Kazakh president cites 10 key challenges for world to tackle
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev has in an address to the nation on the occasion of the country's 20th Independence Day focussed on ten key challenges that the people of his country and the Central Asian region at large need to address to ensure a better future for themselves.
He said that the first challenge is accelerating the course of history. President Nazarbayev said that the world is changing at a fascinating pace, and appeared to issue a warning about the need to halt the population explosion to ensure that the fruits of development benefit one and all.
"Over the last 60 years, the population of the Earth has tripled and will reach nine billion people
by 2050. During the same period the world's GDP has increased eleven fold," he said.
The second challenge, he said, is the global demographic imbalance, which is increasing every day.
"Globally we are an ageing population. In 40 years, the number of people above the age of 60, will exceed the number of children under 15. Low birth rates and aging in many countries will inevitably cause problems in the labor market, including workforce shortage," the Kazakh president said.
He described food security as the third challenge facing the world.
"High rates of global population growth are contributing to the global shortage of food. This shortage in food presents a great opportunity for Kazakhstan. We are already among the top grain exporters in the world. We possess vast "green" territories that are capable of producing eco-friendly foodstuffs," Nazarbayev said.
The fourth challenge is the water shortage, he said.
"Global water resources are also under great pressure. In the last 60 years, the global demand for drinking water supplies has increased eight fold. By the middle of this century, many countries
will have to import water," he warned during his speech.
Global energy security is another key concern.
"All developed countries are increasingly investing in alternative and green energy technology. Estimates indicate that by 2050 their usage will help generate up to 50 percent of the entire energy consumed. Kazakhstan is one of the key elements of global energy security," Nazarbayev said.
A sixth challenge facing Kazakhstan and the rest of the world is the exhaustion of natural resources, said the Kazakh president, adding: "We have been blessed with abundant natural resources and other countries will need to rely on us for their resource needs."
He also said that the third Industrial Revolution is inevitable, and placed emphasis on the need to focus on digital technology and nanotechnology, robotics, regenerative medicine and many other kinds of scientific progress, which he added would become an ordinary part of life and transform not only the environment, but also human beings.
He also dwelled on the issue of unemployment, which was a factor cuaising growing social instability.
"Today, over 200 million people in the world fail to find jobs," Nazarbayev said.
He highlighted the crisis of our civilization's values.
The tenth and final challenge was the threat of a new global destabilization.