UNOG employees warmly recall their former chief Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
17 May 2017 12:16

UNOG employees warmly recall their former chief Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

ASTANA. KAZINFORM Employees of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) told Kazinform correspondent in an exclusive interview about the work of their former chief Kassym-Jomart Tokayev who is now the Speaker of Kazakh Senate.

Kassym-Jomart headed the UN Office at Geneva from May 2011 till October 2013. According to Chef de Cabinet of the Director General of UNOG, that time period was enough to rise to prominence.

"It is a pity that he left because he is not only an intellectual and educated person but is a world-level figure, analytical expert of international relations and writer who speaks many languages. He is a very wise and strong leader. Tokayev is a man of deep vision who sees how the organisation works, how it must work and what it needs to do. Therefore, even a relatively short period of his stay here made a beneficial effect on Geneva office and the UN as a whole", Chikvaidze said.

He noted that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highly appreciated a special role of Tokayev and attended to his suggestions and opinions.

Russian retired Ambassador, professor of Geneva School of Diplomacy, Chairman of MGIMO Alumni Association in Switzerland said that Tokayev made a very strong impression with his mind, depth of approach to the issues of concern, sense of humour and human charism.

"His speeches during MGIMO alumni reunions and at Geneva School of Diplomacy always aroused the interest of the audience. It could not have been otherwise, because his words were deep by essence and bright by form. And I was truly pleased with personal communication with him. In our meetings I noticed appropriateness of his remarks, wittiness, simpleness and goodwill. Those of his books I read posed Kassym-Jomart Tokayev as an exceptionally talented word painter as well as a gifted politician and diplomat", the professor told Kazinform correspondent.

Also, Mr. Sergey Shaposhnikov, the Chief of Protocol at the United Nations at Geneva, met Tokayev several years before his appointment to the post of the UN Under Secretary-General.

"I felt Kassym-Jomart Tokayev's ingenuity and global mindedness not only as a public official but as a human. Of course, I could not have imagined at that time that in a few years I would work under his leadership. Therefore, the news the Secretary-General appointed him to Geneva in spring 2011 was a pleasant surprise for me", Shaposhnikov said.

Aidar Shayakhmetov is a citizen of Kazakhstan who worked in the UN for a long time. He headed the Languages Service at the UNOG till 2014.

According to him, with his experience as a public official and diplomat Kassym-Jomart Tokayev managed to do a lot. He considerably assisted in strengthening the role of Geneva as the most important centre of multilateral diplomacy, established meaningful cooperation with the key international players. Mr. Tokayev succeeded in building trust relationships with the host country (Swiss Federal Council and the officials of the City and Canton of Geneva).

As a reminder, in March 2011, the Secretary-General of the United Nations announced the appointment of Tokayev as Under Secretary-General, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva,and Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to the Conference on Disarmament. He served as Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament. He is also the Designated Official for safety and security of UN personnel for Switzerland.