ASTANA – President Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed the 20th anniversary session of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan on the subject of “Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy: One Nation – One Country – One Destiny” in the Palace of Peace and Harmony on April 24.
An important highlight of the session was the appointment of two new APK vice-presidents: Alexander Baron, chairman of the Association of Jewish Cultural Centers and Knyaz Mirzoyev, chairman of the Kurdish Barbang Association.
President Nazarbayev said that since its establishment the Assembly has become a major civil institution of the nation.
“Kazakhstan is a territory free of ethnic conflicts. Economic, social and political reforms have been successfully implemented thanks to inter-ethnic peace and harmony. Peace and quiet came to every home. This is the main result of our work,” he said.
“One nation means common national interests and one country is our common Motherland. One destiny is the way we have to overcome national challenges and celebrate our victories. A successful and prosperous Kazakhstan is our common heritage,” the president said.
President Nazarbayev said that the unity of society was especially important, taking into consideration the falling economic ratings of the developed countries and growing fears of a new wave of global recession.
“I am confident that the trends of unity and diversity, with a clearly defined government strategy and good will, do not contradict, but complement each other. It is exactly what we have been doing for all 20 sessions of the Assembly. And this policy has paid off in full,” the president said.
Under the new conditions, the Assembly’s responsibilities will increase. On the eve of its session, the president approved a plan for its development up to 2020. Regional governors have been given the task of drafting programmes for local branches suitable to their ethnic composition. Friendship houses in the regions will become centres to promote social cohesion and initiatives.
President Nazarbayev unveiled a number of new programmes to strengthen national unity. He said that historically, Kazakhs represented the core of nation.
“Modern Kazakhs should follow traditions of their ancestors, they should set an example of unity, tolerance and patriotism, selfless service to the state and society,” he said.
Nazarbayev also emphasized the role of the state language and the need to create a clear vision of the future based on the “Kazakhstan-2050” national strategy.
“In today’s world, according to various estimates, 10 to 25 unwritten languages, big parts of ethnic cultures die out annually, whereas in our country, no ethnic group has lost its language,” the president said, “We encourage the development of all ethnic cultures, even of the smallest groups. The Kazakh land is home to more than 100 ethnic groups. To make all this ethnic diversity into one nation, we need good cement,” he said.
“This image must be real, engaging and inspiring,” he said. “An adequate answer to global challenges can only be provided if we can preserve our cultural code: our language, traditions and values. The activities of the intelligentsia are of particular importance for strengthening national unity. The intelligenstia can lead the spiritual process of social cohesion.”
President Nazarbayev also stressed the importance of developing an effective cooperation model between state, nation and religion. He said the structure of the secular state and society represented historical choice of the nation. The nation of Kazakhstan supported traditional religions but strongly rejected any form of extremism.
“Young people must be protected against radical religious movements that are alien to us. And tolerance is not permissiveness, as some people are apt to think, but a moral norm in our society,” he said.
The president said that during the past two decades, the Kazakhstan Way had become a model for national progress to newly independent states.
“It is the result of hard work and solidarity of all people of Kazakhstan. It expresses the real positive passions of the nation. It is a great ability enjoyed only by strong nations to exercise such toleration and to grow from it. We have become such a people, and must remain so. Kazakhstan is one land, one people, one future,” he said. “This anniversary session of the APK is a good start for this new work to the benefit of all the people of Kazakhstan.”
“We have big plans. Their implementation will take place in the difficult conditions of global transformation. To this end we must be ready today and our every effort should ensure the unity of the people. Because we are one nation – one country – one destiny,” the president said.
Natalya Teghai, the head of the Prigorodnaya School in Semey city, told the APK that in 2012 the Association of Koreans of Kazakhstan dedicated a new monument in the village of Ushtobe, the place where the first Korean emigrants were welcomed by Kazakh people. It was given the inscription “Kazakh halkyna myn algys” or “A thousand thanks to the Kazakh people” in the Kazakh language.
“The monument expresses our gratitude to the nation which has saved us from becoming the dust of history. Today, I am confident in the worthy future of our children and grandchildren, my students,” she said.
Yuri Solozobov, the head of the Russian Center for Strategic Research from Moscow and a guest speaker at the session, said the principle of peace and harmony was the basis of public policy in Kazakhstan.
“The experience of Kazakhstan as the initiator of the integration process and its successful experience and expertise in the field of inter-ethnic tolerance is unique,” he said. “This can and must become the golden standard for the Eurasian and European unions. I am sure that the Assembly should be one of the basic components of the international image of Kazakhstan. It is the multilingual calling card of a successful nation.”
“My father always said that there are things that cannot be forgotten under any circumstances. Thus, in the difficult years for our nation, the Kazakh people shared with us their homeland, the most valuable thing anyone can have,” Zulpiya Chumakova, the director of the Zhezkazgan Historical and Archaeological Museum and a representative of the Chechen-Ingush people, told the Assembly.
Another participant, Sergey Vishnyak, managing director of the Dinar-Electromash Company, said the business sector needed to increase its activities in the Kazakh language.
“I speak from this podium to all businesses – small, medium and large,” he said. “You should learn the Kazakh language if you would like to run a successful business. The Kazakh language is the best business strategy.”
Oleg Danilenko, director general of the Dievskaya agricultural company in the Kostanay region, said inhabitants of the country returning home after living in other countries were also contributing to mutual tolerance and national unity.
“They are coming back to the land of their ancestors, to the land where their friends are, and the land where reconciliation exists. I learned a lesson. We will only have bread if we would have unity,” he said.
Maksut Zhumayev, the head of Kazakhstan’s national mountaineering team, said trust and support were essential for success in national as well as sporting endeavours.
“We live in one country and we have one destiny. I am confident that together we can conquer any peak,” he said.
Zhumaev invited national sporting heroes to come up on to the APK stage. They included Denis Kuzin, the first world champion in speed skating in the nation’s history, World Figure Skating silver medalist Denis Ten, freestyle skiing World Cup silver medalist Dmitry Reyherd, seven-time boxing world champion Gennady Golovkin, and Kazakh kuresy champion of the world and Asia, 18-times winner of the national tournament “Tuye paluany”, champion of Kazakh Barys 2012 Beibit Ystybayev.
President Nazarbayev presented the APK Medals to Sautbek Abdrakhmanov, president of the Egemen Kazakhstan national newspaper; Oleg Dymov, chairman of the Bulgarian Ethnic and Cultural Association; Tuyak Eskozhina, director of the Nur Talgar charity; Mikhail Paripsa, chairman of the Ukrainian Ethnic and Cultural Association in the Pavlodar region; Abulfaz Khamedov, head of the Azerbaijanis Association; and Dina Gallyamova, chairwoman of the Akmola region Association of Children’s and Youth Organisations.
“Harmony and friendship are our priorities in building the future. We need to further strengthen the Assembly’s role, especially in the regions. I think the representatives of local APK groups must visit other regions to share their experiences and learn the achievements. Today the Assembly’s part in the social and political life of the nation is outstanding and no government agency can replace it,” the president said.