NUR-SULTAN, October 9, 2019 – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan together with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held a round table called ‘Afghanistan and the OSCE: Fostering Opportunities for Partnership and Co-operation’.
The event was held as part of the trip of Permanent Representatives of the OSCE participating States, including members of the leading Troika of the Organization, to three Central Asian countries.
The round table was attended by high-level representatives of international and regional organizations, including the UN Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto, Special Representative and Head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalia Gherman, and heads of OSCE missions in Central Asia, as well as delegates from the EU, CICA, SCO, CARICC and UNHCR.
In his welcoming speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tileuberdi stated that the OSCE delegation’s visit was illustrative of the interest of European partners in the ongoing implementation of the outcomes of the Astana Summit held in 2010, the first summit of its kind so far this century.
“The future of Central Asia goes hand in hand with the peaceful and sustainable development of Afghanistan. Kazakhstan continues to provide bilateral and multilateral support to the Afghan people in rebuilding their state. We believe that strong global and regional partnership, long-term investment and regional cohesion are key factors in ensuring that country’s peaceful progress,” Mr. Tileuberdi stated.
The Kazakh Foreign Minister emphasized that supporting Afghanistan has traditionally been one of the key priorities of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy, including during the country’s chairmanship of the OSCE, the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in 2011, as well as during its non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council in 2017-2018.
Mr. Tileuberdi drew the forum participants’ attention to the initiative of President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on the need to create in Kazakhstan a Special UN Regional Centre for Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the OSCE Thematic Centre for Sustainable Interconnection.
In turn, the meeting participants highlighted the importance of developing synergy between key international and regional organizations participating in the process of assisting Afghanistan through the OSCE-SCO and OSCE-CICA to increase its effectiveness.
Senior representatives of the UN Tadamichi Yamamoto and Natalia Gherman welcomed Kazakhstan’s significant contribution to maintaining peace and stability in Central Asia. It was noted that during the country’s membership in the UN Security Council, it led by example in making a practical contribution to raising the level of discussion of Afghanistan in the international community.
In his address, OIC Permanent Representative in Afghanistan Huseyin Avni Botsali highlighted Kazakhstan’s unquestionable standing among the Muslim world, as well as the immense potential of the peace initiatives of the First President of Kazakhstan - Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev, in OIC countries, including on Islamic rapprochement.
Moreover, foreign guests praised the efforts made by Kazakhstan, the European Union and the UN development programs to implement educational projects for Afghan youth in leading Kazakh universities.
During their stay in Nur-Sultan and Almaty, the Permanent Representatives were also received by the leadership of the Supreme Court, the Minister of Information and Social Development, the Commissioner for Human Rights in Kazakhstan, and other public authorities and agencies.
The program also included a visit to the Astana International Financial Centre and the International Centre for Green Technology.
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