Kazakhstan Hosts Landmark Roundtable on Central Asia’s Peacekeeping Role

ASTANA – The Center for Peacekeeping Operations of the Ministry of Defense (KAZCENT) hosted the first regional roundtable on the contribution of Central Asian countries to peacekeeping activities on May 31 in Almaty.

Colonel Bauyrzhan Nigmetullin, Chief of the Сenter for Peacekeeping Operations of the Ministry of Defense. Photo credit: KAZCENT press service

The event gathered representatives from Tajikistan, the Kazakh Ministry of Defense, the UN staff, the UN Women’s Office, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and local universities. Participants discussed issues of international humanitarian law, gender aspects, the main provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), “Women, Peace, Security,” and the role of Central Asian countries in strengthening the UN’s role as the most authoritative and universal international organization in ensuring regional security.

“Kazakhstan is doing significant work to build interaction and cooperation with countries participating in peacekeeping operations. The country’s peacekeepers participate in peacekeeping operations alongside representatives from various countries. We want all Central Asian countries to take advantage of the opportunities Kazakhstan uses to participate in peacekeeping operations,” said Herbert Lorett, a Department of Peace Operations representative at the UN headquarters in New York.

Photo credit: KAZCENT press service

He also emphasized that this event aims to build partnerships in training, knowledge exchange, and experience to expand peacekeeping in the Central Asian Region further.

“Today we have gathered to share our experience with our Central Asian neighbors, to tell them about the peacekeeping and language training system, and how the deployment and dispatch of the first independent peacekeeping contingent was organized,” said Colonel Bauyrzhan Nigmetullin, Chief of the KAZCENT.

“We can offer to combine our efforts in preparing experts for UN missions and further joint initiatives to enhance the peacekeeping potential of Central Asian countries,” he added.

Kazakhstan continuously expands its presence in UN peacekeeping operations. The country has sent its military personnel to UN missions in Nepal, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali. Currently, Kazakh peacekeepers serve in missions in Lebanon, the Western Sahara, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

Over 16 years, more than 600 Kazakh military personnel have participated in seven UN peacekeeping missions in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Recently, Kazakhstan sent its inaugural independent peacekeeping group to the Golan Heights as part of a UN mission. This marks a significant milestone for Kazakhstan, representing its first solo UN-mandated peacekeeping venture. The national peacekeeping contingent, consisting of 139 military personnel, was tasked with maintaining the ceasefire regime between conflicting parties following the UN mission mandate. 

On UN Peacekeepers’ International Day, observed on May 29, several members of the Kazakh contingent shared their stories on what it means to be a peacekeeper in an interview with The Astana Times. 

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