ASTANA – The first Kazakhstan ski expedition to the North Pole has conquered the extreme northern tip of the world on April 15 and planted three flags on the Pole: the national flag of Kazakhstan;the flag of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, which marks its 20th anniversary this year; and a flag designed specifically as part of Kazakhstan’s bid to win a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2017–2018.
The expedition was organised by the Kazakh Geographic Society (KazGeo) with support from the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (APK), the Kazakh Foreign Ministry and the Kazakhstan Bloggers’ Alliance. The expedition started its journey to the North Pole on March 31.
The group of eight people started its journey to the North Pole in Almaty, then flew to Norway and on to the island of Spitsbergen. From Spitsbergen the group flew to Barneo, a temporary ice base established annually on an ice floe in the vicinity of the pole. The main part of the ski expedition to its final destination started from the Barneo base.
“The expedition was quite tough. We have been at the dome of the planet, in difficult conditions. We walked down the frozen ocean, leaped over cracks in the ice, overcame a lot of obstacles, and stayed in tents. We had a mission: to set up on the northernmost point of Earth the flags of Kazakhstan and the APK,” said Sergei Bodrov, one of the members of the expedition to the North Pole.
According to head of KazGeo Nurlan Abduov, Kazakh scientists and travellers have even more ambitious plans for future. “In 2016 in December we will organise an expedition to the four poles to mark the 25thanniversary of our independence: the Pole of Inaccessibility, the Magnetic Pole, the Pole of Cold and the Geographic South Pole. Our biggest dream is certainly opening a station [on on the Antarctica],” said Abduov.
Established in 2010, KazGeo seeks to popularise geography and natural science in the country, as well as to promote travelling as a way to learn more about the world, and to popularise knowledge about Kazakhstan internationally by arranging thematic expeditions to various parts of the world.
Kazakhstan is vying to become the first Central Asian state to serve on the UN Security Council in 2017–2018. Thailand is the sole competitor for the nonpermanent seat representing Asia during the term. Kazakhstan’s campaign is being promoted under the slogan “United for Global Security” and highlights food, water, energy and nuclear security, as priorities.