FOREIGN MINISTER KANAT SAUDABAYEV SPECIFIES CHAIRMANSHIP PRIORITIES
Vienna, January 14: OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, speaking to the ambassadors from 56 participating States of the OSCE after the video address from the President, specified Kazakhstan’s priorities for its Chairmanship.
He stressed that Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship will focus on achieving an optimal balance between the OSCE “baskets” (politico-military, economic and environmental, and humanitarian) in an effort to approach security challenges in their entirety and deal with their causes and not just their symptoms.
In the political and military dimension, Kazakhstan will concentrate on raising the OSCE’s capabilities to contribute to the international community’s efforts to counter new security threats and challenges, including combating terrorism, extremism, organized crime and drugs trafficking. Based on its experience of nuclear disarmament, Kazakhstan is well placed to address issues of proliferation of dual-purpose technologies and weapons of mass destruction.
Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship will seek progress in resolving the “protracted conflicts” in the former Soviet space with particular reference to Nagorno-Karabakh and Transdniestria.
The involvement of the OSCE in post-conflict reconstruction of Afghanistan will be a priority for Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship.
Astana has proposed the idea of convening a Summit in 2010 to renew the consensus on security challenges facing the OSCE. This proposal builds on the work of Greece’s Chairmanship that launched the Corfu Process in 2009 aimed at promoting an open dialogue on the fundamentals of European security.
In the economic and environmental dimension, Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship will promote a dialogue on co-operation on transport and transit corridors connecting Europe and Eurasia. Three conferences will take place in 2010 in Vienna, Minsk and Prague focused on raising the effectiveness and security of land border crossings and facilitating international car and rail links in the OSCE region.
Kazakhstan will pay close attention to issues of environmental monitoring and reactive capabilities and will support the use of the OSCE’s potential to address regional environmental problems that could have global consequences such as the Aral Sea. The Chairmanship will also continue the OSCE’s work in the area of effective management of water resources and measures to counter land degradation and soil contamination.
Kazakhstan’s agenda will also include migration issues and development by the OSCE of appropriate laws and integrated approaches to migration policy to improve global management of migration.
On energy security, Kazakhstan will continue to support the consolidation of the international community’s efforts to provide stable and secure exports routes for hydrocarbons as part of the mutual dependency of producers, consumers, transit states and transnational corporations.
In the humanitarian dimension, Kazakhstan’s efforts will centre on the basis of global security – the promotion of tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and peaceful co-existence of ethnic groups in the OSCE area. With its unique experience of developing dialogue and harmony between different ethnic and religious groups, Kazakhstan will convene a high-level OSCE conference on tolerance and non-discrimination in Astana in June 2010.
Kazakhstan will also pay close attention to the development of democratic institutions, protection of human rights and provision of gender equality. In this area, the Chairmanship will give priority attention to addressing the problem of human trafficking.
Kanat Saudabayev also said Kazakhstan also intends to continue the “fine tradition initiated by our predecessors Greece by inviting the foreign ministers of the OSCE participating States to an informal meeting in Almaty this summer”.
“Here in the Alatau mountains rising 3000 metres above sea level and among the flowering alpine meadows we could in the spirit of Corfu continue the open and free exchange of views on the most pressing problems in the OSCE’s area of responsibility and ideally approve an agenda and time frame for the summit,” he noted.
Full text of the Statement is here