2017 was the year of Kazakhstan's success on the world stage. According to experts, at present, the republic is perceived as a global peacemaker, the leader of the anti-nuclear movement and a key player in the fight against international terrorism. This reputation was cemented by active work in the UN Security Council, where the republic headed three committees. Kazakhstan is the first Central Asian state to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Kazakhstan will assume the chairmanship in the Council January next year.

MIROSLAV JENCA, UN ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS:

 - Your country gained a good reputation. It is actively involved in addressing global challenges. Kazakhstan is facing a serious task – the chairmanship in the UN Security Council starting from January. The republic will be heading the discussion of the most burning issues related to global peace and security.

Astana negotiations on Syria settlement also added up to Kazakhstan’s authority. Along with Geneva, Astana has become an important platform for a dialogue between the opposing sides. Specific agreements have been reached, including creation of de-escalation zones, and improvement of the humanitarian situation. All parties to the conflict, as well as the guarantor countries - Russia, Turkey and Iran - gathered at the negotiating table for the first time.

AKKAN SUVER, CHAIRMAN, TURKISH STRATEGIC RESEARCH FUND:

 - The Astana process has successfully fulfilled the tasks assigned to it such as to convince the conflicting parties to meet and negotiate. It was not easy. We still remember the first meeting in Astana at the beginning of the year. The problem should be solved not at the battlefield, but at the negotiating table. The parties understood this well. As a result, the situation in Syria has become more or less stabilized.

FEDERICA MOGHERINI, HIGH REPRESENTATIVE OF EU FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND SECURITY POLICY:

 - Political process in Geneva with the talk on the reducing violence that are bringing fruits in Astana and the work on humanitarian aid, recovery and stabilization that we are doing under the Brussels process can help us stream lining efforts on international world crisis.

Opening of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s low-enriched uranium bank on the basis of the Ulba Metallurgical Plant in Kazakhstan was another significant event of the passing year, proving the effectiveness of the Nursultan Nazarbayev’s policies. The world supports the initiatives put forward by Kazakhstan on the adopting a Universal Nuclear-Weapon-Free Declaration and the total ban on the use of atomic energy for military purposes.

JAYANTHA DHANAPALA, PRESIDENT, PUGWASH CONFERENCES ON SCIENCE AND WORLD AFFAIRS:

 - This conference in Astana hosted by the government and a country which has had a long association with nuclear disarmament, thanks to the vision of your president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Another global scale event was the First Summit on Science and Technology of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It gathered 15 heads of state and government and more than 80 foreign delegations in Astana. The participants agreed to create a single information base of scientists from Islamic states. This will allow scientists to cooperate with colleagues who share similar ideas. The program for the development of science, technology and innovation until 2026 was adopted as part of the summit.

YOUSEF BIN AHMAD AL-OTHAIMEEN, SECRETARY GENERAL, ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION:

 - We can say with confidence that this is a historical event when representatives of 57 Islamic countries are brought together to discuss burning issues in the sphere of science and technology. I would like to note that the meeting in such a large-scale organization became possible due to efforts of the President of Kazakhstan.

The authority of Kazakhstan in the international arena is steadily growing. The events that took place in 2017 showed that the republic is a full-fledged player on the world political stage, whose opinion matters.

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