UN Headquarters, New York, USA
The central event of the Head of State's visit to New York was his participation in the General Debate of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.
Speaking from the main international rostrum, the President said that the gathering at the UN headquarters is taking place at a critical time for humanity, when the world has seemingly entered a new period of growing geopolitical confrontation.
– “The long-standing international system - based on order and responsibility is giving way to a new, more chaotic and unpredictable one. The global system of checks and balances has failed to maintain peace and stability. The security architecture is eroding. Mutual distrust between global powers is dangerously deepening. The world is falling prey to a new set of military conflicts. For the first time in two generations, we face the prospect of the use of nuclear weapons, and not even as a last resort," the President said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev also pointed out the problems associated with the creation of artificial barriers and economic isolation. He noted that economic and political sanctions have become the "new normal", destroying supply chains that ensure food security, thereby posing a threat to millions of people, especially in vulnerable communities.
In his speech, the President of Kazakhstan recalled that 77 years ago, the founding members of the UN outlined the principles and norms of international law in the UN Charter, which have successfully guided us ever since.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev emphasized the importance of observing the fundamental tenets underlying the UN. In particular, he pointed out the need to rethink the relationship between the three primordial principles – the sovereign equality of states, the territorial integrity of states and peaceful coexistence between states.
– “These three principles are inter-dependent. To respect one is to respect the other two. To undermine one is to undermine the other two. When the global disarmament regime – both conventional and nuclear – weakens, these three principles are threatened. Conversely, as these three principles are respected, they grow in strength. Together they become the basis for greater inter-state cooperation at every level: sub-regional, regional, and global. This is the global prosperity dividend. This system of values, embodied in the UN, remains a beacon of hope for millions of people in different parts of our planet," the President is convinced.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev urged to resolutely defend these values, putting the UN as its core, as well as the spirit of cooperation which underpins it.
– “We cannot afford indecision or narrow interests detrimental to this common heritage and our collective good. Too much is at stake. Therefore, Kazakhstan stands ready to cooperate with all relevant actors in a spirit of inclusiveness, multilateralism and goodwill," he said.
The Head of State expressed his view that modern challenges can be overcome by countries acting together. In this regard, he outlined a number of approaches.
– “The multiple and often interconnected crises of recent years have exposed significant gaps in global governance. They have highlighted the need to modernize and reform the United Nations. The UN must be better prepared for future challenges and opportunities," the President said.
President Tokayev welcomed the proposals of the UN Secretary General presented in his report "Our Common Agenda". In his opinion, this is a good opportunity to reaffirm the provisions of the UN Charter, reinvigorate multilateralism, boost the implementation of existing commitments, agree on concrete responses to new challenges, and restore trust between Member States.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stated the need to move from simply responding to global challenges and crises to preventing and better predicting emerging trends.
– “For this very purpose, Kazakhstan proposed 30 years ago the idea of convening the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). In the context of new challenges and threats we hope to transform CICA into a full-fledged international organization at the upcoming summit in October in Astana to contribute to global mediation and peace-making," he said.
The Head of State called for establishing a frank dialogue between East and West, as well as establishing a new global security paradigm based on the principles of mutual trust and multifaceted cooperation.
The President expressed concern about the growing rivalry and rhetoric of the nuclear powers, as well as the lack of progress in the framework of the NPT Review Conferences. Noting that nuclear disarmament is one of the key directions of Kazakhstan's foreign policy, the Head of State said that our country will continue to fight for a world free of nuclear weapons.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed the urgent need to take measures to reduce biological risks and threats. In this regard, he once again reiterated his earlier proposal to establish an International Agency for Biological Safety.
The Head of State called the fight against climate change another priority task requiring the expansion of international cooperation and solidarity.
– “If we are to turn this tide, we need more action, and we need it fast. Many of us have taken bold steps already. In Kazakhstan, we have pledged the total transformation of the oil- and coal-dependent energy sector into a Net Zero economy by 2060. To save our planet, we need investment at greater levels than we have ever seen. However, climate action cannot come at the expense of development or modernization. Therefore, at COP27 later this year, member states, as well as the global business community, must once again scale up their commitment to greater climate finance," the President stated.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed that the climate agenda is directly related to the global crisis in the field of food security. He expressed his determination to use the huge agricultural potential of Kazakhstan to combat global food instability.
– “Kazakhstan will continue to act as a reliable supplier of grain and other food-staples. It also intends to grow its cooperation with the Islamic Food Security Organization, located in Kazakhstan, as well as UN agencies. It is imperative in this regard to exclude food and fertilizers from any sanctions and restrictions whatsoever," he said.
The Head of State also drew attention to the importance of a reliable, diversified global transit and transport infrastructure. In this context, the President focused on the growing role of Kazakhstan as an important land corridor from Asia to Europe.
– “The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, or Middle Corridor has received a new impetus. We expect cargo volume through Kazakhstan to increase significantly in the years ahead. We must ensure that the Caspian Sea becomes a sea of peace and new opportunities. In the months ahead, Kazakhstan will help mitigate the most immediate impacts of limited access to energy and critical raw materials caused by trade and supply chain disruptions. In the long-term, we aim to diversify our sources of energy, with a particular focus on green hydrogen and renewables," the President said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev separately noted the commitment of the Central Asian countries to strengthening political and economic cooperation.
The President stressed that the region has vast opportunities for international cooperation, including due to its natural and agricultural resources, human capital and transit potential.
In his speech, the Head of State also focused on the large-scale political and economic reforms carried out in our country aimed at building a Just Kazakhstan. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke about domestic political initiatives in Kazakhstan, including the introduction of one seven-year presidential term.
– “This is a real breakthrough in developing democracy in Kazakhstan. At the same time, we will be firmly adhering to my formula of a ‘Strong President – Authoritative Parliament – Accountable Government’. I am convinced that this formula fully serves the national interests of Kazakhstan," he said.