Embassy of Kazakhstan


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Foreign Policy


[+] Overview


The formulation of conceptual basis and principles of Kazakhstan's foreign policy was started shortly after Kazakhstan gained its independence on December 16th 1991. The first President of the independent Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev has clearly determined the main strategy of Kazakhstan's diplomacy  creating and maintaining favourable conditions for the steady development of the country on the basis of political and economic reforms.

The nature of these transformations inside the country determined the main priorities of the country's foreign policy; its impartial character and its desire for full involvement in international and regional events. At that time the Government of the Republic had to make key decisions in military, political and economic areas and also decisions on democratic reforms and on the establishment of a new state governing system. These decisions had to be made to help integrate Kazakhstan smoothly into the world community. Kazakhstan’s foreign policy is in general harmony with the global political trend towards liberalization.

Analyses of the main achievements in the independent development of Kazakhstan during the last 15 years, has shown that one of the most important decisions made at that time was to gain the status of a nonnuclear state and to pursue the policy of non-proliferation. Kazakhstan’s diplomacy was successful in developing good relations with Russia, China and with the countries of Central Asia, the USA and with many European and Asian countries. As a result of the Republic's foreign policy we have good and friendly relations with our neighbours: there is a “security belt” around Kazakhstan's borders. The main achievement of this time has been the absence of conflicts or confrontations between Kazakhstan and any other countries. Favorable external conditions have been created for the development of the independence of Kazakhstan and for its political and economic interests in general.

Kazakhstan has established diplomatic relations with 140 countries and has become a member of 64 international political and economic organizations.

Kazakhstan was accepted as a member of the United Nations Organization in March 1992. Since that time Kazakhstan has participated in many activities of the UN.

During the years of independence the Republic of Kazakhstan has formed a practical contractual and legal framework for its relations with other countries. Over 1300 international and intergovernmental contracts and agreements have been signed by Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has established active cooperation with the majority of North American, European and Asian countries and with their main regional organizations as well; for example, with OSCE, ECO, OIC and others. By doing this Kazakhstan has created the conditions required for its integration into global and regional processes.

Considering the geographical location of Kazakhstan in Eurasia, an active participation of the country in global and regional affairs and events is obviously the necessary requirement for the strengthening of its independence. Today Kazakhstan is directly participating in many transformation processes taking place throughout the world.

The changes and transformations that are going on throughout the world are part of the process of globalisation. The interdependence of countries on one another is growing. Problems, which recently were considered as domestic or regional, now have a direct or indirect influence on countries worldwide. Globalisation is becoming the dominant factor in world politics. The interdependence of countries is most obvious in such areas as economy, finance, technology and IT. Globalising economy is gaining more and more influence and importance in a society and it very often affects major political decisions.

Globalisation is gaining momentum and so are the regional processes of economic integration. Regional alliances are developing in every corner of the planet. Many countries have realised, that their national goals can be successfully achieved only through developing regional cooperation. From the very beginning of its independence Kazakhstan has constantly been putting efforts to promote regional economical integration. Astana took practical measures on its cooperation within the CIS, the Eurasian Economic Association, the Central Asian Economic Association as well as within newly founded Shanghai Cooperation Organization. In early 2005 Kazakhstan has called its neighbours for the eventual establishment of the Central Asian Union based on commonality of historic, ethnic, cultural and economic backgrounds and shared challenges and interests in future.  

During the 15 years of Kazakhstan's independence its foreign policy has become an integral part of state policy. The country has found ways for correlating its own national interests with the interests of other countries. At present there are more than 70 diplomatic and consular offices worldwide that are representing Kazakhstan abroad. Kazakhstan diplomacy has achieved a lot during the last 15 years. The Law on Diplomatic service of the Republic of Kazakhstan was adopted and the framework of Kazakhstan's foreign policy and international cooperation was established; Kazakhstan has gained respect in the international community and the principles of the Republic's foreign policy have been recognised in the diplomatic community.

