March 2012 marks 20 years of Kazakhstan's membership in the UN, Kazakhstan Ambassador and First Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ms. Akmaral Arystanbekova has shared her memories of the historical moment of Kazakhstan's accession to the United Nations in an interview with Kazinform.
The Republic joined the United Nations on March 2, 1992. This event recognized Kazakhstan as an independent subject of international law and international relations, a truly independent state. From that day the UN has become a guarantor of the independence and sovereignty of Kazakhstan.
At the end of December 1991, two days after the declaration of Kazakhstan's independence, as foreign minister I was sent by President Nursultan Nazarbayev to New York for the preparation of the entry of our young country to the United Nations.
On December 21, 1991, at the meeting in Alma-Ata the heads of the CIS states agreed on the Russia's continuation of the membership of the USSR in the UN, including its seat in the Security Council, and assisting the new independent states in obtaining full membership in the UN.
On January 3, 1992 the Statement by the Republic of Kazakhstan on the membership in the UN was published as a document of the General Assembly and Security Council and in accordance with the rules of procedure sent for consideration to the Security Council.
With the aim of providing political support to Kazakhstan in accession to the UN I had met with ambassadors of the leading UN member states, General Secretary and Chairman of the General Assembly as well as heads of the Secretariat departments to discuss the issues of speeding up the process of accession and establishing cooperation with the Organization.
On December 23, 1992, the Security Council recommended to the General Assembly to accept Kazakhstan as a member of the UN. On March 2, 1991 at a plenary meeting of its 46th session the General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution that recognized Kazakhstan as a member of the UN. I was awarded the honor to speak on behalf of the President and people of Kazakhstan, after was the ceremony of raising the new members' state flags.
As the first Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan I participated directly in formation and development of Kazakhstan's cooperation with the UN. For those years I had observed the growth of the international authority of young independent Kazakhstan due to its balanced and consistent foreign policy course based upon respect and observance of principles of international law.
How many countries are the UN members now, what is the UN membership for them?
Kazakhstan became the 168th UN member state. To date, 193 states are the members of the most authoritative universal world organization.
The UN has great experience in different areas such as disarmament, peacekeeping, political, economic, social, humanitarian and international law, and this experience helps its member states form their state institutions and carry out large- scale reforms based on international standards.
Kazakhstan as the UN member state has an opportunity to strengthen the state sovereignty, national security and national interests' defense.
The unique experience of the UN promotes Kazakhstan's progress, its integration into the world political and economic system. Cooperation with the UN helps our country to further realize its own sustainable model of development in terms of globalization.
What is the relationship between Kazakhstan and the UN today? How important are the initiatives of our country for this international organization? Are there any results of their implementation?
Speaking at the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2011 Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that for 20 years of its independence Kazakhstan strictly followed the letter and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations.
The historical contribution of the young independent state in ensuring global peace and security were the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and voluntary renunciation of the
world's fourth largest nuclear arsenal 20 years ago.
The first international initiative of Kazakhstan on convening the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, proposed by the Head of State in his first speech on October 5, 1992 at the 47th session of UN General Assembly, turned out to be a real factor in strengthening the Asian security and cooperation.
Our country in 1997 became one of the initiators of establishing a zone free of nuclear weapons in Central Asia, which came into effect in 2009. At the initiative of Kazakhstan in 2009 the UN General Assembly declared 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests.
International initiatives of our young independent state comply with the provisions of the UN Charter on strengthening regional stability and security in the world.
There exist different views on the UN's role in settling international problems. How this applies to Kazakhstan, and what are the prospects for cooperation between the parties in the future?
The United Nations is the unique international organization, the universal nature of which depends not only on the number of states represented in it, but, above all, on the range of international issues it does address.
In the 21st century, the growing challenges of globalization, its negative impact on economic and social development of nations and society, environmental security of the planet, the emergence of new threats to humanity require the strengthening of international mechanisms of joint efforts for an adequate response to the challenges of time. And the most effective tool for global concerted action in addressing pressing global issues remains the United Nations.
The urgent need to resolve all these problems, of course, requires the Organization to adapt to the new challenges of this century, its renewal and reforming. I am convinced that this should be done only on the basis of further strengthening and observance of the principles and the primacy of international law outlined in the UN Charter.
The geopolitical position and balanced foreign policy allow Kazakhstan to participate meaningfully and contribute to the search for solutions to relevant political issues that directly affect the country's interests in the multilateral diplomacy.
The UN presence in our country is constantly expanding and strengthening. The country now has about 20 offices of the UN programs, funds and specialized agencies, half of them have a regional and sub-regional status covering the countries of Central Asia, the CIS and Eastern Europe. At present our country within the UN moves from the category of recipient countries to the category of donor countries.
In the context of the objective set by the Kazakh President to strengthen the international status of the country, there were created the objective conditions for the conversion of Almaty, which has nine UN regional offices, into a regional center of multilateral diplomacy. I'm sure the fruitful cooperation of Kazakhstan with the UN will be further enhanced and brought to a new level.
Thank you for the interview.