Officials, academics highlight expectations from Kazakh presidency of OIC


Officials, academics highlight expectations from Kazakh presidency of OICAstana’s upcoming chairmanship of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is set to strengthen mechanisms of potential conflict forecasting and prevention, Kazakhstan’s ambassador-at-large Dulat Bakishev said addressing the international conference in Kazakhstan’s Institute for Strategic Studies (KazISS) in Almaty on March 25.

The conference titled “Kazakhstan’s OIC chairmanship in 2011-12” brought together a wide range of participants to discuss current state and future prospects of political and trade and economic cooperation between the Organisation’s member states, the press service of the Kazakh MFA reports.

It also sought to consider intensifying interstate interaction to ensure regional security and define the priorities for Kazakhstan during its presidency of CFM OIC.

Representatives of the country’s state authorities, leading experts of governmental and independent think tanks and universities, as well as representatives of a number of international organizations and the Diplomatic Corps attended the event.

Speaking at the conference, Dulat Bakishev noted Kazakhstan, which has already started its preparation for chairing the organisation, supported the resolution of the UN Security Council on Libya.

“It should also be noted that the Organisation of the Islamic Conference has been supporting the initiatives set forward by Kazakhstan such as, for instance, the establishment of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) or the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. I believe these initiatives were successfully realized due to the support of the Islamic countries as well,” he said. Bakishev added that four states joined CICA over the last nine months, including Bahrain and Iraq.

Another initiative Kazakhstan could put forward during its leadership in the Organisation is to establish a special fund for socio-economic rehabilitation of countries and territories that underwent interethnic and interreligious conflicts, Zaur Dzhalilov, a leading expert of the Institute of Oriental Studies, said.

In his opinion, the emerging armed interethnic and interfaith conflicts that are taking place in the OIC member states have become one of the major concerns in addition to nowadays traditional security threats and challenges.

“These conflicts are the true threat to stability of the global community and Central Asia in particular. That is why Kazakhstan is interested in elimination of these conflicts and other confrontations of the kind,” the expert underscored.

Dzhalilov also noted a conceptual framework of interethnic and interfaith conflict, as well as some specific criteria of its qualification must be worked out.

Director of Foreign Policy Centre at Kazakhstan’s Presidential Administration Magzhan Ilyassov said one of the major goals for Kazakhstan during its OIC chairmanship will be to ensure regional security and attract more investments in the country.

“Striving to efficiently counteract challenges and threats which the OIC member states are facing today, the Organisation pins some specific hopes on the upcoming chairmanship of Kazakhstan. The Islamic world considers Kazakhstan as a model of secular multiethnic state which ensures proper protection of human rights and equal status of women. Looking at the situation in the world, many countries may even model themselves after Kazakhstan, in a certain sense,” Ilyassov said.

Reminding that on June 7-9 the Kazakh capital will be hosting the so-called “Islamic Davos”, the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), Ilyassov said the event’s main purpose is to attract new technologies and investments to Kazakhstan. Delegates from both Islamic and Western business circles are expected to attend the forum.

Ensuring regional security is gaining increasing importance at present due to the latest events in the Middle East, Ilyassov said.

“The Arab world is experiencing a lot nowadays. To eliminate negative consequences of all that Kazakhstan must be proactive to the maximum extent possible,” he noted.

He also mentioned the forum will play a significant role in advancing Kazakhstan’s further relations with the OIC member states, including in political, economic and social spheres.

Summing up the results of the conference, Ilyassov said a great variety of suggestions on how to make Kazakhstan’s OIC chairmanship more efficient were put forward during the meeting.

“It is still difficult to forecast results. Our suggestions, however, aroused a keen interest from the OIC Secretariat,” he concluded.