Addressing the participants, Nursultan Nazarbayev thanked the endowment for organising the dialogue platform, noting the institution has made a significant contribution in the development of international relations for more than a century.
The President outlined his vision for the problems of the modern world order and role of Kazakhstan on the international arena. He noted the last quarter century has become the time of global changes and 25 years ago many people questioned Kazakhstan’s stance as an independent state.
“We had to build a new country from scratch, shifting from a command administrative economy to a market economy, from totalitarianism to democracy. In a short period of time a lot of work has been done to strengthen the state, establish modern market economy and modernize our society,” he said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev also briefed the audience on the 100 Concrete Steps Plan of the Nation.
“The plan provides a new vision of Kazakhstan in the 21st century with a more balanced political system, developed institutions of civil society and knowledgeable economy,” he said.
In addition, the President elaborated on Kazakhstan’s participation in the global anti-nuclear movement.
“Having created a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia, we are calling to establish a sustainable peace zone, which implies enhancement of the six nuclear-weapon-free zones in Eurasia, Latin America and Africa. The signing of an agreement with the IAEA to establish the agency’s LEU Bank in August 2015 has become another important step in this direction. This is a global-scale event. The world should assess it as a significant step on the way to safe and peaceful use of nuclear technology,” he added.
The Head of State noted that Kazakhstan has always supported the process of international negotiations on the Iranian nuclear programme, having made rather a significant practical contribution into the process.
In this context, the President mentioned the need to establish a global anti-nuclear movement.
“This is the very goal of the international ATOM project initiated by Kazakhstan, which is becoming more and more popular, gaining wide international support. While serving as co-chairman of the 9th Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Kazakhstan will continue its efforts to ensure its full universalization,” he said.
In his speech, Nursultan Nazarbayev touched upon the most topical issues of international security agenda.
“Humanity hoped that the 21st century would herald a new era of global cooperation. This, however, may turn out to be a mirage. Our world is once again in danger and the risks cannot be underestimated. The threat is a deadly war on a global scale,” he said.
The President emphasized that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons signed in 1968 does not fulfill its goal, and an unprecedented crisis of confidence among global players leads to the deterioration of safeguards to prevent the use of nuclear weapons.
“The threat of nuclear terrorism, as well as illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials, is one of the most serious problems of the 21st century. The world “slips into” a new nuclear age – potentially more dangerous and unpredictable. More than 60 years ago two prominent scientists Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell presented their manifesto, in which they asked “a dreadful but an inescapable question: shall we put an end to the human race, or will mankind be able to renounce war?” To end all wars is the most challenging task for our civilization. But there is no other reasonable alternative,” he said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev said political leaders should reveal their strong will to achieve this goal. He also maintained deep qualitative changes in the world development and joint efforts of all states are needed. The President listed measures taken by our country to solve these problems. Among them – 2045 Global strategic initiative plan, the proposal to convene the UN International Conference at the highest level in order to reaffirm the principles of international law and to restore confidence. Another important initiative of Kazakhstan is the creation under the auspices of the UN of a single global network to counter international terrorism and extremism, and promote the organization of Minsk meetings between the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine, as well as the “Normandy Four” talks.
The President said he believes one of the main causes of the current world crisis is the deep flaws that persist in global economy and finance.
“Four years ago, we launched a G-Global initiative aimed at uniting the efforts of all countries in combating the global financial crisis. Global development issues should be solved not by eight or 20 states, but the entire international community. Developed in the framework of G-Global on the site of the Astana Economic Forum, the world anti-crisis plan has received widespread support,” he said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev indicated Kazakhstan has advanced its candidacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018 and is counting on support from the international community. He also shared his vision of development prospects in the Eurasian region.
“The Eurasian region is a key geo-economic and geopolitical factor in world politics. It crosses the interests of all the global players such as China and Russia, the U.S. and the EU (European Union), India, Iran and Turkey. It is important to guide regional processes in a constructive direction by reducing potential conflicts in the region through enhanced cooperation and integration. That is why I proposed establishment of the joint Eurasian economic space,” he said.
The Head of State told the meeting participants about the Eurasian Economic Union.
“This is an economic union with single rules for movement of goods, services, capital and labor resources. I would like to emphasize that it has nothing to do with “reincarnation of the Soviet Union”. We should overcome these stereotypes of the Cold War period. They prevent us from looking into the future. The Eurasian Economic Union is a purely economic project,” he said.
The President noted that the year 2016 marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and the United States.
“Security and non-proliferation form a basis for our cooperation. We fully support Washington’s initiative to hold the Nuclear Security Summit, which has become a huge step in the field of international security,” he said.
In conclusion Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed that Kazakhstan will continue its efforts in the field of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
“What comes to my mind whenever I think about the future is the historic date of April 24, 1995. This is the very day when the last nuclear warhead that we inherited from the Soviet Union was taken from the territory of Kazakhstan. Two centuries ago, the US President Abraham Lincoln said “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” Inspired by the support and aspirations of my people, exhausted by decades of nuclear explosions, I sincerely believe in a world free of nuclear weapons,” he concluded.
At the end of the meeting President Nursultan Nazarvayev answered the questions from the audience.