KASSYM-JOMART TOKAYEV, President of Kazakhstan, noted the world met today during a “new, increasingly bitter period of geopolitical confrontation”, drawing attention to the deepening distrust between global Powers, new military conflicts and the prospect of the use of nuclear weapons. Economic and political sanctions have become “a new norm” — with eroding supply chains and food security as consequences. Moreover, the foundational and interdependent principles of the United Nations — the sovereign equality of States, the territorial integrity of States and peaceful coexistence between States — are being threatened, he warned.
Welcoming the Secretary General’s report Our Common Agenda, he said that he is convinced that these challenges, crises and gaps in global governance can only be overcome by inclusiveness, cooperation and modernizing the United Nations. Looking forward, the 2024 Summit of the Future will guide the leaders of the world in preventing crises, instead of simply responding to global challenges. In this vein, he highlighted Kazakhstan’s initiative, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, and expressed his hope for transforming it into a full-fledged international organization at the upcoming summit in October in Astana.
To get back on track with the Sustainable Development Goals, he said that that a new global security paradigm and honest conversations between the East and West are needed. Expressing concern over the heightened rivalry and rhetoric between nuclear Powers, he said that Kazakhstan will continuously struggle for a world free of such arsenals. Besides that, the pandemic has shown the need for managing biological risks and dangers, and he reiterated an earlier proposal to establish an International Agency for Biological Safety.
Fighting climate change also requires international cooperation. Applauding steps taken by many other States, Kazakhstan has pledged a total transformation of the oil- and coal-dependent energy sector into a net zero economy by 2060. Stating that “climate action cannot come at the expense of development of modernization”, he urged Member States to scale up their commitments to greater climate finance at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in November. These funds are also necessary to mitigate the global food security crisis. Kazakhstan, “the breadbasket of Central Asia” is the largest landlocked developing country and a vital land corridor on the Eurasian continent. It is therefore imperative that food and fertilizers remain off any sanction lists and that attention be paid to reliable and diversified global transport and infrastructure to boost economic recovery and tackle supply chain disruptions. Regional political and economic cooperation is a priority.
Kazakhstan is on the path of transformative political reform to become a just nation, “in which every citizen has the same opportunities, rights and protections”, he said. The presidential mandate has been limited to one seven-year term, the economy is being demonopolized, the death penalty abolished and a mandatory 30 per cent quota for women and young people in electoral party legislative lists has been implemented and much more. Not only at home, but also internationally the country will “spare no effort towards building a safer, more sustainable and prosperous global community”, he concluded.