During the plenary session, which was held in the format of a round table, high-level delegates discussed global trends in the world economy, trade and politics. Ways to address issues such as climate change, food shortages and energy security were discussed at length.
President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, Chairman of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina Zelka Tsviyanovich, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov, Director General of UNESCO Audrey Azoulay, Managing Director of the IMF Kristalina Georgieva, Secretary General of the OSCE Helga Schmid and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations - Executive Secretary of ESCAP Armida Salsia Alisjabana. UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the forum participants with a video message. The plenary session was moderated by well-known CNN journalist Richard Quest.
Speaking to the participants of the meeting, the Head of State expressed gratitude to the Emir of Qatar, the President of Kyrgyzstan, the Chairman of the Presidium of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, who specially arrived in our country to participate in the forum.
The President of Kazakhstan noted the importance of this international dialogue platform for a thorough exchange of views on the current state of the global economy and issues of regional cooperation.
– We believe that this is one way of expressing the true meaning of international partnership. Opening this Forum, let me also express my sincere gratitude to our strategic partner - the United Nations and its institutions, such as the IMF, UNESCO, UNDP, WTO, ESCAP and others, as well as our information partner CNN, - said the Head of our state.
Pointing to the growth of unprecedented geopolitical tensions and the challenges of modern civilization, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed that the mission of the Astana International Forum includes five main tasks. Among them are an open discussion of the current situation in the world; identification of major challenges and crises; confronting challenges through dialogue in a spirit of mutual cooperation; renewal and restoration of a common culture of multilateralism; strengthening voices for peace, progress and solidarity.
Along with this, the President pointed to the threats associated with the destruction of the foundation of the world order, which has been built since the creation of the United Nations. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev again stressed that the UN remains the only universal organization that serves the interests and urgent needs of all mankind.
In his speech, the President of Kazakhstan also shared his opinion on the impact of the new crisis in the world.
– Recent “new crises” – from COVID-19 to armed conflict – threaten the fragile international ecosystem. However, the causes of this instability are rooted deep in our past. We are also witnessing the return, after 30 years, of the former "bloc" thinking that divided us. The forces of division are not exclusively geopolitical. They also have economic implications. Economic policy itself is openly used as a weapon. This confrontation includes sanctions and trade wars, targeted debt policy, restricting access to or isolation from sources of financing, and control over investments, he said.
According to the Head of State, despite geopolitical upheavals, Kazakhstan continues to serve as the economic locomotive of Central Asia, remaining a reliable trade and economic partner.
In conclusion, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed hope that the Forum would contribute to solving common problems and moving towards cooperation, development and progress, and also wished all its participants fruitful work.