INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE "20 YEARS OF OSCE IN THE REPUBLIC OF KAZAKHSTAN: COOPERATION AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS"

On October 11, 2018, the international conference "20 years of OSCE in the Republic of Kazakhstan: cooperation and accomplishments" was held in the building of the Nazarbayev Сenter. The organizers of the event are the Library of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan-Elbasy, the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan-Elbasy, the OSCE program Office in Astana with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The official opening of the international conference was attended by State Secretary Gulshara Abdykalikova, Secretary General of the OSCE Thomas Greminger, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kayrat Abdrakhmanov, Head of the office of the President of Kazakhstan, acting Director of the Library of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan-Elbasy Makhmud Kasymbekov, Head of the OSCE program Office in Astana, Ambassador György Szabo.

Secretary of the Republic of Kazakhstan G. Abdykalikova noted:

- The organization of the international conference is a joint initiative of the Library of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan-Elbassy and the OSCE program Office in Astana with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Let me congratulate the OSCE programme Office in Kazakhstan on the 20th anniversary of its activities in our country and wish further success in ensuring security and stability.

In his speech, OSCE Secretary General Thomas Greminger noted the role of Kazakhstan in the framework of bilateral cooperation:

- For me, 2010 was particularly significant in terms of cooperation with Kazakhstan, in particular with the current Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov. Since then, Kazakhstan and the OSCE have been very close partners. I want to note that Kazakhstan's chairmanship in the OSCE was very fruitful. I appreciate the contribution of Kazakhstan, which was aimed at strengthening peace and security in the regions of the OSCE countries. At the same time, Kazakhstan continues to actively participate in various debates within the framework of our cooperation.

Minister of foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov also made a welcoming speech:

- Today, Kazakhstan has become a reliable partner of the OSCE. The wise, balanced, constructive position of the Head of our state, which concerned both the internal development of Kazakhstan and its foreign policy, had a decisive influence on the fact that the chairmanship of Kazakhstan in the OSCE, the summits and the Astana Declaration were recognized as an unconditional success not only of our country, but also of the entire OSCE community. We are doing everything possible to draw the attention of the OSCE to the needs that exist today not only in Kazakhstan, but also in Central Asia to ensure sustainable socio-economic development and further strengthening of peace, security and stability in this region.  

– It is gratifying to see how much Kazakhstan has already done in the OSCE. Kazakhstan is undergoing large-scale reforms on the initiative of the Head of State. We are pleased to participate and share experience in the reform of the police and justice, now we intend to provide support in these areas, – said in his speech Head of the OSCE program Office in Astana, Ambassador György Szabo, voicing some data on the results of the OSCE activities in Kazakhstan. – Over 20 years, we have held about 1,500 events, budget resources have reached 42 million euros, more than 60 visits to all OSCE participating countries have been organized. Since 2013, every year 5,000 participants have attended our events, which means that over the years we have managed to involve about 100,000 people in our events.

The plenary session of the conference was addressed by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Austria, Permanent representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan to international organizations in Vienna Kairat Sarybay, Consultant of the Office of the OSCE Special Representative on combating trafficking in human beings Madina Dzharbusynova, representative of UN Women in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Head of the Multi-Country Office in Kazakhstan (Central Asia) Elaine M. Konkievich, first Deputy Director of the Library of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan-Elbasy Amerkhan Rakhimzhanov, representatives of the OSCE, diplomatic missions, representatives of the political and business elite of Kazakhstan.

– I want to note that today's event summed up the results of the 20-year activity of the OSCE Program Office in Kazakhstan, noting its positive results, but at the same time, not keeping silent about the problems faced by Kazakhstanis and the organization in meeting the challenges. The Library of Elbasy is open to dialogue in order to discuss further mutually beneficial cooperation and fruitful partnership with the OSCE. To give dynamism to the bilateral relations initiated by the Library of the President and Office of the OSCE in Astana, I think it is appropriate to outline the vectors of cooperation in the sphere of strengthening stability and security in the Central Asian region. The rich practical experience and resources of the Library allowed it to hold more than a hundred international conferences and seminars with the participation of Kazakh and foreign scientists and experts, which gave them the opportunity to discuss and solve the global security problems of the modern world. "I am sure that today's conference will contribute to the strengthening of cooperation with the OSCE on regional security issues", Rakhimzhanov said, summing up the results of the conference.

The conference presented the exhibition “Kazakhstan and the OSCE”, which presents the most memorable and significant events in the history of Kazakhstan’s activities in the OSCE based on exhibits from the museum, archival and book collection of the Elbasy Library. For example, the entry on January 30, 1992 into (then) the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and the participation of the delegation of Kazakhstan led by Nursultan Nazarbayev in the Helsinki meeting of the heads of states and governments of the CSCE member states, during which important initiatives of Kazakhstan were put forward to disseminate the principles of the Helsinki Final act in Asia, as well as the signing of the Paris Charter. The steps our state has taken to ensure global security: nuclear disarmament, the creation of a Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, strengthening integration processes in Eurasia, encouraging a dialogue of civilizations and religions. Chairmanship in 2010 of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Astana OSCE Summit held on December 1-2, 2010 after more than ten years of break. The adoption of the Astana Declaration, in which the Summit participants confirmed the OSCE commitments, principles and values ​outlined in the Helsinki Act and the Paris Charter for New Europe, and other documents of the organization.

At the exhibition “Kazakhstan and the OSCE”, in addition to archival documents and photographs, there are also symbolic exhibits - for example, a gavel for holding meetings, which N.A. Nazarbayev used during the OSCE Summit meetings in Astana.