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Astana calling no.451


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Astana calling no.451

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Astana calling no.451

  1. 1. A WEEKLY ONLINE PUBLICATION / WWW.MFA.GOV.KZ ISSUE NO. 451 / FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2016 PresidenttoSummit:WorldMustFocus onNuclearDisarmament PresidentSignsLabourAccord, DiscussesInt’lIssuesinCuba Also InThe News GreaterEU-CentralAsianCooperation UrgedatRigaSymposium In Focus: Foreign Policy Priorities
  2. 2. PresidenttoSummit:WorldMustFocusonNuclearDisarmament Calling Astana ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 451 / 2 Back to Contents Creating a world free of nuclear weapons must be humanity’s main goal in the 21st century, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev told global leaders at the opening session of the fourth Nuclear Security Summit April 1 in Washington, DC. “The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty [CTBT] has not yet entered into force. The testing of nuclear weapons and missiles is happening on the Korean peninsula. A number of politicians publicly discuss who can ‘wipe others into nuclear dust’ and who can ‘strike first,’” Nazarbayev said. “Many have started to forget a simple truth: in the nuclear age, no one will win a global war. All will lose, because our planet will be destroyed! Humankind’s central task should be to become a world free from the threat of war as a means of interstate relations. This is the only way we will ensure a breakthrough in promoting genuine and sustainable nuclear security of the planet.” Summits that support ongoing dialogue on the topic have a crucial role to play, the President noted. Kazakhstan is ready to host such discussions, he told the group of more than 50 world leaders and heads of the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),Interpol,andothermajorinternationalorganisationsgathered in Washington. During the summit, Nazarbayev outlined his vision for a sane nuclear future, focusing on the CTBT, the role of the IAEA Low- Enriched Uranium (LEU) Bank and the adoption of the UN Universal Declaration on the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World. He also announced the publication of a special manifest, “The 21st Century: A World Without War.” Its proposals include adapting nonproliferation and disarmament activities to contemporary conditions by including into the “nuclear club” all de jure and de facto nuclear states, to counter the perception that many international decisions adopted these days favour only the five UN Security Council permanent members with their nuclear arsenals, and to encourage them to work together to actually reduce their nuclear weapons stockpiles, not stop merely at nonproliferation, as has been the case for nearly two decades. It also suggests legally prohibiting the use of scientific discoveries for the creation of new weapons of mass destruction and developing an international convention for that purpose. ThePresidentalsoreviewedthehumanitariancostofnuclearweapons and Kazakhstan’s achievements in nuclear security. “People of Kazakhstan know the disastrous costs of the military atom,” he said. “There are still tens of thousands of people suffering from diseases caused by radiation. There are 1.5 million hectares of radioactively contaminated soil. … We seek the expansion of systematic international support on the rehabilitation of our people’s health and the decontamination of land and water at the former [Semipalatinsk] test site.” Now, Kazakhstan is among the 20 countries with the highest level of security of nuclear facilities and materials, Nazarbayev said, and hosting the IAEA LEU bank is part of his country’s commitment to nuclear security and sanity. During the summit, 18 nations, including the U.S., the U.K., Germany and others, issued a joint statement welcoming the establishment of the bank in Kazakhstan and highlighting the importance of the bank in assuring a supply of safe nuclear fuel. Another joint statement was issued by the U.S. and Kazakhstan confirming mutual commitments to continue work on strengthening nuclear safety and security procedures together. Nazarbayev also met bilaterally with leaders to discuss nuclear issues. He and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe issued a joint statement on achieving the early entry into force of the CTBT, calling on all states to sign and ratify the treaty. The two nations co-chair the Ninth Conference on Article XIV of the CTBT. Nazarbayev also met the leaders of Finland, Hungary, China, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Armenia, Lithuania, Chile, India, Singapore and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and attended a formal dinner for world leaders hosted by the U.S. president. During the summit, 18 nations, including the U.S., the U.K., Germany and others, issued a joint statement welcoming the establishment of the bank in Kazakhstan and highlighting the importance of the bank in assuring a supply of safe nuclear fuel. A session of the recent Nuclear Security Summit in Washington
