The concept of open talks

The capital of Kazakhstan awaits the next global event: on November 13-14, the leaders of the world expert and political elite will gather in Astana.

Traditionally, the Astana Club will provide the platform for such meetings that have been organized by the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy and the Institute of World Economics and Politics which functions under the Foundation.

This year, significant scientists, prominent politicians, political scientists from the leading think tanks of  the United States, Russia, China, India, Europe, the Middle East, Central and South-East Asia are gathering to discuss the most pressing issues of our time. Identifying defining  points of the emerging world order, the participants of the event will try to look beyond the horizon of current events, outlining the vectors and scenarios for the development of Eurasia for the coming decade.

In general, commentators have noted that the Astana Club is a unique international format that meets the needs of the global expert community to discuss processes not by individual regions but of the so-called Greater Eurasia. Its mission contains a crucial advantage. Unlike other world dialogue platforms, the format of Astana offers an independent and unbiased arena for honest and constructive debate.

There is an  atmosphere of high professionalism and openness, with no room for dogmatism and the imposition of any ideological agenda. If compared figuratively and metaphorically, the discussions taking place within the walls of the club are akin to the seminars of mathematicians, in which the nomination of different solutions ultimately leads to the development of a universal concept. It is about formulating new approaches and solutions that ensure the stability and sustainability of international relations.

It should be noted that the work of the Astana Club, as a forum for free and open conversation, takes place under the Chatham House rule. Subsequently, any direct quotation is prohibited, references to statements are possible only without attribution to speakers. Therefore, as the previous experience shows, exclusive theses and bold arguments often arise in the fields of the club. These are qualitative expert opinions that do not make their way into public comments in the media. This factor contributes to the maximum productivity of specific discussions.

It took a short period for the Astana Club to confidently occupy its niche and become a recognized international brand. Today, its activities are being consistently improved and are in transit to a qualitatively new level.

The following features and innovations of the forthcoming third meeting of the club should be noted. First, several former heads of state were invited to take part in the sessions for the first time. A significant proportion of participants will be made up of diplomats and ex-heads of foreign affairs agencies directly involved in international affairs, who have been witnesses of behind-the-scenes historical events.

Secondly, the roadmap of the club's activity is dynamically marked by new member countries. Representatives of 10 new states will join the regular guests for the meeting this year. These are Italy, Indonesia, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Finland, Czech Republic, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Azerbaijan. The membership expanded to 66 participants from 28 countries.

Thirdly, a long list of top political scientists and experts, who were not previously involved in the Astana discussions, has expanded. In this sense, the list of members of the club will be supplemented by those whose scientific works and analytical research constitute the conceptual basis of modern geopolitical and geo-economic processes. They are the developers of crucial theories interpreting the new reality and essence of the modern world order. These are all those figures that somehow influence the formation of global intellectual discourse.

Fourthly, for the first time in the history of the club, an open panel session will be held where former heads of state and world stars in the field of analytics and the media will speak.

In general, within two  days, five extensive rounds of discussions are going to be held, presenting the broadest spectrum of opinions from all over the world.

The main topic of the meeting – “Greater Eurasia-2027: Confrontation or Partnership” – has been formulated from challenges and threats that require diplomatic resolution. The list of issues includes the hottest of international problem areas. This concerns the rivalry between the world powers and the balance of geopolitical initiatives of the US, Russia, China and the EU, the growing role of regional players, the prospects for the conjugation of significant integration projects in Eurasia.

It is expected that the participants will discuss the prospects of building a new security architecture, nuclear disarmament in the context of the Korean Peninsula aggravation, developments in Europe, as well as the situation in Central Asia and the role of Kazakhstan in global and regional processes.

In general, the agenda for the meeting is broad enough, but not precisely limited. This will allow the club members to approach the very ambitious and challenging task of outlining the contours of the development of Greater Eurasia in the coming decade.

The expert dialogue on the prospects of Eurasia in the Astana Club format will have a positive impact on the advancement of the global political dialogue based on the cooperative principles of openness and equal interaction, which is consistently promoted by Kazakhstan's Leader Nursultan Nazarbayev.