Twenty Years in Service of National Interests: Kazakhstan Celebrates Diplomats’ Day
July 05. MFA
On July 2, Kazakhstan’s diplomats both at home and in overseas missions celebrated the Day of the Diplomatic Service.
The date when President Nazarbayev signed a decree establishing the independent Kazakhstan’s own Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1992 is marked by the nation’s diplomats as a special day to celebrate their accomplishments. Marking the day is a way to recognize the work of several hundreds of Kazakh diplomats in the central office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in posts throughout the world.
During a special reception dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Diplomatic Service that was held on June 29 in Astana, Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State Mukhtar Kul-Mukhammed read out a letter conveying congratulations of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
“The time required early recognition of our independence by the leading powers of the world. It was important to establish comprehensive cooperative relations with other countries of the world as soon as possible, create all the required conditions for the newly opening embassies and foreign diplomatic missions, tell the world about Kazakhstan’s peaceful foreign policy and attract foreign investment into the stagnant economy. Our professional diplomats had to efficiently manage all these tasks in a very difficult time,” the letter said.
Working hard over these years, Foreign Ministry officials have set an example of professionalism and patriotism, the Kazakh leader contended.
“I believe you will continue to dedicate your knowledge and experience to increase the authority of our country on the international arena, and ensure peace and welfare to the people of Kazakhstan. I wish you good health, happiness, prosperity, and success in this difficult and responsible service,” Nazarbayev concluded.
During the official ceremony in the Foreign Ministry, the Head of the Foreign Service agency Yerzhan Kazykhanov congratulated the diplomats on this important day and underscored one of the most difficult tasks faced by Kazakhstan after gaining independence was to be recognized as an independent and full-fledged member of the international community.
“Due to the well-thought foreign policy pursued by the Head of State, today Kazakhstan holds the leading positions in the world, enjoying respect from the international community. Our successful and effective chairmanship in the OSCE, EurAsEC, SCO, CSTO and the Turkic Council is a living testimony to that,” Kazykhanov said.
“Our country has made a historic contribution to nuclear disarmament and strengthening of the non-proliferation regime, as well as in expanding the dialogue of cultures, religions and civilizations. Kazakhstan has built friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation with its neighbors and many other states,” he noted.
The fact that Kazakhstan has no conflicts with any country and especially with neighbouring states is a good illustration of the effectiveness of the country’s foreign policy. Moreover, Kazakhstan managed to solve border issues, those that could not be solved for centuries, and the nation for the first time now has recognized undisputed borders with all its neighbours.
Today the country is actively involved in addressing the pressing regional and global issues, and shaping the new world order. Kazakhstan is deserved to be regarded as a generator of stability, dynamic and prosperous model of development of the state on the international scene.
“The names of the brightest representatives of Kazakh diplomacy are inscribed in the national diplomatic history. It is difficult to overestimate their contribution into the strengthening of our country’s international position and prestige, ensuring continuity in the pursuit of our national interests and keeping the traditions of our foreign service,” the Minister added.
“I believe the very example set by our diplomats during the first years of independence and the high potential of the Foreign Ministry was based on handing over the baton to a younger generation, which I am sure will further hold high the banner of patriotism and professionalism of our agency,” Kazykhanov concluded.
Later in the day, Yerzhan Kazykhanov opened the Museum of Kazakhstan’s diplomacy. The exposition reveals the most significant events of the 20-year period of an independent foreign policy, as well as the contribution of Kazakhstan’s first President into the country’s diplomacy.
Over the two decades, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry has accumulated large amount of material, revealing the history of the formation and development of the diplomatic service of independent Kazakhstan. In the future, the museum will be updated with new documents and exhibits that reflect the development and strengthening of Kazakhstan’s diplomacy, the place and role of the country on the international arena.
As years went by, the initial recruits of the Kazakh foreign office matured with experience to become the commanding staff supported by hundreds of younger diplomats who had been trained in the international relations schools at home, with the best candidates also obtaining knowledge from prestigious diplomatic schools in Russia, the US, the UK, Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Turkey, and other countries.
During the years of independence Kazakhstan has established diplomatic relations with 145 countries. Kazakh Foreign Ministry today runs 84 overseas missions in 58 states of the world.
At present, there are 111 foreign missions and 23 representative offices of regional and international organizations in Kazakhstan.
In 20 years, six persons served as foreign ministers of Kazakhstan. Those are Toleutay Suleimenov (1991-94), Kanat Saudabayev (1994 and 2009-2011) Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (1994-1999 and 2002-2007), Yerlan Idrissov (1999-2002), Marat Tazhin (2007-09), and Yerzhan Kazykhanov, since April 2011.