The Foreign Policy Concept of the Republic of Kazakhstan (hereinafter – the Concept) has been developed based on the directions, set forth in the Strategy Kazakhstan-2050 Address to the people of Kazakhstan by President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (hereinafter – Strategy 2050). This strategy represents a system of fundamental views on the principles, approaches, aims, priorities and tasks of foreign policy for the Republic of Kazakhstan.
1. Vision for the development of the foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has entered the third decade of its independence as an established and stable state with a dynamically developing economy and clearly set foreign policy priorities.
The increased participation of Kazakhstan in world affairs can be seen by the rising role and strengthening international reputation of the state, its increased regional weight and importance for the world financial institutions and global economy.
Facing the current realities, the foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan requires modernization and promotion of the national interests on the basis of principles of pragmatism. This process is influenced by a range of internal and external factors.
Among the important internal factors are cardinal changes in the political and socio-economic development of Kazakhstan, completion of our transformational stage and turning towards a new strategy of long-term sustainable development until 2050.
External factors include the need to overcome the world financial-economic crisis, intensified conflicts and current problems of humanity, emergence of qualitatively new geopolitical and geo-economic situation on regional and global scale.
Goals of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy
With due account of Kazakhstan’s national interests, our main foreign policy efforts will be focused on achieving the following goals:
1) Measures that will ensure national security, defense capacity, sovereignty and territorial unity of the country;
2) strengthening peace through regional and global security;
3) sustainable international position and positive global image of Kazakhstan;
4) establishment of fair and democratic world order under the guiding and coordinating role of the United Nations Organization (UN);
5) further integration into the system of regional and global trade-economic relations;
6) creation of favorable external conditions for successful implementation of the Strategy 2050; providing high living standards for the population; strengthening unity of the multi-national society; reinforcing rule of law and democratic institutions; protection of human rights and freedoms;
7) diversification, industrial-technological development and increased competitiveness of the national economy;
8) focusing the country onto the “green” development path and bringing it to the list of the 30 top-developed nations of the world;
9) saving the national-cultural uniqueness and following own original way of the state development;
10) protection of the rights of personal, family and business interests of citizens and legal entities of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
11) support to Kazakh diaspora and Kazakh language overseas.
Priorities and tasks of the Kazakhstan foreign policy
1. Kazakhstan is interested in a politically stable, economically sustainable and safe development of Central Asia.
Acknowledging its responsibility and the role in the region, Kazakhstan will exert every effort to provide regional stability and security and take action against new challenges and threats, including those originating from neighboring territories.
Kazakhstan will strive to develop intra-regional integration in Central Asia with the purpose of diminishing conflict potential, solving social-economic problems, and tackling water-energy issues and other considerations.
As a final goal, transformation of the region into a unique area of the international politics and economy is envisioned.
2. Viewing Eurasian economic integration as an effective tool for promotion of a sustainable position in the modern world, Kazakhstan will strengthen the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space in order to build the Eurasian Economic Union on its basis.
During the course of implementing the process the following principles will be observed: inviolability of the political sovereignty, economic rationalization of the decisions, gradual approach, pragmatism and mutual benefit, equal representativeness of parties in all integration organs and consensus at all levels of collaboration.
3. Kazakhstan will continue the work leading to completion of the international legal formalization of the state borders, as well as defining of the legal status of the Caspian Sea and establishment of stable and amiable relations between the littoral states, based on the universally accepted principles and norms of the international law.
4. Kazakhstan, being a responsible UN member, a member of Commonwealth of Independent States, Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, Collective Security Organization, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Council Cooperation of Turkic speaking States, and other international organizations and forums, envisions the following tasks within those organizations:
1) ensuring protection of national interests in the process of development and making decisions of regional and global character in various spheres;
2) constructive participation and contribution to regional and global security;
3) promotion of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy initiatives;
4) establishment of optimal and mutually acceptable ways of cooperation between regional and international organizations and forums in order to provide stability and security in the region;
5) advancement of political – legal and organizational – administrative functions of regional and global organizations in order to increase effectiveness of their work.
Kazakhstan participates solely in those regional and international organizations, whose activities respond to its national interests and bring practical benefit.
