Astana club

The Nazarbayev Center hosted the third meeting of the Astana club.

The international discussion platform gathered over 60 participants from 27 countries of the world, including prominent politicians, diplomats, distinguished political scientists, authoritative researchers and leading experts of the largest think tanks of the United States, Russia, China, India, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South-East Asia. For the first time, top-ranking politicians – former heads of state Abdullah Gul (Turkey), Vaclav Klaus (Czech Republic), Danilo Türk (Slovenia) joined the Club sessions.

The Astana Club sessions were attended by major world experts, among whom were George Friedman (guru of geopolitical forecasting, founder of Stratfor), Cai Fang (Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, think tank No. 1 in Asia), Ji Zhiye (Director of the China Institutes  of Contemporary International Relations), Vladimir Norov (former Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, Director of the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies), Mohammad Kazem Sajjadpour (Iranian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, President of the Key National Think Tank (Institute for  Political and International Studies), Edward Luttwak (world geo-economics guru, senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, USA), etc.

The Astana club meeting was organized by the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy and the Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP) that functions under the Foundation.

According to the Executive Director of the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy, Kanat Jumabayev, expert discussions at Astana club, concerning issues and prospects of Greater Eurasia, will have a positive impact on consolidating global political dialogue based on the principles of openness and equal interaction, which is consistently promoted by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The central theme of the meeting – “Greater Eurasia-2027: Confrontation or Partnership” – has been defined based on some pressing challenges, threats, potential risks and global policy issues that require strategic resolution.

The Club members discussed key trends that will shape the development of the mega-continent in the coming decade. Among them are problems of the balance of interests of world and regional powers, the increasing impact of the nuclear factor as well as growing tensions, trade and sanction confrontations, international terrorism and security, migration and ecology, integration processes and economic cooperation.

– Astana has secured the role of a global neutral platform, where strategic dialogues take place at the highest political level. It is this factor that has caused genuine interest and attracted all the new participants of our meetings, – pointed out Yerzhan Saltybayev, Director of the IWEP, in his speech on the eve of the event.

Part of the meetings of the Astana club are held under the Chatham House Rule, which implies anonymity of expert opinions. This principle contributes to building a candid and confidential professional conversation.

The future of integration processes in the Eurasian space, possible ways of effective integration of integration projects, such as the EAEU, the EU, ASEAN and the Chinese Belt and Road initiative were discussed separately at an open panel session of political scientists “The EU-Greater Eurasia: vectors of cooperation and development.”

During the Astana Club discussions, participants focused on the most pressing issues concerning a new world security system, nuclear disarmament in the context of the aggravation on the Korean issue, the current situation in Europe and key processes in Central Asia. Leading political scientists and experts have again noted the active position of Kazakhstan as a mediator and integrator in global and regional processes.

– The authority of Kazakhstan in the international arena and the personal role of Nursultan Nazarbayev are highly appreciated by the global expert community. We are talking about our contribution and leadership in the anti-nuclear movement, the settlement of conflicts and crisis situations, in the development of integration processes in the Eurasian space, – said Yerzhan Saltybayev, Director of IWEP.

The participants of the third meeting agreed  on a general opinion that the Astana club has been a successful neutral discussion platform that has created conditions for international expert dialogue. It has become a center of attraction for reputable professionals, politicians, and diplomats from around the world. The Astana club format has proven its relevance, and discussions of issues of global importance will continue here in the future.