The International Forum on “Kazakhstan and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference: New Prospects for Cooperation” was held on December 9, 2010 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The forum, which was organized by the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, brought together political figures, academicians, and other experts from the OIC member countries. An OIC delegation of five diplomats led by Ambassador Abdul Moiz Bokhari, Assistant Secretary General of the OIC, represented the OIC General Secretariat. The SESRIC was represented by Dr. Murat Atlamaz, a Senior Researcher from the Research Department.
Key problems facing the OIC were brought up in the framework of the forthcoming chairmanship of Kazakhstan in the OIC in the upcoming year. The Forum was characterized by in-depth discussions on the important role of the OIC in international politics with a view to determining the prospects of Kazakhstan's contribution towards the enhancement of this role, as an emerging key player in regional as well as global politics.
After the welcoming remarks by Ms. Dariga Nazarbayeva, Director of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Foundation and Mr. Bakhyt Batyrshayev, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the OIC, H.E. Ambassador Abdul Moiz Bokhari delivered a speech in which he talked about the new vision and mission of the OIC in facing the challenges of the 21st century. He underlined some of the current initiatives of the OIC by emphasizing the fact that the OIC was not a religious organization. He also touched upon the risks of Islamophobia and how the OIC is fighting out the misconception and the defaming of Islam.
At the opening session, statements were also made by Mr. Dulat Bakishev, Ambassador at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Serhat Varli, Director from the CICA Secretariat, Mr. Baghdad Amreyev, Special Envoy of the Secretary of State-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Yahya Lawal, Director of the Department of Political Affairs at the OIC General Secretariat, Mr. Firat Purtas, Deputy Director General of TURKSOY, and Mr. Sultan Akimbekov, Director of the Institute for World Economy and Politics.
On behalf of the SESRIC, Dr. Murat Atlamaz delivered a panel speech on the perspectives for economic cooperation among the OIC member countries and the potential role of Kazakhstan in that respect. In his speech, Dr. Atlamaz talked about the high levels of heterogeneity and divergence in the economic structure and performance of the OIC member countries by underlying the need for more cooperation among these countries. He also called attention to the agriculture sector as one of the most important areas for cooperation in which Kazakhstan can play a significant role given its great potential in this sector.