5. In the process of fulfillment the task on strengthening regional and global security, Kazakhstan:
1) develops amiable and predictable relations with all countries in the world and the alliances they forge;
2) is committed to aims and tasks of the UN Charter and accepts the fundamental meaning of the principle of supremacy of law for the political dialogue and cooperation between the states;
3) acts towards resolution of regional and international conflicts according to existing internationally-accepted negotiating formats. Kazakhstan’s position is based on fundamental UN principles on defending sovereignty and territorial unity of states within their internationally-accepted borders, search for peaceful resolution of contradictory issues on the basis of observing the terms of the documents on crises resolution and most importantly, in the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;
4) puts all efforts to achieving the world order free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction; participates in development of multilateral mechanisms for a comprehensive ban and destruction of such weapons, as well as in creation of zones free of nuclear weapons;
5) consistently opposes any arms race, creation and deployment of new weapons, including in space;
6) supports international efforts to combat illicit arms trafficking;
7) in cooperation with other countries on a bilateral and multilateral basis, takes resolute measures to counter terrorism, extremism, illicit narcotics trafficking, psychotropic substances and their precursors, human trafficking and illegal migration, organized crime and corruption;
8) will continue working on ensuring international information security and combating cyber-terrorism.
6. In order to implement the priorities of the foreign economic policy, Kazakhstan:
1) participates in regional and global integration processes in order to exploit the economic and resource, transit - transport and export potential of the country, as well as to create conditions for the safe development of the national economy and its attractiveness for investment. In this context, an important priority is to join the World Trade Organization on favorable terms;
2) within the course of industrial-innovative development, expands international cooperation in order to attract investments and advanced technologies to the priority sectors of the national economy, and promote its diversification and technological modernization, and rising its competitiveness;
3) ensures full-scale participation of the country in international economic organizations and financial institutions and promotes Kazakhstan’s national interests within them;
4) develops economic and trade diplomacy, provides diplomatic means to promote and protect Kazakhstan’s governmental interests and its citizens abroad, creates favorable conditions for the expansion of Kazakhstan's business and export products to traditional and new global markets;
5) participates in formation of a fair global financial system, which would create equal opportunities for development of all countries;
6) actively works towards promotion of the Astana Economic Forum and international initiatives created on its basis;
7) contributes to international efforts to ensure regional and global food security;
8) continues to contribute to regional and global energy security. Promotes protection of the balance of interests of producers, transit countries and consumers of energy resources, and creation of diversified, stable and secure export routes;
9) intends to contribute to the efforts of the international community to provide official assistance to international development and establishes a respective national institution.
7. Putting a priority on environmental protection and the protection of global climate, Kazakhstan will:
1) pursue efforts to implement the concept on transition of the country to a "green economy" in order to improve management and efficient use of resources (water, land, biological and other), as well as to raise environmental quality and the population’s welfare. The transition to the "green economy", including the exhibition EXPO 2017, is an important step in achieving Kazakhstan’s goal to become one of the world’s top 30 most developed countries;
2) implement the Astana initiative "Green Bridge", aimed at strengthening the partnership between public and private sectors in Europe, Asia and the Pacific, civil and international organizations to implement programs and plans to promote "green growth";
3) promote initiatives for development and introduction of modern services to create an environmentally sustainable energy supply, including the Global energy and environmental strategy, aimed at finding solutions to the problems of a post-industrial society;
4) continue to improve the legal framework with neighboring countries on the usage and protection of trans-boundary water resources to enhance water security;
5) will continue to cooperate with international organizations and donors to assist in the rehabilitation of the former Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and the Aral Sea, including cooperation within the framework of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea;
6) will continue collaboration with the Caspian Sea’s littoral states on the adoption of the Framework Convention for Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea;
7) will strengthen bilateral and multilateral cooperation on prevention and response to natural and man-made emergency situations.
8. The Republic of Kazakhstan puts a priority on development of the humanitarian dimension of foreign policy. In this regard, Kazakhstan:
1) will strengthen efforts to protect the rights and legitimate interests of Kazakhstan citizens abroad, as well as of the children adopted from Kazakhstan and living abroad;
2) will continue to join multilateral conventions and conclude bilateral agreements aimed at protecting the rights and interests of its citizens abroad, the liberalization of visa procedures and regimes, and combating illegal migration;
3) will continue to sign bilateral agreements on mutual legal assistance in criminal and civil cases and the extradition and transfer of sentenced people;
4) maintain international cooperation and continue work to enter multilateral conventions and bilateral agreements in the field of education, science and culture, tourism and sport, youth policy, and implementation of common research and development projects;
5) will expand international cooperation on development of historical and contemporary information about Kazakhstan;
6) will support development of the Kazakh language and culture in localities with a high density of Kazakh diaspora abroad, and work to promote ties with their historical homeland;
7) interacts with Kazakhstan’s civil society organizations and non-governmental sector in the areas of socio-economic, legal and international cultural and humanitarian development, attracts them to participate in relevant international events;
8) prevents criminal acts of hatred, racial discrimination, Islamophobia, extremism and nationalism;
9) contributes to further development of international, inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue between the East and the West, the North and the South;
10) strengthens and promotes the international role of the Congress of leaders of world and traditional religions as a major platform for inter-faith dialogue. Participates in activities of the Alliance of Civilizations under the auspices of the UN, as well as in other initiatives and forums;
11) will continue efforts to promote diversity in the name of peace and sustainable development within the framework of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures 2013 - 2022, an initiative announced by the United Nations General Assembly based on a proposal of Kazakhstan.
