NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan’s tenth Civil Forum opened in Nur-Sultan and Almaty on Nov. 22. It gathered approximately 20,000 representatives of NGOs, government bodies and experts under the slogan: “30 years of partnership for sustainable development of society and the state, reports the Ministry of Information and Social Development.
The forum is the largest dialogue platform in the country, which brings together civil society, authorities and entrepreneurs with the non-governmental sector. Such international partners as OSCE, UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO, USAID and Friedrich Ebert Foundation will participate for the first time in the event.
The event which will last through Nov. 26 is being held in Nur-Sultan and Almaty both online and offline due to quarantine restrictions.
The anniversary forum is devoted to the continuity and consistency of the country’s modernization policy, democracy development and the expansion of civil participation in state management during the last 30 years of Kazakhstan’s independence.
Panel discussions, facilitation and panel sessions will be held on more than 30 discussion platforms.
In her welcoming speech, Kazakh Minister of Information and Social Development Aida Balayeva noted that the forum is an event of national significance.
“The Civil Forum is not a declarative-protocol meeting of NGOs, but a real working process where ideas and initiatives are born, where ministers and akims (mayors) as well as civil activists draw up plans of joint action, where the state delegates the solution of certain social problems to NGOs,” said the minister, pointing out the the country’s civil sector has grown to become the most developed public institution in Central Asia.
On Nov. 22, the participants discussed such issues as Sustainable Development Goals, national human rights institutions, ecology, education, health care, civil society’s role and the fight against human trafficking.
According to Banu Nurgaziyeva, who serves as the president of Kazakh Civil Alliance, the main idea behind the country’s largest such event is to foster a global view of Kazakh civil society.
“We want to analyze history, present and forecast the future, taking into account current issues of civil society development. The program of the Civil Forum will allow all participants to talk about systematic issues and solutions of joint cooperation of state bodies and NGOs,” she added.
During the forthcoming discussions, participants will raise such issues as Open Government Partnership, inclusiveness, support for entrepreneurial initiatives, and international cooperation issue at the international conference within the forum.
Non-governmental organizations that have made significant contributions to Kazakhstan’s independence and the national development of civil society will receive the Tandau (choice) award at the end of the event.