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LONDON, 28 January 2019 – The Embassy of Kazakhstan in the UK hosted a thematic briefing to reflect on Kazakhstan's two-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
Symbolically, the event was held in one of London's most historic buildings, Church House Westminster, which played host to the first ever meeting of the UN Security Council on 17 January 1946.
The event's speakers were the UK Minister of State for Europe and the Americas Sir Alan Duncan MP, Ambassador of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov and Ambassador Rizal Sukma, who officially represents Indonesia in the United Kingdom. Indonesia replaced Kazakhstan on the UNSC on 1 January 2019 as a representative of the Asia-Pacific Group. Other guests included leaders and senior staff from the British Foreign Office, members of the UK Parliament, ambassadors, business executives, international experts and journalists.
In his welcoming speech, Ambassador Idrissov summed up the results of Kazakhstan's work on the UN Security Council. In just two years, representatives of Kazakhstan took part in more than 1,000 open and closed UNSC meetings, 38 informal events, and contributed to 115 UNSC resolutions and 48 statements of the Council Presidency.
Achieving a nuclear-weapons-free world was one of the seven priorities of Kazakhstan's work on the UNSC. These priorities were outlined in the Policy Address of the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to the UN Security Council on 1 January 2017. The key event of Kazakhstan's UNSC chairmanship in January 2018 was the high-level thematic briefing “Non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction: confidence-building measures" chaired by President Nazarbayev. The debate resulted in the recognition of non-proliferation as the key element of a comprehensive conflict prevention strategy and the inclusion of this concept in a politically binding document – the Statement by the President of the UN Security Council.
The creation of a regional zone of peace, security, cooperation and development in Central Asia was another priority for Kazakhstan during its UNSC membership. In this regard, Kazakhstan focused on providing diverse assistance to Afghanistan. During Kazakhstan's presidency, the members of the Security Council visited Afghanistan for the first time in several years in order to gain a greater understanding of the situation on the ground.
“I hope that Kazakhstan's obvious success in the UN over the last two years will encourage other states in the region to follow in your footsteps and become key players on the international stage in the way that you have been," Sir Alan said.
Among Kazakhstan's many achievements on the international stage, he highlighted the Caspian Summit in Aktau, which resolved many years of debate on the status of the Caspian Sea, efforts to restore peace in Afghanistan, and Kazakhstan's participation in international peacekeeping missions.
The Indonesian Ambassador Dr. Sukma informed guests about Indonesia's priorities for its non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council and noted his country would strive to follow the example of Kazakhstan and expand upon the results already achieved.
The briefing also included a photo exhibition, as well as a screening of historical videos about Kazakhstan's work within the UN, the UN Security Council, the country's efforts in conflict resolution, its participation in peacekeeping missions, as well as its provision of humanitarian assistance.