Six officials from Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and four officials from Kazakh embassies in Europe recently attended a two-week course on preparations for Kazakhstan’s chairmanship of the OSCE at Voksenåsen in Oslo.
Kazakhstan will hold the OSCE chairmanship in 2010, and the objective of the course was to share Norway’s experience of this office, and to provide general information on how the OSCE organisation functions. The speakers included key persons during Norway’s OSCE chairmanship in 1999, representatives from the OSCE’s institutions, and external experts. The programme also covered dealing with the media and visits to NGOs.
This initiative will be followed up in the spring with a course on international negotiation skills.
The course was part of the follow-up to a joint declaration on the development of friendly relations and cooperation between Norway and Kazakhstan, which was signed in the Kazakh capital, Astana, in May 2004 by the Prime Minister of Norway at the time, Kjell Magne Bondevik, and the Kazakh President, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Capacity-building to enable Kazakhstan to take on the OSCE chairmanship, including through training Kazakh officials in Norway, was a key element of the declaration.