President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev’s
Remarks at his meeting with the Diplomatic Corps accredited to Kazakhstan
Astana, February 17, 2015
Dear Ambassadors and Heads of Missions!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Since this is our first meeting this year I would like to begin it with my congratulations and my best wishes for the New Year!
2015 is a notable year for Kazakhstan with a number of significant dates.
Firstly, we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan this year. It is the year of unity of our people. As you know, there are 17 religious denominations and more than a hundred ethnic groups live in harmony in our country. There is a significant Assembly’s contribution in it.
Secondly, we will celebrating the 20th Anniversary of our Constitution this year. It is the most important guarantor of Kazakhstan’s growth, which was adopted by nation-wide referendum.
Thirdly, this year we will celebrate the the Kazakh Khanate’s 550th Anniversary. Kazakh Khanate is the first and most important event, which determined the future of our country.
Fourthly, this year is the 70th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the most terrible tragedy in history of the humankind. It should serve as a lesson for all of us in order to preserve peace in the world and respect of the human values.
You can eyewitness that by the 23rd Anniversary of its independence, Kazakhstan has become a strong state. Despite the complicated situation at the global market, our gross domestic product increased by 4.3 percent last year. We have completed the first five-year plan of our industrial innovative program. We had used 770 new products, created 75,000 jobs and 400 new products, those have not existed in Kazakhstan. We expect that during the second five-year plan, only this year 7,500 jobs will be offered in order to implement 75 projects.
In 2014, we adopted the “Nurly Zhol” program. Our goal is to restore the transport infrastructure. Last week the expanded government meeting was held in order to adapt the program to the external economic situation. At this meeting, we scrutinized and discussed the work plan. This program is an effective tool to tackle the external influences. It will help attract investments, create new products and jobs. 500 billion tenge will be allocated for 2015 and for each other year till 2017.
We also reviewed processing in agriculture, engineering, support for the small and medium businesses, infrastructure development, increase of the public support for the industries and market protection. We expect growth of “Made in Kazakhstan” branded products. In this regard, the Government of Kazakhstan will submit recommendations to the Parliament on budget expenditure optimization. The Government’s social obligations to the people will not expire, as well.
We believe that development of healthcare, education, investing into human capital for the long term will become a basis for future economic growth of our country. According to the “NurlyZhol” program, the infrastructure development in Kazakhstan will later affect the global economic trend.
Experts forecast that the trade turnover in Europe and Asia will reach 60 percent by 2020. We act accordingly.
This year, Kazakhstan’s part of the “Western Europe – Western China” project construction will be completed. It is a 2700 km long highway that will decrease terms of delivery of goods from China to Europe from 45 to 10 days.
Kazakhstan’s railway will become a main part of the land transport on the Eurasian continent. It connects the Caspian Sea to Pacific Ocean, China to Central Asian countries and to Western Europe. You have recently eye witnessed launch of the large railway project “Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran”. All these measures are aimed at Kazakhstan’s achievements in the regional transport communication.
This year, new law has entered into force aimed at helping the foreign investors. The industrial and innovative development program, “NurlyZhol” and “EXPO-2017” will create the most effective and favourable conditions for development of large joint projects with our foreign partners. Dear ladies and gentlemen, Ambassadors, we hope that you will support us in this work. We are determined to work with the states you represent.
Esteemed Ambassadors and Heads of missions!
The beginning of 2015 was marked by the growth of dangerous threats and challenges on a global scale. The attacks in Paris demonstrated the vulnerability of all modern societies to international terrorism. Today there can be no doubt that terrorism has become a global problem and the whole world should unite to counteract it.
Kazakhstan strongly condemns all forms of terrorism and extremism and fully participates in global efforts to tackle this evil. We are ready to strengthen further our interaction with the international community to overcome this threat.
When countering radicalism and terrorism, it is vital not to confuse the destructive ideologies on which they are based with traditional peaceful Islam and other religions. The fostering of sustainable inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue is essential to fight extremism.
Kazakhstan makes a full contribution to the development of inter-cultural and inter-religious links and conversation. The Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which was initiated by our country, has become a recognized international platform for dialogue. We invite your countries to join the Fifth Congress, which will be held in June 2015 in Astana.
2015 also sees the international community celebrating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act and the 25th anniversary of the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. These anniversaries should encourage deep reflection and a frank conversation about the present international security situation.
The conflict in the south-east of Ukraine has led to the death of more than 5,000 people. Few expected that this conflict in Ukraine would escalate to the point where seemingly human life has no value. This is a great tragedy of the Ukrainian people. Kazakhstan has been taking, and continues to take, an active part in the efforts to find a solution to a crisis which should be of concern to all of us. Ukraine remains one of the main subjects for discussion with my foreign counterparts.
These discussions helped bring about last August the first Minsk meeting with participation of Presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine and EU representatives. We welcome the outcome of the talks between the “Normandy Four” leaders in Minsk on February 12.
These negotiations were both important and difficult. We should applaud the heads of state, who demonstrated self-control, eagerness to compromise and leadership. They have made serious efforts to stop the bloodshed. Together with the international community, we call on the parties to the conflict to fully comply with the terms of the agreement, to observe the ceasefire and to work to resolve the remaining political issues. We are convinced that there is no alternative to peaceful settlement of conflict in the south-east of Ukraine.
The present crisis of confidence in international relations not only weakens the capacity of all states to overcome today’s challenges, but also brings the threat of global military conflict closer. Given the growth of conflict flashpoints in the world, it is essential for us to strengthen international security system.
