Heads of the diplomatic missions!
Ladies and gentlemen!
We are holding our traditional meeting in the jubilee year for Kazakhstan’s foreign policy.
Today, we mark the 20th anniversary of our country’s accession to the United Nations.
In January, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations with the Peoples’ Republic of China, Great Britain and France, in February with Germany and in March with Turkey.
So, every month of this year we mark anniversaries of relations with all countries of the world, who now have a relationship with our nation.
May this year will mark the 20th anniversary of my first official visit as head of state to the USA.
In the same month we will celebrate the anniversary of the ‘big’ Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance with the Russian Federation.
As you know, we have already exchanged congratulatory messages to mark the anniversary of our relationships with the leaders of a number of states. With many others we have yet to do this.
Today, I cordially congratulate all those present with the jubilee year of our bilateral relations with every country represented here.
Also in July we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s professional diplomatic service.
I would like to note that the support and experience of many foreign diplomats, who have worked for two decades in Kazakhstan in the diplomatic missions of their countries, had a great importance for the formation and development of Kazakhstan’s diplomatic service.
In the two decades, Kazakhstan has built constructive relations with all countries, our closest neighbours and all those interested in developing cooperation with our country.
I would like to express gratitude to all ambassadors and heads of foreign diplomatic missions present here today and all your diplomats for the contribution you make to strengthening bilateral relations between our countries.
You are aware of the successes our country has achieved over the 20 years of independence.
We recounted those in detail when taking stock of the Kazakhstan Way during the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of independence.
The jubilee year of 2011 confirmed the continued high dynamics of economic growth in Kazakhstan despite the ongoing global economic crisis.
The GDP of the country grew by 7.5 percent. The GDP per capita exceeded 11,000 US dollars. We pride ourselves on the fact that these indicators have grown 16 fold during the years of independence for we had started with GDP per capita of only 700 US dollars.
During the past two years of implementing the course of industrial and innovative development of the country, we have built approximately four hundred new factories. In the industrial sector, we have created 90,000 new jobs. 60 new enterprises are up and running at full capacity, and have already produced goods worth 2 billion US dollars.
We know what is happening around the world, yet the unemployment rate in Kazakhstan is being reduced.
We have had a good start with innovative development.
The expenditures on technological innovation in the industrial sector increased by a factor of 8, amounting to some 220 billion KZT.
Labour productivity in the manufacturing industry grew by 20 per cent overall. This is the industry we are focusing our greatest attention.
Large-scale transformations are taking place in the agricultural sector. The state helps the agriculture.
Today, Kazakhstan provides two-thirds of its needs in quality food and raw materials. We will achieve a 100 per cent provision of all kinds in the coming years.
We are expanding export capacities of our agricultural sector, particularly in supplying the world markets with not only grain but also meat products.
In 2011, Kazakhstan’s foreign trade turnover amounted to 126 billion US dollars, up 40 percent from the previous year.
Exports of Kazakh products to international markets totalled 88 billion US dollars with more than 21 billion US dollars coming from exports of non-primary goods. This is the first time in our economy.
Last year, Kazakhstan’s economy attracted 18 billion US dollars in foreign direct investments. This is a good indicator for our country.
The gold and foreign exchange reserves of the country amount to 82 billion US dollars, including 47 billion US dollars in the National Fund, which means the reserves exceed 40 per cent of the national GDP.
In general, we continue to implement the ‘Kazakhstan – 2030’ National Strategy, due to which the country has been effectively developing for the past 15 years.
This is clearly evidenced by the results of the recent parliamentary elections. The elections became a new step forward for our young democracy. At present, three political parties are represented in the Majilis of the Parliament.
In general, Kazakhstan is becoming a mature country.
As you know, in my state-of-the-nation address to the people of Kazakhstan, I put forward a Programme of Socio-Economic Modernization, which is very important these days.
We will address two interrelated tasks at once.
The first is to develop the economy, industry and agriculture. I announced new industrial projects.
We plan to actively develop the electric power that will be needed for industrial development.
We are beginning construction of the Balkhash thermal power plant and will finish construction of Moinak hydro-electric power station that will provide electricity for new enterprises now under construction.
We plan gasification in the country and the construction of a network of domestic gas pipelines.
We plan to develop our gas chemical industry and oil refining companies.
In the coming years, we will complete the Kazakh section of the 2700 km ‘Western Europe-Western China’ highway.
Construction of the 1200 km ‘Beyneu-Zhezkazgan’ railway will begin in Central Kazakhstan.
The ‘Arkalyk-Shubarkol’ line of more than two hundred kilometres in length will also be constructed. These projects will provide infrastructure in the developing regions of the country and will make Kazakhstan a transit state.
These and many other projects provide a good opportunity for interested foreign investors who we actively encourage to work with us.
A particularly important aspect of our plans is further improvement of the favourable investment climate in the country.
In this context, we plan to develop the ‘E-government’, ramp up the fight against corruption and reduce administrative barriers to business.
We hope that our ambitious economic projects, including infrastructure development, will attract foreign businesses interested in working with us on mutually beneficial terms.
