Kazakhstan Emerges as Global Peacemaker, Says Political Analyst

ASTANA – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s multi-vector foreign policy is a unique phenomenon that positions Kazakhstan as a key neutral ground for global negotiations, observed Andrey Vypolzov, political analyst and expert of the Russian-Kazakh press center, in an article published in Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Independent Newspaper) on Oct. 25.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev speaking at the UN General Assembly in September 2023. Photo credit: akorda.kz.

Vypolzov points out that many international observers have recognized Kazakhstan’s emerging role as a neutral platform for discussions in recent years. Especially amidst geopolitical shifts, the nation is increasingly seen as a potential global peacemaker.

Tokayev’s foreign policy

Vypolzov characterizes Tokayev’s approach to foreign policy as “unique” amidst the intricacies of regional politics.

Over the past six months, Tokayev paid official visits to China, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, the United States of America, and Vietnam. He held meetings with 20 top officials, including Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Joe Biden, and Olaf Scholz.

Tokayev’s multi-vector policy is drawing the attention of major international players to Kazakhstan. Over the past summer, the nation hosted 12 prominent political figures. These included the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Secretary General Helga Maria Schmid, the United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director General Audrey Azoulay.

While maintaining robust economic and strategic dialogue with the West, Tokayev has pursued warm relations with the Commonwealth of Independent States.

In October, he initiated the transit of Russian natural gas through Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. In addition, he attended the CIS Council of Heads of State in Bishkek.

“Kazakhstan is actively engaged on the international stage. It holds a significant position in the global economy. Despite challenges like its landlocked status between major geopolitical blocs without direct access to the world’s oceans, Kazakhstan seeks to transform these constraints into significant advantages. The country aims to become a global logistics hub, bridging the West and East, as well as the North and South,” wrote Vypolzov.

Tokayev’s global initiatives

Throughout his presidency, Tokayev has consistently emphasized Kazakhstan’s dedication to actively contribute to global peace and prosperity. He has conveyed this commitment through various initiatives presented at esteemed global platforms like the UN General Assembly and the Astana International Forum (AIF).

By addressing common global concerns, from climate change to the threat of nuclear weapons and food security, he projected global leadership.

One of his initiatives was to establish a regional Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) hub in Kazakhstan for Central Asia and Afghanistan.

At the opening session of AIF in June, Tokayev also proposed to hold a Regional Climate Summit in Kazakhstan in 2026 under the UN auspices to facilitate dialogue and find adequate solutions to climate change.

Kazakhstan’s pursuit of SDGs and climate initiatives goes hand-in-hand with the country’s plans to launch the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) program

Under the chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Kazakhstan put forward the initiative On World Unity for a Just Peace and Harmony to strengthen confidence-building measures and maintain stability and security.

In recent years, Kazakhstan has also emerged as a proactive inter-religious dialogue platform, hosting the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which was attended by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb.

Tokayev has advocated for strengthening spiritual diplomacy, recommending the creation of the Institute of Goodwill Ambassadors under the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. Integral to this vision, he proposed hosting the Forum of Young Religious Leaders in Kazakhstan.

He has also spearheaded other significant initiatives, such as the formation of the International Biosafety Agency and the Coalition of Countries dedicated to Primary Health Care (PHC) Delivery.

“After such a comprehensive, methodical, and consistent engagement on the international front, the stature of Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and by extension, of Kazakhstan itself, has notably risen,” said Vypolzov.

Kazakhstan’s domestic policy is also a sign of Tokayev’s farsighted diplomatic vision, wrote Vypolzov. 

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