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Kazakhstan Cherishes Ties with UN, Offers to Host Regional Office in Almaty

Monday 5 March 2012

(Gazeta.KZ) – Kazakhstan attaches utmost importance to strengthening the role of the United Nations in the international arena and the implementation of its projects and programmes in the country. In twenty years since Kazakhstan’s accession to the UN on March 2, 1992, the two sides have established strong relations that continue to grow and produce important results.

Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Yerzhan Kazykhanov delivered this message at a ceremonial meeting held in the Ministry on March 2, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s accession to the UN as an independent state. The Minister thanked the Organisation for the support and contribution to the country’s development and also called on the UN agencies to consider granting Almaty the status of a United Nations regional office, the Kazakh MFA’s press service reports.

Participants of the meeting included representatives of ministries, the Parliament, non-government organizations, foreign diplomatic missions, as well as of the United Nations system, led by the UN Resident Coordinator Stephen Tull. Kazykhanov said:

From the outset, Kazakhstan has embraced its membership and actively participated in the work of the UN. I would like to highlight that all of the international initiatives proposed by our head of state at the UN General Assembly have found their practical reflection in specific recommendations and mechanisms of the Organization,

Kazakhstan’s initiatives have always been aimed at furthering global and regional security, establishing an equitable and sustainable global economic system, and fostering relations between members of the international community.

The country will continue to strive to make contribution to international efforts to promote peace, disarmament and non-proliferation, as well as sustainable development, environmental protection, and the rapprochement of cultures and other fundamental issues, Kazykhanov stressed.

Using the opportunity, the Foreign Minister expressed gratitude to the Organisation for all the projects that helped to reduce poverty, contributed to better healthcare, sustainable development, and environmental conditions in Kazakhstan. The Minister highlighted the UN’s special assistance and attention to the Aral Sea region.

The relationship between Kazakhstan and the UN continues to develop and produce promising results. For example, last year they began implementing a unique development programme for the Semipalatinsk region of Kazakhstan. This programme “was the result of close collaboration between Kazakhstan and UN agencies and serves as an excellent example for other countries,” Kazykhanov said.

Kazykhanov also shared the news that Kazakhstan is in the process of developing the concept for the Kazakhstan Agency for Relief and Development – KazAID – to formalise its efforts to promote peace and prosperity in Central Asia, in particular, by providing financial and practical assistance to the neighbours.

Considering its growing role in the region, as well as the good prospects for international cooperation, Kazakhstan thinks it is important to open an appropriate UN institution here.

Thus, he called on the UN agencies to consider the idea of giving Almaty, the southern capital of Kazakhstan, the status of a United Nations Office. Kazykhanov said:

On our part, we believe that granting Almaty the status of a United Nations Office will provide a valuable boost to regional projects that serve to strengthen cooperation in Central Asia. We also believe it could give impetus to the process of engaging in “the orbit of assistance to development” of a number of neighbouring countries and regions, including Afghanistan and South Caucasus.

In conclusion, Kazykhanov called on the UN agencies to promote cooperation with regional organisations such as the Eurasian Economic Community, the CSTO and the SCO. He also invited UN representatives to participate in the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which Kazakhstan holds regularly, and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.

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