Prospects: Kazakhstan, Chairman of UNSC

Yasir Masood

THE UN Security Council is waiting for an interesting time. At least, such a conclusion can be drawn from the stated working agenda for the next month. In January 2018, the UN Security Council was headed by one of its non-permanent members, the Republic of Kazakhstan. This young, ambitious country has been demonstrating credibility and the reputation of a peacekeeper in international conflicts besides uncompromising commitments to fight against terrorism. The country has a history of peaceful growth and firm adherence to the international norms for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. During the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the state got world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal however, the stiff resolution for volunteer withdrawal depicted Kazakhstan’s intent for peaceful world without nuclear weapons. The country set an example for many others by maintaining the status of nuclear weapon-free country thus changed the mindsets rooted in hawkish realities on the ground that prestige in world was not merely confined with the possession of the nukes.
The world has been facing many strains and evils that drag the human race towards an unending arms race and destruction. In such a scenario, the role of countries that believe in peaceful co-existence and growth for the common welfare must be encouraged. Amidst prevailing nuclear tension in Korean peninsula that is also a major cause of regional and global concern however, a nuclear weapon-free country would become a model to be realized by nuclear ambitious states that a constructive role can also be played in global affairs without possessing nuclear weapons. The actions of states and the words of the leaders have lasting effects that also contribute in making history. The pledging efforts and the initiatives set forth by Nursultan Nazarbayev further progress towards prospective hope that the Korean conflict will be settled and two Koreas will soon make peace. Chairmanship of the Kazakhstan of Security Council in such a globally anarchic scenario will further become a newfangled impetus for peaceful world progressing towards disarmament and non-proliferation.
The priorities of Kazakhstan as a member of the Security Council in 2017-2018 are outlined in President Nazarbayev’s political address to the Council which in actuality can be termed as conceptual vision of Kazakhstan on strengthening global partnership for building a safe, just and prosperous world.
During the first working day, the program of the Security Council activity was presented, which was subsequently voiced at a briefing for the UN member states on most important topics such as nonproliferation, promotion of green technologies, solution of humanitarian problems in the zones of military conflicts and also the resolution of conflicts itself. The UN Security Council will have to analyze the situation around North Korea, Iran, Myanmar, Palestine and Israel including prospective status of Jerusalem and many other countries. Moreover, during quarterly open debates of January on the “Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question”, as well as open and closed discussions on the problems of Syria, Libya, Congo, CARs, Darfur, West Africa, Southern Sudan , Mali, Somalia, Cyprus and Colombia came under discussion. A number of resolutions and statements of the new Security Council chairman are yet to be adopted. The proposed program was approved and supported by the permanent members of the UN Security Council. The Permanent Representative of Russia to the UN, Vasily Nebenzia, expressed confidence in the success of the work of the Kazakh delegation in the capacity of Chairman of the Council. The US Ambassador Nicky Haley and other ambassadors of the Council’s member countries noted the informative and saturated program of Kazakhstan, as well as the fact that it focuses on the most actual issues and contemporary challenges in the world. The permanent representative of Kazakhstan to the UN Kairat Umarov highlighted the importance of paying more attention to building trust relations between different political leaders and countries because it is inevitable to solve the problems.
President Trump invited Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan for an official working visit to the United States. At the same time, it is expected that in the near future Nazarbayev will also hold an official meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin therefore; such developments illustrate the active role of Kazakhstan in international affairs. On January 16, 2018, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited US and met with his counterpart Donald Trump in New York during thematic debates of the UN High Security Council members on the topic “Nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction: Confidence-Building Measures.” The meeting of two leaders of course immediately aroused and drew close attention of the representatives of different countries. Moreover, the security situation of Afghanistan is a pressing issue for whole world. Among other things, Afghan issue” became a serious topic for discussion of the two leaders. It is fact that at present international community has practically withdrawn from the problems of Afghanistan. The UN mission records depressing statistics – the number of civilians killed in Afghanistan in 2017 from armed conflicts reached a record level of almost 18,000 people. This is the highest figure since the beginning of the war that is since 2001. Considering that Kazakhstan is an active regional participant and negotiator in conflict resolution, and also heads the UN Committee on Afghanistan and moderates the discussion of the Afghan issue, its possible proposals can be invaluable. However, the visit of President Nazarbayev is believed to assist towards further progress for ensuring peace and stability and enduring solution of Afghan problem.
However, the Chairman of the Kazakhstan Council on Foreign Relations, Yerlan Karin, views President Nazarbayev’s visit to US as the most important event for the prospective Kazakh-American cooperation and for determining the course of relationship between Central Asia and the US. However, the policy of peaceful coexistence can inspire many states to play constructive role in international politics. The international communities’ recognition of Kazakhstan’s Presidency of the UN Security Council will undoubtedly rise the prestige of the UN also which is set for a multi-vector peacekeeping dialogue and a role of conflict resolution.
— The writer is a renowned columnist based in Islamabad.

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