World leaders in Astana to address security challenges at OSCE Summit
ASTANA, 30 November 2010 - Heads of State and Government from the 56 OSCE participating States and 12 Partner countries are in Astana for the OSCE Summit, set to start tomorrow in the Palace of Independence.
The Astana Summit will bring together 38 Heads of States and Governments, one Vice President, seven Deputy Prime Ministers, 14 Ministers and other top officials from OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, as well as from other international and regional organizations.
The meeting will begin on 1 December with an opening address by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev. This will be followed by addresses by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Kazakhstan's Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Petros Efthymiou, and OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut.
Saudabayev emphasized that the OSCE Summit - the first since the Istanbul Summit in 1999 and the first ever to be held in Central Asia - offered a unique opportunity to address urgent security challenges including transnational threats such as terrorism and trafficking, and the recent unrest in Kyrgyzstan and the situation in Afghanistan.
"The very fact that after an 11-year pause the Astana Summit was convened this year, when we mark important anniversaries of the Helsinki Final Act and the Charter of Paris, will help to strengthen the OSCE, and consolidate trust and mutual understanding between the participating States," he said.
Plenary sessions will continue until 2 December. A news conference by President Nazarbayev will follow the conclusion of the Summit.
The Summit was preceded by a three-part Review Conference in Warsaw, Vienna and Astana with civil society and governments to assess the States' implementation of OSCE commitments.