The Third Meeting of the Official Foreign Policy Research Centers of the Member States of the Turkic Council was held in Astana, Kazakhstan on May 25, 2016. Hosted by the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KazISS), the workshop brought together 30 participants from 5 think tanks from Central Asia and Turkey.
KazISS is committed to developing new forms of international cooperation through joint research projects and events. Therefore, the meeting focused on the “New Silk Road: Enhancing Cooperation Among the Turkic States in Eurasia.” With this theme, participants spoke specifically about the projects and opportunities in the transport-transit sphere. The workshop also addressed obstacles faced by the member states and discussed ideas on how to improve cooperation among their research institutions in order to eliminate these issues.
Dr. James G. McGann, director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, was the chief speaker at the workshop. Other major participants included Ramil Hasanov, Secretary General of the Turkic Council; Ali Resul Usul, Director of the Center for Strategic Studies (Ankara); Farkhad Mamedov Director of the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (Baku); and Azamat Dikambayev, Director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies of Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek).
Erlan Karin, Director of the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, was a key speaker at the workshop as well. Karin spoke to the purpose and importance of the impact of the event explaining, “The key goal of the think tanks meeting is to deepen the understanding of the main topics of world politics and economy, as well as to redefine the transformation of the international relations system with the projectionon Central Asia.”
Azamat Dikambayev expanded on the importance of the meeting stating, “When there is a consolidation of the capacity and resources of “think tanks” the tasks [of a global analytical center] can be accomplished on a completely different level: more global approaches and more comprehensive solutions to problems faced by countries individually emerge.”