President Tokayev Calls for Global Cooperation at Opening Ceremony of Astana International Forum

ASTANA – As the world is changing at an unprecedented speed, high-level delegates from diverse backgrounds and perspectives across the world convened in the Kazakh capital for the inaugural Astana International Forum (AIF), which opened on June 8.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev addresses the AIF participants. Photo credit: Akorda.

The forum brought together renowned leaders, policymakers, scholars, and experts to give them a voice that can empower their ideas for change.

In his address at the plenary session, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev described the current era as “a period of unprecedented geopolitical tensions” characterized by the “process of destroying the very foundation of the world order that has been built since the founding of the United Nations.”

He emphasized that the global system must work for all, bringing peace and prosperity to the many, not to the few.

Photo credit: Akorda.

President Tokayev shared the stage with heads of state and government and executives of international organizations, including the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva. Richard Quest, distinguished British journalist and CNN International news anchor, moderated the plenary discussion.

In her remarks, Georgieva stressed the importance of human contribution to world development, urging the young population to realize their potential.

Photo credit: Akorda.

“We know that there are a lot of opportunities. For example, in the private sector. The most valuable asset of the region are people! Some 60% of people are under 30. Central Asia can demonstrate to the rest of the world that working together is possible,” she said.

Georgieva emphasized the need for multilateralism and cooperation, saying that “if we master the political will, we can do it.”

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the AIF participants via a video address, calling on the world community to act promptly “to rescue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reform an unfair financial architecture and address common threats at a series of important summits starting with the SDG Summit.”

Photo credit: Akorda.

President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Sadyr Japarov, spoke to moderator Richard Quest about regional integration, stating that “Central Asian countries need to act together as a region through solidarity and coordinated policies.”

Chairwoman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Željka Cvijanović, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov, Director-General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Audrey Azoulay, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana and Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Helga Schmid also attended the flagship session of the AIF.

The two-day international event aims to find solutions to the current global challenges and find ways to promote peace, prevent conflict, and organize the global order for the benefit of the whole world.

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