Turkic Week in Geneva Highlights Collective Potential for SDG Achievement

ASTANA—The ongoing Turkic Week in Geneva, which runs from April 22 to 25, features a range of events spanning from scientific conferences to cultural performances. The first edition of the initiative prioritized the 2030 global agenda, highlighted the joint commitment, and reviewed the collaborative potential of Turkic states in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Photo credit: Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the UN Office in Geneva.

Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in 2024 follows the TURK TIME motto. Eight pillars, which President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed at the OTS summit last year, stand for traditions, unification, reforms, knowledge, trust, investment, mediation, and energy. 

According to Kazakhstan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva, Ambassador Yerlan Alimbayev, it is crucial that Turkic representatives come together, find new efficient instruments and additional platforms to accelerate the work across the sectors.” In his opinion, the OTS platform is perfectly positioned for this purpose.

Kazakhstan’s Permanent Representative to the UN Office in Geneva Yerlan Alimbayev. Photo credit: Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the UN Office in Geneva.

Kazakhstan plays a decisive role in Turkic unification, precipitating the establishment of interparliamentary and intergovernmental structures, platforms for educational, scientific, and cultural exchange, as well as the creation of investment initiatives and business partnerships.    

It is a particular honor for the permanent mission of Kazakhstan to co-organize such events together with colleagues from the OTS member states and to reconnect with the international partners, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), World Health Organization (WHO), and International Road Transport Union (IRU),” said Alimbayev. 

The program commenced with an inaugural ceremony at the United Nations (UN) office on April 22, followed by an art exhibition on the heritage of the Turkic world. In addition to paintings, the exhibition showcased traditional handicrafts and presented guests with a photo gallery.

Photo credit: Permanent Mission of Kazakhstan to the UN Office in Geneva.

On the same day, representatives of Turkic states addressed the potential of the OTS as an emerging actor for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). On its way towards sustainability, Kazakhstan is committed to ensuring an inclusive future with 80% of the state budget synchronized with SDGs

“As we heard at the conference, OTS is taking advantage of the strategic geographic location and successful experience of our member states, as well as their excellent cooperation with the UN and its specialized agencies to advance towards SDGs,” said the Kazakh diplomat. 

In that sense, Alimbayev noted, the conference presented a unique opportunity to review and assess the potential of the entire Turkic world and individual Turkic organizations to “find common ground for further interaction with UN agencies in transport, customs, labor, health, public-private partnerships, and other areas related to the 2030 sustainable development agenda.”

The Turkic Week will conclude with a gala concert, a diplomatic reception, and a musical performance of composer and pianist Rakhat-Bi Abdyssagin. The musician recently premiered his one-hour opera, “The Bruce,” written for the 750th anniversary of the birth of Robert the Bruce, King of Scots.  

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