K.Tokayev: “Mәңgіlіk El” is the national idea and the state ideology of Kazakhstan
Jan 21. Kazpravda
By Sauytbek ABDRAKHMANOV
Senate Speaker K.Tokayev reflects on the President’s state-of-the-nation Address.
Q: You have many years of experience as foreign minister, head of the government, of the Senate, and in the recent years – the UN Undersecretary General. You met prominent statesmen and had the opportunity to look at Kazakhstan from outside. How is our country positioned in the modern world?
A: Indeed, while working in Kazakhstan and abroad, I had the opportunity to meet, talk and negotiate with major public figures. Being in the UN, I was certainly keeping a close track of developments in our country, rejoicing at its achievements under the authoritative leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Frankly, I was proud to be representing Kazakhstan that became an influential state in this complex and contradictory world.
Kazakhstan is perceived abroad as a country that has made impressive progress in state-building and the economy in a historically short time. In the UN Kazakhstan has a special status of a fast developing nation. Against the backdrop of many countries labeled as “failed states” it is an undisputable success, of our President in the first place, who is recognized by the international community as a politician of a global scale. Powerful, stable and dynamic Kazakhstan has become a serious factor in the global and regional security.
Development of Kazakhstan fits well into the positive global trends. Our country has won international credibility as a reliable partner. Kazakhstan has become an integral part of the world community. It is respected for a real contribution to nuclear disarmament, strengthening of international security, integration and multilateral economic cooperation.
Q: How is the President’s work assessed in the world community? You have once said that the phenomenon of Nazarbayev emerged at the junction of two continents – Europe and Asia, two civilizations – eastern and western, two political systems – totalitarianism and democracy. What could you say about the part of the President in the mentioned achievements?
A: The whole world knows and respects our President as an outstanding leader, reformer and strategist. We can safely say that our country was very lucky to have Nursultan Nazarbayev at the helm at a most crucial time in its history.
As UN Undersecretary General, I met with many heads of state, watched their activities and came to the conclusion that in the modern world there are no such leaders as our President, in terms of strategic thinking, experience and standing. It was he who turned the former Soviet republic into a successful state, a regional power that all the leading countries reckon with.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev went down in world history as the leader of the global anti-nuclear movement.
His historical merit is in the ability to change the mentality of our nation that had grown out of the tight overcoat of stagnant political system and archaic economy. Led by him, Kazakhstan was recognized a fast growing, open and competitive economy. Our country has made a big leap in the development of parliamentary and civil society, which made the democratic processes in Kazakhstan irreversible.
Q: It is known that national leaders’ Addressees to the nation differ. What is special about Kazakhstan President’s state-of-the-nation Addresses? What do you make of their part in our country’s development?
A: In many countries, the leaders make addresses to the parliaments that mainly reflect the internal political situation, the economic situation and main directions of the foreign policy. As a rule, the annual formal address is a constitutionally fixed duty of the Head of State.
In Kazakhstan, the President addresses not only the Parliament but the whole nation. It is an effective form of the relationship between the head of state and the public at large. His Addresses contain instructions to the Government and the Parliament, and basing on them, specific measures are undertaken, purposed to sustainable development of the country.
Q: What are the main features of the current Address, and in what does it differ from the previous ones?
A: It is a specific action program for the long-term strategy throughout the year 2050.
The President has laid down a totally new conception in the country’s history – “Mәңgіlіk El”. In fact it is a national idea and the state ideology of Kazakhstan. “Mәңgіlіk El” is a unique historical mission of all Kazakhstanis, steered by the outstanding President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The Mәңgіlіk El idea is based not only on the centuries-old dream of our people, but also on the specific results of Kazakhstan’s independent development.
The current Address definitely differs from the previous ones in the scale of qualitatively new tasks. Kazakhstan is not what it used to be in the past; it is a strong state, whose GDP surpasses the economies of all the Central Asian nations put together. At the same time, we have every reason to believe that it is only the start of a long journey. The President’s Address inspires hope and confidence in the bright future of our state. His strategy for joining the 30 world advanced nations is clear evidence of state approach to the national interests and of truly paternal care of the citizens, especially the youth, whose mission is to carry out the directives of the Address.
