Print        

Implications of Kazakhstan’s OIC Presidency

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ali Valigholizadeh
Expert on International and Geopolitical Issues

After its successful performance as rotational chair of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2010, Kazakhstan continues to play its important role in international politics. The country’s chairmanship of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was described by President Nursultan Nazarbayev as one of the most important national strategic activities of the country following its independence. Although Kazakhstan’s performance was not free from criticism, its success in organizing a summit meeting of member states after an interregnum of 11 years and delineating new horizons for the Organization’s activities cannot be ignored. Under Kazakhstan, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe further strengthened its security and military organs. The Kazakh government also put special emphasis on holding an international conference on security and did its best to assure security and stability of international system.

Kazakhstan as a founder of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, had managed to establish a discourse network among the Asian states.

Kazakhstan’s active diplomacy does not stop at heading important international organizations. For example, the country has proposed solutions to the existing international problems, including environmental threats posed to Aral Sea.

In addition to its active international diplomacy, Kazakhstan was also rotational president of Organization of the Islamic Conference in June 2011. As a result of its international credit and geopolitical status, Kazakhstan’s active diplomacy in international organizations is of high importance. Following its independence, Kazakhstan has tried to mend fences with the west while improving relations with Russia. Therefore, while some analysts expected the highest degree of ethnic and separatist disputes in independent Kazakhstan, the country has been totally successful in establishing domestic peace and stability. Experts believe that Kazakhstan’s foreign policy achievements will continue not only through international organizations, but within framework of bilateral relations with the west, Russia and China. Therefore, as head of Organization of the Islamic Conference, Kazakhstan is in a good position to play a role in certain important international issues. This will also guarantee Kazakhstan’s national interests and will be greatly beneficial to the country. Kazakhstan can also use this strategic opportunity to strengthen its regional standing.

On the other hand, Kazakhstan has also been chairman of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe which has been a great achievement for the country’s foreign policy. This will pave the way for the Organization of the Islamic Conference to play a more important role in international issues in cooperation with the European countries.

Distrust in Islam has been escalating in the west, especially in Europe during recent years. Kazakhstan can be a bridge connecting Islam and Europe, nurture a positive attitude toward Islam in Europe and reduce Islamophobic sentiments. In other words, due to its experience as chair of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Kazakhstan is in a good position to promote cooperation and convergence between Muslim and Christina worlds. On the other hand, there are common goals followed by both Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and Organization of the Islamic Conference. Both organizations have come to life to help with the establishment of international peace and security. Kazakhstan can, thus, provide grounds for better cooperation between the two organizations. As a founder of the conference for interaction and confidence building in Asia, Kazakhstan has valuable experiences in establishing regional peace and security.

In addition, Russia which enjoys vast relations with Kazakhstan is serious supporter of its chairmanship on Organization of the Islamic Conference. In addition to close cooperation with Kazakhstan in Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Collective Security Treaty Organization, Russia is an observer member of OIC and will help Kazakhstan in running the organization. Russia’s membership in OIC was first announced by Putin in 2003 as a step to expand Russia’s relations with the Muslim world. By choosing Kazakhstan as rotational chair of OIC, Russia can use its cordial relations with Kazakhstan as a good opportunity to mend fences with the Islamic world.

From the viewpoint of Iran’s national interests, this is a good opportunity for Tehran to further deepen relations with Central Asian states, especially Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan’s performance in Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as well as Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, both pursuing regional security and stability, has been laudable. Therefore, the Islamic Republic of Iran can bank on common viewpoints with Kazakhstan and promote activities of Organization of the Islamic Conference in such areas as human rights and preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons. The two countries can also work together toward development of economic and social indices of regional states and protection of environment.

طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم