President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for the United Nations to reform its approaches to addressing modern challenges during his speech at the UN General Debate that took place on September 20 in New York, QazMonitor reports citing the presidential press service.
Tokayev’s speech opened with him saying that the meeting at the UN headquarters is taking place at a critical time for humanity, noting the rising geopolitical tension around the world.
“Mutual mistrust between world powers is growing at an alarming rate. The world has fallen victim to a new round of military conflicts,” the President began. “For the first time in two generations, we are facing the danger of using nuclear weapons, and not as a last resort."
He put a strong emphasis on problems associated with the creation of artificial barriers and economic isolation, including regular sanctions that disrupt supply chains and threaten the food security of vulnerable communities.
The Kazakh leader proposed that the UN adapt and reform its systematic approaches in order to rise up to the current challenges and emerging opportunities. He spoke of the need to shift from reacting to crises to taking preventative measures.
“It was for this purpose 30 years ago that Kazakhstan proposed the creation of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA). In the context of new challenges and threats, we hope to see CICA evolve into a full-fledged international organization at the forthcoming Astana Summit in October to promote mediation and peacemaking," he said.
The president also expressed concern about the dangerous rhetoric being exchanged between nuclear powers and the lack of progress after the NPT Review Conferences. Noting that nuclear disarmament is one of the key areas of Kazakhstan's foreign policy, the Head of State stated that the country will continue to fight for a world free of nuclear weapons.
He urged the international community to take measures to reduce biological risks and threats by reiterating his earlier proposal to create the International Biological Security Agency.
Other pressing issues highlighted in the address include climate change, its link to food security, and Kazakhstan’s role as a steady supplier of agricultural produce via the Trans-Caspian International Route.
Following the Debate, Tokayev’s visit program concluded with a meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, where they discussed the status and prospects for strengthening multilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UN.
The two parties reviewed the implementation of Tokayev’s initiative to establish the UN Hub for Sustainable Development Goals for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty. In this regard, the UN Secretary-General expressed his support for this important initiative.
The meeting ended with the Head of State inviting Guterres to Kazakhstan.