Speaker Events - Friday, September 23, 2011
Kazykhanov: Celebrating 20 Years of Kazakhstan’s Independence
”As you rightly mentioned, Terje, we will mark the 20th anniversary of independence in December this year, and we believe there is a great deal to celebrate,” Yerzhan Kazykhanov, the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, told Terje Rød-Larsen, the President of the International Peace Institute (IPI), in a morning appearance at IPI on September 23rd.
He mentioned a number of accomplishments, including Kazakhstan’s successful exit from the Soviet Union with sustained stability and ethnic accord “unlike some other countries in our region, and you know that well.” Kazakhstan, he noted, was a multi-confessional country with more than 130 ethnic groups.
He applauded his country’s good relations with two large neighbors – Russia, with whom it shares a border of 7,500 kilometers, and China, where the frontier stretches 2,000 kilometers. Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world and the ninth largest country in the world in landmass.
As evidence that his country represented a bridge between East and West, he noted that construction was underway on a highway called Western China/Western Europe, 3,000 kilometers of which would be on Kazakh territory. With what he called a “multi-vector pipeline policy,” Kazakhstan ships oil both East and West, and, as a downstream country with only 60% of its water resources, it has to draw the remaining 40% from outside its borders.
Kazakhstan is a major participant in multi-lateral diplomacy and trade agreements, forming a customs union with Russia and Belarus, and having chaired both the Shanghai Cooperation Council and the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It currently holds the chairmanship of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at a moment of tremendous change in that region.
Mr. Kazykhanov said that his country also has a special program of assistance to Kyrgzstan, where there have been interethnic clashes and where elections are to be held on October 30th. As for the UN, Kazakhstan has put its name forward for non-permanent membership on the Security Council in 2016.
This year marks not only 20 years of Kazakh independence but 20 years since the country renounced its nuclear program and closed the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. With its massive reserves of oil and gas, the economy has expanded by a factor of 12 during that period and should reach 7% growth in gross income this year, Mr. Kazykhanov said.
Mr. Rod-Larsen, who moderated the discussion, thanked Mr. Kazykhanov for “a tour of a truly amazing and unique country.”
Watch video of event:
The Global Observatory
The Responsibility to Protect Principle is Not the Problem: Interview with Jennifer Welsh
Why hasn’t the principle adopted by the United Nations in 2005 to prevent genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing—known as the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP)—helped to stop the war crimes in Syria?
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2013: The Multilateral Arena
Ten key issues that are likely to impact global affairs in international peace, security, and development.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 26, 2013
Addressing the Crisis in Central African Republic
How to prevent catastrophe in the Central African Republic (CAR) was the topic of an event at the International Peace Institute on November 26th. Ten months after a military coup brought the current transitional government to power, the Central African Republic is wracked by massive human rights violations, sectarian violence, attacks on civilians, and reprisals by self-defense groups.
December 10, 2013
Video: Human Rights in Peacekeeping
December 09, 2013
Video: Heraldo Muñoz on Benazir Bhutto's Assassination
December 03, 2013
IPI Editor Adam Lupel Quoted on the Politics of Genocide [IRIN News]