Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

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Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, 2005.jpg
President of Kazakhstan
Assuming office
20 March 2019
Prime MinisterAskar Mamin
SucceedingNursultan Nazarbayev
Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan
In office
16 October 2013 – 20 March 2019
PresidentNursultan Nazarbayev
Preceded byKairat Mami
In office
11 January 2007 – 15 April 2011
PresidentNursultan Nazarbayev
Preceded byNurtai Abykayev
Succeeded byKairat Mami
Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
In office
12 March 2011 – 16 October 2013
Preceded bySergei Ordzhonikidze
Succeeded byMichael Møller
4th Prime Minister of Kazakhstan
In office
1 October 1999 – 28 January 2002
PresidentNursultan Nazarbayev
Preceded byNurlan Balgimbayev
Succeeded byImangali Tasmagambetov
Personal details
Born (1953-05-17) 17 May 1953 (age 66)
Almaty, Kazakhstan
Political partyNur Otan
Alma materMoscow State Institute of International Relations

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (Kazakh: Қасым-Жомарт Кемелұлы Тоқаев; born 17 May 1953) is a Kazakh politician and diplomat. He is scheduled to take office as the President of Kazakhstan, succeeding Nursultan Nazarbayev who resigned on 19 March 2019 after 28 years.[1] He was Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan from 16 October 2013 to 19 March 2019 and from 11 January 2007 to 15 April 2011.[2] Tokayev served as Prime Minister of Kazakhstan from 1 October 1999 to 28 January 2002 and as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva from 12 March 2011 to 16 October 2013.

Career in Soviet Union

His father, Kemel Tokayev (1923–1986), was a veteran of the Second World War and a well-known Kazakh writer. His mother, Turar Shabarbayeva (1931–2000), worked at the Alma-Ata Institute of Foreign Languages. In 1970, Tokayev joined the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. In his fifth year, he was sent to training courses at the Soviet embassy in China for six months. Upon graduation from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1975, Tokayev joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR and was posted to the Soviet Embassy in Singapore. In 1979, he returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. In 1983, he went to China for training courses at the Beijing Language Institute. In 1984–1985, he served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was then posted to the Soviet embassy in Beijing where he served until 1991 as Second Secretary, First Secretary, and Counsellor. In 1991, he enrolled at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR in Moscow in a training course for senior diplomats.

Domestic policy

In 1992, Tokayev was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In 1993, he became First Deputy Foreign Minister and in 1994 he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. In March 1999, he was promoted to the post of Deputy Prime Minister. In October 1999, with the endorsement of the Parliament, he was appointed Prime Minister by Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In January 2002, he resigned and was subsequently appointed Secretary of State – Minister of Foreign Affairs. Tokayev continued to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs until January 2007 when he was elected Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Tokayev held the post of Foreign Minister for ten years (1994–1999, 2002–2007).

As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tokayev played an active role in the field of nuclear non-proliferation. In 1995 and 2005, he participated in the Review Conferences for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in New York. In 1996, he signed the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in New York, and in 2005 the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone in Central Asia (CANWFZ) in Semipalatinsk. He was elected Chairman of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States and of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Tokayev took part in ten sessions of the United Nations General Assembly.

He holds the diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

As Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, Tokayev was elected in 2008 Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

His view on the political system of Kazakhstan: "Strong President, authoritative Parliament, accountable Government" (said at the Parliamentarian Conference in Astana, 24 November 2014).

With regard to the controversial amendments to the Land Code pertaining to lease and sale of land, Speaker of the Senate Tokayev said: “We should not only give assurances that agricultural lands will not be sold to foreigners. We must ensure the implementation of this important provision by legislative and other means so that nobody could come up with an idea of circumventing this requirement through various dodgy schemes. And most importantly, it is essential to carry out the President’s demand on the national jurisdiction over the land as well as its efficient and rational use”. Tokayev made these comments during the parliamentary hearings in the Senate on 29 April 2016.

On the issue of the translation of the Kazakh language into Latin script at the parliamentary hearings on education on 22 September 2017, said: "We have to fulfill the task of strategic importance - transiting to the Latin script. As the head of state noted, the translation of Kazakh into Latin is a step towards integration into the global system of science and education, ensuring our spiritual unity. We need to conduct this work thoughtfully and gradually, without "big leaps". But there is no point in delaying it either. The main thing is that we do not have the right to make mistakes."

Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev with Sergey Lavrov and John Kerry on 13 September 2013

In March 2011, the Secretary-General of the United Nations announced the appointment of Tokayev as Under Secretary-General, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva,and Personal Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to the Conference on Disarmament. He served as Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament. He was also the Designated Official for safety and security of UN personnel for Switzerland.

Tokayev holds a Doctorate in Political Science. He is the author of nine books and numerous articles on international affairs. He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, a member of the Panel of Eminent Persons at the Munich Security Conference, an Honorary Professor of Shenzhen University, an Honorary Professor and Doctor of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, as well as a member of its Board of Trustees. He is also Honorary Dean of the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations. As Director-General of UNOG, he received the "Academicus" award from the University of Geneva. According to the Russian Biographic Institution, Tokayev was admitted as a "Person of the year - 2018".

Personal life

Tokayev is fluent in Kazakh, Russian, English and Chinese, and has knowledge of French. He is the recipient of several state awards from the Republic of Kazakhstan and other countries. He was President of the Table Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan for 13 years. Tokayev is married and has a son.


  1. ^ "Kazakh President Nazarbaev Abruptly Announces Resignation". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  2. ^ https://en.tengrinews.kz/kazakhstan_news/Kairat-Mami-to-be-the-new-Senate-Speaker--942/

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Nurlan Balgimbayev
Prime Minister of Kazakhstan
Succeeded by
Imangali Tasmagambetov
  • Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva [1]