Stability. Unity. Modernization. Under the chairmanship of President Nursultan Nazarbayev the XIX session of the Kazakhstan People’s Assembly (KPA) opened yesterday

Apr 28. Kazpravda

By Laura Tussupbekova, Vladimir Kuriatov

Stability. Unity. Modernization. Under the chairmanship of President Nursultan Nazarbayev the XIX session of the Kazakhstan People’s Assembly (KPA) opened yesterdayEach session of the Assembly is a landmark in the country’s development. This time the President set new tasks in the social modernization, outlined the part of the KPA, executive and representative bodies at all levels in this process. The Government is requested to draft the concept for the state youth policy throughout the year 2020.

Confident in the future

The agenda of the session comprised an important triune issue: stability, unity and modernization, which the President called the core values of Kazakh society and main condition for the development of independent Kazakhstan.

Stability in Kazakhstan, the President went on, is more than 600 new schools built, more than 750 new health centers and hospitals, medical centers, 1.5 million citizens who moved to new apartments and houses.

By 2020 another 1.5 million people will have been employed. Under the industrialization Map, by 2014 over a hundred new productions will be created. This year funding of industrial and innovation program from the NWF is $ 1.3 billion more.

The 2020- Business Roadmap is under implementation. In the current year 37 billion tenge was budgeted to support business. Under the “Employment-2020” program last year nearly 1500 starter businessmen received micro-loans, mostly rural residents.

In short, everyone willing to work can run a farm or other own business and make a good living for the benefit of his family and the country.

Another promising project the President referred to is people’s IPO, a new way to Kazakhstan, a process of creating a powerful new class of owners who live a decent life.

The President touched on the countrywide program for utilities upgrade, for which in 2012 KZT16 billion is budgeted.

Further on, achievements have been noted in healthcare: health trains with the latest equipment that have provided medical assistance to more than 100 thousand dwellers in more than 200 remote villages, medical caravans launched last year, ambulance aircraft to reach remote areas, 183 telemedicine centers through which about 20 thousand distance consultations were provided to patients.

– On the basis of the National Medical Holding heart transplant surgeries were performed. Because of this the Republic is among the 22 developed countries, where cardio-implant technology is applied. The due healthcare has decreased maternal and infant mortality too.

In general, today 87% of Kazakhstanis state stability of their social well-being and confidence in the future, and it is at a time when the whole world is awaiting a new global crisis wave.

Core values

The main value, Nursultan Nazarbayev said, is the national unity – a pledge of irreversible progress. For it the state pursues the policy of tolerance. Ethnic-cultural centers and friendship houses, ethnic theaters, schools and the media are supported. 92% of Kazakhstanis assess the inter-ethnic situation in the country as good. – This is our common achievement.

The pivot of Kazakhstan national unity is equality of civil rights and liberties.

– The freedom of speech is fully exercised in accordance with applicable law, and the situation in this area is much better than in other states of CIS, EurAsEC and SCO, – said the President.

In a number of positions, such as control over non-proliferation of ideas of violence, terrorism and extremism, our laws are much more lenient than theirs, which, he conceded, might not be so good to us. After all, we need to protect ourselves against these dangers.

Separately, the President touched upon the issues of modernization, which is imperative for global development. – The world is in for a new technological revolution, which opens ample opportunities for economic development, improving people’s lives. Kazakhstan has to keep up pace with these processes together with the partners in the Common Economic Space.

Regional integration plays an important role under these circumstances. Therefore, the Eurasian Economic Union is an imperative and a benefit for strengthening of economic independence and future of our country.

In the context of the triunity

As the President said, today the global world is seeking a formula of unity, and it is here in Kazakhstan. In a recent meeting with him the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stressed that the principles of the Assembly- respect and tolerance- are attuned to UN’s principles. – All this suggests that our country is on the right track.

Today a Kazakhstani of any ethnic or religious background is an equal citizen of the country, and Kazakh people and the state language act as a unifying core of the evolving civil commonality. 70% of the state-run media are in Kazakh language, the number of students in schools with Kazakh as language of tuition is 63%. The goal is 95% of the population fluent in Kazakh by the year 2020.

– I have repeatedly said that language is not a political matter and should not be a subject of political speculation. Now it is a matter of practice.

-Today, in any developed country an absolute majority of residents are fluent in 2 or 3 languages. Therefore, in technologically advanced countries chemistry, mathematics, physics, biology are taught in schools and universities mostly in English, the humanities – history, literature and others – in the state language. It is a universal pedagogical approach so that a country does not to fall behind technologically.

The Education and Science Ministry was instructed to work out the application of international experience in the area.

May 31 in our country is the Day of Remembrance for the victims of political repression and famine, – said N.Nazarbayev, and in Astana a monument to the victims of famine will be unveiled on that day.

New tasks

Strengthening of inter-ethnic harmony is an ongoing effort. In this regard, the Head of State set new tasks to the Assembly, the Government, Parliament and executive authorities.

– First, to strengthen Kazakhstan’s tolerance and develop Kazakhstan People’s Assembly. Strategy for the KPA development throughout the year 2020 was drafted for this end. The Assembly is our national wealth. Therefore the regions’ governors are personally accountable for the performance of its branches.

-Second, consistent adherence to the principles of a secular state.

Religion – is a realm of human soul and morals, and the values professed by every religion – Islam, Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestant and other faiths will always be maintained by the state.

A month later Kazakhstan is hosting the IV Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions- our country’s weighty contribution to development of a global tolerance.

The Agency for Religious Affairs was established in Kazakhstan to strengthen cooperation between all the confessions.

Third, the Government is developing a conception for local self-government, which should factor in all the aspects of interethnic and inter-religious interaction locally. The KPA should take a hand in the conception drafting therefore.

Interests of an ordinary man come to the fore, Nursultan Nazarbayev underscored.

Kazakhstan is building an innovative economy, a fair society where everyone can say, “I am a Kazakhstani, and to me all the doors are open!” Work of the Government, the entire executive branch, members of parliament should be suited to this end.

Relying on youth

Kazakhstan is a young country, with every second citizen under the age of 30.

– With you, my young countrymen, I tie hopes for a breakthrough of Kazakhstan in the future! – the President said.

The state is creating conditions for education of the youth, for their decent work and accommodation, sports facilities. In secondary education coverage Kazakhstan is 18th among 182 countries – participants of the Global Competitiveness Index. More than 600 thousand are students of technical and vocational schools that since independence have trained more than 2.4 million professionals.

For the program “With a diploma to a village” for 2012-2014, KZT 21.6 billion is budgeted to attract more than 16 thousand young specialists to work in the rural districts.

In general, the total amount of funding for the national projects “Aul zhastary”, “With a diploma to a village,” “Youth Practice” and “Zhasyl yel” is KZT 37.7 billion.

Construction of 1.2 million square meters of housing is slated for young families by the year 2020. One in four public servants in Kazakhstan is a young specialist.

As for sports: last year alone more than 1.5 thousand new sports facilities opened. Gyms in schools need be fully tapped.

Employment and youth employment is another important area to be tackled. Under the “Employment-2020” program, its important segment is being implemented – “Youth practice”.

In this connection the President referred to the foreign practice- well proven dual system of training workers – in Germany, UK, USA and Republic of Korea. Under this system a vocational school student is also put on OJT. This scheme of training, he believes needs be practiced in Kazakhstan too. In general, he added, employment in the country could be 100% closed now that our economy is short of skilled workers. The “SK” fund was tasked to make a list of core businesses and develop a step by step plan for implementation of the dual model to upgrade the training for a new industrialization.

It is all the more important, as on the industrialization map over 600 projects worth KZT 9.6 trillion are under implementation. It opens almost 370 thousand jobs for young people.

By November, 1 the Government is to draft the concept for the State Youth Policy. Legislation on the state youth policy must be updated by this year-end. Thirdly, the President ordered to form a Committee in the Education and Science Ministry for Youth Policy and relevant structures in the regions.

The fourth task President Nursultan Nazarbayev focused on is formation of new social lifts for young people. In this regard, a lot has been done, with public service as most effective tool in it.

But independent sociological polls show that number one problem to young people continues to be lack of employment and equal starting opportunities. Cases are not infrequent, when alumni of good overseas Universities cannot find jobs and fully unlock their potential. The government was requested to prepare a package of legislative and socio-economic measures enabling social mobility for young people.

In the L.Gumilev Eurasian University a National Research Center “Youth” will be established – task to the Education and Science Ministry. Nur Otan party’s head office will develop a strategy for the youth wing “Jas Otan”.

The President recommended that ministers, deputies, heads of regions met more often with young people. The KPA should take a hand in these measures too.

To be useful to the country, to be responsible for its fate is the duty and honor for every responsible politician, every citizen of Kazakhstan, – said the President.

The President congratulated Kazakhstanis on the Day of the People’s Unity.

We are Kazakhstanis

In the subsequent reactions at the meeting Olga Andrievskaya, head of the Bulgarian ethnic culture center of Astana “Zlata” said that over 20 years of independence Kazakhstan had become a most dynamically developing country with stronger social policies, hundreds of educational and medical facilities, whereas her historical homeland – the Balkans, once flourishing region that had been seeing unending ethnic conflicts became a zone of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Because of the ongoing economic downturn, social programs are being curtailed throughout the world, whereas in our country the state continues to care about its people and their needs allocating huge sums for the treatment of its citizens. She said that in the XXI century only states that can effectively manage inter-ethnic relations, will achieve peace, harmony and friendship between the ethnic groups living in them. In Kazakhstan it is possible due to the President’s prioritizing national cohesion for the state development.

