The 4th Astana Club meeting has focused on the main topic: “Toward a Greater Eurasia: how to build a common future?”.
According to Zhanibek Arynov, IWEP expert at N. Nazarbayev Foundation, the choice of the topic derived from the global processes in the world and the Eurasia region, associated with increasing isolationism, trade and sanction wars, and new threats to security.
That is why it was necessary to conclude the study the purpose of which is an assessment of the current geopolitical and geo-economic processes in Eurasia, as well as in the world as a whole.
“There are ten key global risks for the region. They include escalation of the confrontation between China and the USA; full-scale trade wars; the Great War in the Middle East; further degradation of relations between Russia and the West; “defrosting” hot spots in Eurasia; growth of separatism and ethno-confessional conflicts; intensification of environmental and water challenges; strengthening and evolution of cyber threats; the beginning of a new arms race; risk of major nuclear and technological disasters”, Zh. Arynov listed.
It should be noted that among the authors of the study are brilliant minds and Nobel laureates – Matthew Rojansky, Director of the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center; Dan Smith, Director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI); Mathew Burrows, Director of the Atlantic Council's Strategic Foresight Initiative of USA; IAEA Director General (1997-2009), Vice President of Egypt (2013), Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei; Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the “Dialogue of Civilizations” Research Institute Vladimir Yakunin; Nobel Peace Prize laureate, chief mentor of the international POP movement (Protect Our Planet) and President of the World Forum on Sustainable Development Rajendra Pachauri.
“Today, in the context of trade and sanction wars, growing militarization, the most important international institutions for resolving disputes, including the UN and the WTO, have been put under threat. The observed processes indicate an increase in the crisis of the global security system, which is fraught with the most negative consequences. Under these conditions, we believe that Eurasia faces a critical divergence, when it can either unite or become a field of global conflict. The way that this dilemma is resolved will become clear in the coming years”, Yerzhan Saltybayev, director of the Institute of World Economy and Politics under N. Nazarbayev Foundation stated.
In his words, for Kazakhstan, as a country at the epicenter of all processes in Eurasia, it is crucial that its participants find peaceful and compromise solutions to existing conflicts.
“Therefore, building an effective dialogue between the leading centers of Eurasian power is one of the most important tasks for Kazakhstan's foreign policy. In this context, we have prepared a risk rating designed to identify the problematic issues that should become the subject of this dialogue”, he said.
Ariel Cohen, Atlantic Council Senior Expert (USA), believed that the “Global Risks Rating for Eurasia 2019” is of high value. It is very important not only for Kazakhstan, but for all countries of the Eurasian region.
“Certainly, the product presented today is of the highest quality. In the world, I have seen many products. However, I can say that the preparation of the study at such a high level is a great achievement of the organizers. One of the key factors is the flourishing of relations between the United States and China. Experts talk about trade and market wars. However, nowadays, we see competition between the two countries not only in these areas, but also in China's growth potential and economic growth”, the expert said.
Yang Cheng, Professor Director of the Institute of Eurasian Studies (China), said that every year the number of participants of the Astana Club increases.
“Development of this high quality rating shows that Kazakhstan is the unique country. Astana Club is the unique platform for gathering all experts. It is an environment that brings together East and West, discussing important issues”, he said.
Let us recall that the Astana Club meeting is an international discussion platform in the format of a political forum, bringing together leading experts, politicians and diplomats from all over the world. The discussion of the 4th Astana Club meeting was focused on the challenges faced by Eurasia in times of crisis and uncertainty.
More than 50 speakers from 30 countries took part in the Astana Club, including Austria, Afghanistan, Belgium, Great Britain, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Spain, Italy, China, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Russia, USA, Croatia, Sweden and Japan.
Photo by Bauyrzhan Zhuasbayev