The country of Kazakhstan, in central Asia, has progressed from being a participant in the IEC's Affiliate Country Programme to its new status as Associate Member. This brings the IECs total membership to 63 countries.
The move gives Kazakhstan the right to participate in all technical meetings, and in the Council and SMB meetings held within the framework of the IEC annual general meeting. It also has access rights and can comment on all IEC technical documents, and can ask to become a participating member on a maximum of four technical committees.
The Affiliate Country Programme, created in 2001, offers newly-industrialising countries a form of participation in the IEC without the financial burden of actual membership.