Kazakhstan has achieved great success in foreign policy over the last 27 years, establishing excellent relations with countries across the globe, and is seen widely as a principled campaigner against nuclear proliferation and for peace.
In this light, in September 2013, Kazakhstan announced its bid to secure a seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the years 2017/18.
As a regional leader and global partner in matters of energy security, and a valuable contributor to international peacekeeping missions, Kazakhstan wished to bring its unique experience and expertise to bear on some of the pressing challenges currently facing the UNSC.
On January 2018, Kazakhstan presided the work of one of the most important UN bodies – the UN Security Council under the motto “Kazakhstan’s Concept Vision on Sustaining Global Partnership for Secure, Just and Prosperous World”.
The Kazakh presidency in the UNSC held about 30 consultations, briefings and debates, which resulted in resolutions and press statements of the Council President.
Kazakhstan, being the first Central Asian state elected to the UN Security Council, during its presidency continued actively promoting the interests of all states of the region.
During the presidency, 2 major events initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan were held, which finalized with the adoption of important final documents:
1) January 18 – high-level thematic briefing by the UN Security Council on the “Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD): Confidence-Building Measures”, chaired by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev (final document – Presidential Statement S/PRST/2018/1). The meeting demonstrated that confidence-building measures, as well as the strengthening of preventive diplomacy tools, can serve as a starting point for making progress on many critical issues that may not be resolved in a timely manner due to the political situation in the relations of world powers.
2) January 19 – Ministerial debates of the UN Security Council on the topic: “Building Regional Partnership in Afghanistan and Central Asia as a Model of Link Security and Development”, chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov (final document – Presidential Statement S/PRST/2018/2). The document stresses the importance of advancing regional, interregional and international cooperation to achieve long-term peace, stability and sustainable development in Afghanistan and Central Asia and supports the joint efforts of countries of the region towards the enhancement of a zone of peace, cooperation and prosperity.
The arrangement that non-proliferation is included for the first time in a comprehensive conflict prevention strategy is very important and became possible due to Kazakhstan’s initiative. This is a practical contribution to the implementation of priority 1 of Kazakhstan in the UN Security Council, which includes the nonproliferation of WMD as a core element and will have a positive effect on the international situation.
Another important event of Kazakhstan’s presidency was the visit of the UN Security Council’s delegation to Kabul on January 12-15. During the visit, meetings were held with the country’s top leadership, representatives of political parties and civil society. In the course of the visit, the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan to address a wide range of interrelated problems were considered and it was determined how the Security Council could further promote efforts on the ground.
The field mission to Kabul was the Security Council’s first visit to Afghanistan since 2010, gave insight into the situation and an objective understanding of the real interests and priorities of the country and its civilian population.
On January 18, Kazakhstan held a special high-level event at the UN headquarters to launch the draft Code of Conduct for the Achievement of a Terrorism-Free World. The UN leadership and counterterrorism-related committees of the Security Council, heads and representatives of more than a hundred delegations of Member States supported the relevance and significance of the Code.
The Kazakh presidency held planned activities (briefings and consultations) on the situation in the Middle East and Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Colombia, Darfur (Sudan), West Africa and the Sahel, Libya, Mali, Somalia and Southern Sudan, on the efforts of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, as well as arranged the trip of the UN Security Council members to Washington to meet with the leadership of the United States.
The successful holding of events initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan during the Chairmanship and the adoption of two final documents demonstrated negotiation skills and relevance of the peacekeeping potential of Kazakhstan, constructive approaches to the biggest challenges of today’s world, and was due to the credibility of the country and its President.
Thus, the countries of the Security Council took into account that since independence in 1991, Kazakhstan has advocated strengthening the preventive component, mediation and the peaceful settlement of disputes, which are among the basic principles of country’s foreign policy. In particular, a remarkable example of this approach was the creation of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) uniting 26 Asian countries, as well as the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), the 10th anniversary of which was celebrated in December 2017. UNRCCA is one of the successful examples of preventive diplomacy in the UN system.
Holding of meetings and the adoption of final documents were the next steps in the implementation of the Manifesto “The World. The 21st century”, which contains an algorithm for joint action to put an end to conflicts and violence.
Considering involvement in many global and regional processes, its proactive stand in mediation and confidence building, Kazakhstan will continue to act as an honest broker, known for its effective balanced approach and neutrality to all international actors, states and organizations as part of multilateral diplomacy.