Kazakhstan has been a member of the key body of the most important Organization of the Planet – the UN Security Council for a year now. In January 2018, the country takes the position of the Security Council Chairman for a month, that is, it has the opportunity, if necessary, to convene emergency meetings, open and hold meetings. Put simply, Kazakhstan will have a chance to make its voice in the UN heard even louder and launch its initiatives at the highest level.
The central issue of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship will be the adoption by the Security Council of a document on Central Asia and Afghanistan (note – its format has not yet been determined). It is worth recalling that Kazakhstan is the first and so far the only one of this region who has been honored to take the seat in the UN Security Council. Realizing all responsibility and assuming the role of the Central Asian leader, Kazakhstan from this position promotes to the United Nations not the country initiatives, but regional and global ones.
In Central Asia, meanwhile, the list of problems is invariably topped by Afghan subjects and everything related to the normalization of the situation in Afghanistan – from counter-terrorism to humanitarian efforts. It is to the humanitarian aspect of Afghanistan’s strategy that Kazakhstan pays special attention in conditions when former methods for normalizing the situation have already proved ineffective: military operations that end with a defeatist withdrawal of the contingent and endless infusion of astronomical sums into the economy of Afghanistan, which, with the highest level of corruption in the country, do not reach the addressees.
It must be remembered that the civil war in Afghanistan has been going on for almost 40 years. During this time, a whole generation has grown up, which knows no other life and cannot hold anything but weapons in its hands. For them, this is work. Therefore, in order to stop the war in Afghanistan and to establish a normal life, it is necessary first of all to raise a new generation that can live in peace without war. To this end, Kazakhstan launched a program of free-of-charge training of Afghan students 7 years ago in its universities. Some of them have already dis-accustomed, returned to their homeland and now work as engineers, diplomats and doctors. This positive experience is definitely worthy of the attention of the international community. And from the position of a member of the Security Council, Kazakhstan has a chance to draw the attention of other UN members to the humanitarian aspect of the settlement of the Afghan crisis.
Of course, the list of urgent issues of Greater Central Asia is not limited to Afghanistan alone. There is a whole tangle of old problems: aspects of food and energy security, water use issues and undefined borders. And for each of these points, Kazakhstan has its own solution. Therefore, the attempt to develop and adopt a separate document on the Central Asian issues initiated by this particular country at the level of the UN Security Council, for the region the event is a landmark event.
As for the global initiatives of Kazakhstan, they now seem more relevant than ever. In conditions when international terrorism has found catastrophic proportions and erased all borders when a terrorist attack can occur absolutely anywhere in the world, it is necessary to respond to this challenge with a united front, or rather a global anti-terrorist coalition under the auspices of the United Nations. With the initiative of its creation, Nursultan Nazarbayev came out in 2015. The point is not to build up military potential against each other, but to unite against the common threat. And, the military potential to focus on creative goals. Kazakhstan invites UN member countries to transfer 1 percent of the defense budget to a special Fund to finance the fight against poverty, hunger and climate change.
By the way, about climate change. Huge islands of debris in the ocean, cities drowning in poisonous exhaust fumes, tsunamis and earthquakes that happen more often than ever – today this is no longer a footage of fantastic films with an apocalyptic script, it’s our reality. To stop the degradation of the planet’s ecology, it is necessary to introduce mass “green technologies”. Understanding this, Kazakhstan chose the theme “Energy of the future” for the International Exhibition of EXPO in Astana. And after its holding, initiated the creation of the United Nations Center for the Development of Green Technologies and Investment Projects, so that countries can share their experience, knowledge and financial support.
In general, Kazakhstan has something to offer to the international community as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for solving truly urgent problems and improving the situation not only in a particular Central Asian region, but throughout the world. And it can be hoped that these initiatives will be heard. /// nCa, 31 December 2017