Time: 20 March 2015
Place: Hall 3, New Academic building, KIMEP University

15:00–15:10 Welcome note

15:10–16:30 Session 1: Views from Europe
Juris Maklakovs (Ambassador of Latvia to Kazakhstan)
Ole Johan Bjørnøy (Ambassador of Norway to Kazakhstan)
Kamen Velichkov (Head of Political Press and Information Section,
EU Delegation in Kazakhstan)

16:30–16:45 Coffee break

16:45–17:50 Session 2: Views from Kazakhstan
Nargis Kassenova (CASC Director, KIMEP University)
Tulegen Zhukeyev (Board of Trustees of Sarsenbayev Foundation)
Elnara Bainazarova (Security analyst)

17:50–18:00 Closing and tentative conclusions

Speaker biographies:

Juris Maklakovs is Ambassador of Latvia to Kazakhstan since 2011. He has a distinguished military and civilian career. After graduating from the Moscow Air Force Engineering Military Academy and USA Army War College he served as Commander of Air Forces (2004-06) and Chief of Defense of Latvia (2006-10). In 2010-11 he was Advisor of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia and Advisor of the Head of Directorate of Economical and Bilateral relations of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ole Johan Bjørnøy is Ambassador of Norway to Kazakhstan since 2012. His long and distinguished diplomatic career started with a posting as a Consul of the Norwegian Consulate General in Murmansk (1995-98). Later he served as Second Secretary at the Norwegian Embassy in Copenhagen and First Secretary at the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade (1998), Chargé d’affaires at the Norwegian Embassy in Skopje and Adviser for the OSCE Coordination Unit (Norwegian Chairmanship) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1999), Adviser for the Department for European Policy (2000-02), Counsellor at the Norwegian Embassy in Sofia (2002-04), Chargé d’affaires at the Norwegian Embassy in Tirana (2004-07), and Senior Adviser (Section for Russia, Eurasia and Regional Cooperation) for the Department for Security Policy and the High North (2007). He has an MA Degree from the Volda University College, Norway.

Kamen Velichkov is Head of the Political Section of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan since 2012. As a career diplomat he served in various positions, including charge d’affaires in Israel (1990-1992), Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Bulgaria (1992-1996), Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to the OPCW (1996-2001), and Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand and Permanent Observer to UNESCAP (2008-2012). He was National coordinator of the UN Alliance of Civilizations initiative (2003 – 2008) and member of the High Level Reflection Group of the Kazakhstan’s Initiative “Our Common World: Progress through Diversity.” Appointed as roving Ambassador of Bulgaria for Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (2004), Kamen Velichkov was deployed as Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office for Central Asia. He combines the work of a career diplomat with academic research and teaching at universities in Bulgaria and Europe. His areas of expertise include international relations and security issues, multilateral diplomacy and peacekeeping, comparative foreign policy of the Arab states, negotiations and conflict prevention, Islam and politics. A graduate of the Moscow Institute of International Relations, Kamen Velichkov conducted Ph.D. research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Nargis Kassenova is Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations and Regional Studies of KIMEP University (Kazakhstan) and Director of the KIMEP Central Asian Studies Center (CASC). Her areas of research include Central Asian security, Eurasian geopolitics, energy security, and Kazakhstan’s foreign policy. She holds an MA and PhD in Political Science from Nagoya University, Japan.

Tulegen Zhukeyev is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Sarsenbayev Foundation. In the 1990s and first half of the 2000s he served in a number of important government positions shaping the foreign and security policy of the newly independent Republic of Kazakhstan as State Advisor and Deputy Chair of the Security Council (1992-93), Secretary of the Security Council (1994), Ambassador to South Korea (1995-1999), and Ambassador to Iran (2000-2004). In 2005 he returned to Kazakhstan to co-found the Block of Democratic Forces “For Just Kazakhstan.” Since then Tulegen Zhukeyev actively participated in politics and was a leader in a number of parties and movements, including “Azat”, “Ak Zhol”, “True Ak Zhol” and United Social-Democratic Party (OSDP).

Elnara Bainazarova is a security analyst and area studies specialist for Eurasia. She holds a PhD degree in International Relations from al-Farabi Kazakh National University and is currently working at the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Kazakhstan. She has extensive experience in research and analysis of regional security and multilateral institutions in the region with a special focus on the SCO, CICA and Kazakhstan’s official development assistance policy. Before joining the EU Delegation, Dr Bainazarova has worked as the Head of the International Studies Centre at the Institute for World Economy and Politics under the First President of Kazakhstan Foundation.