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STRBSKE PLESO, July 9, 2019 – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Beibut Atamkulov took part in the OSCE Informal Ministerial Gathering held in the Slovak Republic. Delegations from 57 OSCE participating states attended the forum, including 25 at the level of foreign ministers.
The OSCE Ministerial Gathering was entitled “From past action to future prevention: the OSCE´s niche in fostering stability in Europe and beyond". The delegates mainly discussed the issues of increasing the Organization's effectiveness, preventing conflict situations in the OSCE area of responsibility, etc.
The head of the Kazakh delegation drew the participants' attention to the experience of our country in addressing traditional and new challenges to regional and global security, including the successful chairmanship of Kazakhstan in the OSCE in 2010 and its membership in the UN Security Council in 2017-2018.
In this vein, the Kazakh side proposed to hold a round table on Afghanistan under the auspices of the OSCE in October 2019 in Nur-Sultan. Assistance to the reconstruction of Afghanistan by non-military methods was one of the priorities of Kazakhstan's chairmanship in 2010 in the OSCE and is one of the important priorities of Kazakhstan's foreign policy.
“We all see that the Organization area experiences a loss of mutual trust, an escalation of tension and aggravation of serious differences. The number of so-called frozen or protracted conflicts has increased rather than decreased over this period. In this critical situation of the crisis of the international cooperation system, a global dialogue is needed in order to achieve a strategic balance in the world," said Minister Atamkulov, presenting to his colleagues the key tenets of the initiative of the First President of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev on the "Three Dialogues".
It was noted that conflicts in the OSCE area should be resolved by diplomatic means based on the principle of collective responsibility. Co-operation within the OSCE should be based on the principles of multilateralism, collective ownership and open dialogue.
In the spirit of the 2010 Astana Declaration, Kazakhstan called on OSCE participating States to promote a unifying agenda. The Kazakh side once again highlighted the importance of the idea of creating an OSCE thematic center on sustainable interconnection in Nur-Sultan and arranging a visit of OSCE Permanent Representatives to Kazakhstan in autumn 2019. “Kazakhstan has put forward an initiative to create an OSCE thematic center to substantively study the full use of the second basket for conflict prevention, sustainable interconnection issues, as well as analytical and research work, including good governance, green economy, development of new technologies, disaster prevention, energy security, trade promotion throughout the OSCE area," the head of the Kazakh delegation said.
Kazakhstan, being in the center of Eurasia, is a key link in various transcontinental projects and represents the best place to promote the concept of sustainable interconnection.
One of the highlights of the speech by the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan was the OSCE reset, returning to the “Spirit of Helsinki", which was continued during the Astana Summit in 2010. “The spirit of Astana" demonstrated the atmosphere of a dialogue, which was complex and sharp, but necessary and inevitable. At the same time, they noted the increased relevance of such a constructive approach in the current conditions of the global development. In this context, it was proposed to hold a conference in Kazakhstan next year, dedicated to the 45th anniversary of the OSCE, in order to renew our commitment to the fundamental principles of the Organization and discuss the prospects for its development with an eye to its 50th anniversary.
On the margins of the forum, Beibut Atamkulov held talks with OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger, discussing current issues of interaction between Kazakhstan and key OSCE institutions - Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and others.
In turn, the Kazakh delegation drew the attention of the OSCE Secretary General to the importance of developing a dialogue mechanism through the OSCE and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). Thomas Greminger, in turn, thanked the Kazakh side for supporting the work of the OSCE international observer group at the early presidential election in Kazakhstan in June 2019 and noted the high level of organization of the electoral process in the country and the OSCE's willingness to continue assisting.
The results and agreements reached at the end of the conference will form the basis of the official meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council to be held in December 2019 in Bratislava (Slovakia).
The Meeting participants thanked the Slovak side for the high-quality organization of the event and the efforts of Slovakia, as the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, aimed at real changes in the activities of the Organization.