REMARKS by H.E. Kairat ABDRAKHMANOV, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, at the Security Council High-Level Open Debate on Conflict Prevention and Sustaining Peace

Madame President,

Please accept my most sincere wishes of success of Sweden’s presidency. It is deeply symbolical that the year 2017 starts with a renewed focus on prevention jointly facilitated by Sweden – a nation with an impeccable record of promoting UN values – and the new Secretary-General, His Excellency Antonio Guterres, a trusted leader and a symbol of the Organization’s ideals.

May I remind you that the first ever UN office on prevention was established in my region, Central Asia, 10 years ago. Now it is time for the rest of the Organization to follow the suit.

Clearly, prevention of conflicts is a complex approach that requires, in fact, a paradigm shift. Being seized with addressing the crises of the day might be a good excuse to avoid adopting audacious visions and taking bold steps. Global economic uncertainty, political disagreements and narrowly formulated national priorities might prevent us from fostering dialogue and trust in international relations.  Still, the UN has a duty to ensure a safe and prosperous future for all, and fulfilling it requires practical steps to build a world free of the virus of war and conflict.

My President published in March last year the Manifesto “The World. The 21st Century”, a far-reaching document combining a realistic take on the world with an ambitious vision based on unity rather than division, on cooperation rather than rivalry.

On 1st January, on the first day of Kazakhstan’s tenure in the Security Council, President Nazarbayev unveiled his Policy Address on Sustaining Global Partnership for Secure, Just and Prosperous World, copies of which are available in this room. Dwelling on the principles of the Manifesto, the Policy Address puts forward 7 points related to making Kazakhstan’s contribution to the work of the Council as meaningful and constructive as possible.

In the context of today’s agenda, the President’s Address makes it clear that without genuine dialogue preventing conflicts and sustaining peace are unattainable. At the global level, it requires setting a goal of building by 2045, the UN’s Centenary, a world free of nuclear weapons. Such a very practical decision will send a message that political leaders – and nations they represent –  are strong enough to destroy invisible walls and build bridges for the common good.

The Policy Address emphasizes the need to do much more at the regional level. In line with our commitment to strengthen peace and security in Central Asia and Afghanistan, we will endeavour to develop a model of regional peace and cooperation, taking special care of root causes of the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and prevention of proliferation of terrorism and violent extremism.

Rivalries, lack of trust and unity of purpose, injustice as well as stark economic and social inequalities and underdevelopment prevent global community from achieving progress in the Middle East. As a nation committed to dialogue and mediation, we are ready to host talks in Astana to help pave way for restoring peace in Syria. We also believe that dialogue between political leaders and religious authorities should be intensified with a view to find lasting political solutions to eradicate the threat of terrorism. We invite all member states to jointly draft an Astana Code of Conduct for International Counter-Terrorism Operations as a step towards creation of a Global Anti-Terrorist Coalition (Network). Soonest adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism will undoubtedly be a major prevention measure.

We endorse Secretary-General’s remarks on SDGs as a “key prevention tool”. President’s Address emphasizes the role of Security-Development Nexus in preventing wars, protecting human rights and building a safer and prosperous future. SDGs are a direct and significant contribution to the 2045 Vision. Astana is hosting EXPO-2017 this summer, and we hope that this event, along with obvious benefits such as a greater international cooperation in the area of sustainable energy, will produce an added value in the form of stronger collective commitment to security through development.

During Kazakhstan’s tenure in the UN Security Council, we will support efforts to make the Council and the entire United Nations better equipped for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. To enhance the level of trust between states and generate political will required, the President of Kazakhstan proposed to convene Council meetings at the level of Heads of State and Government. We believe that this is a timely and highly relevant initiative to achieve a paradigm shift in the Council.

As far as the UN machinery is concerned, we welcome the recommendations of the UN commissioned reports on peace operations and peace-building architecture. A systemic approach should be further developed to identify and prevent emerging crises, take into account new factors, such as cyber-crime, deployment of weapons in outer space and pay foremost attention to development and human rights.

We strongly believe that the Security Council should have a direct oversight role in the “peace continuum”, including through greater cooperation with the Secretary-General.

Regular joint consultations both formal and informal between the UNSC and the Secretary-General continue to create important opportunities for cooperation, prevention, conflict resolution, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and long-term development.

The Secretary-General as the honest broker, bridge builder and messenger of peace should play the crucial role in conflict prevention at the earliest stages, by bringing to the attention of the Security Council any matter, which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security. Article 99 of the Charter of the United Nations is very clear on this point.

Thank you very much.