O. Andrievskaya said that all the 63 instructions given by the President at the last 3 KPA sessions have been fully performed and for the formation of national unity the Assembly’s full potential, all the human and intellectual resources were tapped.

As a resident of the capital, she also thanked the leadership of Kazakhstan for Astana – the city that has become the driving force of our country and cultural capital of the Turkic world.

To many people the Kazakh land gave second home, where Kazakhs shared shelter and bread with them. Vilen Molotov-Luchansky, chairman of Karaganda Center for Jewish Culture, said that his grandfather was shot in the harsh 1938, and his grandmother was a prisoner at the infamous Dolinka for 8 years. After her release, she was exiled to Balkhash, and only in 1956 she was rehabilitated. He said that both she and his mother were then saved from starvation by the Kazakhs, which will stay for good in the memory of his descendants.

The speaker heads a scientific expert group of the Assembly studying problems of the modern world, which are enough and to spare: 150 major armed conflicts broke out in the last 70 years in various parts of the world, 127 of them were ethnic conflicts. According to ethnologists, the world’s five thousand ethnic groups are living in a dangerous conflict zone, 300 thousand child soldiers annually participate in the fighting.

The situation is exacerbated by the economic crisis – productions are stopped across the world, jobs are cut, social benefits to vulnerable populations are reduced. At the same time in Kazakhstan in the last two years nearly 400 new industrial projects were launched. Molotov-Luchansky called Kazakhstan a state-peacemaker.

Journalist Elubay Smagul brought up the famine in 1932 which killed half of the nation. He believes this tragedy must be properly assessed and the 80th year of this disaster must be marked decently. In one of his speeches, the head of state said that but for this famine, the number of Kazakhstanis would have been 45-50 million.

– This is the bitter truth. A memorial obelisk will be erected to remember the innocent victims. This monument should remind of that we all should appreciate stability and harmony in our land, understand how fragile this world is and how important it is to do everything to keep it in our land that has experienced many tragic minutes, – said the publicist, whose parents, fleeing famine, went to Turkmenistan, where he spent his childhood.

The chairman of the Russian socio-cultural center of Semey and deputy rector for science and international relations of the Semipalatinsk State Pedagogical Institute, Mikhail Panin, PhD in biology, compared himself with the so-called endemic species that can live only in a certain area.

– I was born to a family of peasants in the village of Kamyshinka of the former Semipalatinsk region; my father was killed in the Great Patriotic War. My illiterate mother raised all six children. And I owe all my achievements to her and the Kazakh people. I was frequently offered to leave this land, but I always refused because my home is here, – said Mikhail Panin.

In search for the formula of harmony

The KPA’s effectiveness is recognized internationally and many countries are interested in Kazakhstan’s know-how, in 2011 alone the Assembly hosted representatives of 16 states. This session’s guest is Lara Sheiko, editor in chief of WORLD of SCIENCE magazine, president of the International Association for Development of Education (IADE), whose headquarters is located in Prague.

She said it was a discovery for her to learn that more than 130 ethnic groups are living in Kazakhstan in harmony and friendship, that there are no small ethnicities. – I have just arrived from Prague, where last Saturday the Czech capital saw demonstrations of trade unions on the Wenceslas Square, in the heart of the city. This is a bad sign, because the Czechs are calm and rational. The whole of Europe today lives a worrying life – the global crisis, instability, tension, ethnic conflicts. The Balkans is more proof of this. Five peoples, living side by side for centuries, have not been able to maintain peace and build a unified community. The result is tens of thousands of the killed, 350 000 refugees over the last few years. All this endangers healthcare, education, assistance to seniors and people with disabilities, – said L. Sheiko.

– Kazakhstan’s 20-year-long experience is unique. The world is watching with interest the rapid development of your country. Sincerity, warmth, generosity and warm hospitality are the hallmarks of your people, – said L. Sheiko.

Leonid Girsch, a 90-year-old poet-soldier, chairman of the regional society of friendship “Kazakhstan-Ukraine” went to the war as a private soldier and returned from it as officer, company commander. He was awarded many military honors. Despite his age, the veteran full of energy and creative daring, he is actively interested in domestic and international developments and has own opinion on every issue. The meeting listened attentively to the veteran who spoke on behalf of his generation that survived in the war and the post-war hard times. He said many of us need to learn to appreciate what is happening in the country, for too difficult was the road to stability and prosperity. It was not easy to maintain peace and harmony in the critical years. Now that the world is raging we need to pool efforts to make our country stronger.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev thanked the veteran for his wise words, and congratulated all the Kazakh veterans on the upcoming Victory Day. The head of state said that the XXI century has in store amazing scientific discoveries and in 10-20 years, the humanity has a chance to live better, provided that human wisdom triumphs, rather than a nuclear war that would lead to global destruction.