Kazakhstan and UAE Heads of State Agree to Expand Cooperation

Kazakh President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and UAE President, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Kazakh President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, met UAE President, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, in Abu Dhabi. Both leaders will support transforming CICA into a full-fledged international organization  

Kazakhstan President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and UAE President, Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, met on January 17 in Abu Dhabi and decided to expand bilateral diplomatic, trade, economic, and cultural cooperation. The two leaders exchange views on a range of international agendas. They noted the importance of strengthening the U.N.’s role in international security and sustainable development. The Kazakh president arrived in UAE on an official visit upon MBZ’s invitation.

Tokayev and MBZ hailed the ratification of the agreement on the promotion and mutual protection of investments, stressing that it will bring the economic relations between Kazakhstan and the UAE, to a new level. Greater cultural exchange and expansion of cooperation in tourism, sport, education, science, and health were mentioned as key factors in the agreement. 

Tokayev commended the effective role of the UAE as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council for 2022-23. He thanked the Emirati officials for their active participation in the work of the 7th  Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions held on September 2022, in Astana. For his part, Mohamed bin Zayed expressed gratitude to Kazakhstan for supporting the idea of holding the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi in February 2024. In addition, the UAE President thanked Kazakhstan for supporting the UAE’s SCO accession as a dialogue partner.

Both Presidents expressed intention and support for the transformation of the CICA (the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia) into a full-fledged international organization and joint development of its potential. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan supported the Kazakh initiative to create an International Organization for Biological Safety. The two sides noted that their global and regional initiatives serve to strengthen peace, sustainable development, and universal values.

Abu Dhabi Sustainability Summit 

The day before, January 16, Tokayev addressed the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) Summit 2023. In his speech, The Kazakh President called for a common task to address the issues of sustainable development for a cleaner and greener future. According to him, given the growing geopolitical instability and lacking energy security, the topic of climate change took a backseat.

“The rising global temperature could lead to a significant reduction in the yield of the most important crops, responsible for 66% of the calories consumed. There is a serious risk of freshwater shortages. According to the UN report, by 2025 fresh water shortages could affect over five billion people, eventually undermining the global food as well as energy, urban, and environmental systems. All this requires immediate and effective action and not only political. To save the planet – unprecedented investments are needed”, Tokayev said. 

Kazakhstan’s zero-carbon plan

Tokayev pointed out that Kazakhstan is the first Central Asian country to adopt a long-term zero-carbon strategy, providing for best ways to reach indicators in fighting climate change at the national level. “Kazakhstan made long-term commitments to achieve carbon neutrality. In fact, our country was among the first to ratify the Paris Agreement. Next, we established an ambitious but solid policy aimed at diversifying the economy and promoting renewable energy sources”, Tokayev noted.

He went on to point out the importance of using atomic energy as one of the key factors in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “Our country ranks first in the world in uranium production. We produce nuclear fuel components and are capable of further promoting the safe use of atomic energy. We think that this is a very promising sphere for trading and investments regionally and globally”.

Kazakhstan, which joined the Declaration on Forests and Land Use (GDFLU), launched a large-scale project to plant two billion trees by 2025. Last year, the country planted 282 million trees and plans to plant 410 million more trees this year. Kazakhstan is also the world’s 7th largest grain producer. Therefore, Tokayev urged all participants of the ADSW Summit, to carry out green projects, mobilize ESG investments, and join efforts to achieve the SDGs.


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