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
Killing of al-Shabaab Leader Throws Future of Militant Group into Question
In the short term, the killing of Godane is likely to result in more violent attacks, but longer-term consequences are hard to predict.
Key Global Events to Watch in September
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, 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.
September 19, 2014
Madani: Extremist Group Actions “Cannot be Associated with Any Religion”
Iyad Madani, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), reaffirmed at IPI the Muslim world’s commitment to religious tolerance and human rights and sought to distance Islam from the recent violent actions at the hands of extremist groups across Africa and the Middle East.
September 15, 2014
Despite Disaffection, Youth Still Engaged with Democracy
Young people around the world appear increasingly disaffected with politics and political institutions, particularly in countries where corruption is rampant and government accountability is lacking. Yet during a September 15th event commemorating the International Day of Democracy, a group of young political activists from three different continents spoke at IPI
September 10, 2014
Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future: The Middle East After 1914
On September 10-11, 2014, the International Peace Institute launched its inaugural meeting at its Middle East Regional Office in Manama, Bahrain titled “Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future: The Middle East After 1914.”
September 17, 2014
Video: Strengthening Democratic Governance in Africa