Astana, 8 June 2023 (TDI): The Astana International Forum commenced today in Kazakhstan’s EXPO Business District’s Congress Centre. Influential leaders worldwide are brought together at this prestigious venue for discourse to discuss pressing global challenges.
Distinguished guests, including Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Chairwoman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Željka Cvijanović, and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, have arrived to participate in the forum.
The attendance of these high-level delegates emphasizes the value of this event as a forum for forthright and constructive conversations on the current situation of global economic issues and regional cooperation.
President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev presented the keynote address at the inaugural ceremony. He expressed his gratitude to the special guests and emphasized their commitment to participate in the forum, aiming for a fruitful exchange of views.
The President stated that the Astana International Forum operates under a mission to review the global situation candidly, identify leading challenges and crises, promote dialogue, and renew a shared culture of multilateralism. The forum also strives to amplify voices for peace, progress, and solidarity amid unprecedented geopolitical tension.
In his speech, President Tokayev emphasized the erosion of the foundations of the world order and the urgent need for comprehensive reform, particularly in the United Nations Security Council.
He underlined the importance of addressing economic undercurrents and the weaponization of economic policies, including trade wars, sanctions, and investment screening, gradually undermining global peace and prosperity.
The Kazakh President, Tokayev, also drew attention to the existential threats posed by social unrest, widening gaps in culture and values, disinformation, and limited global cooperation in addressing the implications of new technologies.
He stressed the urgent need for nations to collaborate and align their efforts to reverse the current trend and build a stable, equitable, and prosperous world.
President Tokayev noted that Kazakhstan, a crossroad between East and West, North and South, has continuously served as an economic engine in Central Asia.
He also mentioned that Kazakhstan is pivotal in initiatives like the Middle Corridor or Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, which connects China to the European Union, opening new trade and investment possibilities.
He also spotlighted Kazakhstan’s involvement in the Belt and Road initiative, promoting economic development and intra-regional connectivity.
Tokayev reiterated Kazakhstan’s commitment to international peace and security, including nuclear disarmament and the NPT. He also said the country held summits of world religious leaders and Asia’s Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures.
He also highlighted the country’s commitment to international peace and security and its active engagement in initiatives such as the Astana peace process for the Syrian crisis and hosting world religious summits addressing the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
He also said the country held summits of world religious leaders and Asia’s Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures.
According to the President, Kazakhstan also seeks to enhance regional cooperation within Central Asia and invites international partners to explore new business and economic partnership avenues.
Furthermore, Tokayev underscored the essence of addressing climate change. He cited that environmental concerns and the alarming decrease in water levels of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers in the region require immediate attention.
President Tokayev urged increased resources for the International Fund to Save the Aral Sea to prevent an environmental disaster. Water security in Central Asia necessitates close cooperation and tailored joint measures.
He proposed establishing a project office for Central Asian countries in Almaty and organizing a Regional Climate Summit in Kazakhstan in 2026 to foster cooperation and address climate-related issues.
The Astana International Forum serves as a crucial step in reversing the forces of division and promoting collaboration among nations.
President Tokayev emphasized the need for open-mindedness, tolerance, and compromise to foster meaningful conversation and cooperation. The forum aims to shape a shared future and contribute to a more stable, equitable, and prosperous world for all.