Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Changes through Continuity
Inauguration of President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev,
Nur-Sultan, June 12, 2019. Akorda.kz
I am happy to welcome the readers of the summer issue of the Diplomatic Herald. The past quarter will be remembered for its rich political agenda, international events and festive dates.
As you know, one of the most important events of this year took place on June 9 – the early elections of the President of Kazakhstan, which aroused great interest from the international community and received a wide response in the media. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs accredited a record number of international media representatives to cover the elections – more than 220 journalists from 40 countries.
On June 12, in his inaugural speech, President-elect Kassym-Jomart Tokayev thanked all Kazakh citizens for expressing their high confidence and noted the special role of the First President of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev as the founder of modern Kazakh statehood.
Kasym-Jomart Tokayev stressed the importance of continuing the strategic programs and initiatives of Elbasy and outlined ten key areas of his political course: 1) increase of income and welfare of the population; 2) effective anti-corruption; 3) judicial and legal reform; 4) increase of wages and creation of new jobs; 5) solution to the housing issue; 6) fair social policy; 7) development of regions; 8) implementation of the Rukhani Zhangyru program; 9) balanced and multi-vector foreign policy; 10) support of the youth.
A National Council of Public Trust will be established to ensure dialogue between the authorities and society, which will include representatives of the whole society, including young people.
As a result of the elections, Kazakh citizens have demonstrated the importance of continuity of a sustainable political course and further economic reforms for the future development of the country.
Continuity is also maintained in our foreign policy, which is based on the principles of peace, multi-vector approach, pragmatism and compliance with all international obligations.
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I congratulate the entire Kazakh diplomatic corps on the professional holiday of the Diplomatic Service of Kazakhstan, which is celebrated annually on July 2!
During the years of independence, our Diplomatic Service has acquired vast experience in international affairs, formed the tradition and identity of Kazakhstan's diplomacy, trained highly professional staff, created a positive image of Kazakhstan on the world stage, built a wide network of diplomatic missions of Kazakhstan abroad, established mutually beneficial and friendly relations with all our international partners.
At the same time, the balanced and pragmatic foreign policy of Kazakhstan, built by Elbasy, has become a strong foundation for our statehood, a valuable contribution to the security of the region and the world, as well as a subject for analysis by international experts.
On July 6 we will also celebrate the Day of the Capital of Kazakhstan – Nur-Sultan. Renamed in honor of Elbasy, the city can rightly be called his creation. It was the First President of Kazakhstan who inspired people to establish a uniquely beautiful and innovative capital in the heart of Eurasia and personally participated in the creation of its architectural ensemble. In this regard, we can draw interesting historical parallels with the capital of the United States of America, Washington D.C. The first popularly elected President of the United States, George Washington, also personally supervised the planning and construction of the city blocks of the capital along the Potomac River, and later the U.S. Congress put forward a proposal to name the city in honor of George Washington during his tenure.
Today, Nur-Sultan has become a symbol of an independent Kazakhstan, a magnet of new ideas, human capital, investment, advanced technology, a venue for the OIC, SCO, CICA, OSCE, EAEU summits, a platform for regional and international leaders, leaders of world and traditional religions, participants of the Syrian talks, politicians, experts, scientists, Nobel laureates, representatives of the business elite at the Astana Economic Forum, AIFC, Astana Hub, EXPO 2017, etc.
This season the journal has created a new design and texture, and its printed version for the first time utilizes advanced digital technology. We try to keep the Diplomatic Herald in the forefront of current events in the field of international relations, foreign policy, economic diplomacy and trends in modern society. All of this is symbolically in harmony with the transition of Kazakhstan to a new political era and to a new level of development.
During the last quarter, three key summits were held in the region: the Summit of the Eurasian Economic Union in Nur-Sultan on May 29, the Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan) on June 13 and the Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia in Dushanbe on June 15 (Tajikistan).
At the anniversary summit of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in Nur-Sultan on May 29, with the participation of Elbasy and the President of Kazakhstan, as well as leaders of EAEU member states, Moldova (observer country) and Tajikistan (guest of honor), the participants made a historic decision to award Nursultan Nazarbayev the title of “Honorary President of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council". This was a recognition of his “major role and personal contribution to the creation, development and strengthening of the Eurasian Economic Union."
Today, the progress of cooperation within the EAEU is the result of not onlyintra-union integration, but also of enhanced cooperation with third countries and associations. A comprehensive article on the assessments of the activities of the Eurasian Union and the results of the anniversary Summit is presented by Deputy Foreign Minister Marat Syzdykov.
In recent years, the influence and standing of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in the international arena has increased significantly. The Organisation has strengthened four strong pillars to deepen integration: security, digitalisation, economy, cultural and humanitarian cooperation. At the same time, as noted by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the SCO Summit on June 13 in Bishkek, today it is also “necessary to increase the international competitiveness of the Organisation by establishing fully fledged relations with key multilateral structures of Eurasia, such as the EAEU, ASEAN, BRICS and the EU" as part of the initiative of the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on “Three Dialogues".
SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov discusses the Organisation's activities, its place and role in modern international realities in an exclusive and informative interview.
The Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), held in Dushanbe on June 15 under the chairmanship of Tajikistan, demonstrated the unity of the participating countries in the need forconstructive dialogue in all key and sensitive areas of cooperation: combatting terrorism, trade wars, overcoming the crisis of confidence in the world, illegal migration, human capital development and others.
At the Summit, the President of Kazakhstan stressed that “the idea proposed in 1992 at the UN by Nursultan Nazarbayev to hold the Conference marked a new milestone in the history of the Asian continent." Today, CICA is the largest international dialogue platform in Asia, bringing together 27 countries of the region to discuss a broad agenda. The head of state also proposed to create a special fund to finance CICA projects and programs in order to expand practical cooperation in all key areas of the Conference.
The last three months also marked a new level of relations between the European Union and the Central Asian countries thanks to the new regional strategy adopted by the European Union on May 15. At the same time, we are about to enforce the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA) between Kazakhstan and the EU, which will deepen cooperation in the 29 areas of cooperation covered in the Agreement. Moreover, the official visit of the President of the European Council Donald Tusk to Kazakhstan on May 31 opened “a new chapter in the dialogue between Nur-Sultan and Brussels," according to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Overall, the relations with the European Union at both regional and bilateral levels are gaining momentum. In his exclusive article for the journal, the European Union's Special Representative for Central Asia, Peter Burian, shares the European perspective on the ongoing changes.
In addition, in an exclusive interview, former Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, Staffan de Mistura, presents an authoritative opinion on peacekeeping, the Syrian crisis and the Astana process.
Traditionally, a number of articles are devoted to the topic of economic diplomacy. In particular, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made consistent effort to strengthen investment attraction and export potential. Interim results and further plans of this work are reflected in the article by Deputy Foreign Minister Yermek Kosherbayev.
A series of articles on the Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) continues. This issue presents the activities of the AIFC Court in an article by its Chief Justice Lord Harry Woolf CH.
In an exclusive interview, Managing Director of Astana EXPO-2017 JSC Ruslan Zhemkov shares his views on the main annual business event in Kazakhstan and the region – the 12th Astana Economic Forum, its organisation and results.
Along with the above topics, the journal also presents the experience of the United States for Kazakhstan in strengthening economic diplomacy, the prospects of Kazakhstan's exports to Africa, the cooperation of our country with South Korea in the field of innovation and investment, the contribution of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of Kazakhstan in establishing a professional civil service and the development of social networks in the virtual space of Kazakhstan.
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