and vice versa,” Aidarov added. According to the Kazakh official, these possibilities are opening up now that the ending of sanctions against Iran has created “a new scenario” for the region, an issue that “is of interest to everyone.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Yavad Zarif acknowledged the role that Astana can play in facilitating the nuclear pact, which he called “constructive,” emphasizing the strong bilateral relations between the two nations.
“Kazakhstan a Strong Contender for UNSC Seat” – Dr Shahid Qureshi
9th February 2016 – Senior Independent British journalist and academic Dr. Shahid Qureshi has named Kazakhstan a “strong contender for a UNSC Seat”, during a round-table discussion concerning the country’s bid at Cambridge University.
Dr. Qureshi emphasized Kazakhstan’s key geo-strategic position between Russia and China, praised its ability to preserve its cultural identity and recalled Kazakhstan’s experience in chairing the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), consisting of 54 Islamic countries, in 2011. He stated that Kazakhstan could count on the support of OIC member states to gain membership to the UN Security Council.
The round-table, moderated by Dr. Shailaja Fennel of Cambridge University, was attended by over 25 participants, consisting of university students, members of academia and international experts. Speakers included Gani Bekenov, from the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the United Kingdom, who added that if elected, Kazakhstan will maintain a balanced and consistent foreign policy in line with the UN goals and collective security approach.
US and Kazakhstan developing program of military cooperation
3rd February 2016 – Kazakhstan and the United States have drafted a project of bilateral military cooperation for 2016-2017, Kazakhstan’s Defence Ministry has reported.
“Among main directions in which Kazakh-US relations in the military sphere will develop in the next two years will be peacekeeping activities, helping in training armed forces, as well as military education,” the Defence Ministry said, adding that the document was the result of a three-day meeting between the working group of coordinating officers from the armed forces of the two countries.
In particular, the Ministry noted that “it is planned to improve education methods in Kazakhstan’s institutions, to contribute to development of sergeant corps. Work will also continue in learning languages”.
Kazakh Delegation Attends African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government
3rd February 2016 – A Kazakh delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yerzhan Ashikbayev, took part as an observer country in the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in the capital of Ethiopia Addis Ababa between January 27 – 31st 2016.
This event was dedicated to the issues of sustainable development in Africa and the realization of the African Union Agenda 2063. The Summit participants discussed the issues of economic and investment cooperation in the African continent, provision of regional security, promotion of human rights and migration policy. Particular attention was paid to the aspects of gender equality and to the outcomes of work in 2015 regarding women empowerment issues.
The Kazakh delegation, together with UNDP, organized a Special Event dedicated to the strengthening of South – South Cooperation for implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Africa. Foreign Ministers of African countries and heads of international organizations were among the participants of the event.
In his speech Yerzhan Ashikbayev informed the guests about recent achievements of Kazakhstan and its contribution to the implementation of SDG and South – South global cooperation program. The initiatives of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, voiced during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, were emphasized, as well as Kazakhstan’s campaign bid for a seat on the UN Security Council for 2017 – 2018 and EXPO 2017 in Astana.