Nursultan Nazarbayev prioritizes creation of a knowledge-based economy, enhancement of labor efficiency and productivity, development of small and medium-sized businesses, service improvement and modernization of agriculture.
It is the document for us to handle many times and find answers to all the challenges of modernity.
Historical figures differ from the “transient” political figures by a strategic vision, scale of thinking. Reading the Address you are reconfirmed in the belief that the President looks far ahead and sees a lot.
Q: The President sets the task: Kazakhstan should become one of the safest and most convenient countries to live in. What can you say about the long-term priorities in this work and the role of the legislative branch in this process?
A: Speaking of safety and convenience, the President names such constituents of a developed country as peace, stability, fair justice and effective law and order system. Therefore the Address looks to the future, and its value cannot be measured by the life of one generation, it is a document of truly historical momentum.
To attain the goals of the Strategy -2050 takes personal involvement and activism of every citizen who wants to live in a developed democratic society. It is just the time when each of us must ask himself: “What can I do for my country?”
We cannot fully rely on the state alone, although much depends on it too, but rally together for the construction of a thriving and successful Kazakhstan. So we are talking of Mәңgіlіk El as a rallying ideology of our people.
With regard to legislative activity: as you know, the President tasked the Government to bring in a package of bills to the Parliament to legal-frame the Address. The deputies are shortly going to the regions to outreach on the Address. It is an important feedback channel, providing first-hand information from the working people and students for the Parliament to act on in the legislative work ahead.
Q: Moving towards the 30 world advanced nations, we need a creative atmosphere, fair competition, justice, rule of law and high legal culture, – the Address says. In this regard, assertions are current that we adopt ??good laws, but they are poorly executed. Do you agree with this assertion? What do you think should be undertaken to improve the legal culture in the society?
A: True, the legal culture could be higher, but at the same time we cannot discount the progress made, as evidenced by the reports of international organizations. Over the years of independence, Kazakhstan has developed into a legal-based community where the rule of law is growing. Democracy in our country has taken an irreversible turn. With regard to the legislature, the parliamentary system has taken its rightful place in the public system. I judge it by a number of countries that position themselves as democratic, but whose parliaments have fewer powers than Kazakhstan’s.
Our citizens must not only know their rights, they must be able to defend them legally. It is the basic principle of a democratic society. Countries without legal justice are doomed to regress.
Apart from the legal culture, it is important to foster the culture of labor. To attain the objectives of the Strategy -2050, it is necessary to tap all the intellectual resources of our state and to work a lot.
Q: Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed the need to abide by the principle of adequacy to global development. You have been until recently in a leading position of the most authoritative world organization – the United Nations. How do you determine the main trends of global development?
A: Modern global trends are highly controversial. On the one hand, the world is moving towards an unprecedented technological upgrade, powerful development of information and communication sector, basing on truly innovative designs. The world is on the threshold of discoveries that will fundamentally change the mentality of mankind.
The concept of sustainable development, economic and environmental harmony becomes an imperative of modern life. Understanding is growing that without the introduction of the principles of sustainability, which were discussed at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, successful future of individual countries and of humanity as a whole is no longer possible.
On the other hand there is a huge gap between the rich and the poor, acute shortage of food, water and sanitation for hundreds of millions, gender and ethnic discrimination, the influx of refugees from troubled countries, illicit migration , drug trafficking, human trafficking and diseases . Many developed nations have mass unemployment.
Volatility and unpredictability increasingly dominate global politics and economics. And the President rightly warns in his Address that the journey into the twenty-first century is not going to be easy. At the same time, issuing from a thorough analysis, he infers that the next 15-17 years could be a window of opportunity for Kazakhstan. The main thing is not to miss the opportunity of favorable market conditions and work persistently and purposefully.