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Roman Yuneman

How Kazakhstani Multi-Vector Foreign Policy Works: Voting in UNGA Analysis

2023. Vol. 18. No. 1. P. 151–169 [issue contents]

The concept of multivectorism is the basis of the foreign policy strategy of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Multivectorism is also the framework within which Kazakhstan carries out its foreign policy in international organizations and integrational institutions. However, the implementation of this aspect of its foreign policy within the UN General Assembly has not yet been studied. To examine the concept of multivectorism, the author analyzes Kazakhstan’s voting cohesion with Russia, China, the USA, Turkey, and Germany in the UNGA from 2007-2022. The author also studies Kazakhstan’s behavior in situations where it voted opposite the way these countries voted. This article analyzes, among other things, the voting cohesion of Kazakhstan and the other countries in question on particular topics, such as disarmament, decolonization, human rights, development issues, armed conflicts, etc., as well as Kazakhstan voting patterns on key resolutions relating to armed conflicts involving the Russian Federation. As a result of quantitative and qualitative analysis of more than 1300 resolutions, the author comes to the conclusion that the main “vector” of Kazakhstan’s foreign policy is China. Not Russia, despite Russia formally enjoying the status of Kazakhstan’s declared key ally. Kazakhstan shares the highest voting cohesion with China (to a lesser extent with Russia, Turkey, and Germany, and only minimally with the United States). Moreover, when China and the other countries under examination vote in opposition to one another, Kazakhstan’s votes were more often in accordance with the Chinese position. The author argues that Kazakhstan also avoids explicit support for the Russian Federation in voting on resolutions related to armed conflicts involving Russia. This is further manifested in the Republic of Kazakhstan’s voting on resolutions related to the conflict in Ukraine. However, the reasons for the high level of voting cohesion between China and Kazakhstan in the UNGA require further research.

This article was submitted 12.11.2022

Citation: Yuneman R. (2023) How Kazakhstani Multi-Vector Foreign Policy Works: Voting in UNGA Analysis, . International Organisations Research Journal, vol. 18, no 1, P. (in English).
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