Issue No 266 FRIDAY, 17 AUGUST 2012 www.mfa.kz
A bi-weekly online publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Minister of Foreign Affairs addresses OIC Summit
Kazakhstan celebrates its Olympic achievement
Describes Organizationâ€™s growing dynamism
Roll on Rio!
Things to Watch President visits Intellectual School of Physics and Mathematics
Also in the News
Confirms plan for 20 schools
Drive to combat economic crime and corruption continues Reform of Law Enforcement gathers pace Re-certification of employees drives change
Progress to date and new objectives outlined
Ministry of Culture and Information supports the Society of Universal Labor Minister calls on journalists to take a new focus ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 266 / 1
Minister of Foreign Affairs addresses OIC Summit Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov led Kazakhstan’s delegation at the Extraordinary Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that took place in the holy city of Makkah Al Mukarramah (Mecca) on August 14-15. Heads of State and Government and Foreign Ministers from 57 member states participated in the meeting. Addressing the Summit, the Minister highlighted Kazakhstan’s approach to the current issues on the OIC’s agenda as it enters the final phase of its chairmanship of the Organization. In line with President Nazarbayev’s view of the future of the Islamic World, Kazakhstan is committed to its modernization on the basis of regional stability, gradual political renewal and development of its economic and other potential. The Minister raised several issues, including the OIC’s cooperation with Central Asian countries, support for Palestine and Afghanistan, countering poverty and developing a system of food security. He also called on OIC countries to support Kazakhstan’s bid to host the EXPO-2017 international exhibition. On August 13, Mr Kazykhanov addressed the Summit meeting of OIC Foreign Ministers. He spoke about the escalating conflict in Syria and the threat to regional stability. Recognizing the worsening humanitarian situation and the catastrophic reality of civil war, he urged the OIC to create an atmosphere conducive to a full cessation of all forms of violence and the beginning of a transitional process based on dialogue and broad participation of the Syrian people. Kazakhstan remains firmly committed to the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of OIC Member States. Any decision on the maintenance of international peace and security is the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council. Kazakhstan believes that a radical measure such as the suspension of OIC membership should only be taken very carefully and Mr Kazykhanov urged the OIC to demonstrate solidarity with Syria in its time of need. The Chairmanship of Kazakhstan has set as an overriding priority the economic, social and political modernization of the OIC. The setting up of the OIC Human Rights Commission was a major milestone. Mr Kazykhanov stressed the need to develop the conflict prevention and mediation capacity of the Organization, citing Kazakhstan’s support of Palestine’s claim to establish a sovereign and independent state. Applauding the success of recent parliamentary and presidential elections held in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, the Minister pledged ongoing support to other countries in such endeavors, just as Kazakhstan offered practical help to the success of electoral processes in Tunisia and Algeria by sending national observers to monitor parliamentary elections. In the spirit of the OIC Charter which stipulates the need to assist Muslim minorities and communities outside the Member States, Mr Kazykhanov expressed the grave concern of Kazakhstan in relation to reports of violence against Rohingya Muslim minorities in Arakan province and other parts of Myanmar. Kazakhstan supports the setting up of a joint fact-finding committee and contact group and welcomes the positive reaction of the Myanmar authorities to the appeals of the OIC and the international community.
