Nazarbaev Fed Up With Western Advice

by Nathan Hamm on 11/13/2006 · 2 comments

The US, UK, and presumably Europe think 2009 is too early for Kazakhstan to chair the OSCE, and the former two prefer instead a 2011 bid. Kazakhstan, they say, must make clear improvements to its political and human rights records. It would seem that President Nazarbaev is sick of the advice.

“We know what we have to do and do what we have to do,” Nazarbaev told a pro-presidential political rally in Astana. “We’re already getting enough advice from here and there — from the West, from overseas — to tell us how to live.”

“We’ve had enough,” Nazarbaev told his audience today. “Kazakhstan is no longer a state that can be ordered about and told what to do. We know what we have to do. We shouldn’t run after foreign recommendations with our pants down.”

No, perhaps instead they should pull up their pants and do what Nazarbaev says they already know they must do. Deeds will certainly do more than such a winning attitude will towards convincing other members of the OSCE that Kazakhstan is ready for the chairmanship.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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KZblog November 13, 2006 at 10:37 pm

Well, a lot of that advice is coming from their decision to be a member of the WTO and chairman of the OSCE, which is their own choice. But this is something that has been building for a long time. NGOs and international organizations like the UN, the World Bank have long been asked to give only technical support but no policy recomendations, no political suggestions. Just an engineer to build a bridge.

Dolkun November 14, 2006 at 9:07 pm

Of course he’s referring to unsolicited advice.

One thing that sets Nazarbayev apart is that he himself seeks out a lot of Western advice, from the infamous Giffen to the much more respected Michael Porter and Jim Wolfenson, as well as PR and lobbying firms.

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