The Chairman of the Senate, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, met with the heads of international organizations in Geneva during a working visit to Switzerland on 13-15 July.
During the meeting with Michael Møller, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, the two sides exchanged views on issues on the international agenda, as well as the work of the UN Conference on Disarmament. Mr. Møller congratulated Kazakhstan on being elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018 and wished the nation success in carrying out the mission.
Mr. Tokayev drew the attention of the UN official to the main provisions of President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s Manifesto "The World. The XXI Century " and emphasized the importance of proper implementation of the Universal Declaration for the Achievement of a Nuclear-Weapons-Free World, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 7, 2015, on the initiative of Kazakhstan. The Senate Chairman invited Mr. Møller to the international conference "Building a Nuclear Free World", which will be held on August 29 in Astana to mark the 25th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site.
Major trends in global trade, economic reforms, investment policies and support for the priority sectors of the economy were discussed during the meeting with the Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Roberto Azevêdo. Mr. Tokayev conveyed President Nazarbayev’s greetings and thanked the WTO chief for fruitful participation in the IX Astana Economic Forum. The head of the Senate briefed Mr. Azevêdo on the events dedicated to the opening of the "EXPO-2017" International Fair in Astana in June 2017.
The Speaker said that Kazakh MPs in cooperation with the government and the business community regularly analyze the challenges and opportunities for the national economy in the context of Kazakhstan’s membership in the WTO. Mr. Tokayev noted that increasing the competitiveness will remain a priority for the legislature in the new parliamentary session. Following the President’s request, a unified tax and customs code aimed at ensuring transparency of financial procedures will be debated in the Parliament. The Chairman of the Senate added that the reform of the antitrust sector will continue as well.
Mr. Tokayev also met with Peter Maurer, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The Senate Speaker stressed the ICRC’s crucial work to protect human life and dignity during armed conflicts, provide humanitarian assistance, as well as develop and implement fundamental rules of international humanitarian law. The Speaker of the Senate noted that the cooperation between Kazakhstan and the ICRC is of particular importance in view of Kazakhstan’s election to the UN Security Council, as well as increased participation of Kazakh military personnel in international peacekeeping missions.
During the meeting with Christian Friis Bach, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the parties exchanged views on the UN regional projects, in particular the Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA). The Speaker of the Senate discussed the problems of water management, rehabilitation of the Aral region, the development of energy and other issues. Mr. Tokayev also briefed the UNECE head on the implementation of the “100 Concrete Steps”, the Plan of the Nation, aimed at the comprehensive modernization of the economy and public life in Kazakhstan.