President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, participated via videoconference in the BRICS Plus Dialogue, which took place within the framework of the 15th BRICS Summit on August 24 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Tokayev participated as the current Chairman of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
President Tokayev noted that the summit can bolster the role of the BRICS and help to tackle a range of urgent global challenges. He pointed out that this important event is taking place against the backdrop of mounting tensions in the international arena. In this context, he shared his vision of the prospects for interregional cooperation.
“The SCO’s increasing role is widely acknowledged today. It unites rapidly developing economies with enormous human resources, natural assets, and technological potential. Kazakhstan, as one of founding members of the Organization, is determined to leverage its chairmanship to transform the SCO into a more effective organization able to meet the challenges we face. For more than two decades, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has accumulated valuable experience in advancing multilateralism and cooperation at the regional level”, said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Given the interests and priorities shared by the BRICS and SCO, the President proposed to combine efforts in the following key areas.
“We should seek a suitable formula for peace, stability and security based on the UN Charter. To this end, at the SCO summit this year, I proposed the Initiative on World Unity for Just Peace and Harmony. This initiative aims at making progress on global security and stability as well as establishing a more rational political and economic international order”, Tokayev noted.
In his view, the BRICS and BRICS Plus partners could cooperate in promoting the initiative.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed to unite the SCO, BRICS and BRICS Plus countries’ record in the critical digital domain, e-commerce, cybersecurity, as well as to increase information exchange. He invited the BRICS Plus nations to participate in the SCO Digital Forum scheduled to take place in Kazakhstan in 2024.
The President also called on the partners to join Kazakhstan in economic trade, transport and investment projects along the North-South and East-West corridors.
“The Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, which complements the crucial Belt and Road initiative, offers valuable trade cooperation prospects. This synergy will boost inter-regional trade and unlock the full transit and transportation potential of our respective regions”, said Tokayev.
The Kazakh leader also addressed the problem of climate change in the world.
“We all admit that climate change has far-reaching negative effects on the global scale. Over the past few years, the Global South and Central Asia have seen an acceleration of severe droughts and other natural disasters. In this context, Kazakhstan has proposed to declare 2024 as the Year of Ecology in the SCO and spearhead efforts in addressing this pressing issue. The SCO Action Plan for the Year of Ecology is a timely initiative that I hope will resonate with the BRICS family”, the President stressed.
The speech also covered the topic of food security, which holds significant importance on the global agenda.
As the President emphasized, three of the world’s four major food producers are BRICS members, and the BRICS countries’ total agricultural GDP accounts for more than half of the global total, which has created the need to enforce adequate measures to reduce food imbalances in our countries.
“We must depoliticize the global supply of food and fertilizers and exclude them from any sanctions and restrictions”, proposed Tokayev.
The President of Kazakhstan reaffirmed his intention to strengthen multifaceted cooperation with the BRICS countries and the African Union. He emphasized that Kazakhstan wishes to contribute to fostering the potential of BRICS as it’s participating state.
“I strongly believe that we need to accelerate a collective approach towards global security, sustainable development, and inclusiveness”, he said.