“Policing in Multi-Ethnic Kazakhstan” Project Presented in Astana
June 26. MFA
A presentation of a project “Policing in multi-ethnic Kazakhstan” has been held in Astana’s Palace of Independence on June 26. The project is implemented by the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan (APK) in cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Kazakhstan, the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek and the OSCE Centre in Astana.
The participants shared their experience in building relationships between government agencies and ethno-cultural associations. The OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities presented recommendations on the issues of policing in a multicultural society, having mentioned a number of other aspects of the project. The APK, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the OSCE High Commissioner and the OSCE Centre in Astana signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
According to the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities Knut Vollebaek, the project will not only strengthen inter-ethnic relations, but also increase the operating efficiency of the police.
“The project reflects a view according to which policing that takes into account the multi-ethnicity of society, can make a significant contribution to the prevention of ethnic tensions and conflicts. We will introduce different approaches to the relevant departments through cooperation and exchange of experience, thus benefitting the entire society,” Vollebaek said.
At the same time the idea is aimed at eliminating the perception of the police as a catalyst for conflict and a tool of oppression. “The police will be more effective and trustworthy, while good relationships and cooperation will be facilitated, as these are the key elements of effective policing,” the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities concluded.
“The Government of Kazakhstan understands that human rights, including minority rights cannot be respected and maintained without a competent, professional police force. I appreciate the role of the police in ensuring order, peace and prosperity in our increasingly diverse societies, but the credibility of the police depends on police servicemen themselves,” Vollebaek stated.
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Kairat Tynybekov attended the presentation of the project and said the Ministry fully supports the initiative, as well as the OSCE’s efforts to improve policing in multi-ethnic states, including Kazakhstan.
In Tynybekov’s words, over the recent years the Interior Ministry of Kazakhstan has undergone a number of changes, which helped increase its efficiency. The Ministry is gradually introducing new technologies to facilitate its work. The crime prevention system, including ethnical conflict prevention has been improving. Crime rate monitoring is held in the country and close attention is paid to conflicts where victims and offenders are of different nationalities. Crime detection is accompanied by explanatory work with representatives of various ethnic groups.
Deputy Chairman of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan Yeraly Tugzhanov, in turn, said that policing is important in any multi-ethnic society and can make a significant contribution to the prevention and timely resolution of conflicts.
He noted that since 2008, the Assembly, together with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, implemented the Agreement and Plan of joint actions, which formed the basis of the project “Policing in multi-ethnic Kazakhstan”.
In February-March 2012, the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities held consultations with the APK and developed proposals on policing in the multicultural society. Preparing these proposals, the Office of the High Commissioner based itself on recommendations developed in 2006 on policing in a multicultural society. These recommendations include proposals to the OSCE member states on developing policies and legislation that strengthen inter-ethnic relations and improve the efficiency of the police.