The Humpty Dumpty Institute partnered with the Los Angeles World Affairs Council to host Kairat Umarov, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to the United States, at a lunch attended by leaders in L.A.’s business and entertainment communities on March 28th, 2013.
The Ambassador addressed issues ranging from Kazakhstan’s fast economic growth to his Government’s efforts to improve the democratic process within the country and to serving as the host country for talks on the Iranian nuclear issue. Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan and today the financial capital of the country, has played host to Iran, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the United States.
It is hoped that a nuclear free Kazakhstan might prove a positive example to its Iranian neighbor over the course of these negotiations. Kazakhstan was the world’s fourth largest nuclear power when the Soviet Union broke up twenty years ago. Under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan closed down the Soviet nuclear test-site on their territory in 1991, facilitated the withdrawal of over 1,500 nuclear weapons and negotiated with its neighbors to establish a Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone.
In addition to a yearly forum addressing a global nuclear-free world, Kazakhstan also founded a Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions to address the need of an on-going conversation about international religious tolerance. Kazakhstan has experienced extremely fast economic growth as a result of its oil and gas deposits, as well as large mineral reserves including chromium, iron, zinc, gold and uranium. As a result of this new economic strength, the Central Asia country is seeking international investment opportunities as well as ways to boost Kazakhstan’s agriculture and water sectors.
The Ambassador also spent part of his visit to the West Coast meeting with investors related to agriculture, water and irrigation green technologies, as well as leaders in the film industry.
As part of its Public Diplomacy programming, The Humpty Dumpty Institute has facilitated two U.S. Congressional Staff Delegations to Kazakhstan over the last six months. In June, The Humpty Dumpty Institute will take its first delegation composed of Members of the U.S. Congress to Astana. The Humpty Dumpty Institute’s Congressional delegations to Kazakhstan and other countries allow U.S. lawmakers and their staffs the opportunity to better understand international dynamics and how they impact U.S. foreign policy.