Our country strives towards the development and strengthening of security and related organizations in Asia. Back in 1992 at the UN President Nazarbayev has called for an initiative to establish the Conference on Interaction and Confidence building measures in Asia (CICA). He believes that this process can and will become a reality and an integral part of international relations in Asia. Many Asian countries encouraged this initiative and a number of international organizations including the UN supported the process. The first CICA summit took place in Almaty in June 2002 adopting the “Almaty Act” which outlines the principles of security and cooperation in Asia. With the support of partner-countries the CICA process continues to evolve (see p.105).

In November 2006 Kazakhstan has been for the first time elected to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In the course of elections of 18 new ECOSOC members at the UN General Assembly, Kazakhstan was supported by 187 out of a total of 192 UN member states considerably exceeding the required minimum of two-thirds of the votes.

Kazakhstan is a large country located in Europe and Asia; its interests are multifaceted and there is no bias towards one continent or another. Its geographical location has helped define the priorities of Kazakhstan's foreign policy and has influenced the many directions of its diplomatic activity.

Kazakhstan has entered the XXI century adapting its foreign policy priorities to new geopolitical realities.

But the key goals and principles of the foreign policy of Kazakhstan remain as follows:  

  • protection of national interests;
  • providing the most favourable conditions for the economic and political development of the country;
  • development of strategic cooperation with leading countries and regions of the world;
  • development of comprehensive cooperation with international organizations;
  • contribution to the strengthening of democratic principles of the new world order;
  • contribution to global and regional security and stability and struggle against new threats (terrorism, drug trafficking, organised crime etc.)  
  • active participation in the processes of global and regional economic integration;
  • active participation in the promotion of social, human development and democracy in the world;
  • active participation in securing environment and sustainable development in the world.

POSITION OF KAZAKHSTAN ON SOME KEY INTERNATIONAL ISSUES OF TODAY
International terrorism, drug trafficking and other new threats (interethnic and interconfessional conflicts, humanitarian crises, poverty and epidemics, illegal migration, man-made environmental disasters etc.):

Kazakhstan believes that these new threats to global and regional peace and stability reflect the “dark side” of globalization and therefore addressing them successfully and efficiently requires a genuine collective will and effort of the whole international community.

True identification of the underlying root causes of these threats, on the one hand, and genuine collective efforts to secure practical steps and resources to address them, on the other, could guarantee success in offsetting these challenges. It is widely believed that in many cases the root causes lie in economic and political underdevelopment and degradation. Comprehensive and genuine agreement on collective mechanisms and instruments to address them is therefore essential.

Thoroughly revamped UN and its Security Council are capable of becoming the best choice to accomplish the above two-fold task. Therefore Kazakhstan strongly supports an early and well-thought reform of the UN and entrusting it with a true coordinating role in the struggle against the new threats. In the era of globalization and multilateralism renewed and strong United Nations, as a genuinely universal body and authority, can best serve the goals of development as well as preserve the cultural diversity of the global civilization.

Kazakhstan commits itself to fully cooperate along these tracks on global and regional levels.

Afghanistan:

While welcoming last elections of 2004 Kazakhstan strongly favours a comprehensive and continued international effort to bring lasting peace and economic and humanitarian rehabilitation of Afghanistan.

The United Nations should provide the best aegis for such an effort.

Drug production and its illegal and massive spread form Afghanistan is a major international concern, particularly for Kazakhstan being in close vicinity to Afghanistan.

To help bringing peace and development in Afghanistan Kazakhstan has joined the International Antiterrorist Coalition and fully supports its operations in Afghanistan. Kazakhstan has actively participated in the London Afghanistan Compact Conference in 2006 and pledged various types of assistance to the Afghan Government to tackle the aforementioned problems. Further, in March 2006 at the international conference in Afghanistan Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister has offered a concept of a “broader Central Asia” which envisages active engagement and involvement of Afghanistan into the framework of regional trade and economic cooperation between Central Asian countries. This could greatly contribute to the rehabilitation of Afghanistan and its integration into regional and global cooperative frameworks.

