Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kazakhstan's First UN Representative Reflects on almost a Quarter Century of Membership

Astana Times

Arystanbekova image from article

Kazakhstan was admitted to membership in the United Nations (UN) on March 2, 1992. On the eve of the 24th anniversary of such an important event in the country’s international recognition, The Astana Times asked Professor Akmaral Arystanbekova to share her thoughts on the significance of the date. Arystanbekova, Ambassador-at-Large of the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was the nation’s first permanent representative to the UN from 1992-1999. ...
[Q:] Some foreign affairs specialists think that the future of diplomacy is in the hands of its multilateral format. Do you agree with this statement?
[Arystanbekova:] I have the impression that the future of diplomacy is connected to implementation of both multilateral and bilateral formats of diplomatic activities. Indeed, in recent years international academia have been actively discussing the future of diplomacy in world politics. This is connected to the fact that modern globalisation, whose conditions include inclusive transformation of the world order, has an effect on diplomacy as it is a major regulatory tool of international relations in an interdependent world.
Today, the role and importance of multilateral diplomacy is increasing amid the new geopolitical reality, emergence of new non-state actors of world politics and new global issues and security threats which demand joint actions and solutions. It plays a special role in strengthening the international legal base of intergovernmental cooperation.
New formal and informal mechanisms are being created, e.g. the G20 and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa). In line with so called “club diplomacy” which assembles various country groups of common interests, the formation process of “network diplomacy,” which refers to development of a flexible network of interactions both between governments and between governments and civil society, is being established.
States place high emphasis on expansion of the “public diplomacy” dedicated to create a positive image of the country in other states in order to influence their policies towards the country. Modern bilateral diplomacy, besides traditional intergovernmental interactions, particularly uses these new forms of diplomatic activities more frequently. Obviously, increasing the role of the so-called Track II diplomacy, which is implemented by representatives of non-governmental structures, and actions of different civil society groups progressively influence the determination of the global agenda.
In my opinion, that is why the modern foreign policy activities of a state must embrace a whole variety of interactions with state and non-state participants in international relations. At the same time, traditional diplomacy, based on intergovernmental relations both in bilateral and multilateral formats, will preserve its paramount importance. ...

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