Participants in the 4th Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit initiated by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Makkah Al Mukarramah, Saudi Arabia, on 14-15 August
Mr Kazykhanov next turned his attention to Africa, reiterating OIC endorsement of the territorial integrity of Sudan and calling for the re-establishment of the constitutional order, territorial integrity and sovereignty of Mali. He also called for support of the proposal put forward by the President of Kazakhstan, to devise a food security system which would be on standby to help those African states which still face major humanitarian challenges. Mr Kazykhanov went on to reiterate Kazakhstan’s commitment to the inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue outlined at the Astana OIC meeting. In his closing remarks, the Minister pointed out that the spirit of renewal is demonstrated in the growing dynamism of the OIC: Kazakhstan’s Chairmanship has seen five meetings of the Executive Committee and plans are well underway to open six regional offices, including one in Astana. Following Kazakhstan’s promotion of more interaction with the European Union, the OSCE and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Mr Kazykhanov reiterated Kazakhstan’s proposal that the OIC participate in G20 Summit meetings, in order to further enhance the international visibility of the OIC. Finally, Mr Kazykhanov emphasized that Kazakhstan considers its Chairmanship to be a part of the ongoing process of OIC reform as envisaged in the Ten-Year Program of Action. Kazakhstan is firmly committed to supporting the OIC in adapting to change and moving forward on the path to renewal. Back to Contents
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Kazakhstan celebrates its Olympic achievement As the 2012 Olympics drew to a close in London, Kazakhstan was celebrating its spectacular achievement in the Games. With 13 medals in total, including seven gold, one silver and five bronze, Kazakhstan secured 12th place in the unofficial team rankings. The Games got off to a spectacular start when cyclist Aleksandr Vinokourov claimed a gold medal in the men’s road race on the first full day of competition, unleashing a wave of Olympic fever at home among Kazakhstanis of all generations. The extent of Kazakhstan’s success took other countries by surprise and rapidly became a topic of great interest in the coverage of the Olympics. When, during the first week, Kazakhstan momentarily overtook neighbouring Russia in the unofficial team rankings, the sense of excitement among Kazakhstanis was palpable. The final tally of 13 medals makes this the most successful Olympic Games ever for Kazakhstan. And of course, the country salutes not just the medal-winners, but every one of its Olympic contestants and their support team, for their dedication, hard work and contribution to the success of Team Kazakhstan.
Team Kazakhstan’s medallists: in London Kazakhstan achieved its best ever performance at the Olympic Games
The momentum kept up throughout the Games, with a fitting close for Kazakhstan when the team claimed bronze, silver and gold medals on the closing day.
Here’s how the medals were won: July 28: Cyclist Aleksandr Vinokourov wins a sensational gold medal in the men’s road race, outstripping the favourites to become Olympic champion. ---------------------------------------------------------------July 29: Zulfiya Chinshanlo takes first place in the women’s 53kg weightlifting category. She sets a new world record in the Clean and Jerk (C&J) at 131 kg, and beats the Olympic record for the two events combined – 226 kg. ---------------------------------------------------------------July 31: Maiya Maneza becomes Olympic champion in the women’s 58kg weightlifting category and sets a new Olympic record for the snatch - 245 kg. ---------------------------------------------------------------August 3: Svetlana Podobedova wins a gold medal in the women’s 75 kg weightlifting category after a closely fought contest, also setting a new Olympic record for the C&J at 161 kg. ---------------------------------------------------------------August 4: Ilya Ilin wins a gold medal for the second time in the men’s 94 kg weightlifting category, setting two new world records in the process - for C&J at 233 kg and for the two events combined with a total 418 kg. ---------------------------------------------------------------August 5: Olga Rypakova wins a gold medal in the triple jump with a distance of 14.98 metres, clearing her closest rival by 18 cms. ---------------------------------------------------------------August 6: Daniyal Gadzhiyev wins a bronze medal in men’s 84 kg Greco-Roman wrestling. ---------------------------------------------------------------August 9: Marina Volnova wins a bronze medal in the women’s middle (75 kg) boxing category - becoming the first woman from Kazakhstan to win an Olympic medal in boxing. Gyuzel Manyurova wins a bronze medal in women’s 72kg freestyle wrestling. ---------------------------------------------------------------August 10: Ivan Dychko wins a bronze medal in men’s super heavy (+91 kg) boxing. ---------------------------------------------------------------August 12: Akzhurek Tanatarov wins a bronze medal in men’s 66kg freestyle wrestling. Serik Sapiyev becomes Olympic champion in men’s welter (69 kg) boxing and is awarded the Val Barker trophy for best boxing technique at the Olympics. Adilbek Niyazymbetov wins a silver medal in men’s light heavy (81 kg) boxing. ---------------------------------------------------------------Back to Contents
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President visits Intellectual School of Physics and Mathematics