  3. 3. PresidentSignsLabourAccord,DiscussesInt’lIssuesinCuba Calling Astana ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 451/ 3 Back to Contents Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Cuban President Raul Castro discussed a wide range of bilateral and international issues during the Kazakh leader’s April 2 official visit to the island nation. Among the primary topics covered were the expansion of bilateral cooperation in trade, education, culture, sports, agriculture and policy dialogue. The two presidents also signed a memorandum of bilateral understanding on labour, employment and social protection. The sides separately focused on cooperating in healthcare, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology and noted the need to exchange experience between Kazakh and Cuban experts in these areas. During discussions of international issue, Nazarbayev thanked the Cuban president for supporting Kazakhstan’s candidacy to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council of 2017-2018. The meeting between the presidents was attended on the Kazakh side by Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov and Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev and on the Cuban side by Cuban ministers of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, Energy and Mines AlfredoLopezValdesandInterimForeignMinisterMarcelinoMedina. Bozumbayev noted following the meeting that the sides also agreed on the potential supply of oil supplies to Cuba, reported. “Today, with Valdes we have signed a memorandum on joint actions in the spheres of the oil and gas industry, exploration of oil deposits in the coastal zone of Cuba, as well as possible supply of Kazakh oil to the Cuban refinery,” Bozumbayev noted. IdrissovandMedinametattheCubanforeignministry’sheadquarters. The two countries share other priorities of mutual trade, including medicine and renewable energy sources, according to “As well as other Latin American countries, Cuba seriously engaged in scientific developments in order to compensate the energy deficit. In some Latin American countries, the share of renewable energy reaches 90 percent. Today, we discussed this topic during the meeting. Cuba holds large scientific research to increase renewable energy sources,” head of the National Company Astana EXPO 2017 Akhmetzhan Yessimov informed. In 2014, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in education, science and sports. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev (left) and Cuban President Raul Castro In order to strengthen tourism and bilateral economic relations, the two countries signed in December 2015 an agreement for exemption of short-stay visas. Prior to meeting with Castro, Nazarbayev paid tribute to Cuban independence hero Jose Marti, visited the memorial museum and left a note in the book of honourable guests. Nazarbayev told the media that Kazakhstan has great interest in Cuba and acknowledged that he had long wanted to visit the country as he belongs to a generation that has always admired the Revolution and Fidel Castro. “As well as other Latin American countries, Cuba seriously engaged in scientific developments in order to compensate the energy deficit. In some Latin American countries, the share of renewable energy reaches 90 percent. Today, we discussed this topic during the meeting. Cuba holds large scientific research to increase renewable energy sources.” - Head of the National Company Astana EXPO 2017 Akhmetzhan Yessimov
  4. 4. GreaterEU-CentralAsianCooperationUrgedatRigaSymposium Calling Astana ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 451/ 4 Back to Contents “EU Global Strategy and Central Asia: Vision and Instruments” was the theme of the April 1 conference hosted by the Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA). The Riga symposium was held in cooperation with the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) and Friedrich-Ebert- Stiftung. As the title implied, the seminar focused on the European Union’s (EU) new global strategy and the organisation’s role in Central Asia from its point of view and those of countries within and beyond the area. Participants included representatives of China, the EU, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, the United States and Uzbekistan. “Our meeting today is very important in terms of a better and thorough understanding of the demands of the EU member states in regards to the Central Asian region, including the conditions and modalities of cooperation at the regional and bilateral level in the framework of the EU strategy for Central Asia,” said Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko. He noted Kazakhstan has consistently supported fully implementing thestrategyandpushedtofurtherexpanditsscope.Kazakhproposals were considered in preparing the European Council’s conclusions. “Inter-regional cooperation with the European Union absolutely is one of the priorities of the foreign policy of the Central Asian countries; therefore, we want to ensure our cooperation stays mutually beneficial and fair. We believe that this approach in international relations is imperative, especially given the situation in neighbouring regions,” he said. In his address at the 70th anniversary session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke about wider cooperation in Eurasia. His nation is serving this year as chair of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), a post which will allow for developing constructive EU-EAEU cooperation. Vassilenko noted the possibility of creating a logistics base in Latvia, which would provide for shipping cargo from Kazakhstan, China and other CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries to and from European markets. He added Kazakhstan is prepared to cooperate in numerous business, defence and energy-related areas. “Our common goal should be to ensure that Central Asia is transformed from being ‘landlocked’ into becoming ‘landlinked’ through the large-scale development of the national infrastructure of land trade routes,” he said. Vassilenko also spoke about the March 22 terrorist attacks in Brussels, asking international society to react to the danger and arrogance of the criminals. Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics noted the EU global strategy was instrumental in developing a more coherent EU CommonForeignandSecurityPolicyandstrengtheningitsworldwide role. In the context of recent EU security challenges, Europe needs to “pay greater attention to ensuring stability and development both in its Southern and Eastern neighbourhood and in Central Asia,” he said. Rinkevics added Latvia remained committed to advancing the initiatives aimed at “promoting cooperation between the EU and Central Asia in border security, education, the rule of law and environmental protection” launched during the Baltic nation’s Presidency of the EU Council. In his address, EU Special Representative for Central Asia Peter Burian called on Afghanistan to be “engaged in the EU-Central Asia cooperation so that the regional security issues could be dealt with more successfully.” Burian met with Kazakh representatives in light of the March 30 negotiations in Brussels between Nazarbayev and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Discussions centred on collaboration based on the Kazakhstan-EU enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the visa regime for Kazakh citizens and aspects of scheduled visits to Kazakhstan this year by high-level European delegations. Vassilenko’s March 31 agenda included a meeting with Latvian Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary of State–Political Director Eduards Stiprais regarding various aspects of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The sides noted their similar positions on major regional and international issues. The Kazakh-Latvian intergovernmental commission, business council and working group on transport will continue the talks later this year. Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Roman Vassilenko at the conference
  5. 5. InFocus: Foreign Policy Priorities The sides signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) and the GreenTech Malaysia Research Centre following a round table with those organisations. Read the full text here: zha-aly-tar/129-novosti/6183-zelenye-tekhnologii-malajzii-budut- predstavleny-na-ekspo-2017 Boxer Golovkin named EXPO 2017 ambassador Chairman of the Astana EXPO 2017 National Company Akhmetzhan Yessimov named boxer Gennady Golovkin an ambassador of EXPO 2017 in a ceremony in Washington, DC, March 31. The event was attended by representatives of the Embassy of Kazakhstan to the United States, students from Kazakhstan and young athletes. “EXPO 2017 ambassadors promote the ideas and values of the exposition, as well as the exposition theme, Future Energy. I am sure that our champion, Kazakhstan’s pride, Golovkin, will adequately represent EXPO 2017 in the global arena, and Gennady’s achievements in the field of sport and public life will increase interest to the exhibition,” Yessimov said. Golovkin expressed his gratitude and promised to properly represent the main ideas of the upcoming expo. He also urged the youth to take an active part in promoting EXPO 2017. Read the full text here: mart/gennadij-golovkin-stal-poslom-vyistavki-ekspo-2017 Welcoming Investment New projects to be implemented in Akmola Fifty-two projects worth 24 billion tenge (US$69.5 million) will be implemented in the Akmola region through public-private partnerships, Akim of Akmola Sergey Kulagin said at a press conference April 4. “In the first phase, we plan to implement seven projects: the construction of seven kindergartens,” Kulagin said. He also added that through cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, it is planned to implement three projects of housing and communal services worth 18 billion tenge (US$52.1). ( Turkish delegation visits Pavlodar SEZ DuringthevisitofaTurkishdelegationtoKazakhstan,Chairmanofthe Committee for Investments of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Investments and Development Erlan Hairov met with representatives of the Turkish companies Burak Alüminyum, Pensan A. Ş, Avrupa Peyzaj Ltd, Uzmanlar Platform and N’Dustrio. TheTurkishdelegationwillvisitPavlodarregion,includingthePavlodar Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and other promising sites. Turkish companies plan to invest in projects in the sphere of metallurgy and the petrochemical industry in the region. ( Calling Astana ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 451/ 5 Strengthening UN & Int’l Security FM issues statement on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry made a statement concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict April 3. “Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry is attentively monitoring the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh. We express serious concern about the violation of a ceasefire regime in a zone of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the reports on human losses. We call on the parties to show restraint and to strictly observe the ceasefire arrangements,” the statement said. “Supporting the efforts of the OSCE [Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe] Minsk Group on the settlement of Nagorno- Karabakh conflict, we reaffirm our position on the need to resolve the conflict peacefully. Kazakhstan supports the intensification of the process on finding a compromise solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and hopes for a constructive attitude among stakeholders in making progress on settling the conflict,” it stated. A ceasefire between the combatants has been agreed a few days after the statement was made. Representative of Kazakhstan addresses UN Disarmament Commission The Substantive Session of the United Nations Disarmament Commission(UNDC)istakingplaceinNewYorkApril4–22.Speaking at the opening ceremony, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations Kairat Abdrakhmanov informed delegations about the important initiatives of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and approaches that Kazakhstan has taken in the field of nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation. Read the full text here: zha-aly-tar/129-novosti/6188-v-nyu-jorke-prokhodit-ezhegodnaya- sessiya-komissii-oon-po-razoruzheniyu Hosting Astana Expo 2017 Expo commissioner visits Malaysia Commissioner of EXPO 2017 Rapil Zhoshybayev paid a visit to Malaysia April 4–5. In Kuala Lumpur, he met with Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia Ali Hamsa; Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water Resources Loo Gee; and representatives of the scientific and business circles of the country. Zhoshybayev and Hamsa discussed bilateral cooperation in trade, economy and science, including implementing green technologies and attracting Malaysian tourists to EXPO 2017. They also discussed the participation of Malaysian companies in the coming exhibition. Back to Contents
  6. 6. Also InThe News... • Ministry of National Economy considers services to small- and medium-size businesses Kazakhstan’s Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs has approached the Ministry of National Economy with a suggestion on providing services to public-private partnership representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), noted National ChamberDeputyChairman of theBoard Tulemis Shotanov.“Today, there are eight types of services that are provided to the business community: legal, accounting, customs, public procurement, management, marketing, quality management system, evaluation and IT. We have analysed that this type of service, which is the development of a quality management system, is not as much in demand as we would like it to be. This suggests that today business needs a few other things. In particular, there is a very good law admitted at the end of last year; it is about a public-private partnership (PPP),” he said. Shotanov added the law provides real opportunities for the nation’s business should financial resources be lacking. “Entrepreneurs come and ask how to develop a project where they can apply the rules of law. In this regard, we have come up to the Ministry of National Economy with the proposal to enter the PPP consultation as one of the services. This proposal is now under consideration,” he said. He added many entrepreneurs are interested in giving and receiving various documents, permits and notices. ( • First Kazakh trade house opens in Afghanistan The first Kazakh trade house in Afghanistan opened March 31 in Kabul.ThepavilionwaslaunchedwithassistancefromtheChamber of International Commerce and Kazakh Embassy in Afghanistan. “We want to expand trade with Afghanistan through various trading blocks. Opening the trade house will pave the way to business people of both countries for the development of close ties in the sphere of trade. We hope that the government of Afghanistan will be able to achieve big economic growth by the development of trade relations with Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan can represent a good alternative for food import along with other countries,” said Kazakh Ambassador to Afghanistan Omirtay Bitimov. According to results of the last few years, Kazakhstan imported $3 million in goods from Afghanistan. Kazakh exports to Afghanistan, mainly flour and oil products, have generated $333 million. “Opening of the trading house is a good start for the development of trade relations with Afghanistan. Domestic producers will be able to expose their own production in the largest trade exhibition hall, the Afghanistan Expo Centre, free of charge. The representatives of the pavilion are ready to act as business partners