Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke at the general debate of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke at the general debate of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. He stated that today humanity faces unprecedented changes and is entering a period of another geopolitical confrontation, in this context, the leaders of the states gathered in the General Assembly are responsible for the destiny of humanity.
According to Tokayev, a large-scale threat comes from the erosion of the basic principles of international law enshrined in the UN Charter. The destruction of these pillars imposes a heavy burden on the existing system of international relations and gives rise to confrontation. “The practice of non-compliance, suspension and withdrawal of key international legal instruments is extremely worrying, as it could lead to a point of no return,” warned the Kazakh president. “This situation disrupts the trade system, weakens the supply chains that drive the economy, harms food security and accelerates inflation.”
Dramatic statistics were presented in Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s speech: in today’s world, 108 million people are internally displaced, more than one billion live in poverty, 2 billion do not have access to basic medicines. “The end result could be that humanity loses confidence in the stable development of the world in the future. The younger generation no longer believes that the world they will inherit will be a better world. Therefore, Kazakhstan considers it necessary to reaffirm its unwavering commitment to the principles of the UN Charter,” the president emphasized, naming several more areas that require coordinated action by the world community.
Climate, water and biosecurity
The modern crises that the President of Kazakhstan spoke about from the UN rostrum are not solely due to political factors. Climate change is becoming dramatic, largely due to energy policy. Kazakhstan proposes to launch an international Just Energy Transition Partnership program. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev considers it necessary to take gradual, sustainable and socially responsible measures to switch from the use of coal to other sources.
He highlighted that water scarcity in Central Asia affects transboundary river basins. Furthermore, this problem is not limited to Central Asia: by 2040, global water demand may exceed supply by 40%. “We must combine political will and economic resources to solve this critical global problem, along with measures to combat climate change,” said the president of Kazakhstan.
Tokayev recalled that next year his country will chair the International Fund for the Salvation of the Aral Sea. “We will continue to work to prevent further environmental degradation and its impact on life around the lake, which was once the fourth largest on the planet,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev promised.
Today, the Caspian Sea also faces problems such as shallow depth, water diversion, and pollution of flora and fauna, so saving the Caspian Sea should become another priority that requires long-term international cooperation.
The degradation of water resources is largely due to rising temperatures. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev believes that the increase in temperature on the planet will continue if we do not initiate a global transition towards a carbon-free future. However, the climate agenda as a whole should not be used to introduce measures that restrict trade and investment cooperation.
“Instead, we should focus on positive changes, such as UN Positive Climate Action, including investing in green jobs… However, without adequate funding, ambitious plans to combat climate change will remain unrealized,” – Tokayev is sure.
He believes that Kazakhstan’s initiative to open a Central Asia Project Office on climate change and green energy in Almaty can help solve pressing environmental problems. “We hope to host the Regional Climate Summit in Kazakhstan in 2026 under the auspices of the UN,” said the country’s president.
Tokayev also recalled the initiative in the field of biological safety repeatedly put forward by Kazakhstan, the need for which was confirmed by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev appealed to UN Secretary General António Guterres with a proposal to begin the process of creating an International Biosafety Agency.
Diplomacy and dialogue
The President of Kazakhstan stated an alarming fact: last year, about 10% of the world’s population went hungry. Tokayev considers it necessary to intensify the exchange of information in the field of food safety, including production volumes, export and import volumes of food. “We must jointly ensure transparent monitoring of the international community’s financing of responses to food crises,” said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Equally important is an open and inclusive multilateral trading system based on the principles and rules of the World Trade Organization, as well as the modernization of the entire global food security system.
Tokayev proposes to take advantage of the powerful agricultural potential of Kazakhstan, which is also ready to serve as a regional food supply center, since it has all the necessary resources, infrastructure and logistics for this.
“Kazakhstan is already a secure link through which around 80% of land traffic between Asia and Europe passes,” said the President. – The Trans-Caspian international transport route – the so-called “Middle Corridor” – can significantly strengthen the interaction between East and West. “This route will increase the pace of trade between key markets, almost halving the time needed to transport goods by sea.”
“We are concerned about acts of disrespect for sacred books”
Speaking at the UN General Assembly debates during an alarming period for the entire world, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev highlighted the key role of interfaith and interfaith dialogue.
“We are therefore concerned about recent acts of profound disrespect towards sacred books. These barbaric acts against Islam or any other religion cannot be considered an expression of freedom, freedom of expression and democracy. All holy books, including the Quran, deserve legal protection against vandalism,” said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
He is convinced that a culture of peace can only be based on the principles of unity in diversity and mutual respect.
“I am proud of the important role played by the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions held in Astana,” stressed the President of Kazakhstan.
He called for continued interfaith and interfaith dialogue, and also proposed using the peacekeeping and mediation experience of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
“Dialogue is the only way to create a favorable environment for reaching agreements on new principles and norms. Despite all efforts, conflicts continue in many regions of the world. We call on all parties to seek a diplomatic solution to the conflicts based on the UN Charter and generally accepted norms of international law,” said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. – Diplomacy and dialogue must always prevail in the resolution of international disputes. Therefore, we must make all joint efforts to stabilize the only existing system of global institutions,” said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev spoke to the participants in the debate about the reforms in his country, highlighting that they are based on the principles of justice, equality, impartiality and freedom. “My personal creed – the rule of law – must prevail in all circumstances. “We understand that only political reforms and investments in human capital can make our economy more sustainable and stronger,” the president said, noting that the new economic policy announced in his recent speech to the people of Kazakhstan aims primarily at improving well-being and the quality of life of fellow citizens.
“The health, well-being and good education of the younger generation are key priorities of Kazakh state policy. I place my hopes on the younger generation who will lead our country into the future. We work for this better future in our country and abroad. Let us revive the spirit of unity and collective action that is at the core of the United Nations. Let us remember that our shared commitment to building a better world must transcend our differences. Kazakhstan is ready to cooperate with all UN Member States in building a brighter, fairer and more sustainable world,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev concluded.
“New actors are emerging on the international scene”
According to international journalist and political scientist Dmitry Babich, the initiatives of the President of Kazakhstan to solve world problems have long earned the republic well-deserved recognition. “Everyone clearly sees that there are many conflicts in the world, many global problems have accumulated: the climate is changing before our eyes, resources are running out, our so-called electronic infrastructure is becoming fragile, “surprising” viruses are appearing. , like Covid-19. And Kazakhstan is one of the few that not only talks about these mega problems, but also proposes ways to solve them. These include initiatives on the problem of water scarcity and on the creation of a center for supply of food from Kazakhstan, as well as many initiatives in terms of the elimination of nuclear weapons and the creation of the International Biosafety Agency,” commented the political scientist.
Candidate of political science and associate professor of the Department of Political Science of the Financial University of the Government of the Russian Federation, Evgenia Makhmutova, notes the concern expressed in the speech of the President of Kazakhstan about the erosion of the principles of the UN, as well like the breakup. of the commercial and productive chains mentioned by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
“Tokayev spoke about food security, climate change and environmental sustainability. These are problems not only of Kazakhstan, and the president from the UN rostrum stated that their solution requires collective efforts and greater cooperation than the current one. President Tokayev said that the international system requires greater stability and greater participation of interested countries in global processes.
New actors are appearing on the international scene, with their own interests, with their own history of relationships, their own vision of how processes can develop. This is exactly what the president of Kazakhstan was talking about,” says an associate professor at the Financial University of the Government of the Russian Federation.