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Athens, December 2: At the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council in Athens yesterday, OSCE member States expressed their willingness to consider an OSCE summit next year during Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the organization at the 17th Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OSCE in Athens on December 1-2, 2009.

The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OSCE, in a Ministerial Declaration on the OSCE Corfu Process, said: “We welcome Kazakhstan in the 2010 OSCE chairmanship, the first ever to be exercised by a Central Asian OSCE participating State. We note with interest its proposal to hold an OSCE summit in 2010. We point out that such a high-level meeting would require adequate preparation in terms of substance and modalities. We task the Permanent Council to engage in exploratory consultations to determine the extent of progress on the OSCE agenda to inform our decision.”

The OSCE Summit idea was first suggested by Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev in October this year during a visit to Astana by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

2010 will the 35th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, the 65th anniversary of the end of Word War II and the 20th anniversary of the Paris Charter for a New Europe. “All of this gives a good reason to at least seriously analyze the modern role of the Organization in ensuring security and prosperity in the area from Vancouver to Vladivostok and developing the most important priorities for the OSCE for the near future,” Kanat Saudabayev, Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State – Minister of Foreign Affairs explained at the press conference closing the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council which took place in the Greek capital on December 1 and 2.

The subjects for the summit could be pressing issues such as the future of the Corfu process and the creation of a single trans-Atlantic and Eurasian security architecture, the issues of tolerance and nondiscrimination and the rehabilitation of and assistance for Afghanistan.

“We are convinced that today, 10 years since the Istanbul summit, a moment has come when our top leaders should at the highest level assess current challenges for our countries and define the most important priorities for ensuring security and prosperity in the area from Vancouver to Vladivostok,” Kanat Saudabayev said. “We hope to continue working fruitfully together during Kazakhstan’s chairmanship both on organizing an OSCE high level meeting, and on strengthening and developing our organization in general.”

“As chairman-in-office, Kazakhstan will be unwaveringly committed to fundamental principles and values of the OSCE, and proceed from the interests of all its members in order to strengthen the trust and mutual understanding between the countries to the west and to the east of Vienna,” Kanat Saudabayev said. “We will seek to ensure the balance of all three baskets of the Organization’s activities,” he stressed.

He praised the Greek chairmanship and its launch of a dialog on the future of European security, the so called Corfu Process. He expressed Kazakhstan’s readiness to build on the arduous efforts to promote this process.

The OSCE should be relevant as an effective mechanism of regional implementation of universal international legal documents in areas such as maintaining military and political security, promoting conflict resolution and post-conflict rehabilitation, economic and environmental cooperation, and the protection of human rights and democratization, Kanat Saudabayev said, as he specifically noted the need for the OSCE to counteract threats coming out of Afghanistan.

Kanat Saudabayev added he visited Kabul recently, signing an agreement under which Astana will allocate 50 million dollars to educate 1,000 Afghans at Kazakhstan’s universities. “We would like to bring our own contribution to involving the Afghans in the peaceful life.”

Kazakhstan formally assumes the one-year rotating chairmanship on January 1, 2010. The country’s foreign minister will then act as the OSCE Acting Chairman-in-Office.


Read Remarks by Secretary of State - Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan H.E. Kanat Saudabayev at the plenary session of 17th OSCE Ministerial Council

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