Kazakh President takes part in High-Level Dialogue on Global Development BRICS+
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, took part in the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, which was held in virtual format, Kazinform cites Akorda.
The 14th BRICS Summit on the theme «Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development» is being held under the China’s chairmanship.
Welcoming the participants of the meeting, President Tokayev expressed gratitude to Chinese President Xi Jinping for his kind invitation and hosting this important event.
«Kazakhstan regards BRICS as a truly influential organization and a key growth engine for the world economy. Kazakhstan has a vital interest in developing vibrant partnership with BRICS countries. Last year, Kazakhstan’s trade with the BRICS exceeded 45 billion US Dollars. Still, we have plenty of room for expanding this volume in the years ahead,» the President stressed.
Speaking about the current global challenges, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted that today’s world is beset by crises and facing the unprecedented geopolitical and economic turbulence. In particular, he pointed to the worsening of the food security.
«Over the last few months, the world food situation has gone from bad to worse. Millions of lives are at stake if the global food supply chains continue to degrade. Today, three of the world's four major food producers are BRICS members, and the BRICS countries' total agricultural GDP accounts for more than half the world total,» the leader of Kazakhstan said.
The Head of State believes that resolving effectively the food crisis requires a fully coordinated international response and should include both short-term and long-term measures.
«Kazakhstan is committed to contributing to these efforts by employing its huge agricultural potential. Ensuring food security requires a well-functioning trade system for food and agriculture based on the principles of fairness and non-discrimination. In this regard, the Kazakh Chair of the just concluded 12th WTO Ministerial Conference provided new political direction to the relevant negotiations,» he said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called the rapid soaring of inflation around the world another urgent task that needs to be solved. According to him, worsening financial conditions put serious pressure on highly indebted nations, businesses and families, and also leads to disruptions in global supply chains.
«Kazakhstan could contribute its fair share by playing a kind of «a buffer market» between East and West, South and North. In the long-term, we need to keep an open, fair, interconnected and resilient global economy. Here, I see a lot of potential in the «BRICS plus», «One Belt - One Road» and the Greater Eurasian Partnership initiatives ushering a new era of growth and connectivity,» the President said.
Furthermore, Kazakhstan’s leader touched upon the climate change issue and spoke about the commitments made by our country to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. In this regard, he announced plans to include nuclear energy in the country's energy mix and expressed commitment to collaboration with BRICS countries in the field of technical assistance and capacity building in addressing the climate change.
In his speech, President Tokayev focused on existential crisis of multilateralism and global governance, noting that international institutions remain our only tool to tackle the threats that go beyond the capabilities of any one country. He believes that new types of global partnerships should replace confrontation and zero-sum approach with a win-win dialogue. In particular, he commended the vision of the «Community of Common Destiny for Mankind», as well as the Global Security and Global Development Initiatives put forward by Chairman Xi Jinping.
Addressing the participants of the meeting, President Tokayev pointed out the importance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
«I welcome vigorous efforts by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to turbocharge the 2030 Agenda, including by convening the Summit of the Future next year. We should renew our commitment to leaving no one behind, especially women, youth, children, elders and disabled persons. The «BRICS plus» nations could contribute to narrowing the North-South gap and addressing the development imbalances,» the Head of State believes.
At the same time, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev focused on the importance of the regional cooperation towards the 2030 Agenda.
«We will continue pushing forward the idea of establishing in Almaty a UN Hub for SDGs for Central Asia and Afghanistan. We need to address the aggravating regional risks related to «water – energy – food security» nexus,» the President said.
Summing up his speech, the leader of Kazakhstan stressed that now is the time to turn this crisis into an opportunity.
«Here, all our efforts must be guided by the moral imperative – to Put People First. I am convinced the «BRICS plus» platform will make a worthy contribution to this endeavour,» Kassym-Jomart Tokayev his speech.
Along with the leaders of Kazakhstan and China, the event was attended by President Vladimir Putin of Russia, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Vice President Antonio Hamilton Martins Mourã of Brazil, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune of Algeria, President Alberto Fernandez of Argentina, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, President Ebrahim Raisi of Iran, President Macky Sall of Senegal, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yacoub of Malaysia, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand, Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia, Prime Minister Josiah Voreke Bainimarama of Fiji.