9. Kazakhstan will continue utilizing the potential of parliamentary diplomacy both within multilateral and bilateral inter-parliamentary associations in order to develop political, trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian ties with the world’s inter-parliamentary associations.
10. Kazakhstan will set out its position on major global issues, its own foreign policy initiatives, as well as political, socio-economic, cultural and human development issues in Kazakhstan in a timely and complete manner.
As part of these measures, Kazakhstan uses modern information and communication technologies to complement traditional tools of public diplomacy.
It is important to disclose and communicate Kazakhstan’s goals, priorities, objectives and results of foreign policy activities, as well as international initiatives promoting Kazakhstan in the global arena, within the country.
Kazakhstan’s presentation and communication with international media and audiences is implemented in accordance with the national program “Information Kazakhstan – 2020”.
Country and Regional Priorities
The Republic of Kazakhstan will continue to strengthen relations with Russia in all spheres of political, economic, trade and cultural cooperation on the basis of The Treaty on Good-Neighborliness and Alliance in the XXI century.
The Republic of Kazakhstan will deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership with China within the framework of high level political dialogue to develop energy, investment, technology, trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation, and promote interaction in transit and agricultural sectors, as well as on ecological and environmental issues, including the common use of trans-boundary water resources.
The development of multifaceted relations of the Republic of Kazakhstan with the Central Asian states – the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan – will focus on strengthening regional efforts to jointly counter internal and external challenges and threats, enhancing political, economic and cultural cooperation on a mutually beneficial and parity basis.
The Republic of Kazakhstan will continue to strengthen strategic partnership with the United States, aimed at development of political, trade and economic, investment, energy, science and technology, and humanitarian cooperation, and addressing urgent issues on the international agenda.
The Republic of Kazakhstan will strengthen strategic partnerships with European countries, based on the signed treaties or the treaties under negotiation, as well as relations with European institutions and associations.
Kazakhstan will continue efforts to develop full-scale relations with the European Union – the largest economic, trade and investment partner of Kazakhstan. In addition, Kazakhstan will work towards achieving a new Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, as well as liberalization of visa regime with the prospect of a gradual transition to a visa-free regime for the citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the European Union.
The Republic of Kazakhstan will continue its established and mutually beneficial cooperation with the Republic of Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova, as well as the South Caucasus states – Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, which have an important role in the political, economic and transit interests of our country.
The Republic of Kazakhstan attaches great importance to strengthening comprehensive cooperation with the Republic of Turkey, which is based on the common historical roots and cultural values of the two nations.
The Republic of Kazakhstan intends to strengthen the Asian vector of its foreign policy. Efforts will be focused on enhancing cooperation in trade, investment, economic and technology with the countries of East, South, Southeast Asia, the Asia-Pacific region and their regional associations.
With Japan and South Korea, interaction will focus on attraction of innovative technologies, introduction of energy- and water-saving technologies to Kazakhstan, promoting development of Kazakhstan’s education system in various fields, and strengthening the dialogues "Central Asia plus Japan" and “Central Asia and the Republic of Korea”.
Kazakhstan will continue to support common efforts of the international community towards the national reconciliation and political settlement in Afghanistan, participate in the socio-economic development of Afghanistan, and in the process of eliminating related regional and global security threats.
Cooperation with the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan will be aimed at promoting political, economic and trade relations and cooperation within international organizations.
Kazakhstan will continue pursuing development of long-term, mutually beneficial economic and trade relations with the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Republic of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of Singapore, and the Kingdom of Thailand.
The Republic of Kazakhstan, having close historical and spiritual ties with the states of the Middle East, is interested in stable and sustainable development of this region. Kazakhstan will pursue partnership relations with the states in all areas of mutual interest. We will continue the practice of coordinating common activities and mutual support within the framework of the UN, OIC, CICA and other international organizations.
The Republic of Kazakhstan lays great importance to cooperation with countries of North, Central and South America. In this paper, priority is given to development of trade - economic, investment and humanitarian ties and promotion of common interests in the UN and other international organizations.
The Republic of Kazakhstan will pay attention to expansion of relations with the African continent, to developing political and economic cooperation with African nations and bodies, including the African Union.
Adoption and implementation of the Concept will contribute to:
1) strengthening national, regional and global security;
2) creating a favorable international environment around Kazakhstan, through friendly, equal and mutually beneficial relations with all countries and international organizations;
3) increasing Kazakhstan’s integration into the international community and the world economy;
4) establishing conditions for the economic integration of the states of the region;
5) intensifying international cooperation in cultural, scientific, educational, and other related fields;
6) strengthening the legal protection of the citizens and legal entities of the Republic of Kazakhstan and their personal, family and business interests abroad.
