United Nations Annual Report Highlights Kazakhstan’s Key Developments in 2022

ASTANA – The United Nations Country Team in Kazakhstan published the UN Kazakhstan Annual Report 2022 on April 1, which outlined the country’s progress in strengthening human rights and gender equality, enhancing social policy and digitalization, developing economic diversification and decarbonization after facing the challenges associated with the January unrest, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the COVID-19 pandemic.   

The UN launched statistical compendium on the older generation of Kazakhstan to measure the Active Longevity Index. Photo credit: The UN Kazakhstan Annual Report 2022.

“The political response by the government generated a profound governance and constitutional reform, aiming at strengthening the social contract and improving efficiency of the state and protection of rights of people. It enhanced implementation of the listening state model, accelerated the diversification of the economy, and strengthened inclusive service delivery. The reforms opened new pathways for cooperation and enhanced further alignment of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) with national priorities and plans,” reads the statement of UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey.  

In 2022, Kazakhstan progressed 15 positions in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index. 

Kazakhstan also boosted exports by nearly 40 percent, equivalent to $84.4 billion.

Despite regional destabilization, the economy of Kazakhstan, an upper-middle income country, grew by 3 percent in 2022 and reached $220.5 billion due to a sharp increase in global oil and gas prices. The highest growth was recorded in the construction (9.4 percent), agriculture (9.1 percent), and information and communications technology (8 percent) sectors. 

The UN, which began its operations in Kazakhstan in 1993, provided expert and technical assistance in the ongoing social safety nets improvement, including the Constitutional Law on the Human Rights Commissioner, the Social Code, the Digital Family Card, the Migration Policy Concept, the Child Well-Being Index, and the Multidimensional Child Poverty Index, which improve access to social assistance, education, employment, and medical care, particularly to refugees and asylum-seekers. 

The Kazakh government also enabled the UN to deliver assistance to the Afghan people and arrange 33 flights between Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, while also supporting the UN in providing academic programs for 31 Afghan women. 

Kazakhstan also ranked 28th on the UN Global E-Government Development Index and 15th on the UN Global E-Participation Index. For example, the E-Qyzmet platform ensures transparency and accountability in the civil service recruitment. The UN developed a similar concept in the selection of judicial candidates, testing a machine learning solution through the work of the Astana Civil Service Hub, strengthening the efficiency of the Supreme Judicial Council.

On its way to building an effective model for green growth, Kazakhstan developed the Strategy on Carbon Neutrality until 2060, the Concept on the Green Economy until 2050, along with the Environmental Code by-laws aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reforming fossil-fuel subsidies, generating renewable energy technologies, and facilitating waste management and biodiversity financing.  

According to the UN Voluntary National Review in the 2022 report, the top five Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Kazakhstan included Health, Education, Poverty, Work and Economic Growth, Clean Water and Sanitation. To advance policies and practices for sustainable urban and rural development, the UN developed the Kazakhstan SDG7 Roadmap. 

Heavy carbonization remains a key development challenge for Kazakhstan. The country ranked 20th among the largest carbon emitters for which 80 percent of carbon emissions stem from the energy sector. However, its unwavering commitment towards creating a sustainable future and the UN multidimensional support will find a new balance between keeping industrial production and mitigating climate change and pollution in 2023. 

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