Astana

9 June 2017

Secretary-General’s remarks to press in Astana, Kazakhstan [with Q&A]

I am very happy to be here for this visit to Kazakhstan and to be participating, of course, in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, and in the opening of the EXPO 2017 that I hope will be a landmark in our commitment to sustainable development, especially in relation to something that is absolutely crucial in relation to climate change – that is, of course, the energy dimension.
 
Our partnership with Kazakhstan is an extremely important pillar of our activity, both at the national, regional and global level.
 
At the national level: supporting the people and Government of Kazakhstan in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, in order to make sure that the country, with all its potential, with all its capacity, will be able to transform itself in one of the most developed economies in the world., doing it in a sustainable and inclusive way, protecting the environment and guaranteeing that no one is left behind and that both inequality and the problems of the environment are effectively dealt with.
 
We are also here to support Kazakhstan in all its efforts to improve governance, the rule of law and human rights.
 
Our partnership is essential at the regional level as Kazakhstan is the most important pillar of stability and development in Central Asia. We want Central Asia to be an area of peace and prosperity and for that, a lot needs to be done in the cooperation among the countries of Central Asia, and Kazakhstan can play a leading role in promoting that cooperation.
 
The capacity to agree both on water resources, to agree on more effective capacity to deal with and fight terrorism, to have stronger solidarity between the countries of Central Asia in the perspective of sustainable development, are objectives that, we believe, Kazakhstan will be pursuing very decisively and that the UN fully supports.
 
Finally, a strong partnership at the global level: Kazakhstan has been a symbol of dialogue, a symbol of peace, a symbol of the promotion of contacts between cultures, religions and civilizations; and with its presence in the Security Council, an extremely important dimension in mediation, in relation to conflict.
 
On the other hand, Kazakhstan being a country vulnerable to climate change will need leadership on global warming to make sure that the Paris Agreement is implemented and that we are able to face this challenge and to tackle climate change.
 
All this gives the logic of the partnership between Kazakhstan and the UN, and its importance, and that is why I am so happy to be here and to share with the Kazakh President and the Kazakh authorities our common commitment to peace, prosperity, security and human rights.
 
Question on the content of the meeting with Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev
 
Secretary-General: I already had the chance to be very generously hosted by him during the fantastic performance at the Opera House and at a dinner [yesterday night].
 
And we have a bilateral meeting with him and with other very high-ranking officers in order to discuss how to deepen our cooperation.