Project of the Virtual 6th Astana Economic Forum and the World Anti-Crisis Conference
A project for the virtual VI Astana Economic Forum (AEF) and the World Anti-crisis conference (WAC) was launched on 19 April online on the international G-Global platform (www.group-global.org) and will work till 19 May 2013. The project will enable the online discussion of the program and topics of the Forum and the Conference in order to find effective solutions to comprehensive global socio-economic challenges of today. Renowned scholars of our time, the business community and government agencies around the world are invited join the virtual AEF and WAC on the site G-Global. Thenews.com.pk reports.
The Reds aren’t coming!
KazakhstanPresident Nursultan Nazarbayev has scoffed at suggestions that Russia is embarking on building a new empire or creating a new Soviet Union. He also rejected “theories of catastrophe” projected by analysts and the mass media in the wake of an anticipated NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. Nazarbayev made a passionate appeal to support Kazakhstan’s G-Global initiative as a foundation for realizing his vision of a new world order in the 21st century.
Delivering an unusually long keynote speech at the 11th Eurasian Media Forum in Kazakhstan’s spanking new capital of Astana on April 25, Nazarbayev explained that his country is gearing up to establish a Eurasian Economic Union along with the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus out of its responsibility towards issues of regional development.
“Today, there are politicians and experts who look at the Eurasian integration through the dim lenses of the Cold War. But these outdated glasses distort reality. The goal of the three countries to unite their markets of goods, services and labour force will benefit not only the region but also the entire global economy,” the president said.
Nazarbayev said the talk of a second coming by the Russians is absolutely preposterous. “I would like to make it clear to the mass media present here that Kazakhstan will not compromise on its independence,” he told the forum.
“Upon obtaining independence, Kazakhstan and its people for the first time felt free and experienced the taste of independence. We are not going to give up that hard-earned freedom to anyone. If regional unions start compromising on the interests of the state, we will immediately leave that organisation. The union we are working towards is entirely about economic integration,” he added.
The president said integration is not a one-time frozen process. As the European Union’s performance shows, integration will have problems exposed by life itself. “We are closely studying the experience and mistakes of Europe.”
President Nazarbayev said the vast central Asian region located at the crossroads of the West and the East would become a corridor with shared, predictable and open rules for doing businesses. He said the three nations — Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus — have already decided to establish a customs union in 2015 before moving towards the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union.
“This will be a stable economic area with safe, reliable, shortest possible transeurasian routes. Recently when I was on an official visit to China we made an agreement that Kazakhstan would be provided with a port in the Pacific Ocean and that Kazakhstan would unite with the People’s Republic of China via two powerful railway lines and seven motorways. So if cargo starts to be shipped along this route, then we are clearly going to see vast economic benefits.”
Talking about the significance of Central Asia, he said the role of the region as an active global political player is growing. He pointed out that Kazakhstan recently hosted negotiations to address one of the most complicated issues in the modern world — the Iranian nuclear programme.
Though he did not foresee a security breakdown in post-2014 Afghanistan, Nazarbayev pledged his country’s full support to the strife-torn country after the Allied withdrawal.
“Let me state very clearly, I do not accept the catastrophic theories which we hear from different sources. I do not believe that a countdown has already been turned on to bring our region to some sort of an ‘X hour’ in 2014 following the end of an active phase of the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan,” he said, rejecting predictions of regional turmoil.
“I am sure that nothing critical will happen despite warnings of a frightening scenario. The level of security threats there has been substantially lowered.”However, Nazarbayev only had guarded optimism about the immediate outlook for the region. Some progress had been made towards achieving a settlement in Afghanistan, but it was still in its infancy, he said, pointing out the need for stronger international humanitarian and investment assistance.
“Kazakhstan is ready to provide the necessary service to organise a new international platform to effectively tackle the Afghan issue,” he declared.
Nazarbayev lamented that today’s perception of a Central Asian inertia is still rooted in the Cold War past. He said some elements in international political circles and the mass media find pleasure in stereotyping the former Soviet Union republics.
“Someone does not see, or does not want to see, the changed reality of our region. Central Asia is no longer what it used to be after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is no longer a ‘godforsaken territory’ or a ‘no-one’s land’, but a new dynamic region that has proved its ability to sustain decent, sovereign development.”
Also, treating countries of Central Asia as targets of foreign influence, without taking into account their national interests, is geopolitical short-sightedness. Central Asia is a civilised community of nations with a great history, a worthy present and great prospect for the future, Nazarbayev said.
“I believe that the natural combination of Turkic ‘passionarity’, Slavic warm-heartedness and European zeal will gift to the world the best examples of development.”
Central Asiais now blessed with a multilayered and multidimensional system of regional security. Its main components are the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which involves over 20 states of the Asian continent, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Such a balanced approach brings integrity to the entire security system and empowers the region to respond to regional crises immediately.
He said it is crucial today to intensify the search for global economic solutions within the G20 framework. “We see the world’s transition to a brand new state as a result of the present stage of global development. Last year I came up with the idea of G-Global as a foundation for shaping a new world order in the 21st century.”
“My idea is to invite the entire global community to discuss all the economic and political problems of the world.”
He said the communication platform G-Global is operating online and has already been viewed by several million users. “It involves discussions on the five G-Global principles that I have proposed for a multi-polar world order.”
The G-Global initiative includes rejection of revolutionary changes in politics; fairness, equality and consensus; global tolerance and trust; global transparency; and constructive multi-polarity. These principles can serve as a basis for a successful dialogue on any global issue and come up with universally acceptable solutions, he added.
The key objective of G-Global is to offer a positive alternative to a chaotic dynamics of the changing global development paradigms. “I strongly believe that this unique world deserves constructive multi-polarity.”
Innovation and responsibility are prerequisites for global economic growth and sustainable development. Innovative approaches are needed not only in geo-economics, but also in geopolitics. Responsibility should be an inherent feature of not only states, but also each and every region of the planet, given the economic regionalisation trend, the president said.
The much talked-about “Kazakhstan 2050” master plan envisages the country to become one of the 30 most developed places in the world. Kazakhstan plans to attain that goal by being a part of the global economic and political trends, connecting its own tasks and capabilities with international practices and development processes, Nazarbayev concluded.