KAZAKHSTAN AND INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
ABOUT RELATIONS BETWEEN
THE REPUBLIC KAZAKHSTAN AND OSCE
January, 1992 - the Republic of Kazakhstan joined the OSCE.
1995 – Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the OSCE (Vienna) was established.
January, 1999 – OSCE Center in the Republic of Kazakhstan (Almaty) was opened.
April 3, 2004 – Ambassador I.Vikki (Norway) was appointed as a Head of the OSCE Center in Almaty.
Political aspects of cooperation
The accession to the Organization reflects Kazakhstan’s aspiration to play more active role in European processes, in order to develop and to put into practice the principles stated in the Helsinki Final Act of 1975 and other OSCE documents.
Kazakhstan managed to achieve a high level of cooperation with the OSCE. At the initial stage a number of the OSCE seminars was held to observe an economic situation in Central Asia at the stage of transition to the market economy, implementation of economic reforms, regional security issues, human rights, etc.
Next step was the signing of Memorandum of Mutual Understanding between the Government of Kazakhstan and OSCE on the opening of the OSCE Center in Almaty as well as with ODIHR/OSCE (Oslo, December 1998). In February 2003 the additional Protocol has been signed. The Memorandum with ODIHR/OSCE provides tools to improve the institute of the Representative on Human Rights (Ombudsman), election legislation, judicial system.
Nowadays, Kazakhstan carries out a systematic work to promote of its candidacy for chairmanship in the OSCE in 2009.
Some of the most significant visits of the representatives of the OSCE to the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2004-2007
April 6, 2004 – visit of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office – the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. S.Passy;
May 24-25, 2004 - visit of the US Ambassador to OSCE Mr. S.Minikess;
January 16-19, 2005 – visit of the ODIHR/OSCE delegation led by Ambassador C.Shtrohal;
February 15, 2005 – visit of the OSCE delegation led by the Chairman-in-Office – Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovenia Mr. D.Rupel;
March 1 and October 17, 2005 – visit of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Mr. R.Ekeus;
October 26-27, 2005 - visit of the US Ambassador to OSCE J.Finley;
October 31, 2005 – visit of the Chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Mr. A.Hastings;
December 19, 2005 – visit of the Belgium Chairmanship Coordinator, Senator P.Chevalier;
January 11, 2006 – visit of the OSCE Secretary General, Ambassador M. P. de Brichambaut to take part in the inauguration ceremony of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan;
March 14-17, 2006 – visit of the ODIHR/OSCE delegation led by Ambassador C.Shtrohal;
March 26-28, 2006 – visit of the OSCE delegation led by the Chairman-in-Office – Minister for Foreign Affairs of Belgium K. De Gucht;
June 12-13, 2006 - the OSCE Secretary General, Ambassador M. P. de Brichambaut, the Belgium Chairmanship Coordinator, Senator P.Chevalier, the Director of ODIHR/OSCE, Ambassador C.Shtrohal and the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Mr. R.Ekeus took part in the OSCE High Level Meeting "Intercultural, Interreligious and Interethnic understanding" (Meeting on Tolerance).
October 9, 2007 – visit of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Mr. K.Vollebaek;
January 22-23 – the Kazakh delegation comprising representatives of the Kazakh Delegation to the OSCE, the Environmental Ministry and the Kazakh environmental NGO participated in the OSCE Vienna Economic Forum “Key challenges to ensure environmental security and sustainable development in the OSCE area: Land degradation, soil contamination and water management”.
February 22-23 – Kazakh parliamentarian delegation headed by the Senate Speaker K.Tokayev participated in the winter session of the OSCE Parliamentarian Assembly in Vienna.
K.Tokayev made a report at the OSCE PA Permanent committee, where he noted Kazakhstan’s aspiration to make its own contribution to the further progress in the OSCE. The chiefs of the PA and of the national parliamentarian delegations unanimously supported Kazakhstan’s initiative to hold the 18-th session of the OSCE PA in 2008 in Kazakhstan, stressing that this decision will help to strengthen the inter-parliamentarian dialogue and cooperation as well as to broader engagement of Central Asia in achieving the OSCE vital goals.
April 10-11 – the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, the Minister of foreign affairs and cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain Miguel Angel Moratinos paid a visit to Kazakhstan. During the visit he met President of Kazakhstan N.Nazarbayev, Speakers of the Senate and the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan K.Tokayev and U.Muhamedzhanov, Premier-minister K.Masimov, Minister of foreign affairs M.Tazhin and Minister of defense D.Akhmetov. The negotiations dwelt on the cooperation between Kazakhstan and the OSCE and Spain, Kazakhstan’s bid to chair the OSCE in 2009 and the public and political situation in the state and in Central Asia on the whole.
May 16-18, 2007 – the Kazakh delegation comprising representatives of the CEC, the Ministry for culture and information, the National centre for human rights, the Ministry of Justice, the MFA and the Kazakh embassy in Poland took part in another ODIHR/OSCE annual seminar “Efficient participation and representation in democratic societies”.