for Kazakhstan producers in the local market,” said Chamber of International Commerce Chairman Meirbek Mazhitov. ( • Russia’s Polymetal signs $100 million deal with Kazakhstan’s Kazzink, Ltd concerning Komarovskoe gold field Russian company Polymetal International has signed a deal with Kazakh company Kazzink Ltd. regarding acquisition of the Kazakh Komarovskoe gold field for $100 million. Polymetal International has also entered into a binding agreement with Kazzink Ltd. and Glencore subsidiary to acquire Orion Minerals, which owns the license for the Komarovskoe gold deposit. Komarovskoe field is located in the northeast portion of Kazakhstan, 10 kilometres from the town of Zhitikara. Its total area measures 104 square kilometres. As of Dec. 31, in accordance with the JORC Code, the field’s estimated resources are 28 million tonnes with the content of 1.5 grams per tonne (about 1.4 million ounces) of gold. The total remuneration to Orion, to be paid when the transaction is closed, will be $100 million in cash, which will be extinguished at the expense of the available money and credit lines. Kazzink Ltd. will also earn the postponed reward (royalty) from future Komarovskoe production attached to the price of gold. ( • Astana conference focuses on ‘Civil Service Excellence’ The civil service regional hub in Astana held a conference April 4 on “Partnership for Civil Service Excellence.” Regional hub steering committee chairman Alikhan Baimenov, United Nations (UN) resident coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) resident representative in Kazakhstan Norimasa Shimomura, Kazakh Minister for Civil Service Affairs Talgat Donakov and European Union (EU) Kazakh delegation head Traian Hristea opened the conference with introductory remarks. “Since its establishment, the hub has become a recognised multi- institutional platform for the incessant exchange of experience and knowledge in the field of civil service, aimed at stimulating the transformation of civil service in the region through capacity building and dissemination of innovative approaches in the field of civil service,” said Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Director for Public Governance and Territorial Development Rolf Alter. In their speeches, the Ambassadors to Kazakhstan from Canada, France and South Korea noted the hub’s significance in strengthening civil service bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The participants exchanged views and experience on civil service excellence and discussed ways of strengthening regional partnerships and developing expert networks. ( • Kazakh exporters present goods, sign deals in Dushanbe The Kazakh business trade and economic mission was held March 30-April 1 in Dushanbe. The event was organised by the Kazakh Chamber of International Commerce with the support of the Kazakh Embassy in Tajikistan and Kazkommertsbank- Tajikistan. The business negotiations helped a number of Kazakh companies find direct buyers for their products, with the total value of the signed contracts amounting to more than $4 million. The first export shipments are expected to be sent in April. The Kazakh producers successfully presented products from Shiver-Tajikistan, the company which launched Auchan, the largest hypermarket in Central Asia. To supply goods directly from Kazakhstan, the national companies signed contracts with five transport companies that allow direct purchases with the production sites without mediators. • Kazakhstan, Turkey improve educational cooperation Kazakhstan and Turkey have improved educational cooperation, including a visit by representatives of Istanbul University to Al- Farabi Kazakh National University (KNU). The Turkish delegation became acquainted with KNU activities and was impressed by the scale of the university’s work. According to KNU Rector Galimkair Mutanov, the goals and objectives of universities in the two Turkic countries are similar. During discussions of general issues in educational and scientific cooperation, the sides signed a contract on cooperation between the two leading universities. The parties also reached an agreement to support KNU’s Yunus Emre Cultural Centre and create the Al-Farabi Centre at Istanbul University. This year, 20 students from Turkey are expected to arrive at KNU. ( • Lithuanian universities help train Kazakh servicemen Since 2008, Lithuanian universities have trained about 50 servicemen of the Kazakh Armed Forces. The Defence Ministries of Kazakhstan and Lithuania discussed the prospects of military cooperation and regional security aspects. According to Kazakh Defence Ministry Chief of International Cooperation Colonel Adil Bekov, one of the priorities of the Ministry of Defence is to train the Armed Forces’ servants through studying foreign countries’ military security experience. After the meeting the Lithuanian delegation, headed by the country’s Ministry of National Defence Department of International Cooperation and Operations Director Robertas Shapronas, delivered lectures at the National Defence University. ( ASTANA CALLING A WEEKLYONLINE PUBLICATION / WWW.MFA.GOV.KZ Please send comments and questions to Calling Astana ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 451/ 6 Back to Contents