Brazil–South America trade sees quick recovery, study finds
RIO DE JANEIRO. KAZINFORM - A survey released today (Aug 1) by the Foreign Trade Association of Brazil (AEB) shows a resumption in positive trade results between Brazil and the rest of South America from 2021 onward, following with the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic, Agencia Brasil reports.
The study reports that the accumulated results in 2019—$27.8 billion in export revenues—were brought down by the pandemic in 2020 to $22.6 billion. Following the easing of the health crisis the next year, export revenues rebounded to $33.9 billion. This recovery continues into 2022, with projected export revenues for the country in South America standing at $41 billion.
Contrary to what occurs with Brazilian exports to the world, led as they are by commodities, Brazil’s sales to South America consist mostly of manufactured products, with higher added value. Among imports, however, commodities and products with little processing are predominant.
«Our market for manufactured goods is South America. Europe and the US do buy manufactured goods [from Brazil], but very little. Asia does not buy anything,» Castro said. This is the case, he argued, because South American nations export commodities and buy manufactured goods from Brazil. Our country is no exception to the rule, as it exports commodities and buys manufactured goods from the foreign market.
The executive-president of AEB noted that Brazilian exports are growing because commodity prices are still high globally. «This generates more capital for these South American countries and more purchasing power for imports. This increases import revenues for these countries and makes room for importing more products from a third country. And as Brazil is the closest, it has lower logistics costs, road transport, and containers. So they end up buying from Brazil, which is closer than Europe and the US are.»
With the exception of Paraguay, due to electricity imports, and Bolivia, with natural gas imports, the figures show that Brazil boasts a trade surplus with all other South American nations. The negotiation power of Europeans, Asians, and even Americans, Castro went on, makes product prices higher than those practiced by Brazil for South America.
The chief goods exported by Brazil to South America are: automobiles (11%) and auto parts (9.6%) to Argentina; fertilizers (5%), agricultural machines (4.6%), and automobiles (3.7%) to Paraguay; automobiles (8.2%), pick-up trucks (6%), beef (4.9%), and pork (4.5%) to Uruguay; oil (28%) to Chile; iron bars (10%) to Bolivia; oil (23%) to Peru; cars (16%) to Colombia; cars (9.1%), laminated products (6.9%), and polymers (5.1%) to Ecuador; and sugar (18%), vegetable fats and oils (17%), and edible products (11%) to Venezuela.
Conversely, the top products purchased by Brazil from the region are: pickup trucks (20%), automobiles (12%), wheat (12%), electric energy (8.9%) from Argentina; electric energy (32%) and soybeans (11%) from Paraguay; pickup trucks (11%), cereals (10%), plastic articles (9.6%), and electric energy (9%) from Uruguay; copper (44%) and whole fish (13%) from Chile; natural gas (88%) from Bolivia; copper (35%) and other minerals (19%) from Peru; coal (31%), coke (18%), and polymers (16%) from Colombia; lead (31%) from Ecuador; alcohols and phenols (45%) and fertilizers (31%) from Venezuela.
UN chief warns that humanity 1 misstep away from 'nuclear annihilation'
WASHINGTON. KAZINFORM UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a dire warning on Monday, saying raging conflicts worldwide have put the world at just one misunderstanding away from nuclear war, Anadolu Agency reported.
Addressing the General Assembly as the UN holds a two-year delayed review of the historic Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), Guterres said geopolitical tensions «are reaching new highs» as states seek «false security» by stockpiling nuclear arms with over 13,000 doomsday weapons now held in arsenals worldwide.
«The clouds that parted following the end of the Cold War are gathering once more. We have been extraordinarily lucky so far, but luck is not a strategy nor is it a shield from geopolitical tensions boiling over into nuclear conflict,» he said. «Today, humanity is just one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation.»
The UN chief pointed to simmering tensions in the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula, as well as «the invasion of Ukraine by Russia,» during which the Kremlin has repeatedly engaged in nuclear sabre-rattling.
Monday marks the start of a month-long NPT review, during which states are seeking to reach a consensus on how to further mitigate nuclear proliferation, though expectations are low that they can reach consensus.
