23 June 2023
Astana, Kazakhstan - June 23, 2023 - The capital city of Kazakhstan, Astana, successfully hosted the inaugural edition of the Astana International Forum on June 8-9, 2023. This groundbreaking event, held under the theme 'Overcoming Challenges through Dialogue: Towards Cooperation, Development, and Progress,' provided a new global platform for experts, business leaders, and governments from around the world to engage in meaningful discussions on pressing global challenges and find actionable and lasting solutions.
The Astana International Forum convened more than 5,000 delegates from over 40 countries. The distinguished Opening Ceremony and Plenary Session were presided over by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, and moderated by renowned CNN journalist, Richard Quest. Prominent world leaders, including Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar, President Sadyr Japarov of the Kyrgyz Republic, Chairman Zeljka Cvijanovic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency, Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov of Uzbekistan, and former Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome, were present during the opening sessions. They shared their insights on the global challenges we face and engaged in discussions with moderator Richard Quest.
The Plenary Session featured speeches and discussions with leaders from various international organizations and financial institutions, such as UNESCO Director-General Audre Azoulay, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Armida Salcia Alisjahbana, and OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid. Distinguished guests, including OSCE PA President Margareta Cederfelt and SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming, also attended the session.
With over 40 panel sessions, one-on-one discussions, and other side events organized by partners and sponsors, the Astana International Forum offered a diverse range of opportunities for dialogue. Renowned journalists and experts from Bloomberg, the Financial Times, BBC, Le Figaro, Al Jazeera, and others expertly moderated these discussions. These platforms facilitated the global community's encouragement and promotion for new forms of international cooperation necessary to address the challenges posed by growing geopolitical tensions.
The discussions covered a wide array of topics, ranging from inter-state competition to climate change and renewable energy, food and water security, and the role of the UN in a time of geopolitical turbulence. Experts and participants emphasized the need for additional funding directed towards addressing emerging global challenges and the increased transparency of international institutions as essential steppingstones for international sustainable development.
Central Asia's development formed a significant part of the discussions during AIF2023. Experts explored the feasibility of establishing an energy hub in the region and agreed that sustainable development hinges on an environment of stability, trust, and geopolitical equilibrium.
In addition, the Astana International Forum delved into topics such as advancing women's leadership and gender equality, the future of digitalization and artificial intelligence, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global health preparedness.
The AIF also served as a key event for global investors, with the Astana Finance Days Conference and the Foreign Investors' Council taking place as part of the Forum.
The Astana International Forum was supported through strategic partnerships with the United Nations, CNN, and The Astana Times, as well as the support of its sponsors. The general sponsors included Samruk-Kazyna JSC and the Eurasian Resources Group. Bank Freedom Finance Kazakhstan served as the official bank of AIF2023, while Kazakhmys Corporation LLP, Karachaganak Petroleum Operating B.V. JSC, North Caspian Operating Company N.V. JSC, Baiterek NUH JSC, Maten Petroleum JSC, Kozhan JSC, Caspi Neft JSC, Allure Group JSC, BI Group Ltd Private Company, KAZ Minerals Management LLP, KMC Astana Motors JSC, Bereke bank JSC, and Bazis Construction LLP all served as official sponsors.
Organising Committee of Astana International Forum: