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Holding summit, protracted conflicts, transport and tolerance among priorities for Kazakh OSCE Chairmanship.

Priorities for Kazakhstan's 2010 OSCE Chairmanship include addressing terrorism and other threats, working to resolve protracted conflicts, reconstruction of Afghanistan, co-operation on transport and promoting tolerance, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev and the new OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Kazakh Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabaev said on Thursday.President Nazarbaev, in a video-taped address to the OSCE Permanent Council, called for an OSCE summit to be held to strengthen the Organization and its principle of consensus. A summit would build on the Corfu Process - the OSCE-anchored debate on the future of European Security launched by the 2009 Greek OSCE Chairmanship.According to the President, the agenda of the summit could include topical security matters in the OSCE area of responsibility, as well as the situation in Afghanistan and issues relating to tolerance."Now is the time when the leaders of the OSCE participating States should demonstrate their political will and focus on solutions to the difficult challenges facing our nations. A summit would not only give a powerful impetus to adapting the OSCE to modern challenges and threats, but would also increase the confidence and respect enjoyed by the Organization itself among our peoples," he said.A summit would also afford an opportunity to mark the 35th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act, the 20th anniversary of the Charter of Paris and the 65th anniversary of the end of Second World War, Nazarbaev stressed.The 2010 Chairmanship would be guided by trust, tradition, transparency and tolerance - four T's, he said."The first T refers to the trust that is necessary for all us. The second one refers to our commitment to the fundamental principles and values of the OSCE. The third one conveys maximum openness and transparency in international relations, free from 'double standards' and 'dividing lines', as well as a focus on constructive co-operation in order to address challenges and threats to security," he said. "Finally, the fourth T reflects global trends toward strengthening intercultural and intercivilizational dialogue, which is gaining major importance in today's world."To strengthen the Organization further, President Nazarbaev also proposed declaring 1 August, the day of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, OSCE Day in the region.He also quoted a Kazakh saying "Without unity, there can be no life" and said Kazakhstan considers the OSCE "a single space of democracy, stability and prosperity for all the peoples living in it."Chairperson Saudabaev, in his first speech to the Permanent Council since Kazakhstan took over the Chairmanship from Greece on 1 January, said the "illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, countering terrorism and new challenges of the modern age" would be among the priorities in 2010."Assisting in the resolution of 'protracted conflicts' remains a priority for any Chairmanship and we shall endeavor to do all we can to make a contribution to this difficult process. At the same time, our Organization must try to find a way of preventing the emergence of similar conflicts which result in human tragedy and humanitarian disasters," he said.Work to help rebuild Afghanistan, an OSCE Partner for Co-operation, also would continue, Saudabaev said."We view the development of the situation in that country from the point of view of global security and the fight against terrorism, religious extremism and drug trafficking," he said. "Helping the Afghan people to transform their war-torn country into a peaceful, productive and self-sustained society based on democratic principles and values is an important task for the OSCE and the whole international community."The Kazakh Chairmanship also would work to develop transcontinental transit and transport corridors and to promote environmental and energy security. Tolerance and intercultural dialogue would be a "major priority", Saudabaev said, adding that a High-Level OSCE Conference on Tolerance and Non-Discrimination would be held in June in Astana."The rule of law is a fundamental commitment in the human dimension, directly concerned with human rights and democracy," he said, adding that particular attention would be paid to judicial independence, the prevention of hate crimes, freedom of movement and the situation of Roma and Sinti.The Chairmanship also would support a conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the Copenhagen Document that would "include a review of the implementation of commitments regarding elections and the observance of fundamental human rights and freedoms as well as the rights of national minorities," he added."Attaching great importance to the human aspects of the OSCE's work, we are demonstrating a firm commitment to this process, first and foremost in our own country. Further steps in the area of democratization in Kazakhstan will be fully in line with goals and tasks that we have set ourselves during our Chairmanship," he said.During the Greek Chairmanship, the OSCE foreign ministers met informally in June on the Greek island of Corfu, and the Kazakh Chairmanship intended to continue this practice by arranging an informal meeting in the mountain city of Almaty this summer, Saudabaev said.

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Publication:AKIpress News Agency
Date:Jan 15, 2010
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