Kairat Abdrakhmanov. History Lessons and Focus on Pragmatism

Kairat ABDRAKHMANOV,

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan

History Lessons and Focus on Pragmatism

This October, head of state Nursultan Nazarbayev made an annual State of the Nation Address titled “Growing Welfare of Kazakh Citizens: Increase in Income and Quality of Life."

In his address, the President stressed that “in the context of difficult modern conditions, the foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan requires adaptation and promotion of national interests based on the principles of pragmatism," while “proactive" nature and “peaceful vision" remain its key components.

To ensure successful implementation of the Address provisions, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs optimises the activities of the diplomatic service agencies, intensifies the promotion of Kazakhstan to big international organisations, continues to build mutually beneficial cooperation with regional and international partners and strengthens interaction with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as part of fulfilling the task to join this high-profile organisation.

The Foreign Ministry has already begun to improve work in the field of economic diplomacy by developing a proactive foreign trade strategy for promoting domestic products to foreign markets. In addition, the attraction of foreign capital and advanced technologies to non-resource-based sectors of the economy is still crucial for foreign economic activity.

There are plans to bring cooperation with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to a new level, especially taking into account the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in June 2020 in Astana.

Within the roadmap for cooperation with the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC), the foreign office assists the AIFC in establishing business relations with counterparties.

Active work will continue with other concerned state agencies to turn Kazakhstan into a Eurasian transport and logistics hub connecting the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Europe, the Middle East and South and East Asia.

In order to support tourism and business contacts, the visa regime is being liberalised for foreign citizens and a favourable visa regime is being created for our citizens.

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The history of Kazakhstan is a powerful unifying factor for our people, a source of inspiration for all citizens. Leader of the Nation Nursultan Nazarbayev, in his fundamental article titled “Seven Facets of the Great Steppe," sagely calls on the society to respect and study history, to draw lessons from the past. After all, the chronicle of any nation is full of heroism, victories and tragedies; it must be taken for what it is. This requires a scientific approach.

This fully applies to the history of relations between our people and the outside world – the near and far abroad. PresidentNazarbayev settled all territorial issues of Kazakhstan with neighbouring countries, established friendship and strategic partnerships with neighbouring countries and major powers and built a system of mutually beneficial regional economic cooperation. It is the lessons of history that prompt Kazakhstan to take a proactive and decisive position in international issues: global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, strengthening political trust and cooperation at the international level, resolving conflicts and crises and promoting transnational economic projects.

“Seven Facets of the Great Steppe" is addressed not only to the Kazakh people, but also to the wider international community – academia, historians, people of culture and art, specialists in the field of museum and archival affairs and journalists. The President urges the world community to take part in studying the cultural and historical heritage of the steppe civilisation.

The Foreign Ministry will be directly involved in the implementation of projects for the modernisation of historical consciousness set forth by the head of state, since they all are of international importance. The Foreign Ministry and embassies of Kazakhstan will provide the necessary assistance to our researchers in working with the largest foreign archives. “Great Names of the Great Steppe" – our great ancestors who are known, respected and honoured in different parts of the Earth. Our task is to strengthen their memory, to promote the study and perpetuation of their heritage. Together with domestic and foreign scientists, a lot of work has to be done to organise the World Turkology Congress in 2019 in Astana and to study Turkic history in general. Diplomats are ready to take part in museum and cinematographic projects, the translation of steppe folklore anthologies into foreign languages and promoting our ancient art and technology in the global arena.

These projects will strengthen and enrich our cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), the humanitarian dimension of the CIS, Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States (CCTS) and other organisations.

We will also keep the practice of holding well-reputed thematic cultural press tours to Kazakhstan by foreign media and bloggers as part of the Rukhani Zhangyru (Modernisation of Kazakhstan) programme.

We believe that this great work, initiated by the head of state, will certainly contribute to strengthening the international standing of our country and the mutual connectivity and enrichment of cultures of the modern world.

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1) CSTO Collective Security Council session with restricted attendance. Astana Nov. 8, 2018;

2) XV Inter-Regional Cooperation Forum of Kazakhstan and Russia. Petropavlovsk (Kazakhstan), Nov. 9, 2018; 3) Opening ceremony of the International Technology Park of IT start-ups Astana Hub. Astana, Nov. 6, 2018.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, the foreign policy field was quite rich in events of high significance for our diplomacy with the participation of the head of state. The winter issue of our journal opens with a series of articles on Kazakh-Russian relations. Our countries have once again compared notes between the leaders and outlined new areas for cooperation within the 15th Kazakhstan-Russia Interregional Cooperation Forum, held on Nov. 9 in Petropavlovsk.

In November, Astana hosted the Summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) under the chairpersonship of Kazakhstan, where international and regional security issues were reviewed, the results of the Organisation's chairpersonship were summed up and future plans were outlined as part of passing the baton to Kyrgyzstan.

In the context of the upcoming official events at the highest level in 2019, readers will be presented with an exclusive article by Minister of External (Foreign) Affairs of India Sushma Swaraj on the strategic nature of India-Kazakhstan interstate relations, new horizons of cooperation and long-standing traditions of friendship between the peoples of our two countries.

In December, Kazakhstan will complete its first in history, two-year non-permanent membership in the main UN body – the Security Council, which we chaired this January. This unique experience has greatly enriched our diplomacy and brought it to a new professional level. United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Miroslav Jenča shared his opinion on the work done by Kazakhstan in an exclusive interview.

A great achievement for our activities in the Security Council was the adoption by the United Nations in November of the Code of Conduct towards Achieving a World Free of Terrorism proposed by President Nazarbayev at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2015. UN Under-Secretary-General, head of the Counter-Terrorism Office Vladimir Voronkov writes in his article on the importance of counter-terrorism activities and the significance of the Code.

In early November, the international community reaffirmed the relevance of the Universal Declaration on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World, first adopted in 2015 on the initiative of Kazakhstan, by a relevant UNGA resolution.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Adela Raz talks on the pages of the journal about Kazakh-Afghan relations that have reached a new level of bilateral and multilateral cooperation in recent years.

Of significance was the opening ceremony of the Astana Hub International Technology Park of IT Start-ups held on the EXPO 2017 territory on Nov. 6 with the participation of President Nazarbayev. Its main goal is the development of a start-up culture in the country and the support of high-tech projects to strengthen the economy. The Diplomatic Herald plans to talk about the first results of the technology park's activities in its following issues.

Along with the above-mentioned topics, the magazine also reveals other important themes, including the importance of the Aktau Convention on the Caspian Sea, characteristics of the development of the business environment and investment attractiveness of Kazakhstan and analysis of the activities of the new project office titled Protecting Business and Investments, as well as a number of articles commemorating our distinguished fellow diplomats.

Created at : 21.12.2018, 10:15, Updated at : 21.12.2018, 10:15