Iraq:

January 2005 elections in Iraq have become an important milestone. Kazakhstan believes that UN should play an active and effective role in further political and economic rehabilitation in Iraq in close cooperation with the Iraqi Authorities and international community. Joint efforts should ensure full respect of independence and territorial integrity of Iraq, as well as the sovereignty of Iraqi people and their right to determine for themselves their own political future.

Kazakhstan fully cooperates with international community in this respect and has sent its fully equipped unit of 30 military engineers as part of the International Stabilization forces in Iraq.

Middle East:

Kazakhstan is for fair settlement of confrontation with full account of legitimate interests and rights of the Israeli and Palestinian people and would welcome serious and unconditional recent significant signs of commitment to peace and cooperation on the part of both sides. Such a settlement should also take care of the rightful concerns of other sides involved to ensure that peace and confidence prevail in the region.

There should also be a genuine consensus among the four Sponsors of the Middle East process.

The US initiated “Road Map” plan can serve as a guide to produce such a settlement along the formula “land for peace” and peaceful coexistence of Israelis and Palestinians.

Iran’s nuclear programme:

Kazakhstan as a state that voluntarily denounced nuclear weapons is strongly committed to the principles of non-proliferation and inadmissibility of using nuclear energy for military purposes. The situation around the  Iranian nuclear programme directly affects the security environment in regional and global scales.

Kazakhstan confirms the right of the states parties to the Treaty of the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to carry out research activities in the nuclear field and sovereign right to use atomic energy for peaceful purposes provided a steadfast compliance to the transparency and non-proliferation regime under the IAEA safeguards as well as close cooperation with the UN. Kazakhstan also confirms its strong belief in the need to use diplomatic methods to resolve acute issues of international relations, including the issue of the Iranian nuclear programme. Kazakhstan supports diplomatic efforts undertaken by interested countries to resolve the issue.

KAZAKHSTAN’S COMMITMENTS TO ASSIST AFGHANISTAN

Kazakhstan as a reliable partner has been cooperating with the United States on economic, political, social and humanitarian rehabilitation of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan plays a crucial role in long-term security and stability in Central Asia and Kazakhstan attaches great importance to Afghanistan in the foreign policy goals. Kazakhstan provided air corridors for “Enduring Freedom” operation, similar arrangements have been developed and adopted between Kazakhstan and Germany at the end of 2007.

Guided by international and moral commitments Kazakhstan launched several humanitarian projects and missions with official and business representatives in 2006-2007. Kazakhstan considered these steps as a follow up to its previous engagement in Afghanistan.

In accordance with Afghanistan Compact and Bonn process Kazakhstan has undertaken additional steps in 2006-2007.

Stepping up humanitarian aid Kazakhstan has granted to Afghanistan $ 1 mln.

Kazakhstan has provided scholarship for 100 Afghanistan students to study at national universities (geology, engineering etc.).

In accordance with Memorandum of Cooperation between “Investment Fund of Kazakhstan” and Ministry of Mines and Industry (spring, 2007) of Afghanistan Kazakhstan actively looks for opportunities to participate in further development of Afghanistan’s mining industry in Loghar, Bamiyan provinces.

Kazakhstan also signed with Government of Afghanistan a Protocol on intensions to build railway road Termez (Uzbekistan) – Kabul (Afghanistan) – with further access to the transport infrastructure of India.

On June 13-15, 2007 Kazakhstan received the First Vice-President of Afghanistan A.Masud and on 17-18 September, 2007 Astana hosted the first session of the Joint Intergovernmental Trade and Economic Commission. On both occasions meaningful discussion took place on how to enhance the level of cooperation on such important issues as infrastructure development, including construction of railway roads and motorways, as well as investments into industry of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan invited Kazakhstan’s bank sector to operate in the country.

Kazakhstan holds trainings for Afghanistan’s police and internal security service.

The next practical important step forward was taken on October 11, 2007.

October 11, 2007 Government of Kazakhstan adopted ACTION PLAN TO ASSIST ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF AFGHANISTAN FOR 2007-2008. Budget of the plan is divided into humanitarian aid and infrastructure projects.

$ 0.5 mln. of humanitarian aid was allocated to restore food, corn and agricultural seed supply to Afghanistan.

