Kazakhstan as OSCE chairman names security as its priority.

By bne IntelliNews January 15, 2010
Kazakhstan, new chairman of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe will focus on tackling terrorism and development issues. Kazakh foreign minister Kanat Saudabayev, addressing 56-member permanent council of the OSCE states that assisting in the resolution of protracted conflicts remains priority for any chairmanship. At the same time, the OSCE must try to find a way of preventing the emergence of similar conflicts, he added. The minister informed that as a current chairman of the organization, he planned to make the first visit to countries in South Caucasus in mid-February. Addressing Afghanistan, Saudabayev stated that Kazakhstan views the development of the situation in that country from the point of view of global security and the fight against terrorism, religious extremism and drug trafficking. It was remained that Kazakhstan had decided to allocate USD 50mn to train Afghan students. Significantly, Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev in a video-tape message said that the OSCE presidency will be a hard test for Kazakhstan, given the current global challenges. The president also stated The decisive question for the OSCE for the future will be whether it can convert into a structure that recognizes the diversity of the world in the 21st century, or whether it will continue to be an organization segmented into blocs where the West remains aloof from the space 'east of Vienna.  

IntelliNews comment: Kazakhstan took chairmanship in the OSCE after several years of efforts. The achievement is presented by Astana as a confirmation of its special role in the region. To remind you, Kazakhstan was named joint candidate for chairmanship from the CIS area. We consider that Kazakhstan will use the OSCE to promote itself on the global arena as it ambition exceeds CIS region. A good illustration of this strategy is a plan to organize OSCE summit in Astana this year.  Moreover, focusing on security issues is a convenient way to diminish significance of human rights and democratic issues in the organization. To remind you, Kazakhstan took the presidency among strong critics from the international non-governmental organizations sparked by tightening media law and weak human rights record.

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