I invite all countries to cooperate with Kazakhstan. We are willing to work in the field of public-private entrepreneurship, which will engage foreign businesses, the Government and our pension funds.
Our second strategic objective is to modernize the social sphere and improve the welfare of our people.
The creation of the best conditions for the life of the people of Kazakhstan is a guarantee of both high rates of economic growth and ensuring sustainability of the country.
This is the main aspect of our domestic policy for decades to come.
I believe that our plans to implement a large-scale programme of employment, housing construction, regional development, education and healthcare should also be of interest to our many foreign partners.
Over these past few days, the Parliament reviewed the issue of financing all such projects. I reviewed this issue yesterday. Financing will be fully provided for all of them, and we will begin our work this spring.
I ask all attending ambassadors and heads of the diplomatic missions to deliver this message to the business circles in your respective countries.
Kazakhstan is a young nation.
Our great advantage is that Kazakhstan has been able to develop relations with other countries starting from a clean slate.
There are practically no significant problems that we inherited from the depths of the historical past.
There are no problems that cannot be solved through constructive dialogue, mutual benefit and broad cooperation.
In twenty years, we have resolved border issues with all neighbouring countries.
Our external borders are the borders of neighbourhood and cooperation.
Thanks to our efforts pursued jointly with all countries of the region, today Central Asia, Kazakhstan and other post-Soviet states have acquired a clear modern system of international relations in all strategic areas.
First of all, our region is a nuclear weapon-free zone. This status is enshrined in the Semipalatinsk Treaty.
We intend to strengthen the regional non-nuclear regime and share its experience with other regional communities of the modern world.
Second, Central Asia has a great potential to become one of the global energy centres.
We see the future of the region in the development of oil and gas pipelines exporting our hydrocarbon resources to Europe and Asia.
Strengthening the hydropower potential of Central Asia is a promising direction.
We encourage our neighbours to consolidate efforts and resolve all contentious water management problems on the principles of mutual benefit and equality.
Kazakhstan, as the largest holder of uranium reserves in the world, plans to develop peaceful nuclear energy.
This is in the interests of our country, all countries in our region and all of our external partners, which are interested in developing cooperation in this field.
Third, Kazakhstan remains a consistent supporter of the process of Central Asian integration. We have submitted our proposals to all our neighbours.
The integration offers ample opportunities for carrying out large-scale joint investment projects.
It is my opinion that today it would be important to explore the creation of a regional free-trade zone.
It is important to take concerted measures in the field of cross-border labour migration.
It is necessary to create and develop a unified Central Asian network of railways and roads.
The states of our region could substantively work on the creation of a common regional food pool. There are sufficient energy and food resources in our region.
Fourth, we see tremendous opportunities of the states in the region to be a collective bulwark of the international community against international terrorism and extremism, illegal migration, drug trafficking and other contemporary challenges.
In this regard, Kazakhstan welcomes the activity of the specialized agencies of the UN, the OSCE and other international organisations.
Kazakhstan believes its mission in the region is in consistent strengthening of regional security and stability.
We are ready to deepen our cooperation on all regional security issues, including within the CSTO, SCO, and CICA, as well as within partnership programmes with NATO and other international structures.
Dear Ambassadors, heads of the diplomatic missions!
I would now like to dwell on important points related to Kazakhstan’s participation in macro- regional and global international organisations.
First. This is the anniversary year for the process of interaction and confidence-building measures in Asia.
The initiative to convene the CICA which I put forward twenty years ago from the rostrum of the 47th Session of the UN General Assembly was one of the first foreign policy initiatives of independent Kazakhstan, which was successfully implemented.
We are satisfied with the way this process has consistently been developing over the past two decades.
As a matter of fact, the CICA has basically reached such a level of interaction which provides for a transition to a more efficient form of its participation in the system of modern international relations in Eurasia and globally.
We are speaking about the prospect of establishing a new full-fledged international Organisation on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, the OICA.
This is the context where all CICA participants should work together in the next few years.
Second. As the President of the country that hosted the historic OSCE Summit in December 2010, I am concerned about the lack of progress in implementing the Astana Declaration.
The ship called ‘OSCE” continues to run lurched on the side of the humanitarian dimension.
We again witness non-productive attempts to use such a tool as the national election observation missions to bring pressure by one group of countries on another. If this practice continues, we will not see fit to invite such missions to observe all elections in the future. This is not just my opinion, it is expressed throughout the CIS.
Amazing things may be heard with an inexplicable logic on this matter.
For example, prior to the election, many members of the observer missions express positive opinions on the organisation of electoral processes. Later, they start suddenly repeating one and the same phrase about a mythical non-compliance with some vaguely invented or even contrived standards.
We know very well that these observers come to their assignments with the texts prepared before the election and the same is then announced after the election.
That pulls us back into the past and undermines the role of the OSCE as an institution of mutual trust.
At the same time, the OSCE has not become a platform to search for solutions to the economic ‘stupor’, which affected all its participating States, as well as new countries in the area of its responsibility.
The flaws in the global monetary system are obvious to everyone. They threaten a second global crisis, even more powerful than the one two years ago.
Yet, the issues of economic security remain beyond the OSCE priorities.
