OSCE Summit In Astana To Adapt Organization To New Realities Of 21 Century: US Permanent Representative To OSCE Ian Kelly

By Dimash Syzdykov

One of the most important achievements of Kazakhstan during the years of independence is its election to be the first state in the CIS, Asia, Muslim and Turkic world to chair the OSCE. Our country managed to organize the OSCE Summit on December 1-2 this year in Astana. This event will give a new impetus to the activity of the Organization after 11-year pause in top-level meetings.

US Permanent Representative to the OSCE, Ambassador Ian Kelly told a Kazinform correspondent about how the Kazakhstan's presidency, its initiatives, efforts on settling regional conflicts and problems are appraised as well as about the position of the United States of America on the forthcoming Summit in Astana.
Mr. Ambassador, nine months of the Kazakhstan's OSCE presidency have already passed. How can you comment on the preliminary results of the Kazakhstan chairmanship and initiatives of the country put forward within this regional structure?

I highly appraise the presidency of Kazakhstan in the OSCE. I closely cooperate with your representative in Vienna, representative of the Permanent Council of the Organization Kairat Abdrakhmanov and I can state that your country has taken many efforts to strengthen the Organization. Kazakhstan invested significant resources in organization and content of the agenda of the upcoming Summit in Astana. The most useful thing Kazakhstan does is that it wants to focus the OSCE attention on Central Asia. I believe this region must be in the focus of our attention. The Organization made every effort in the Balkans in the 1990s. Today coping with all those problems coming from Afghanistan the OSCE should do more in Central Asia. I think this is a big and significant contribution of Kazakhstan to the OSCE work.
What do you think about the efforts of Kazakhstan on settlement of political situation in Kyrgyzstan?

At the very beginning, I mean the April events, Kazakhstan speedily and effectively responded to the situation in Kyrgyzstan persuading Kurmanbek Bakiyev to leave the country. I appreciate the work of Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Zhanybek Karibzhanov who pays frequent visits to Bishkek and maintain an open dialogue with President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva. Of course, the initiative on sending the OSCE Police Consultative Group to Kyrgyzstan is worth of noting.
Today many foreign experts state that the principles and work of the OSCE are outdated and fall short of the current realities. What is your opinion?

Yes, it might be said that the activity of the Organization has slightly slowed down. The OSCE member states should pay more attention to solution of issues inside the structure. As you know, the OSCE Summit has not been held for 11 years. In this regard we intend to give an impetus to the Organization. We plan to present a new action plan of the Organization in December this year that will allow addressing a number of issues. I think we must adapt our commitments in the humanitarian dimension. Besides, some kind of joint action programs should be developed. We should help our partners in Turkmenistan and Tajikistan to strengthen their borders. Much needs to be done yet.
What will be the position of the USA at the Summit? What proposals will Washington come up with? Will it support documents to be signed at the Summit?

The basis of the Organization is a principle of consensus. This is a great challenge to all of us since we should find compromises and programs that would be supported by all 56 members of the Organization. But we must decide what main values exist in the area of this structure and what issues should we address. We believe this is military transparency as well as arms control. Besides, this is settlement of Transnistria, Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh conflicts. It is important to accelerate these processes. These are our priorities for the Summit.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev puts forward an initiative on adoption of a new European Security Treaty. What do you think about it?

We would like to thank President D.Medvedev for addressing very important issues that we should solve in the field of European security. We believe the OSCE is one of the platforms for negotiating and solving such issues. We also have other instruments such as the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, dialogue Russia-NATO, etc.

But the only organization including all countries of the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian area is the OSCE. Therefore, we believe this is the main forum for discussing such issues.
Thank you for the interview.