Nearly all countries worldwide are signatories to the NPT, which seeks to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and technology. Only five nations -- India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, and South Sudan -- have declined to sign on or have withdrawn from the pact.
Guterres said the conference is « an opportunity to hammer out the measures that will help avoid certain disasters, and to put humanity on a new path towards a world free of nuclear weapons.»
«It is also a chance to strengthen this treaty, and make it fit for the worrying world around us,» he said.
China assumes UN Security Council presidency for August
UNITED NATIONS. KAZINFORM - China on Monday assumed the rotating presidency of the Security Council for August with the priorities of facilitating dialogue and cooperation for common security and supporting Africa's capacity-building for sustaining peace, Xinhua reports.
Amid a shifting international landscape, the Security Council must revisit the role of dialogue and cooperation for common security, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.
«The council must reaffirm its mission of maintaining common security and fulfill its due responsibilities. Therefore, China has proposed to hold a briefing on Aug. 22 on the theme of 'Maintenance of international peace and security: promote common security through dialogue and cooperation,'» he told a press briefing on the Security Council's August work program.
«Through such discussions, we hope we can forge some basic consensus on this important issue, and we will understand better that our humanity shares the same future, shares the same world, and any country's security is indivisible from (that of) others, and we are an indivisible security community. We hope that by working together, we can jointly maintain world peace and global security, we can also oppose bloc politics, oppose confrontation and make sure that we are all working toward the same direction,» he said.
The second priority will be to support Africa's capacity-building to sustain peace, said Zhang.
He said that many African countries are facing myriad crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, war and conflict, climate change, and higher energy and food prices.
«We must go beyond humanitarian aid and focus on economic development. We must go beyond short-term assistance and seek long-term investment and long-term solutions in Africa. And we must go beyond blood transfusion and enhance their own blood-making function,» said Zhang.
China has proposed an open briefing on Aug. 8 on the theme of «Peace and security in Africa: capacity-building for sustaining peace.» The aim is to help all parties better understand the African continent's difficulties and adopt measures to address their root causes.
The Chinese presidency's third priority is strengthening mediation efforts for the political settlement of hot-spot issues. The fourth priority is to uphold the openness, inclusiveness, solidity and cooperation of the Security Council, said Zhang.
China attaches great importance to its presidency of the Security Council. It will adopt a responsible and constructive approach, uphold genuine multilateralism, strengthen communication and consultation with council members and all other parties, and earnestly perform its presidential duties, he said.
«I hope through our efforts, the council will better meet the expectations of all parties, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and better play its role in maintaining world peace, safeguarding common security and addressing current challenges.»
Replying to questions, Zhang said China is a firm supporter of the United Nations in its role in addressing global challenges, upholding peace and security, and promoting common development.
On nuclear submarine cooperation between the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia (AUKUS), Zhang said that such a move involves the transfer of weapon-grade enriched uranium and related technologies and equipment. Such an act violates the purposes and principles of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It poses serious risks of nuclear proliferation and may provoke an arms race in the region, threatening regional security and stability.
On many occasions, the United States and the United Kingdom have expressed their concerns over the nuclear issues in Iran and the Korean Peninsula while condoning AUKUS cooperation. This is a pure double standard, he said.
The international community has expressed serious concerns over such cooperation, and the International Atomic Energy Agency has made this issue one of its agenda items. He said that China urges relevant countries to immediately change course and respond to the international community's concerns with concrete actions for the sake of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and regional peace and stability.
On the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Zhang said that with their continued joint military exercises, some countries have increased the risk of military confrontation and tensions on the peninsula.
In recent years, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had taken some steps to denuclearize, and the previous U.S. administration also took a positive step forward in relations. But dialogue has since stalled. It is hoped that the DPRK and the United States will resume direct dialogue as soon as possible. In particular, the U.S. side should take meaningful and practical actions to respond to the DPRK's concerns, he said.
Parties should remain calm and restrained and avoid any actions that could escalate tensions or lead to miscalculations. They should resume dialogue and engagement as soon as possible, meet each other halfway and promote a political settlement to the nuclear issue, said Zhang.
China last held the rotating Security Council presidency in May 2021.