The military dimension of the OSCE has stalled. The Corfu Process has equally stalled.
The proposal of Kazakhstan and other participating States to expand the number of security ‘baskets’ within the Organisation has not yet been implemented.
I hope that you will bring my position and concerns to the attention of your governments and the leaders of international organisations.
Third. Global participation will be the backbone of our foreign policy strategy for decades to come.
Kazakhstan has always been and remains a worthy enterprising player in regional and world politics.
We closed the Semipalatinsk Test Site, renounced possession of nuclear weapons, and now we call upon all states to adopt the Universal Declaration of a Nuclear Weapon-Free World.
Our involvement in the global movement to ban nuclear weapons is conscientious and based on principle.
We intend to actively participate in the upcoming Global Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, and to put forward new proposals.
Kazakhstan has been and remains committed to the idea of developing an interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
The significance of such dialogue increases in the modern world.
This year, Astana will host the Fourth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.
We have invited representatives of all religions, politicians and public figures from different countries to participate in the forum, and we are confident that it will be a success. We see great interest of the heads of state and government and the world’s religious leaders in attending the forum.
Fourth. It has always been important for Kazakhstan to be in line with the main development trends of the world.
Our foreign policy has never suffered from geopolitical naivety. Therefore, considering the the process of regionalization of the world economy and politics in the 21st century, we are deepening the Eurasian integration.
Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia have established the Common Economic Space. I would like to emphasize once again that this is an economic association.
We are consistently moving forward towards the establishment of a Eurasian Economic Union.
This is an important factor of regional stability, improvement of competitiveness of our economies and ensuring their technological breakthrough. After a year and a half of working on the basis of these agreements we can see the benefits for all states of this association.
Fifth. Today, the global architecture has been brought to motion.
There are a lot of assessments, which, in my opinion, sometimes demonize the global situation.
If one studies the history with due attention, one can see that the world has never been a simple place. In my view, the present situation is special, however, due to the fact that the humanity is shifting to a new qualitative state. The essence of this shift is about expanding the global area of information society.
Information technologies and opportunities encourage almost all countries to move towards progress.
However, one cannot fail to notice that the methods of ‘encouraging modernization’, especially when it is about ‘external encouragement’ of unprepared political changes in some societies, are not productive. History has provided numerous examples of this in recent years.
In such cases, sometimes we forget the wise words of one of the prominent diplomats Talleyrand who said, “You can do anything with bayonets except sit on them”.
That is why I believe such political practice has no prospects for the 21st century.
Sixth. The global information society, which our world becomes, requires new approaches in the system of international relations.
First of all, the procedure of making global decisions must be fair.
The reality is that both the G8 and the G20 are no longer enough. That is why I have proposed a new format which I called G-GLOBAL, a larger platform for seeking solutions to the current problems of the global financial system and for drafting a comprehensive UN Anti-Crisis Pact.
G-GLOBAL is an invitation to all states, intergovernmental and non-governmental entities of global politics, as well as politicians, public figures, experts and scholars to cooperate and collaborate.
G-GLOBAL is both a virtual (via Internet) and real form of dialogue. In this regard, our website on the issue has become one of the most visited.
This is the format we follow in making preparations for the Astana Economic Forum to be held in May this year. I invite all interested parties to participate in the event.
Seventh. World politics should be based on new global principles.
In the 21st century, these are constructive multi-polarity and transparency, trust and political tolerance, as well as the priority of evolutionary forms of the world’s development. They should be enshrined in the basic documents of the UN and the entire system of international law.
As the diplomats say, the most solid element of international relations at all times has been paper.
At the same time, I think it is important for all states to recognize the overall responsibility for the fate of their regions and for the world as a whole.
It is necessary to collaborate more closely on the entire scope of issues of sustainable development.
We are holding out great hope for the ‘Rio+20’ World Conference to be held in June of this year. As you may know, Kazakhstan has launched a ‘Green Bridge’ initiative aimed at transferring ‘green’ technologies and creating new man-made forests and natural landscapes.
In addition, I suggested from the UN rostrum to approve the Global Energy and Environmental Strategy last year.
Experts estimate that within the next 20 years the needs of humanity in electricity will increase by 40 per cent. At the same time, more than half a billion people live without electricity.
We intend to discuss all of these issues at the forum in Rio de Janeiro.
These are our approaches to current and future development of our country, the Central Asian region and the world.
This year is also special because 15 years ago, following an official proclamation of the former city of Akmola as a new capital of Kazakhstan, the gradual movement of foreign embassies to the new capital began.
The work of the embassies and representative offices of international organisations is very important for our young capital.
The activities of the Diplomatic Corps, as well as the diplomats’ families, have brought some diplomatic elegance and cultural features to Astana.
We, in turn, are doing our best to create optimum conditions for work, life and leisure for foreign diplomats. We give special attention to all your requests.
Those of you, who are new to Astana, have by now gained a personal appreciation of an Astana winter and of how harsh our climate could be.
In difference to the unpredictable climate, however, Kazakhstan’s relations with all countries always remain warm.
We appreciate this and we will do everything we can to further strengthen the potential of our relations.