OSCE MPs Focus on Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and
Almaty, May 18: On May 14 and 15 Kazakhstan’s southern capital of Almaty
hosted the Second Trans-Asian Parliamentary Forum, “The OSCE Eurasian
Dimension”. This forum is the first major event held in Kazakhstan under the
country’s chairmanship in the OSCE, and it brought together members of
parliament not only from OSCE member states but also from countries such as
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel and Qatar. Also participating were
representatives of organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union
and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.
The forum’s agenda included pressing issues of regional
security including Afghanistan, terrorism and disarmament, economic concerns
(trade, resource management, environmental issues), and the human dimension
(religious tolerance, political development, freedom of the media, drug
trafficking, trafficking in human beings and gender equality). There also was a
discussion of the situation in Kyrgyzstan and its implications for
Speaking at the opening of the forum, the OSCE
Chairman-in-Office, Secretary of State and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kanat
Saudabayev noted that today the Eurasian dimension is crucial for security and
cooperation throughout the OSCE area and beyond. This requires both deep
consideration and analysis of the situation in Eurasia, including interests of
the OSCE states parties “to the east of Vienna”, as well as the vision of Asian
partners in addressing any problems in the agenda of the Organization.
He also stressed Kazakhstan considers this Forum “an
important step towards building a truly integrated perception of security in
the OSCE area”.
Since the first days of the chairmanship full cooperation
with all OSCE institutions has been achieved and for the first time in the last
five years the Organization’s budget was timely adopted, Saudabayev said.
“We attach much attention to preventing the emergence of new
dividing lines in the OSCE area, expanding and strengthening of consensus on
fundamental issues in development of the Organization”, Saudabayev added.
He underlined that OSCE Chairmanship has “substantive
consultations with all States Parties on such important issues as the Corfu
process and the European security architecture, intensifying assistance for
Afghanistan, and other issues.
“We are working to make a worthy contribution to the
solution of protracted conflicts, especially in the former USSR,” he added.
The importance of regional security was again underlined by
Kanat Saudabayev in light of the tragic events in Kyrgyzstan in early April
this year which had plunged the country into turmoil, crisis and lawlessness.
This was a serious test for Kazakh Chairmanship and for the
OSCE as a whole, Saudabayev said, highlighting the relevance and effectiveness
demonstrated by the OSCE. “The international community, with the OSCE playing a
major role, has timely applied political action tools to resolve the crisis,”
Kazakhstan’s chairmanship has already involved such
important resources as the personal authority of the President of the Republic
of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev who has worked through all days of the
crisis to break the standoff in the interests of all the people of Kyrgyzstan.
The joint efforts of
presidents Nursultan Nazarbayev, Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev prevented the
escalation of violence and averted a civil war, Saudabayev stressed.
The OSCE continues to assist Kyrgyzstan in recovering from
the crisis. The OSCE reserve fund has allocated 200,000 euros to maintain
public order and safety, strengthening the rule of law and democracy.
“Kazakhstan is also providing the necessary humanitarian and
economic assistance to our brotherly people on a bilateral basis”, the OSCE
Speaking of the lessons from these events, Saudabayev
emphasized that the responsibility for region’s stable development does not lie
on an individual state or organization.
“Instability of one state, throwing it on the margins of
civilized development, creates a fertile ground for extremism, organized crime,
drug trafficking, thereby translating security threats far beyond the area.
Therefore in the face of growing challenges and threats to security and
prosperity of our nations we need close cooperation and mutual understanding,
unity of approach and coordination of all interested states and organizations
more than ever”, Saudabayev noted.
Saudabayev also read out the message from President
Nursultan Nazarbayev who said: “We regard the OSCE chairmanship as the
international community’s recognition of Kazakhstan’s contribution to
strengthening regional and global security. We believe Kazakhstan’s practical
experience in voluntary and transparent elimination of nuclear and missile
capabilities will be useful for the OSCE”.
“In less than two decades, the Kazakh people built a state
with a stable political system and an effective market economy, and
successfully passed the global crisis. Our model of interethnic and
interreligious harmony is Kazakhstan’s real contribution to the humanitarian
dimension of the OSCE,” Nazarbayev noted.
Kazakhstan is firmly determined to contribute to the
development of the OSCE, promote the effectiveness and the development of a
potential of the OSCE as a unique dialogue platform which unites 56 countries
on three continents. Located in the heart of Eurasia, Kazakhstan is especially
aware of the relevance of such dialogue and believes its OSCE chairmanship will
initiate a new stage in relations between the East and the West.
“Therefore, I have put forward an initiative to convene a
summit of the OSCE in 2010. We are grateful to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly
for its support of this idea. Holding an OSCE summit would be a symbol of
rebirth of the "spirit of Helsinki" in new historical conditions,”
President Nazarbayev added.
Nazarbayev also noted that the problems of sustainable
economic development, poverty, refugees, unemployment and labor migration,
terrorism, drug trafficking and other threats are serious challenges for humanity.
Fighting these problems requires maximum effort of each state and of such
influential organizations as the OSCE, the Kazakh President stressed.