ASTANA (TCA) — A thematic session titled “Promoting economic connectivity in the OSCE space” was held on the margins of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Milan last week. The event was organized by Kazakhstan, which chairs the OSCE Economic and Environmental Committee this year, together with the Office of the Coordinator of Economic and Environmental Activities of the Organization’s Secretariat, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry reported.
“Connectivity has many dimensions consisting of transport conjunctions, economic and energy networks, digital and human interactions. It can strengthen the effectiveness of existing connections and create new ones. The OSCE could play a more essential role in promoting connectivity,” Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov said in his statement.
Kazakhstan believes it is important to give a powerful impetus to this area to implement the vision of the 2010 Astana Declaration on the Security Community, stretching from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The minister also recalled the idea of Eurasian integration put forward by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1994, which was successfully transformed into the Eurasian Economic Union. The interaction between various integration projects in Eurasia is now being mainstreamed.
In the context of connectivity, Kazakhstan presented its vision for further transformation of the OSCE field presence in Astana from the Program Office to the Thematic Center. The Minister explained that the evolution of the field mission has always been in tandem with the development of the country and “the current progress of Kazakhstan in economic and political development requires new approaches.”
“The new structure should focus on sustainable connectivity and the transition to a green economy by facilitating the exchange of experience, analytical and research work. For instance, you can implement projects in the field of good governance, promotion of green economy, disaster prevention, energy security, promotion of trade and transport throughout the OSCE space,” the statement says.
According to Kazakhstan, the new level of the OSCE presence in Astana will open up new opportunities for mutually beneficial partnership between the OSCE, CICA, SCO, ASEAN and other organizations.
Representative of the Italian OSCE Chairmanship, Deputy Foreign Minister of Italy Giovanni Picchi emphasized the role of the economic and environmental dimension in the context of growing conflict potential in the OSCE area.
Foreign Minister of Belarus Vladimir Makei highlighted the role of the OSCE as a platform for economic connectivity.
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mamedyarov called for the development of transport corridors and good governance within the OSCE.