Transformation Without Revolution

Will Astana Become a Unique Basis for Dialogue of the Heads of OSCE States?

One of the main intrigues of the future Presidency of Kazakhstan in OSCE is not an agenda, which is generally predictable, and not revolutionary initiatives on the structure reformation, which are surely urgent but without rush that may result into unbalance. There is another matter: will official Astana become that unique basis for the dialogue of the Heads of OSCE states, which is generally the driving force of the reforms inside the organization?

The last OSCE Summit of the Heads of states and Governments of OSCE member-states took place in Istanbul in 1999. Then, such summits were planned to hold every second year. Particularly, this is specified in the Paris Charter of CSCE (OSCE prototype). However, since long there have been no meetings, which are the highest structural level within the hierarchy of the organization. Should we dwell on their importance?

Kairat Abdrahmanov According to Kairat Abdrahmanov, the RK permanent representatives to OSCE, the kind of Summits as a rule help to set priorities and define the prospects of further activity. – Experts think that geopolitical changes of the last ten years demand rearchitecturing of security in Europe, - says the diplomat. – It happened so that OSCE adopted historically baseline documents once a decade – in 1975, 1990 and in 1999. And today it’s time for new ideas within the activity of the organization. Which exactly? This is a matter of discussion. Kairat Abdrahmanov states that today the common task for all member-states is to work hard over the agenda of the future Summit. – Although, the date and place of this Summit is still unknown, - he underlined.

As for current issues to be discussed at the highest level, so first of all it is a so-called dialogue on European security.

In 2008 the Russian Federation suggested to start developing the respective agreement that would become a legally binding document within military-political sphere. However, this matter invokes a definite discussion. Nevertheless, the process promoted during the Presidency of Greece. This June there was an informal meeting of Foreign Ministers who decided to launch a so-called “Corfu process” to reach a unanimity on the issues of future European security on the basis of open, extended and prolonged discussion.

- We intend to support this process, - noted Kairat Abdrahmanov. Kazakhstan, as a future Chair, is one of the key elements of this activity. Astana will generally carry responsibility for the accomplishment of the given initiative in 2010. Thus, he is for the structure transformation in accordance with the interests of all member-states and considers the prospect Presidency as a great opportunity to give a new impulse to the interaction of the organization members. It’s not about unreal, breakthrough tasks or revolutionary changes. It’s urgent to guarantee positive dynamics within interrelations of states, which will let to solve current problems from Vancouver to Vladivostok efficiently. There is a list of other issues to be solved by Kazakhstan. Together with the tasks set for each Chair considering succession, Kazakhstan intends to promote national as well regional interests in accordance with a general agenda of OSCE. Naturally, it’s about those activities of powerful expertise of the organization, potential and prospects of development. It’s also suggested to include into agenda the directions that can be promoted significantly by RK due to its geopolitical position, social, economic and political development, and foreign policy view. In this respect President Nursultan Nazarbayev during the meeting on Presidency in OSCE in 2010 in Akord set the list of issues it could concentrate its attention on. The listed priorities result from the acknowledged achievements of Kazakhstan, such as the contribution into the promotion of interethnic and interconfessional tolerance, regional security, nuclear weapon nonproliferation regime, the role of the country in the process of assurance of energy and food safety. The problems pointed are equally urgent for the most OSCE member-states. It’s noticeable, that in January 2009 Kazakh diplomat Viacheslav Gizzatov became a personal representative of OSCE Acting Chairman on the issue of tolerance and non-discrimination towards Muslims. The given fact is important in the context of a long-term priority of intercultural consent enhancement that is successfully promoted by the President. Today they analyze a possibility to hold a conference on struggling intolerance in key directions during the Presidency of Kazakhstan. This event could become the extension of such initiatives as congresses of the Leaders of world and traditional religions and Ministerial Conference “Common World: Progress Through Diversity”.


> Kazakhstan Map


The appointment of the Kazakhstan representative as the Personal Representative of OSCE Acting Chairman proves the strengthening of the positions of Kazakhstan within OSCE, enhancement of its authority among member-states. In addition today there are already seven Kazakhs working in the institutions and missions of the organization and there are prospects for another four diplomats to join. In the framework of preparation for Presidency not only conceptual but also organizational activity is performed. In particular, starting from October 1st Kazakhstan will chair the OSCE Advisory Committee on Management and Finance. Even earlier than appointed date Kazakh specialists joined the process of setting program objectives on the issues of the structure’s budget actively. This became a know-how that was highly appreciated by the Heads of funds of the structure. During the period of preparation to Presidency they also monitor the views of OSCE member-states on different issues of agenda, establish contacts with analytical centers in the country and abroad, lead stuff training. In 2007-2008 the RK Foreign Ministry ordered to perform a series of trainings in OSCE, European training centers at Foreign Policy Institutions of the former Chairs of the organizations. More than 80 people took part: the stuff of the central apparatus of the RK Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Representative Office in Vienna and other foreign institutions, and also experts from the number of key state bodies. Trainings are going on in 2009. Their goals include deep study of OSCE activities and the issues of coordination with the members of Task Force and key structures of the organization. And the Presidency in OSCE itself should be a great training for RK diplomats.

In general it’s expected for the future mission to promote the recognizability of the country outside Eurasian Community, to make Kazakhstan articulated, significant part of Common European Area and continental processes.
Kazakhstan Mass Media Monitoring