Kazakhstan will celebrate the 26th anniversary of its independence on 16 December 2017.
Kazakhstan is a young and ambitious country, energetically playing its role in the world arena. Since independence, Kazakhstan has been making its mark through wide-ranging initiatives, peaceful settlement of conflicts, interregional integration, active participation in the work of international organizations, ecological protection, and lot more.
One of the first proposals of crucial importance was the policy of nuclear disarmament. After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan was left with the fourth largest nuclear arsenal in the world. President Nazarbayev took quick steps to dismantle and remove the nuclear stockpile, and closed the Semipalatinsk nuclear site. Together with this, the country signed the Lisbon protocol for reduction of weapons, and later joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty on nuclear weapons.
Despite the crisis in the early years, Kazakhstan started the process of shifting the capital from the south of the country to the north. Today, the new capital Astana is a modern city with fully developed infrastructure and original architectural design.
Several million visitors visited Astana for the EXPO-2017, which was held in the summer this year – more of this later.
In the post-Soviet space, Kazakhstan is widely known as the initiator and engine of integration processes. Since the late 90s, skillfully using its geopolitical position, the country consistently advocated the creation of strong economic, political and military interstate relations. Kazakhstan took an active part in the creation of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Not less than ten years were required for the part of the post-Soviet republics to unite into a single economic space. First in the customs sphere – the Customs Union, and then in the trade – the Eurasian Economic Union. Needless to say, the Republic of Kazakhstan played a large role in this association.
The country’s activity and its high role in world politics were noted and appreciated. The chairmanship of Kazakhstan in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010 can be described as a unique recognition of the republic’s authority. A little later, Kazakhstan headed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). And, yes, it was in Astana that the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) changed its name and format.
Year after year, gradually Astana became increasingly the territory for numerous international meetings, conferences and forums of different levels. Businessmen and financiers, investors and leaders of world and traditional religions, prime ministers and heads of state … The neutral, multi-vector policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan proved to be optimal for meetings and negotiations, signing agreements and signing declarations.
It is quite logical that under this approach a strict jury awarded the right to hold the International Specialized Exhibition EXPO-2017 dedicated to the development of alternative energy, namely Astana. Kazakhstan brilliantly coped with the task. The exhibition was attended by more than a hundred countries and more than a dozen international organizations. The best environmental and technological developments were collected, several million people visited the capital of Kazakhstan, multimillion-dollar contracts were concluded following the results of the work. The best way to showcase the country as an economically stable and prosperous state could not be imagined.
It should be noted that Kazakhstan has not stopped on what has been achieved. Despite the universally lauded policy of neutrality and peacefulness, the country became famous in the international arena as a dedicated fighter against the challenges of modernity, including the “social plague of the XXI century” – international terrorism and extremism. Speaking at the 70th jubilee session of the United Nations General Assembly (UN), it was the Kazakh leader, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who suggested setting up a single world network under the auspices of the United Nations to counteract these radical phenomena.
However, from the side of Kazakhstan, since then, many bold ideas of a global scale were expressed. The proposals concerned the creation of a supranational currency, the relocation of the UN headquarters to the Asian continent, the reform of the Organization, etc. The courage of initiatives and the firmness of the position were appreciated. It is not surprising that two years later, in 2017, Kazakhstan became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and also headed a number of Committees, in particular, the Sanctions Committee 1267 concerning ISIS (Daesh) and Al-Qaeda, sanctions of the UN Security Council with respect to the above-mentioned international terrorist organizations and individuals associated with terrorist activities.
This year in general became significant and significant for Kazakhstan. So, in Astana, a special negotiation platform on the Syrian issue was created. Now it is successfully and fruitfully working, in parallel with the similar one, formed earlier in Geneva. But it is worth noting that it was in the Kazakh capital that an agreement was reached on a cease-fire in a number of Syrian regions. Now, as the foreign office of Kazakhstan informs, preparation for the next round of talks is being conducted in Astana, active work is being carried out to strengthen confidence-building measures between the parties, the result of which should be a gradual de-escalation of the conflict.
Summarizing, it can be noted that having very modest starting positions, Kazakhstan, in a record time, just over a quarter of a century, managed to pass the way other countries spend centuries. What is the secret of such success?
“Our state does not pretend to be a great power, like the United States or Russia,” Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev said in one of his speeches. “But we, as far as possible, influence the course of events in the world, we mediate in conflict situations to reconcile the parties, and we put forward initiatives for regional integration that allow us to preserve peace and provide opportunities for peaceful development.
Probably, this is the most precise and capacious definition of the policy of Kazakhstan. /// nCa, 15 December 2017