UN RC statement International Parliamentary Conference “Institute of the Presidency: Kazakhstan Model”, dedicated to the Day of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Speech dedicated to the Day of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Distinguished participants,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to be here with you and speak on behalf of the UN system in Kazakhstan. I would like to thank the Majilis of the Parliament for organizing today’s conference.

Kazakhstan has achieved tremendous development since its independence 28 years ago.   From the very first days of its independence under the leadership of the First President, Kazakhstan strategically worked on forward-looking initiatives.  And through many such actions, Kazakhstan grew into influencing the tone and practices for other Member States to follow.

Having served in Kazakhstan for 4 years already as the United Nations Resident Coordinator, I can probably say that I have become a witness of Kazakhstan’s tireless effort for contributing towards international peace, security and development.

What I particularly appreciate is that many of Kazakhstan’s international contributions have been made to promote multilateralism, often through the prism of the United Nations.  

In the areas of peace and security, Kazakhstan has demonstrated leadership in the region, promoting stability in the country and beyond, based on a good understanding of today’s inter-dependent world.  Numerous groundbreaking initiatives were carried out under the First President. 

Kazakhstan’s effort after decommissioning of the nuclear test site in Semipalatinsk led to the UN’s decision to designate 29 August the International Day against Nuclear Tests; The country has actively promoted the Non-proliferation Treaty, and contributed towards UN’s adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. It has launched the world’s first Low-Enriched Uranium Fuel Bank under the auspices of the United Nations. 

Furthermore, Kazakhstan has promoted inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, and hosted the Astana process on Syria. Kazakhstan played an important role in the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member in 2017-2018, working for global peace while bringing to its agenda the priorities of Central Asia and Afghanistan.

Kazakhstan also undertook numerous reforms under the First President's leadership. In pursuit of the vision contained in the Strategy 2050, Kazakhstan embarked on the Five Institutional Reforms and subsequent initiatives, which provided impetus, among other things, to  building merit-based civil service and culture of accountability, realizing equality of all persons before the law, tackling corruptions and promoting transparency, and economic diversification.

At the same time, Kazakhstan also committed to develop a green economy.  The country ratified the Paris Agreement on the climate change, and hosted the Astana International EXPO 2017 dedicated to the theme of "Future Energy”, demonstrating its commitment to carry forward the global Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Domestically, it has adopted the Green Economy Concept with a clear target of increasing the share of renewable energy sources to 10% by 2030 and renewable and alternative sources to 50% by 2050.

These are just a few examples of how Kazakhstan started to build its many foundations under the First President that turned the country into a confident upper middle-income country.  Now therefore, the country has the opportunity to build on these progresses.

If the first decades of independence were spent to shape its overall economy and governance, now increasingly, the Government pays attention to ensuring that all people in every corner of this country enjoy higher quality of life, supported by the Government that effectively listens and responds to the needs of the people it serves. 

In this context, we were glad to see President Tokayev attending the UN General Assembly in September, at which he stressed continuity, justice and progress.  He pointed out that conflicts, lack of trust, disparities, and environmental problems are posing existential challenges for the countries in Central Asia and spoke of Kazakhstan’s ongoing effort to work on them.  Domestically, he committed to building a modern welfare state, in which everyone enjoys inclusive society and robust economy, accompanied by profound political transformation.

These domestic priorities are quite in sync with the global effort to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – the SDGs.  An effort to leave no one behind from enjoying the full benefit of development and human rights: the right of all women and men, girls and boys to live healthy, their right to education, right to have decent jobs, and right to live with dignity free from discrimination and violence.  Achieving them indeed will need an effective and meaningful citizens feedback system, a Government that is accountable to the people, and an effort to develop an inclusive and diversified economy.

So, I see today Kazakhstan that continues to build on and push forward the immense reform and development efforts initiated by the First President.  The UN is here to support.  With the global reform of the UN also taking place, the 19 UN agencies present in Kazakhstan are committed to redouble our effort to work more coherently, efficiently and effectively under the empowered leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator who now reports directly to the UN Secretary-General.  This way, we will continue to support Kazakhstan to achieve its development vision of joining the top 30 most developed countries in the years to come.

Thank you.

UN entities involved in this initiative
UNDP
United Nations Development Programme