The Intellectual School of Physics and Mathematics is attended by 510 pupils, each of whom receives a grant from the President. The school in its entirety covers an area of 12,000 m2, with stateof-the-art facilities including multimedia classrooms, a robotics room, sports hall and choreography room. The emphasis is on a fully rounded education and students can choose from 34 afterschool clubs. Students from the Intellectual School have won honours in many national and international Olympiads, as well as competitions in the creative arts and sciences. Back to Contents
Reform of Law Enforcement gathers pace President Nazarbayev meets teachers and students’ parents during his visit to Kokshetau Intellectual School
On a visit to the Intellectual School in Kokshetau on August 10, President Nursultan Nazarbayev reviewed students’ work and met with teaching staff and parents of students. The School specializes in physics and mathematics. The Kokshetau Intellectual School was established in 2009 as part of the state program ‘20 Intellectual Schools of the First President.’ The focus of these schools is on secondary education. There are currently six Intellectual Schools located in Astana, Kokshetau, Semey, Ust-Kamenogorsk, and Taldykorgan. Students at these schools are educated in Kazakh, Russian and English. During his visit, the President confirmed plans to build a total of 20 schools of this kind throughout Kazakhstan. The aim of the schools is to develop an innovative model of secondary education combining best practices from Kazakhstan and around the world that allows students to compete at international level. “These schools will create extremely talented pupils. They teach free thinking and encourage pupils to take up research so that they can become leaders in life. The school is equipped with the most up-to-date facilities; it contains everything that is indispensable to acquiring knowledge. It prepares pupils who will be able to get into the best universities,” the President said. The President also stressed that education remains a top priority for Kazakhstan: “Earlier it was not possible for us to build such schools. The 21st century is one of knowledge and science. In 20-30 years’ time we will reach an entirely new stage – a third industrial revolution will take place and with it completely new technologies will come into use. People with particular skills are needed to master these innovative technologies. We need people who are going to lead Kazakhstan in the 21st century.”
“These schools will create extremely talented pupils. They teach free thinking and encourage pupils to take up research so that they can become leaders in life”
One third of senior employees across all law enforcement bodies in Kazakhstan are being replaced after completion of a re-certification process based on international best practice. The process forms part of the program of reform of the judicial system and law enforcement agencies initiated by President Nazarbayev in 2010. Alik Shpekbayev, head of the law enforcement system section of the Presidential Administration, identified the key aims of the recertification process: to verify the level of professional, military and physical training of employees; and to expose incompetence, corruption and other misconduct. The Higher Certification Commission (HCC) interviewed 349 employees, evaluating their work achievements, test results, professional aptitude and qualifications. A total of 280 (80 %) were selected to undergo re-certification. 69 of these (20 %) failed the re-certification criteria: 29 were dismissed, 28 were demoted and 12 were moved to other positions. A further 26 employees selected for re-certification refused to participate, opting instead to be dismissed from their posts, while the HCC also discharged six people who were above the maximum age limit for their positions.
A total of 98,617 law enforcement employees will complete a recertification process across Kazakhstan
To reinforce the work of the HCC, new proposals on policy and legislation relating to employees of law-enforcement bodies, as well as measures to improve their material and social security, have been submitted to the President for consideration. Various state bodies and law enforcement agencies, as well as representatives of civil society and academia, continue to work together with the support of international organisations such as the OSCE on modernization of the criminal justice system. ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 266 / 4
The Government of Kazakhstan recognizes that such reform is a key element in strengthening human rights. Kazakhstan is a signatory to over 60 universal and multilateral treaties on human rights as well as seven UN human rights conventions and is fully committed to integrating into legislation the international standards contained in these agreements. Legal and judicial reform is just one element of the far-reaching program of reform in Kazakhstan, which includes measures to promote decentralization, develop civil society, tackle corruption and improve the business environment. While considerable progress has already been made, the full implementation of such reforms requires time and must be conducted with the greatest care to maintain stability. Back to Contents
Drive to combat economic crime and corruption continues
Rashid Tusupbekov (third from left), Head of Financial Police
On August 10, the Chairman of the Agency for Countering Economic Crime and Corruption, Rashid Tusupbekov, told a meeting of the agency’s collegium that in the first half of this year, the financial police registered 5,125 crimes: 1,107 were linked to corruption while the remaining 3,572 were classified as economic crimes. The total amount involved was 70 billion tenge (roughly USD 4.69 billion) – of which 29 billion tenge (roughly USD 1.4 billion) have already been recovered by the agency. The drive to reduce economic crime and corruption continues, with a series of new laws and amendments to existing legislation well underway and other measures in force.
