Yeleukenov says Kazakhstan would play active role in international, regional peace and security

November 14th, 2007 - 2:57 am ICT by admin  
This he said while speaking at a seminar held here on October 22, organised by the Centre for Caspian Information Centre (CIC), a not-for-profit think-tank based in London, on the subject of Kazakhstan’s August 18 elections to the Majilis, the lower house of the Kazakh parliament.

Yeleukenov eloquently described the objectives of Kazakhstan’s 2030 strategy, pointing out that many of these had already been achieved.

How far and fast has democratic reform proceeded in Kazakhstan? Could it go faster without putting at risk the country’s impressive record of stability and inter-ethnic harmony? These questions underlay much of the discussion at the seminar.

Professor Kenneth Minogue of the London School of Economics pointed out that democracy emerged in Europe only out of a long history, including the feudal balance between king and barons, and a modern development in which interests and factions became political parties.

“It bubbles up from society, and can be facilitated by governments, but not created by them,” he said. “Nor is it a risk-less option, because democracy depends on conflict within the rule of law, and conflict — especially between religions, or ethnic groups — can get out of hand and disrupt the harmony of the state.”

About the integrity of the elections, CIC Director Gerald Frost said “I believed these to have been the freest and fairest in the country’s brief democratic history.”

Despite its somewhat equivocal conclusions, this also appeared to be the view of the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe).

But it was important to bear in mind that the OSCE applied a universal “gold-standard” to elections without regard to the facts of history and geography. When these were taken into account, Kazakhstan’s record of reform, although rightly cautious and gradual, was deeply impressive.

Professor Dennis O’Keeffe of the University of Buckingham praised Kazakhstan as a model of inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony “from which the world can learn much.”

He added, “The country has committed itself to the struggle against international terrorism.”

This, he said, might relate to the fact Kazakhstan had avoided parasitic status by taking the initiative in forging its own development model.

The seminar, which was attended by diplomats, academics and business leaders, took place at the Reform Club - whose members were at the forefront of democratic reform in Britain some 150 years ago. (ANI)

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |