Kazakhstan Confident about Bid for UN Security Council Seat

MADRID – Kazakhstan is fully committed to its bid to become the first former Soviet republic to occupy one of the non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council, the Kazakh ambassador to Spain said on Thursday.

Bakyt Dyussenbayev spoke during a forum on Kazakhstan organized by Diplomacia magazine at the Madrid offices of the European Commission.

“Besides the energy crisis, limited access to food and water represent a serious threat to sustainable development and stability and deserve special attention from the international community. These issues will be a priority for Kazakhstan in the United Nations Security Council,” he said.

Kazakhstan’s record in efforts for nuclear safety is another argument in favor of the Kazakh candidacy for a Council seat during the 2017-2018 term.

When the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left Kazakhstan in possession of the world’s fourth-largest nuclear arsenal, the government of the newly independent nation ordered the immediate dismantlement of the stockpile.

In 2006, Astana ratified the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone and last year, Kazakhstan became the home of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Low Enriched Uranium Bank, which is meant to ensure a supply of fuel for peaceful nuclear power.

Manuel Larrotcha, the former Spanish ambassador in Astana, voiced support for Kazakhstan’s Security Council candidacy.

“The government of Kazakhstan is making the maximum effort and I, personally, believe that a Central Asian country, specifically Kazakhstan, deserves that history gives it an opportunity,” he said.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, traveled to Astana in December to sign an Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Kazakhstan and the EU, based on the pact reached by the parties in 1999.

The enhanced agreement marked the start of intensified collaboration across a range of areas, including “economic, political and cultural cooperation, and above all, it has an interesting section regarding civil society and human rights,” Larrotcha said.

Larrotcha and Dyussenbayev agreed that the deepening of relations between the EU and Kazakhstan is now a question of political will.

Acknowledging that the human rights situation in Central Asian countries is “not ideal, as it is not ideal in many European countries,” Larrotcha insisted that what is important “is that there is an open and frank dialogue between the EU and every country in Central Asia.”

He said that EU support was critical in the success of Kazakhstan’s application to join the World Trade Organization and in the selection of Astana to host Expo 2017, focused on Future Energy.

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