2. Basic principles and General Approaches of Foreign Policy of
The Republic of Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan’s foreign policy is based on the principles of multi-vector, balance, pragmatism, mutual benefit, and solid defense of its national interests.
Kazakhstan stands for equality of all states, consideration of mutual interests and non-interference in the internal affairs of each other, as well as for peace and collective resolutions of international problems and conflicts on the basis of the UN Charter and the rule of international law.
Kazakhstan’s foreign policy is based on the balance of interests in which the principle of differentiated and tiered approach to interaction with foreign countries and international organizations is applied. This ensures the following:
1) the right priorities are established and effort and resources correctly focused;
2) human and financial resources are directed in accordance with political and economic interests and their practical outcomes.
This requires expansion of Kazakhstan's diplomatic presence abroad and prioritizing the location and size of its missions to maximize results.
This concept secures continuity of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, with the new stage of development characterized by a pragmatic and proactive approach.
Pragmatism is reflected in the clear focus of foreign policy on the national interests. It is based on an objective analysis of resources, priorities and how they can be met.
Pro-activity is expressed in the planning and implementation of foreign policy, with ideas and initiatives aimed at shaping the agenda of international relations and making decisions that meet the interests of Kazakhstan.
Mechanisms and tools for implementing the foreign policy
of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Under the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the President determines the main directions of foreign policy of the country and represents Kazakhstan in international relations.
The Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, as the highest representative body of the country, within its constitutional powers, carries out the legislative activity required for ratification and denunciation of international treaties, bringing domestic legislation in line with international obligations of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The Government ensures development of relations between the Republic and foreign states, international and regional organizations and is responsible for implementing the foreign economic policy and financing foreign activities.
Interdepartmental committees and working groups are created to solve specific problems in the field of foreign policy and foreign economic cooperation. Program and plans on implementing the agreements and obligations resulting from international treaties and decisions of intergovernmental commissions are being developed.
The central government body that carries out foreign policy activities is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan (hereinafter - the MFA).
According to the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan of March 7, 2002 "On the diplomatic service of the Republic of Kazakhstan", the MFA is responsible for developing in detail the principal directions of the foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and implements international initiatives of the President, as well as drawing up proposals for the President and the Government, implementing foreign policy and coordinating international activities of the central executive bodies with foreign states and international organizations.
The state bodies of the Republic of Kazakhstan carry out work on the analysis of international treaties and obligations of the Republic of Kazakhstan and develop strategic and tactical approaches for implementation of foreign policy.
The state bodies coordinate this work with the MFA to further develop and introduce concrete proposals by the MFA for consideration by the country's decision making authority.
The state authorities’ domestic policy decisions which could potentially have foreign policy implications must be coordinated with the MFA.
It is important for the overseas offices to provide information on the domestic and foreign policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, to work with representatives of state administration bodies, business, academic and public circles, and media of foreign states. In this regard, the overseas missions of the Republic of Kazakhstan represent an important element of a unified diplomatic service headed by the MFA.
Activities of the overseas missions are aimed at protecting and promoting the national interests of Kazakhstan and its citizens in the countries and international organizations to where they are accredited.
Overseas missions implement monitoring and analysis of the situation in the countries where they are accredited in order to provide information to senior officials at the MFA in timely manner.
In order to achieve the Republic of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy goals, high priority is put on further institutional development of the diplomatic service: training, retraining and advanced professional training of the diplomatic personnel; expansion of Kazakhstan's diplomatic presence abroad and its representatives in international organizations; and improving social welfare of the MFA’s staff and their families.
3. The list of laws and regulations to be used for the Concept implementation:
1. Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan of August 30,1995.
2. Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan of March 7, 2002 "On Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan".
3. Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan of May 30, 2005 "On International Treaties of the Republic of Kazakhstan"
4. Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan of January 6, 2012 "On the National Security of the Republic of Kazakhstan".
5. Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan of June 18, 2009, № 827 "On State Planning System in the Republic of Kazakhstan".
6. Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan of October 11, 2011 № 161 "On Approval of the Military Doctrine of the Republic of Kazakhstan".
7. Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan of December 18, 2012, № 449 "On Measures Aimed at Implementation of the President's Address to the Nation on December 14, 2012, "Kazakhstan-2050" Strategy": a New Political Course of the Established State".
8. Consular Statute of the Republic of Kazakhstan, approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan of September 27, 1999 № 217.
9. Government Decree of the Republic of Kazakhstan of October 28, 2004 № 1118 "Issues of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan."
Regulatory framework for implementation of the Concept will also include soon-to-be signed international treaties with foreign countries and international organizations.