The officials of the Kazakh delegation took the floor in three working sessions on the development of civil society and democratic institutions, on the maintenance of the rule of law, the freedom of speech and media, the freedom of religion, the rights of national minorities and the provision of equal rights for women. In particular, in the course of the first session the head of the Kazakh delegation – M.Sarsembayev, the CEC member – acquainted the participants of the forum with the Constitutional amendments set forth by the President N.Nazarbayev at the plenary session of the Chambers of the Kazakh Parliament.
Within the purview of the seminar the Kazakh delegation held side-talks with the ODIHR/OSCE management headed by Director K.Shtrohal.
May 23, 2007 – the Kazakh delegation constituted of the Deputy Minister of environmental protection A.Bralieyev, the Chairman of the agency for land resources management B.Ospanov and Kazakh diplomats in the Czech Republic participated in the XV OSCE Economic and environmental Forum in Prague “Key challenges to ensure environmental security and sustainable development in the OSCE area: Land degradation, soil contamination and water management”.
In the course of the Forum activities the Kazakh delegation suggested that the European and the Asian processes of sustainable development be united into one Eurasian process and the III World summit on sustainable development in 2012 be held in Kazakhstan.
June 22 - the Presiding Commissioner on human rights under the President of Kazakhstan S.Tursynov, CEC members and Ombudsman office visited OSCE headquarters in Warsaw.
July 25-27 - E.Ertysbayev, the minister of Culture and Information, took the floor on the OSCE permanent council meeting. In his speech Mr.Ertysbayev highlighted the aspects of reorganization in the sphere of informational provision and perfection of Mass media legislation. Also, the minister held meetings with OSCE General secretary M.P. de Brishanbeau, OSCE representative on the issue of mass media freedom M.Kharashti, and heads of delegations under OSCE.
September 10-12 - the Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Belgium (B.de Crombrugghe), Slovakia (P.Lizak) and Sweden (V.Bard-Bringeus) visited Astana and Almaty. The private talks were organized in the Senate of the Parliament, President’s Administration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CEC of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
November 5-6 - K.Shtrohal, the director of the БДИПЧ/ОБСЕ, made a visit to Astana, during which he had meetings in the President’s Administration, Human Rights Commission, Supreme Court, CEC and MFA aimed at presenting the Final Report (published October 30, 2007) of the Human Rights mission concerning the parliamentary elections observance that took place on August 18, 2007, and discussing the ways of further cooperation based on the recommendations given in the report (so-called “follow-up”).
Interaction on the OSCE reform
June 1-3, 2005 – the Group of Eminent Persons on reforming the OSCE has accomplished its work. Mr.K.Sultanov, a member of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, was one of its memebers. The participation of the representative of Kazakhstan has played a significant role in promotinig better understanding of the country and the Central Asia within OSCE as well as enhancing the Organization’s decision making and compromise finding capacity.
September 12-13, 2005 – the delegation of Kazakhstan led by the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Special Representative of the Republic of Kazakhstan on cooperation with OSCE Mr.R.Aliev participated in the high level consultations on reforming of the Organization. Mr.R.Aliev held negotiations with leadership of OSCE on the initiatives of the President of Kazakhstan Mr.N.Nazarbaev on further social, economical and political modernization of Kazakhstan.
September 19-30, 2005 – the delegation of Kazakhstan led by the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr.R.Aliev participated in the ODIHR/OSCE Annual Meeting on Human Dimention Implementation.
December 5-6, 2005 - Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr.K.Tokaev participated in the OSCE Ministerial Meeting in Ljubljana. He presented the report on Kazakhstan’s views on reforming OSCE, results of the presidential elections and our country’s bid for chairmanship in OSCE in 2009.
November 29-30, 2007 - The Kazakhstani delegation headed by Minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan M.Tazhin took part in the 15th regular session of OSCE in Madrid. One of the key issues on the agenda was the consensus attainment upon the Kazakhstan’s application for the presidency in the organization.
As a result of the negotiations an agreement about Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in 2010 was achieved. At the same time any conditions, obvious or latent mechanisms of its execution delay were excluded.
In many respects the chairmanship decision is due to the acknowledgment of real progress of Kazakhstan in the democratic society and liberal market economy construction. The consensus of OSCE is based on the recognition of its participants that our state adheres to internal and external policies which in its turn provide political stability and accuracy in the course of foreign affairs.
Such a decision might be definitely called as a historical and unprecedented one according to a raw of reasons. This is the first Turkish Asian state with predominant Muslim population to lead the organization. While, among the OSCE presidents, mostly the representatives of the Western Europe, the candidates for the EU membership, dominated. No one CIS country could have pretended to such a post before.
In that way the determination proved the genuine equality between all the states-participants of the Organization.
On the whole, the status of the chairman of one of the most prestigious regional forums raises Kazakhstan to new level of perception in the modern world’s frame of reference. In the middle-term and long-term perspectives this will position Kazakhstan favorably within other international structures, and, first of all, UNO. As well as in bilateral relationship with USA, leading European and Asian countries.