MADRID, Spain, Nov. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Government of
Kazakhstan today announced that the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has appointed Kazakhstan Chairman-in-Office
(CiO) for 2010, with Foreign Minister Marat Tazhin to serve as Chairman.
The unanimous vote by the 56 participating Member States was announced at
the OSCE 15th OSCE Ministerial Council in Madrid, Spain.
"Kazakhstan accepts with a strong sense of duty and firm commitment the
role of Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE for 2010," said Minister Tazhin. "We
see this appointment as a testament to the transformation our country has
undergone since independence and as a strong vote of confidence by OSCE
Member States for the Central Asian region as a whole. We congratulate
Greece on receiving the chairmanship for 2009 and Lithuania for 2011.
Kazakhstan's representatives look forward to engaging with the Greek CiO to
assure Kazakhstan's collaboration on all issues that come before the OSCE
and to work toward a smooth transition to our chairmanship."
"This decision by the OSCE Member States is a firm acknowledgment of
Kazakhstan's ability to lead this important regional organization at a time
when the people represented by the 56 Member States strive for the
political involvement, respect for rule of law and the rights of the
individual, economic prosperity, and security. As Chairman, we will aspire
to become a powerful catalyst of the reform process and we commit to the
continuing modernization of Kazakhstan and the region in its entirety."
Minister Tazhin noted that during its tenure as CiO, Kazakhstan pledges
to lead the Member States in upholding the principles of the OSCE and those
of the Organization for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
ODIHR provides valuable counsel to the national election commissions of all
Member States on ways to comply with internationally accepted standards on
elections. Minister Tazhin said Kazakhstan plans to work to assure that
there is a clear understanding among all Member States on the criteria and
standards that should be equally applied.
Kazakhstan considers the Human Dimension to be the most important area
of activity for the Organization, and has pledged to make this a priority
in order to strengthen democracy in all Participating States. Furthermore,
Minister Tazhin also emphasized that religious tolerance is highly valued
in Kazakhstan, and that the country "enthusiastically supports the
establishment of the three CiO personal representatives on religious
tolerance: for Anti-Semitism, Muslims and for Christians and Other
Religions." In 2009, Kazakhstan will host the third Congress on World and
Traditional Religions in Astana.
Kazakhstan's leadership in establishing a vibrant, prosperous market
economy underpins its expertise in the Economic and Environmental
Dimension. Minister Tazhin pledged that Kazakhstan will strengthen OSCE
support for development of effective Eurasia transit and transport
Concerning international security, Minister Tazhin stressed that the
fight against international terrorism is the priority for Kazakhstan in the
OSCE's Security Dimension and that regional security will be enhanced
through Kazakhstan's leadership. "Kazakhstan has already demonstrated its
deep commitment to international peace and security, having been the first
country to dismantle its nuclear weapons after the break-up of the Soviet
Union," he said. "It knows only too well the health and environmental
degradation that comes from nuclear contamination."
Kazakhstan has been a member of the OSCE for 15 years, joining in 1992
- just a year after gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. It
will be the first non-European country in the history of the organization
to hold the CiO position.
SOURCE The Government of Kazakhstan