BALI, INDONESIA – Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov travelled to Indonesia from Aug. 29-30 to promote bilateral ties through high-level talks and to take part in the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations 6th Global Forum.
On Aug. 29, the Kazakh minister participated in the Sixth Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilisations in Bali along with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, ministers and high-level delegations from more than 100 countries and international organisations.
Kazakhstan has fully supported the idea of the Alliance aimed at reducing tensions between the Western and Islamic worlds, the minister said, and joined in the creation of the Group of Friends of the Alliance.
“We note the enduring importance of the theme of the Forum which has brought us all together – nce.ern and Isl and international organisations. l Ban KiShared Valueshe enduring importance of the theme of the Forum which has brought us all together – nce.ern and Isl and international organisations. l Ban KiWe believe that the initiative of Spain and Turkey measures up to the expectations of the international community to counter the ‘plague’ of the 21st century, extremism and terrorism, including through the involvement of youth in creating inter-civilisational interaction,” the minister said.
“The world today is, once again, plunged into a phase of escalating tensions and increasing military capabilities. Several old controversies have become seriously aggravated and newly provoked. We observe that international law does not work as it is supposed to and the principle of permissiveness triumphs. We pay too high a price for the conflicts that do not solve problems, only exacerbate them,” Idrissov told the gathering.
The minister went on to list specific contributions Kazakhstan has been making in promoting better understanding and dialogue internationally, including the triennial Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the establishment of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and, last but not least, the functioning of a unique model of social and ethnic inclusion, the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (APK).
“At the initiative of our country, the International Year of the Rapprochement of Cultures was held in 2010, and the period of 2013-2022 has been declared by UNESCO as the International Decade of Rapprochement of Cultures,” he said.
According to the minister, Kazakhstan is committed to ensuring, and will continue to strive to ensure, the effectiveness and efficiency of the global platform for interreligious and interfaith dialogue, the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions held every three years in Astana. The fifth Congress will take place in 2015. The Congress has brought together representatives of various religions from more than 80 countries around the world. The Council of Religious Leaders has now been established, and includes representatives from all major religions.
“We are confident that the Congress will continue to contribute to the preservation of peace and trust between people of different nationalities and religions. It is very important for us that the United Nations, represented by the Alliance of Civilizations, appreciates and fully supports the dialogue of religions on this platform,” he said. “We consider it important to strengthen sustainable partnerships between the Alliance, the UN member states and international organisations, including the CICA and the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.”
“Our peaceful foreign policy aims at strengthening our sovereignty and statehood through maintaining good neighbourly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation. If elected to be a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Kazakhstan will strongly promote the interests of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations member states in consideration of all items on the agenda of the Security Council,” Idrissov said in his speech.
The minister expressed hope that the forum will contribute to the practical solution of problems that mankind is facing and create new ideas, forms of dialogue and cooperation in order to achieve the main goal of the Alliance of Civilisations, building a world based on mutual respect.
“As the Kazakh poet Fariza Ongarsynova once said, ‘to create means to be able to add to something, already known to all, a grain of your soul and personal experience.’ The culture of peace, spirituality and harmony is a living creation of all of us. We all are different and yet equal. We all have one goal, which is the prosperity of our countries,” the Kazakh minister concluded.
During his visit, Idrissov met with President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The future of comprehensive and mutually beneficial cooperation between Astana and Jakarta was discussed. “Indonesia has an important place in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy and is considered a leader in South East Asia that possesses significant political and economic potential,” Idrissov said.
The Kazakh minister invited Indonesia to participate in the Fifth Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in June 2015 in Astana.
Idrissov discussed issues on the bilateral and international agendas in more detail with his counterpart, Foreign Minister of Indonesia Dr. Marty Natalegawa.
“We welcome Indonesian businesses in Kazakhstan and invite you to actively participate in projects in various sectors of the economy, such as oil and gas, agro-processing, manufacturing, telecommunication, engineering, tourism and hospitality, financial and banking,” Idrissov said at the meeting.
The two ministers stressed the importance of further promotion of the nuclear disarmament process globally including through the full legal establishment of the Central Asian Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (CANWFZ) under the Semipalatinsk Treaty of 2006 and the Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in South-East Asia according to the 1995 Bangkok Treaty.
At a joint press briefing following their meeting, Natalegawa stressed that there were two government-to-government agreements and 14 business-to-business ones providing a solid foundation for the bilateral ties. Yet, he noted, the potential of such cooperation is far from being fully explored.
The bilateral meeting resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia on bilateral consultations.
Diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Indonesia were established on June 2, 1993. The key areas of cooperation between the two countries include political, interparliamentary, economic, cultural and humanitarian affairs, as well as collaboration in international organisations.
One of the priorities of Jakarta’s foreign policy is the development of relations with ASEAN partners. Indonesia has launched a number of regional security and anti/counter terrorism initiatives, including a proposal for the establishment of the ASEAN Security Community, which entails the formation of a single operational and legal framework for Southeast Asia. The main point of the initiative was the idea ofis creating an ASEAN peacekeeping mechanism to ensure security and stability in the region.
ASEAN member states decided to establish a single ASEAN Economic Community by Dec. 2015, which means the elimination of customs and immigration barriers between members. In addition, at the 21st meeting of the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh on Nov. 2012, the participants agreed on the need for a new agreement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between the member states and six ASEAN trading partners, with which it already has a free trade zone agreement (Australia, New Zealand, China, India, South Korea and Japan).