The key event of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s participation in the anniversary session of the UN General Assembly became his address at the General Debate recorded in the format of a video message.
Addressing the participants of the Debate, the Head of State noted that the 75th anniversary of the UN is taking place in both dramatic and critical time. According to the President, the greatest challenge remains the coronavirus pandemic, which is causing deep suffering among the people around the world and has seriously affected the global economy.
“In the wake of this unprecedented human tragedy, on behalf of my country-fellows I extend the profound gratitude to all medical professionals and frontline staff-members who work very hard to protect us,” President Tokayev says.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev believes that the growth of trade protectionism and political nationalism has caused critical collapse of global cooperation and led to “global dysfunction”, which in turn undermine the prospects and hopes for a better world.
The President called for reflection on the fulfillment of the common moral obligation associated with building the paradigm of building a “New World”, and expressed the opinion that now humanity has reached a make-or-break moment for the humankind.
A symbolic moment in the President’s speech was quoting in the Kazakh language the famous statement of the great Kazakh poet and philosopher Abai Kunanbayuly, who proposed his own formula on global interaction.
“Адамзатқа не керек: сүймек, сезбек, кейімек, қарекет қылмақ, жүгірмек, ақылмен ойлап сөйлемек”. Which means: all that the humanity needs – love, compassion, bold actions, deeds and thoughtfulness,” President Tokayev said.
According to the President, the international community obviously needs to do more to combat the pandemic.
First of all, as he said, to build a strong global health system priority must be given to upgrading national health institutions through timely and coordinated support from developed countries and UN agencies.
President Tokayev stated that it is important to take the politics out of the vaccine, noting the need for a comprehensive international agreement on trade and investment that would protect global production of COVID-19 vaccine and supply chains.
The Head of State believes that it may be necessary to revise the International Health Regulations to increase the World Health Organization’s capacity, and to develop national capabilities in preventing and responding to diseases.
In addition, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev suggested closely examined the idea of creating network of Regional Centers for Disease Control and Biosafety under the UN auspices. The President expressed readiness to host such a regional center on the territory of Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan President also noted the urgency of developing and launching of a biological weapons control system and proposed to establish a special multilateral body – the International Agency for Biological Safety.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev shared his vision of the prospects for global economic recovery. The President joined Secretary-General António Guterres’s call on rescue package amounting to 10% of the world economy and supported his view that the response to the pandemic should be based on a New Global Deal to create equal and broader opportunities for all.
Moreover, in his speech, President touched upon the issues related to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. As far as he is concerned, the very basic target is zero hunger to be provided unconditionally on the planet.
President Tokayev announced the readiness of the Islamic Organization for Food Security, initiated by Kazakhstan to assist the international humanitarian campaign through the creation of food reserves.
At the same time, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted the contribution of the volunteering, which this year has demonstrated numerous examples of inspiring strong solidarity around the world.
“To acknowledge the role of volunteers, I propose the United Nations to proclaim an International Year of Mobilizing Volunteers for Development,” Kazakhstan President said.
The President pointed to the ongoing nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament crisis. He expressed hope that the all Member States to join its appeal to nuclear powers to take necessary and urgent measures to save the humankind from a nuclear disaster. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev urged all P5 countries to ratify the respective Protocols to the Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaties, including Semipalatinsk Treaty.
The Head of State also focused on environmental issues, especially the climate change, which, in his opinion, is a sort of “threat multiplier”.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev reaffirmed Kazakhstan's strong commitment to developing decarbonized economy, despite its high dependence on fossil fuels and a long way to go to meet Paris 2030 targets.
“We will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2030 through economic overhaul and industrial modernization. And yet, in next five years we will plant more than two billion trees,” Kazakhstan President emphasized.
President Tokayev said that in order to address these global crises we need to restore an atmosphere of trust between Member States and strengthen multilateral institutions.
“Lack of trust between nations has become toxic for international relations. It is a moral duty to demonstrate our commitment to the basic purposes and principles of the UN Charter,” the President said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev recalled the need to create a unified coalition to counter international terrorism and invited all countries to join the Code of Conduct for Achieving a World Free of Terrorism.
Speaking about the causes of global challenges and threats, the President expressed the opinion that each of these they are is in fact a governance challenge.
“To achieve truly just and people-centered world, measures at the international stage should be accompanied by the dedicated efforts at the national level,” he said.
In this context, the Head of State said that Kazakhstan is determined to build an economically strong, democratically advanced and human-oriented “Listening State”.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev touched upon the issue of strengthening regional cooperation in Central Asia, expressing confidence that a prosperous, strong and united Central Asia is beneficial both for regional and global stakeholders.
The President of Kazakhstan proposed to create a Regional water and energy consortium, activities of which will be aimed at the rational use of transboundary water resources.
The Head of State also announced his intention to institutionalize a UN-led regional SDGs Center in Almaty to coordinate the development agenda in Central Asia.
Concluding his speech at the General Political Debate, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed that Kazakhstan will always remain a strong supporter of the UN and will actively participate in fulfilling our collective aspiration for a better and happier future.
The full speech of the President is available here.