Articles by Mark Beer, OBE

Kazakhstan Chairs Working Group of Preparatory Commission for Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

NUR-SULTAN – This year marks the 30th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. On August 29, 1991, Kazakh First President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a historical document, a decree on the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site.  The international community, recognizing the contribution of Kazakhstan in strengthening the non-proliferation regime of…

Who Moved My Qurt?

Returning from a few days in Nur-Sultan, I had cause to reflect on what has changed in the country since my visit late last year. The flight was as excellent as always, the hospitality was just as warm, the hotel as comfortable and the food and drink as delicious. Indeed, on the surface, other than…

The Supreme Court and Sun Tzu

There is a view, largely held by those emperilled with youth, or naivety (or worse, both) that aggression leads to victory.  In Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, the official motto of the nation of Oceania was War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, and Ignorance Is Strength. Even the most totalitarian amongst us realize that these are…

Vision Without Execution is Hallucination

It was less than a year after Sir Suma Chakrabarti, as President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, described Kazakhstan as a “prime investment destination” that he was offered the role of the advisor to the President for Economic Development and Governance,  Deputy Chair of the Supreme Presidential Council on Reform and Deputy…

The Case for Democracy

Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan both hosted the Parliamentary democratic elections on January 10. That is an auspicious day in history. On the same date in 49 BC Julius Caesar defied the Roman Senate and crossed the Rubicon, uttering “alea iacta est” (the die is cast), and signalling the start of a series of events which would…

Celebrating Independence: This Is Kazakhstan’s Time to Shine

Wishing every Kazakh Citizen, brother and sister, very many congratulations on this, their Independence Day. A day of celebration, joy and pride. Being British, I’m sceptical about the value of defining a nation by acts of independence. In 1773 some trouble makers poured tea into the sea at Griffen’s Wharf in Boston and that is…

Belt and Road Initiative: One Vision of Justice

In 2017, the United Arab Emirates and Kazakhstan celebrated 25 years of friendship and diplomacy. The UAE is Kazakhstan’s largest Arab trade partner, with close to $643 million in bilateral trade recorded in 2017. Over the last decade, the UAE has made substantial investments, exceeding $2 billion in a wide array of economic sectors in…