“Commercial organizations need to understand that if they want to receive state budget funds for their work, they will have to be completely open about their financial activities” For example, the Chairman said that significant relief had been provided to the business sector by reducing the number of checks on small and medium-size businesses and keeping to a minimum the reasons for law-enforcement agencies to contact employers. There are now severe restrictions on carrying out such business checks in the absence of clear indications of crime. Two legislative amendments to improve transparency in the state tendering process are currently under consideration. The first would oblige state bodies to publish details of tender
winners, enabling the general public to compare prices paid by the state for goods and services with their current market value. The second would make freely available information on the movement of funds paid out on state tenders. “Commercial organizations need to understand that if they want to receive state budget funds for their work, they will have to be completely open about their financial activities,” said Mr Tusupbekov. New laws on ‘Financial Policing Bodies’ and ‘Administrative Procedure’ are also being drafted, while the ‘Law on Countering Corruption’ is to be amended and supplemented; these legislative measures are in line with amendments to the Departmental Programme for Countering Corruption. Finally, Mr Tusupbekov called for increased cooperation between state bodies and civil institutions in developing further measures to prevent corruption and economic crime. Back to Contents
Ministry of Culture and Information supports the Society of Universal Labor Media representatives should present the public with professional portraits of real working people, Minister of Culture and Information, Darkhan Mynbay said at a meeting on how to implement the new program set out by President Nazarbayev in July 2012: “Social Modernization of Kazakhstan: 20 Steps to a Society of Universal Labor.” The central idea of the Society of Universal Labor is to build a modern economy that is resilient in the face of crisis and has social justice at its core. The President has stressed that for this to be achieved, every Kazakhstani must understand the need for labor that benefits both the individual and society as a whole. To ensure that the national media supports this aim, the Ministry of Culture and Information is to devise a State program entitled: “Information Kazakhstan 2030.” The Minister cited as an example the Olympic medal-winners of Kazakhstan: “These are people who by their hard work and talent have brought honour to our country.” Mr Mynbay also outlined a number of measures already underway to implement the program. Work is well advanced on a new draft code of journalism ethics and the Minister reminded journalists that there is a precedent for such a code as a powerful tool in addressing key strategic questions in society: the first such code, drafted back in 1997, was of crucial importance for reporting on intercultural and interfaith relations within Kazakhstan. In a measure aimed at increasing the accountability of state employees, Mr Mynbay proposed that the media should publish columns with readers’ comments and replies from local state bodies. The Minister emphasized that people living in the regions placed particular trust in the media; many of them come to editorial offices with their problems and this could be deployed to improve the work of state bodies. Finally, the Ministry of Culture and Information is drawing up a draft five-year plan for modernizing national cultural output. The aim is to provide the younger generation with positive role models that they currently lack, by encouraging national cultural productions showing a positive portrayal of work, honest professional success as well as service to the country and patriotic ideals. ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 266 / 5
Also in the News…
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• On August 9 in Astana, Vladimir Shkolnik, Chairman of the Board of Kazatomprom JSC met with Herman Nackaerts, Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The meeting focused on developing a pilot project together with the IAEA for tracking and monitoring natural uranium, to further strengthen the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The IAEA delegation was interested in the quality of products extracted in Kazatomprom plants and in how the company planned to ensure nuclear environmental safety on the ground. Shkolnik said that Kazatomprom is looking into putting a number of its uranium extraction and processing plants under IAEA guarantees. • According to Kazakhstan’s Agency of Statistics, Kazakhstan’s foreign trade turnover from January – June stood at USD 66.7 billion; up 14.2 % from 2011. Exports