Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan
The Diplomatic Herald of Kazakhstan in the New Season
The beginning of 2018 was very eventful in Kazakhstan's foreign policy thanks to the active work of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in promoting our country's international positions, strengthening global and regional security and increasing trade and economic ties with the countries of the world.
Against an active foreign policy background, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs resumes the publication of the Diplomatic Herald Journal, which now has a new concept, format and design. Founded in 1996, the journal remains committed to its fundamental purpose – to provide relevant and competent journalistic information on the foreign policy of Kazakhstan.
The periodical of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry will include not only the publication of the official opinion of Astana, but also articles by politicians, diplomats and experts of our country and from abroad. We hope that the journal will become an important platform for the development of foreign policy thinking in Kazakhstan.
In his new book “The Era of Independence," the President interconnects the future of Kazakhstan with the future of the continent and the world. “It is possible to promote ideas of peace and harmony in our foreign policy only because these ideas have prevailed in the domestic policy... The foreign policy of our state is fully oriented to the main goal – the national development and improvement of the social welfare of Kazakhstan. Accordingly, in the new circumstances I gave the following instruction: Kazakhstan's foreign policy must be as modernised as the domestic policy," emphasises Nazarbayev.
In the new phase, the head of state determines the foreign policy as pragmatic and proactive; it means to be consistently focused on national interests and to stay one step ahead. According to Nazarbayev, this kind of proactive diplomacy would be essential for the success of the Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy and joining the 30 most developed countries in the world.
In this vein, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sees its role in the implementation of the tasks given in the Annual State of the Nation Address of the President, “New opportunities for development in the context of the fourth industrial revolution." The main provisions of that document form the basis of the economic diplomacy of Kazakhstan at the new stage. This means bringing foreign investments and innovative technologies to the priority sectors of the economy and the promotion of domestic goods on foreign markets. We will focus on international cooperation in the sphere of digitalisation of the manufacturing, transport and logistics sectors and the modernisation of the agro-industry.
The ministry will continue implementing digital technologies into the diplomatic service of Kazakhstan, including the improvement of electronic document management, consular services and transition to electronic processing of visas. The Foreign Ministry will also implement projects using multimedia technologies to promote Kazakh literature, art and stage art.
This and other initiatives will be discussed in the current and subsequent issues of the Diplomatic Herald.
The Five Social Initiatives put forward by the President on March 5 during his speech in the Parliament have been highly appraised by the international community. We are talking about new mortgage lending, reducing the tax burden for low-paid citizens, improving the affordability and the quality of higher education, expanding microcredit and further gasification of the country.
These social measures will create new incentives for economic development, strengthen the middle class, and increase the human potential of our country. A large-scale infrastructure initiative on the main gas pipeline installation will facilitate the development of sustainable energy and ecology in Central Kazakhstan, which corresponds to one of the priorities – energy security – our country campaigned on and was subsequently elected to the UN Security Council. It is also important that the initiatives of President Nazarbayev fully correspond to the Agenda for Sustainable Development for the period until 2030 approved by world leaders at the United Nations historic anniversary summit in September 2015. New projects will require attracting international experience, investment, expertise and technologies. Therefore, the Foreign Ministry will be actively involved in the implementation of the President's initiatives.
As for the contents of the first issue of the journal for 2018, it largely reflects the dynamics of Kazakhstan's foreign policy in the beginning of the year. This period has undoubtedly been marked by the successful official visit of the head of state to the United States of America. The Joint Statement by Presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev and Donald Trump has introduced a new term into the political lexicon of Kazakh-American relations – “enhanced strategic partnership." Substantive talks at the White House have strengthened the trustworthy and pragmatic nature of our relations and contributed to the increase of trade and investment cooperation.
In January, for the first time ever, Kazakhstan chaired the United Nations Security Council and, according to UN member states and experts, demonstrated very fruitful and effective leadership in this important body. We actively promoted the Central Asian agenda and drew particular attention to the situation in Afghanistan. The main event of Kazakhstan's presidency was the thematic briefing held on Jan. 18 on “Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Confidence-Building Measures" under the chairpersonship of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Among important events in 2018 we can note Kazakhstan's chairmanship of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation that will be discussed in a separate article describing its main priorities and objectives.
In this issue we cannot ignore the 25th anniversary of Kazakhstan's diplomatic relations with most countries of the world. Last year and this year are particularly eventful thanks to this important date. During the years of independence, our country has established diplomatic relations with 183 countries and just recently we celebrated the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the European Union, which have been special in Kazakhstan's foreign policy.
An important track in the development of the international diplomacy of Kazakhstan has been the eight rounds of talks on military dimension within the Astana Process on Syria held with the support and direct participation of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. It is time to sum up the results of the Astana Platform and to assess its future prospects.
Along with the above relevant topics of this publication, the journal also raises other important and interesting issues, including the current status of our policy in the field of nuclear security, the role of the Institute of Diplomacy in training professional staff, development of digital diplomacy, activities of the Association of Kazakhstan Diplomats and the historical significance and heritage of the 125th anniversary of the first Soviet Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Nazir Torekulov.
I hope that the updated journal, which is published in the Kazakh, Russian and English languages, will be interesting both for our contemporaries and future generations of readers following the foreign policy of independent Kazakhstan.