$ 0.28 mln. will be spent to build a school in Samangan province, $ 0.57 mln. – hospital in Bamiyan province of Afghanistan;

$ 1.65 mln. – asphalt or dirt road in one of the country’s province. The total support aid package for Afghanistan is $ 3 mln. For 2008.

The Action Plan provides for strong encouragement of the Kazakh private sector to search and explore opportunities with international investors to develop projects in infrastructure, industry, agriculture, education and other important sectors of life in Afghanistan.

Government of Afghanistan is reviewing proposals of Government of Kazakhstan to participate in the Central Asian Regional Information Coordination Center.

Kazakhstan strongly promotes Afghanistan’s involvement in implementing Trade and Investment Framework Agreement for the economic benefits of Afghanistan’s people.

KAZAKHSTAN'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE STRENGTHENING OF INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

Being an independent body of international law (jus gentium) at the beginning of its independent development, the Republic of Kazakhstan has actively established military and political mechanisms to address major international challenges and joined international efforts aimed at strengthening global security. Our country renounced the status of a nuclear power and thus confirmed its intention to follow the principles of cooperation and nonconfrontation in international relations. This also shows that Kazakhstan has developed a responsible attitude towards matters of international security. Today we are absolutely confident that the decision to renounce our nuclear heritage was the only right decision to ensure the national and global security.

The Republic of Kazakhstan as the successor to the USSR became a participant of major negotiations and agreements concerning disarmament, arms control as well as confidencebuilding measures. The most important agreements concerned the strategic arms reduction and the elimination of medium and short-range missiles and the conventional arms forces in Europe.

In August 1991 President Nazarbayev has signed a historic decree to close the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.

On the 29th of December 1991 the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine signed the Almaty Declaration in which they agreed on the control mechanisms over the operation of the nuclear arsenal of the former USSR and affirmed their international obligations concerning the strategic arms reduction.

On the 23rd of May 1992 in Lisbon the representatives of Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and USA signed a fiveparty Protocol to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. At the same time Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, as the states possessing nuclear weapons, committed themselves to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Thus Kazakhstan has made a historical decision to renounce its nuclear heritage which was an important step strengthening the statehood of our country as an integral part of existing world civilisation.

In accordance with the Lisbon Protocol, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine, as successor states to the USSR in terms of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, have agreed to participate, along with Russia and USA, in the work of the joint Commission on observance and inspection. They have also agreed to conclude agreements on the limits and restrictions specified by the Treaty. Kazakhstan ratified the Treaty and the Lisbon Protocol, which is an integral part of the Treaty, on the 2nd of July 1992. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty came into force in 1994 and paved the way to disarmament and the elimination of more than 9,000 nuclear warheads under strict supervision.

Kazakhstan was the first among the participants of the Lisbon Protocol to implement the provisions concerning removal of nuclear warheads. On the 21st of April 1996 the process of removal of 1416 nuclear warheads from Kazakhstan territory was completed. On the 30th of May 1995 the last nuclear test warhead, which was located in a gallery on the Semipalatinsk test site, was destroyed. Finally Kazakhstan had got rid of its nuclear inheritance forever.

In December 1993 the Supreme Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan ratified the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The signing of the Treaty on NonProliferation of Nuclear Weapons was a very important step in the realisation of Kazakhstan's foreign policy. Many leading countries pointed out that by doing so Kazakhstan had visibly demonstrated its responsible attitude and maturity in international matters and its aspiration for active participation in resolving important international security issues.

In the statement made on the 14th of April 1995 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supported the Resolution 984 (1995) by the Security Council of the UN on the extension of security guaranties to nonnuclear states participants of the NPT made by nuclear states. Kazakhstan supported the decision that the pledge of security has to have the force of international law. In December 1994 the summit of CSCE took place in Budapest. The Memorandum on extension of security guaranties to Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine made by Russia, Great Britain, USA was signed. The signing of this document is an important event of modern international politics. Three countries, which are depositories of the NPT, confirmed their collective obligation to respect the independence and the territorial integrity of Kazakhstan and to secure Kazakhstan from economic blockade. Kazakhstan was given the same assurance by China and France.

