February 22, 2020

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Nazarbayev’s opening of the Eurasian Parliamentary Meeting in Kazakhstan

In the picture Prime Minister Mark Rutte and First President of Kazakhstan Nur-Sultan Nazarbayev.

On September 23rd-24th, Kazakhstan hosted the 4thMeeting of Parliamentary Speakers of Eurasian countries in Nur-Sultan, where Diplomat Magazine was present on the ground. The conference started with an address by former President Nazarbayev, who praised his country’s achievements and voiced aspirations for a more integrated Eurasia.

The 4th Meeting of Parliamentary Speakers of Eurasian countries was a crowded one, hosting parliamentary delegations from around 65 countries in Europe and Asia, as well as representatives of 14 international parliamentary organizations. During the Meeting’s first day, the delegates were addressed by Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, former President of Kazakhstan (1990-2019), who after his resignation in March has been invested with the title of “Leader of the Nation.” 

Nur-Sultan IV Meeting of Speakers of Parliament of Eurasia. Sept 23 & 24 2019

During his address, Mr. Nazarbayev praised the results achieved by Kazakhstan since its independence in the early 1990s. “We have gone through severe crises and difficulties together with my people,” but “we set ourselves ambitious goals and achieved them” – the former President noted, highlighting Kazakhstan’s success in building a market economy from scratch, eventually becoming on of the 50 most developed countries in the world. In short, the Kazakh leader rejoiced, “we have something to be proud of.”

Mr. Nazarbayev also spoke about the current international situation. “Today the planet is again at a dangerous point” – he warned, citing issues such as the erosion of international law, the arbitrary application of sanctions, as well as the danger posed by weapons of mass destruction. In this regard, the former Kazakh President highlighted some proposals advanced by his country for enhancing cooperation among countries across the globe, and especially among world’s most powerful countries. International stability and security, he noted, “can only be achieved through dialogue and negotiations.”

Nur-Sultan city

Moving on to the Parliamentary Meeting itself, Mr. Nazarbayev welcomed the presence of such a high-level meeting in Kazakhstan, exactly 25 years after his first idea of Eurasian integration. He highlighted that Eurasian integration has the potential to be largest economic integration project of the 21stcentury, and he urged all countries to coordinate their efforts to contribute to their populations’ well-being. In this process, the role of national Parliaments and their members should be central – Mr. Nazarbayev said, advocating that “the voice of parliamentarians be heard louder and clearer.”

In the context of Eurasian integration, the former Kazakh President stressed the crucial role of his own country. Over the last years, Kazakhstan has established a new infrastructure framework, enhancing connectivity in not only in terms of transportation, but also in terms of energy, finance, and digitalization. Moreover, he noted that Kazakhstan sees Eurasia as “a platform for testing a fundamentally new partnership model,” aimed at devising joint, collective solutions to shared emerging challenges. In this spirit, the country enjoys good relations with all its neighbors, as well as with other countries present in the region – Mr. Nazarbayev noted with pride. 

To put in with a few words only, much is at stake with cooperation across Eurasia, and the Parliamentary Meeting is an important part of such cooperation. As former President Nazarbayev put it: “we are all interested in the effectiveness of this Meeting.”  

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