amounted to USD 46.8 billion (+10.8 %), imports - USD 19.9 billion (+23.2 %). Exports to countries in the Customs Union equalled USD 3.265 billion (-15.6 %), imports - USD 7,986 billion (+6 %). • On August 14, Alikhan Smailov, the Head of the Statistics Agency, reported that Kazakhstan’s population increased by 118,500 people from January – June 2012. According to current data, on July 1 2012 the population stood at 16.79 million people: the urban population was made up of 9.19 million people and the rural population of 7.60 million people, Smailov said. He also reported that in comparison with the start of 2012, the population density in the country as whole increased by 118,500 people or 0.7 %. Real population growth from January – June 2012 amounted to 114,900 people. • JSC Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s national air carrier, has announced that from August 21 2012 it is going to increase the number of flights from Almaty to New Delhi – India’s business and education centre. In addition to the existing three flights, new flights have been scheduled for Tuesdays and Fridays. This will allow economic and financial links between India and Kazakhstan to grow, and will satisfy the mutual demand for air transport services. The air company started flying from Almaty to Delhi September 4 2004. • At the festival “Kazakhstan: Kaleidoscope of Movies” held at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, 13 Kazakh films were shown. 13 films made by Kazakhstani directors over the past five years were selected for the festival. American experts took part in the selection procedure. The program was made up of six documentaries, which included ‘Dialogue through the Steppe’ (directed by Armand Assante and Erken Yalgashev), and ‘In search of Tengri’ (Rustem Abdrashov); and seven artistic films which included ‘Letters to an Angel’ (Yermek Shinarbayev), ‘The Tale of the Pink Rabbit’ (Farkhat Sharipov), ‘Ryvok’ (Kanagat Mustafin) and ‘Kelin’ (Yermek Tursunov).
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Things to Watch… • The Eighth International Film Festival ‘Eurasia,’ will take place on September 17-22 in Almaty. This year films from countries in Central Asia, the CIS, the European Union and Asia will be shown. The program will include an international competition for feature-length films, a Central Asian panorama, the program ‘Dynamic Kazakh Cinema’ and also other programs that are not part of the competition. Juries of the prestigious film critics FIPRESCI and NETPAK will work alongside the international judges. • President Nursultan Nazarbayev has been invited on a state visit to Kyrgyzstan by his colleague Almazbek Atambayev. The visit will take place August 22. The two Presidents will discuss a wide range of issues related to bilateral cooperation. A third high-level meeting of the Supreme Interstate Council is planned to be held as part of the visit to discuss long-term aims for Kyrgyz-Kazakh strategic partnership. The two sides also intend to sign a commemorative declaration on strategic partnership and allied relations marking 20 years of diplomatic relations, as well as a number of other bilateral documents. • On August 23, President Nazarbayev will take part in the second Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (CCTS) in Bishkek. At the end of the Summit which will focus on cooperation in education, science and culture, the leaders intend to sign the Bishkek Declaration. The ‘Agreement on establishing the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (CCTS)’ was signed in 2009 on President Nazarbayev’s initiative. The main objectives of the CCTS founded by Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey are to develop the vast capacity for cooperation between states and their peoples, and to increase joint measures to promote the impressive cultural heritage of Turkic nations. • In Almaty on August 17-19, with the support of the city and regional councils, the third international eco-ethnic festival, ‘Four Es’: Environmental Ethnic Emotional Evolution will take place. The festival welcomes people who care about protecting the natural environment and who lead a healthy lifestyle and are interested in developing themselves in harmony with the environment. • The International Conference “For a Nuclear-Weapon-Free World” will take place on August 27-29 in Astana, Kurchatov and Semey. The events attended by national representatives from different countries give a powerful impetus to broad international support of Kazakhsan’s initiative to rid the world of nuclear weapons. The main organizers are Kazakhstan’s Parliament (Majilis) and the Nazarbayev Center.
ASTANA CALLING is a bi-weekly online publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Please send your requests and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org ASTANA CALLING / ISSUE 266 / 6