First, to restore confidence and build a more stable world order, it is essential to reaffirm the fundamental principles of international law. It is critical every country, without exception, adheres to its obligations under international agreements and treaties. Kazakhstan stands for confirmation of the principles of equality, mutual consideration of each other’s interests, collective endeavours to solve major problems relying international law and the central role of the United Nations.
Second, in December 2010 during the OSCE summit in Astana, all member states supported our idea of creating common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community. Today this approach to ensuring security is even more important. In light of the threats and challenges of the 21st century, we suggest developing a new agreement similar in concept to the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. It requires the creation of new security system based upon mutual interests along with practical issues to implement the principles of the OSCE Astana Declaration. Leaders of all states must demonstrate political will, as well as the vision to look with a global perspective to future needs.
Third, close economic cooperation among nations is the most effective way to ensure security. Today mutual economic sanctions by the West and Russia are exacerbating an already difficult situation in the global economy and damaging countries and peoples. Kazakhstan, as a member of the world community, is no exception. In this regard, it is important that the declaration, adopted in Minsk on February 12, which provides for a “commitment to the creation of a common economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean”, is taken forward.
For our part, Kazakhstan is committed to the expansion of foreign economic relations and regional integration. On January 1, 2015 the agreement on creation of the Eurasian Economic Union came into force. For the first time in Eurasia, an economic alliance with powerful resource capacity and developed transport and energy systems has been established.
I would like to stress that the EAEU is based upon the principles of respect for sovereignty, economic pragmatism, equality and openness, without which no association could exist. Dozens of countries have already expressed their interest in the creation of free trade zones with the EAEU, which demonstrates its attractiveness,
The completion of talks between Kazakhstan and the European Union on the new Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement is an important step forward. This year we also expect Kazakhstan’s membership of the World Trade Organization which will also provide new opportunities for trade.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
2015 also sees the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations Organization. In the light of the challenges of the 21st century, all nations need to strengthen the role of the UN as the single universal organization for addressing the issues of peace and war, sustainable world order and global development.
Nuclear threat remains one of the most serious problems of our time. I would like to re-emphasize the relevance of our initiative to develop a new comprehensive Universal Treaty on the horizontal and vertical non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Kazakhstan, in turn, continues its efforts to strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation regime. One of the successful steps towards this goal was the signing in New York of the Protocol to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia.
During the Global Nuclear Security Summits held in Washington and Seoul, I called for the adoption of a Universal Declaration for a Nuclear-Free World. This would enshrine the commitment of all countries to move towards the ideals of a nuclear weapon-free world. This is a difficult issue but we need to move in this direction to protect humanity and civilization.
The economic situation in the world requires reform of the monetary and financial architecture which has been discussed within Kazakhstan’s initiative G-Global. The idea of adopting the World anti-crisis plan within the G-Global was widely supported by international community.
As I have said, lasting peace and global stability can only be based on strict compliance with the norms of international law. But this also requires the strengthening of UN mechanisms to control and implement effective measures when these norms are violated. Adopting such reforms during the year of 70th anniversary of the UN is essential. Dividing the world into the spheres of influence and bloc mentality belongs to the past.
As you know Kazakhstan has announced its bid to secure a seat as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018. I am confident that Kazakhstan would make its contribution to peace, to the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking and to help deliver energy, food and water security. We hope we can count on your countries’ support for our candidacy.
I am glad that the idea, which I put forward at the UN in 1992, to convene a Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia has seen CICA’s transformation into a full-fledged international organization. CICA Summits have already been held in Ankara and in Shanghai last May. Kazakhstan is an active participant in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Our cooperation with the Collective Security Treaty Organization is also successfully developing.
A new impetus for strengthening ties with the Islamic Cooperation Organization this year will be provided by events staged under the framework of “Almaty – Capital of Islamic Culture”. We are keen to complete the procedures for establishing the Islamic Organization for Food Security with its headquarters in Astana.
We are committed to strengthening economic and cultural and humanitarian ties within the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States – Turkic Council.
Kazakhstan is also holding negotiations on joining the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Further proof of Kazakhstan’s determination to pursue an active foreign policy is the adoption of the law “On official development assistance”.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Throughout 2015, Kazakhstan will continue to expand and deepen our relations with the international community bilaterally and multilaterally. Our priorities remain unchanged and are set out formally in the foreign policy programme we have adopted.
Last December, the Treaty on Good Neighbourliness and Alliance in the 21st century between Kazakhstan and Russia entered into force. It envisages the strengthening of bilateral relations in all spheres of political, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
We intend to further deepen our comprehensive strategic cooperation and friendly relations with the People’s Republic of China.
Kazakhstan also attaches special attention to our relations with our fellow Central Asian states. The peoples of our region are bound by shared ties of history, culture and language.
Kazakhstan will continue its efforts to develop cooperation with the countries of the European Union, which is our leading economic, trade and investment partner.
The strengthening of our strategic partnership with the United States, which we have been actively developing, remains important.
We aim to enhance economic, investment and technological cooperation with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and to improve regional structures.
Kazakhstan will also build partnerships, through improved bilateral and multilateral frameworks with the countries of the Middle and Near East, with which we have close historic and spiritual ties. This year, we will continue to promote economic and social development of Afghanistan.
We also hope that the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear programme will be completed through a comprehensive settlement that will be acceptable to all parties.
Our relations with the countries of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean have been consistently developing. Kazakhstan has opened new embassies in a number of countries in these regions in recent years.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Representatives of diplomatic missions!
Let me end by stressing that we fully support your activities in Kazakhstan and hope that our relations with the countries you represent will continue to develop successfully.