Astana International Forum is all set to be held in June, on the initiative of President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, as a platform to "resume political dialogue, drive positive change and shape the global agenda of cooperation. The Forum will also highlight "the need for a coordinated global response to economic, environmental, and security challenges." reported The Astana Times.
The forum will be held in a Track 1.5 format and is slated to bring not only together representatives from the government but also international organisations, businesses, and academia, to engage in a holistic dialogue and think "outside the box" in a bid to address climate, food scarcity, energy security challenges and how to better equip the institutions of global governance to address the ensuing non-traditional security threats of the 21st century.
The Astana Times is the an English-language news outlet about Kazakhstan and Central Asia
Kazakhstan has been holding dialogues of such importance. The country has a solid track record in facilitating and contributing to international mediations, including the Astana peace talks on Syria; and active involvement in negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme and Afghanistan's humanitarian crisis. Kazakhstan has also become a net contributor to international security through its participation in UN Peacekeeping Operations (UNPKOs) and its leadership in the field of nuclear disarmament, reported Astana Times.
As the great powers seem unable or unwilling to maintain strategic stability, middle powers like Kazakhstan may, in fact, be the best hope for renewed multilateralism, as per The Astana Times.
According to a report penned by Alberto Turkstra, for The Astana Times, there may not be any immediate causes for hope given the current state of the world and the political and economic situation throughout the world. Protracted confrontations are still going strong, great power relations continue to sharpen, and the rules-based multilateral system faces an uncertain trajectory.
Globalisation is waning on the geo-economic front, and some believe that we are now in a de-globalization phase.
Rising trade tensions, the increasing populist appeal of protectionist policies in some regions of the world, and the disruption to global value and supply chains as a result of exogenous shocks like the COVID-19 pandemic threaten the advancement made by several decades of increasing global economic integration and trade-led global growth.
But not everything is bleak. The future of multilateralism and the rules-based international order remains hopeful. And the solutions might not lie in Washington, Brussels, and Beijing but in other cities like Astana, Brasilia, and Jakarta.
While middle powers are a diverse group of nations (ranging from Australia and Canada to South Africa, Turkey, and Kazakhstan), they have some things in common: their aversion to a zero-sum vision and the need to avoid getting involved in conflicts with superpowers, as well as a desire to pursue independent foreign policy. These are nations that, although not having the same capabilities as big powers, may nonetheless influence events by combining their efforts and forging coalitions and alliances, reported The Astana Times.
The population, economy, and military strength of the middle powers in the twenty-first century are significantly stronger. As was frequently the case during the Cold War era, they have enough economic and geopolitical influence to avoid being obliged to align themselves with a single superpower.
They are increasingly influential, more autonomous, self-assured, and have more room for manoeuvring. Their growing activity and presence on the international scene may offer to maintain world stability by providing extra sources of balancing, conversation, and diplomacy.
Kazakhstan firmly fits in this category and has continuously punched above its weight in terms of regional and global role and influence due to its meticulously formulated multi-vector foreign policy, The Astana Times reported.
Earlier this year, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced that the country will be organising Astana International Forum on June 8 and 9 to address key global challenges, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Kazakhstan. (ANI)