The 1996, was marked by another event of utmost importance. During the 51st General Assembly of the United Nations the Comprehensive NuclearTest Ban Treaty was signed.

Kazakhstan by then had already shut down the nuclear testing site, dismantled its infrastructure, and had signed agreements concerning nuclear armaments. Now Kazakhstan is implementing the proposals made by the President N. Nazarbayev during the Disarmament Conference to include Kazakhstan’s seismic stations in the International Monitoring System.

Kazakhstan recognises the significance of the fact that the Treaty has been signed, but it doesn’t believe that nuclear tests belong to the past. The damage inflicted on the people and environment of Kazakhstan is enormous and has to be properly assessed and mitigated. It is well known that for more than 40 years more than 500 nuclear test explosions, including 113 in the atmosphere have been made in Semipalatinsk.

On September 8, 2006 in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan a ceremony of signing of Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty took place. Representatives of Russia and China as well as representatives of the UN, IAEA and other international and non-governmental organisations attended the signing ceremony. The entire region formally renewed its unflinching commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. It was also an effective contribution to combating most acute threats to peace and security and preventing fissile materials falling into the hands of terrorists groups.

The new denuclearized zone in Central Asia has a number of unique features. First, one of the zone’s state namely, Kazakhstan, in the past possessed the forth largest nuclear arsenal. Secondly, for the first time the denuclearized zone is created in Northern hemisphere. Thirdly, this Treaty becomes the first multilateral agreement in security area which brings together all five Central Asian countries. And finally, for the first time the denuclearized zone has been created in the region which borders upon two nuclear states.

The Treaty will not only facilitate the strengthening of security of Central Asia, but will also be an important measure promoting regional confidence building and cooperation. Parties to the Treaty will jointly elaborate mechanisms of information exchange, verification procedures and properly fulfil Treaty provisions.

On the 14th of January 1993 Kazakhstan signed the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (CWC). Kazakhstan is an observer in the Working Group of the Convention on Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their destruction (BTWC).

The Republic of Kazakhstan, as the successor to the USSR in matters concerning the Conventional Arms Treaty Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty) and all respective documents, has signed an Agreement on the principles and sequences of implementation of the Treaty and the Concluding Act of Negotiations on the personnel strength of the conventional armed forces in Europe (Tashkent), 1992). By doing this, Kazakhstan confirmed its dedication to the Treaty, accepted all rights and responsibilities under the Treaty and relevant documents. The Supreme Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan ratified the Treaty and the above-mentioned agreement on July the 2nd, 1992. On October the 30th, 1992 the instrument of ratification was granted to the Netherlands, which is a depositary state.

The international community has fully appreciated Kazakhstan’s contribution to this nuclear disarmament programme. The Government of Kazakhstan has demonstrated in practice its dedication to the principles and objectives of global security. This has established Kazakhstan as a responsible member of the world community and is helping to realise Kazakhstan’s potential in foreign policy.

KAZAKHSTAN’S DOMESTIC AND OSCE POLITICAL AGENDA

In May 2007 Kazakhstan has re-fixed in the Constitution two terms for any president and reduced one presidential term from seven to five years, increased the powers of Parliament so that the executive branch is more accountable to it, introduced, in accordance with the OSCE’s recommendations, proportional representation to elect members of the Majilis (Lower House) and established a party-based parliamentary system.

Statement by Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister, Marat Tazhin, at the OSCE Ministerial Meeting on November 29, 2007 in Madrid chalked-out the agenda of further political reforms in Kazakhstan as well as priorities for the forthcoming OSCE Chairmanship.

The Madrid commitments were incorporated into February 6, 2008 President’s “State-of-the-Nation” address. As per the address the government, judiciary and legislature in close cooperation with the ODHIR/OSCE, international NGOs and Kazakh civil society are to define and start implementing political reform agenda for 2008 and onwards.

Political Reform Agenda for 2008:

Amendments to the Plan on the implementation of Kazakhstan’s Civil Society Development Concept for 2006–2011 are being drafted. International practice, in particular, the Netherland’s experience of cooperation between NGOs and government agencies (social order mechanism) are taken into account;

By the end of October 2008 Government is to finalize the reviewed plan on the Concept’s implementation. The main goal of the plan is to strengthen cooperation between NGOs and government agencies.

Judiciary reform package, providing greater transparency, public access to court hearings, further improvement of Jury trials system introduced in January, 2007. By the end of October, 2008 the reform package will be finalized and submitted to Government.

By the end of October, 2008 Amendments to the Law on Political Parties will be submitted to the Parliament to provide for further development of the party system. Among others, provision prohibiting one party Parliament is being considered.

Consideration of the Media law drafted by Kazakh NGOs together with Kazakhstan’s Congress of Journalists and the OSCE Representative for Media Freedom. The Government together with the OSCE Representative for Media Freedom is working on reducing the list of “triggers” for prosecution for libeling in the media and excluding the relevant clause from the election legislation.

Reference: according to the Agency for Informatization and Communications, in the nearest future the number of Internet users in Kazakhstan will increase from 11 to 20 per cent. In Ukraine it is about 11,9 per cent, in Russia - 18–20 per cent, in Kirgizstan 5–6 per cent, in Belorussia – 56,3 per cent (more than in France - 54,7 per cent).

Kazakhstan continues its cooperation with ODHIR/OSCE on further reform of its election legislation. A series of roundtable discussions under the title «Challenges and opportunities for Election Process Participants» is scheduled for 2008. The first discussion was held in Astana on March 28, 2008.

Results: Kazakhstan announced its plans to hold the second roundtable in June, 2008 in Astana to discuss possible incorporation of two hundred and fifty amendments to the Law on Elections proposed by the OSCE, local and international NGOs as well as to draft amendments to the Law in July, 2008, submit the draft for the Government’s consideration in September, 2008 and then submit it to the Majilis in December, 2008. Inter alia, Kazakhstan plans to fix in the Law strict personal responsibility of relevant officials for inaccuracy in the electoral lists.

Kazakhstan’s Government is looking for the best forms of interaction with opposition. In November 2007 the Public Chamber, advisory and consultative body was established in Majilis (Lower Chamber of Parliament) to provide for dialogue among all political forces in Kazakhstan. Its primary goal is to review and debate draft laws, work out relevant recommendations and proposals. The PC consists of 30 members: recognized public figures, lawyers, NGO and media representatives, prominent opposition leaders, businessmen, scientists;

The Coalition of non-governmental organizations was established in November, 2007 in Kazakhstan to increase transparency and public control over MPs. Its members are Kazakhstan’s International Bureau for Human Rights, press freedom foundation “Adil Soz”, the International Helsinki Federation on Human Rights, Almaty Helsinki Committee, public foundation “Charter for Human Rights”, opposition representatives Mr. Zhovtis and Ms. Turmagambetova;

The “Road to Europe” program, announced in the President’s 2008 “State-of-the-Nation” address, is a clear evidence of the country’s   democratic priorities and commitment to further political modernization. The aim is to accelerate the transition of our country to Western democratic standards and values; to develop continued cooperation with the European partners, including, cooperation on improvement of Kazakhstan’s electoral, party and mass media legislation in accordance with OSCE guidelines. Cooperation with EU countries on Kazakhstan’s OSCE chairmanship agenda will be a special focus of the program. The draft Presidential decree on implementation of the “Road to Europe” program will be prepared by July 2008;

Kazakhstan has signed and ratified 35 major documents in the field of human rights – International treaties on Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural rights, Conventions of International Labor Organization. Ratification of optional protocol to the International treaty on Civil and Political rights as well as Optional Protocol to Convention Against Torture is expected this year. Kazakhstan fully supports efforts of office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights;

Majilis has passed the UN Convention against Corruption on March19, 2008. Back to Top  


[+] OSCE Chairmanship


As OSCE Chairman in 2010 Kazakhstan prepares to work within “Ministerial Troika” in 2009-2011 and newly developed “Quintet” format.

Kazakhstan pays specific attention to its OSCE Chairmanship agenda. In 2010 Kazakhstan will focus on long-standing OSCE agenda items such as democracy building and human rights, frozen conflicts etc. At the same time, Kazakhstan is aspiring to introduce its own ideas based on unique Kazakhstan experience.

Security dimension: Interreligious tolerance. Kazakhstan intends to incorporate its experience and enhance international law in strengthening interreligious and ethnic tolerance in OSCE’s zone of responsibility. The issue of Kosovo’s independence may develop a tendency to “unfreeze” so-called frozen conflicts in Transcaucasia (Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia) and other European regions (Crimea, Moldavia).

Kazakhstan’s initiative to hold Ministerial Forum “One Common World: Progress Through Diversity” on October 17, 2008 as well as the Third Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in 2009 and Foreign Minister Tazhin’s commitments at the OIC Summit on March 14, 2008 to work for close cooperation between OIC and OSCE are good examples of the country’s consistency in strengthening interreligious and interethnic dialogue at all levels.

Reference: the idea of holding the Ministerial Forum was first discussed at the meeting between Kazakh and US Presidents in September 2006. The Presidents referred then to the initiative as the one between “the Group of Moderate States”. Today the Forum’s goals correspond to the aims of the Mediterranean Union.

Energy security. Kazakhstan is going to support the EU energy security agenda as well as to simultaneously strengthen alternative energy cooperation with the Union. Such a policy completely correlates with the US policy on energy security with the focus on alternative energy and development of clean technologies, including the Clean-Technology Fund initiated by President George W. Bush.

Economic dimension. Kazakhstan intends to make a significant contribution, including social-economic and humanitarian assistance, as well as investments in the economies of the OSCE member countries – Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and others.

Promoting systemic market reforms, enhancing healthy financial systems and markets, good governance, transparency, anti-corruption efforts will constitute the core of Kazakhstan’s OSCE Chairmanship economic vision for the region East of Vienna.

Regional economic and political integration will be another top priority for Kazakhstan’s OSCE Chairmanship.       

Afghanistan and strengthening security in Central Asia will become one of the most important priorities of Kazakhstan’s efforts on all OSCE dimensions.

Kazakhstan is the only CA country to adopt a Government plan on assistance to Afghanistan. According to the plan, Kazakhstan will construct a motorway, build a school and a hospital, as well as supply agricultural stock to the country. The Plan’s budget is 3 million dollars for 2008.

Afghanistan has become one of Kazakhstan’s national security priorities. On January 23, 2008 Kazakhstan’s Security Council held a special meeting on Afghanistan to consider ways to enhance cooperation in trade, mineral sector, international auto and air communication, as well as mutual protection of investments.

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[+] International Initiative


Kazakhstan has initiated the OSCE Forum on Interreligious, Interethnic and Intercultural Understanding (June 13, 2006); triennial Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions (the third congress to be held in Fall 2009 in Astana); as well as the political Foreign Ministers’ level forum entitled "Common World: Progress Through Diversity" (meeting of "reflection group" of experts was held on April, 2-3 2008; and the Forum itself is on October 17, 2008 in Astana).

Report of the US Department of State on Religious Freedom (2006)

Kazakhstan   remains   the   leader   among   former   Soviet   Union republics in advancing religious tolerance and respect for the rights of religious minorities.

Kazakhstan's President respects his commitments given to the world religious community in supporting religious freedom in Kazakhstan.

The Committee on religious affairs of Kazakhstan's Justice Ministry as well as the Ombudsman, in cooperation with NGO and religious groups, actively participate in resolving conflicts between non-traditional religious organizations and local authorities.

Simplified mechanism of religious associations registration introduced in 2004 as well as favorable tax policy providing exemptions from income taxation for registered religious groups are beneficial for their development in Kazakhstan.

The Government allocates land plots for the construction of mosques, churches and synagogues.

The report states that there is no information on prisoners of conscience, forced change of religious convictions or anti-Semitism in Kazakhstan.

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