Astana, Feb 7 (EFE).- Kazakhstan, the largest republic in Central Asia, is launching a new dialogue platform, the Astana International Forum, to unite efforts in addressing new global challenges, the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan announced on Tuesday.
“The forum will be held under the auspices of the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on June 8-9, 2023 in Astana. It will become a platform for dialogue between high-ranking delegates of foreign governments, international organizations, business and academia in order to find ways to solve problems such as climate change, food shortages and energy security,” the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Today, all over the world, we face historic challenges the likes of which we have not seen in decades or more. These challenges are putting unprecedented pressure on the international community, creating new dividing lines and challenging the principles of globalization and multilateralism,” Tokayev was quoted in the statement as saying.
“The Astana International Forum was created to respond to these challenges, giving priority to cooperation as the main postulate of a functioning international system,” the Kazakh leader added.
Tokayev recalled that Kazakhstan has a long history of developing constructive international relations, serving as a bridge between East and West – and although this policy has been severely tested in 2022, it has proven to be resilient.
“Through the Astana International Forum, we hope to build new bridges and strengthen ties,” he stressed.
The forum is to focus on three challenges, the first being foreign policy, security and sustainability.
“We all know that global peace and stability are currently under threat by tensions between major world powers. Meanwhile, other international issues, such as nuclear disarmament and the refugee crisis, continue to put pressures on shaky international systems and alliances,” Tokayev said in an op-ed published in The Astana Times.
The head of state said that “the rise of nationalism and populist movements” runs the risk of turning “short-term unsustainable solutions into long-term problems.”
Climate change is the another challenge to be discussed at the forum. “Its consequences have a devastating impact on the planet, with rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and loss of biodiversity all taking a toll,” the president said.
The Astana International Forum is to also look at the global economic slowdown and instability because of Covid-19, income inequality and major tensions between major powers.
Tokayev called for “the need for a coordinated global response to these economic, environmental, and security challenges.” EFE