UNITED NATIONS – Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said on Tuesday that the United Nations needs to take a more active role in averting conflict, a goal he pledged his government would pursue during the Central Asian nation’s term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.
Abdrakhmanov spoke during the Security Council High-Level Open Debate on Conflict Prevention and Sustaining Peace.
Kazakhstan, which took its Security Council seat on Jan. 1, hailed the fact that 2017 is starting with a renewed interest in conflict-prevention and called for “practical steps to build a world free of the virus of war and conflict.”
“During Kazakhstan’s tenure in the UN Security Council, we will support efforts to make the Council and the entire United Nations better equipped for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century,” Abdrakhmanov said.
The foreign minister, who until last month was the Kazakh permanent representative to the United Nations, put forward a proposal from Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, to hold Security Council meetings at the level of heads of state and government.
“We believe that this is a timely and highly relevant initiative to achieve a paradigm shift in the Council,” Abdrakhmanov said.
He went on to endorse recent recommendations from reports on the UN’s peace operations, focused on development of a “systemic approach ... to identify and prevent emerging crises, take into account new factors, such as cyber-crime, deployment of weapons in outer space and pay foremost attention to development and human rights.”
Kazakhstan wants the Security Council to have “a direct oversight role” in UN efforts to foster and preserve peace, specifically through closer cooperation with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who “should play the crucial role in conflict prevention at the earliest stages.”
Guterres said at the start of Tuesday’s session that conflict-prevention would be his top priority as secretary-general.