Tokayev Highlights Journalists’ Role in Fostering Just Kazakhstan on Mass Media Workers’ Day

ASTANA – The media serves as the people’s voice, national messenger, and spiritual support for society, stated President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev during a ceremony on June 27, ahead of Mass Media Workers’ Day.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed gratitude to media professionals for their hard work and emphasized the unique role of journalists in explaining state policies. Photo credit: Akorda

“Our common goal is to build a just and fair Kazakhstan, a country of equal opportunities for all. I sincerely thank media professionals for their hard work,” said Tokayev, addressing the event attendees, reported the Akorda.

The President emphasized the unique role of journalists in explaining state policies, particularly the new economic course and the country’s efforts to become an advanced state.

“You have made a great contribution to the comprehensive explanation of important initiatives. It is fair to say that we are carrying out all reforms together with you. However, initiating transformation is one thing, and entrenching it is another. For this, public consciousness must be completely renewed,” Tokayev said.

During the speech, the President highlighted the nation’s pivotal values, recent initiatives, and laws aimed at forming a legal culture.

“You know that I recently signed a very important document – the Law On Mass Media, which has improved the mechanisms for  protecting rights and interests of journalists. I am convinced that this document will increase the potential of domestic media and strengthen information independence,” he said.

Kazakhstan’s foreign policy strategy 

In his speech, the President paid particular attention to the country’s foreign policy and upcoming international events.

“Kazakhstan is committed to multilateral cooperation and strongly advocates compliance with the UN Charter as the basis of modern international law. In our foreign policy, we prioritize national interests and advocate the resolution of all disputable issues through rational compromise,” he said.

Kazakhstan is hosting many international events this year, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit next week in Astana.

“It will be one of the most important high-level international forums over the past few years. The summit will be attended by leaders of states representing almost half of the world’s population, as well as heads of influential international organizations, including the UN Secretary General. Holding such a large-scale event testifies to Kazakhstan’s great authority on the global stage,” Tokayev stated.

Kazakhstan’s investment potential 

The country’s economic development was also a key focus at the meeting. Hundreds of capital-intensive projects are being implemented in the country with the assistance of foreign investors to diversify the economy and create new job opportunities. The President mentioned the Pepsico full-scale snack production plant in the Almaty Region and the construction of a copper smelter in the Abai Region.  

“Another key function of the media is to fully and widely inform citizens about economic development. There is much to discuss. There is fierce competition in the world for investments, without which it is difficult to ensure sustainable economic growth. Thanks to the country’s consistent efforts in this direction, the investment attractiveness of Kazakhstan has been growing in recent years,” he said.

National referendum on nuclear power plant

During the meeting, Tokayev also announced that the national referendum on constructing a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan would be held this fall. The government will determine the exact date.

In his state-of-the-nation address last year, Tokayev proposed to hold a national referendum on this issue, emphasizing that any decision regarding the construction of a nuclear power plant is an “extremely significant matter for the country’s future.” The call for a national referendum brings crucial questions about the nation’s energy policy to the forefront.

“There are varying opinions on the need for a nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan. On one hand, as the world’s largest uranium producer, we should have our own nuclear generation capabilities. Some experts advocate for plants with smaller reactors. On the other hand, many citizens and experts express safety concerns, especially given the tragic history of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site,” Tokayev said in his 2023 address.

The construction of a nuclear power station has long been on the national agenda, even before the President voiced the idea in his state-of-the-nation address in 2021. 

In February 2022, Tokayev addressed an expanded government meeting, stating that without clean nuclear energy, Kazakhstan “will lose the entire economy, not to mention investments, and lose regional leadership.”

Awards for distinguished journalists

Tokayev concluded his speech by emphasizing that hundreds of independent media outlets and resources operate in Kazakhstan, presenting various processes in the country from different perspectives and critically evaluating the activities of government bodies.

“The state’s power stems from its people’s creative energy and patriotism. As a result, all of our large-scale transformations are centered on people, allowing them to fully express their creativity. For us, it is not the reforms themselves that are crucial; our reforms are not for rhetorical purposes, but for action. Their primary purpose is to instill confidence in the future and prosperity for all of our citizens,” Tokayev said.

The President presented state awards to media professionals who have significantly contributed to the development of journalism and television in the country.

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