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
India-US Cooperation Grows With Obama Visit
The visit is particularly important for efforts related to stability and security in the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions.
Key Global Events to Watch in January
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2015: Ten Multilateral Events to Watch This Year
A list of ten events that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2015, compiled by IPI’s Francesco Mancini.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
January 20, 2015
Mongolian Foreign Policy Between ''Two Giants''
On January 20, Mongolia’s new Foreign Minister Purevsuren Lundeg visited the IPI Vienna office and gave an informal briefing on Mongolia’s contemporary foreign policy priorities and challenges.
January 20, 2015
Dutch FM Koenders: ''The Security Council Has to Change''
Speaking to an overflow IPI audience on January 20th, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders acknowledged how far the United Nations has come since its inception 70 years ago but said that the organization still “has a lot of growing up to do.”
December 15, 2014
Fathi: Iran and the Struggle Between Hardliners and Reformers
Discussing her new book The Lonely War: One Woman’s Account of the Struggle for Modern Iran at IPI on December 15th, author Nazila Fathi said that 35 years after the revolution, Iran is divided between hardliners and a large moderate middle class, but admitted that it is still unclear which of the two sides will gain the upper hand.
January 29, 2015
Ebola Outbreak: The UN’s First Emergency Health Mission
September 25, 2014
IPI Remembers Margaret Vogt