Ban Ki-moon opens new building of UN agency in Astana


Ban Ki-moon opens new building of UN agency in AstanaSecretary General of United Nations Ban Ki-moon and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov have inaugurated the new building of the UN agency in Astana.

The six-storey building is located on Bokeikhan Street, 14.

In his welcoming speech UN Secretary-General noted that he is grateful to the government of Kazakhstan for its support of the United Nations in the country.

“Kazakhstan has put forward the program of nuclear-free world and it helps to resolve the problems in Ukraine, Syria and Afghanistan. Today Kazakhstan shows an example of unity, peace and accord. I am grateful to President Nursultan Nazarbayev who has provided a platform for leaders of world religions to promote tolerance, freedom of religion,” said Ban Ki-moon.

Kazakh Foreign Minister stressed that the new building was opened as a result of long-term cooperation of the government and the UN Office in Kazakhstan.

During the opening ceremony Galim Muthanna, rector of the Kazakh National University named after Al-Farabi, who awarded Ban Ki-moon a medal and a diploma of honorary professor of the university. In addition he gifted the UN Secretary General the Kazakh national costume.

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Ban Ki-moon lauds Nursultan Nazarbayev’s initiative to convoke Religious Leaders Congress


President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has met with Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization (UN) Ban Ki-moon in the Akorda presidential residence today, the president’s press service reports.

At the meeting, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Ban Ki-moon discussed the work of the 5th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions which is underway in Astana and further strengthening of cooperation between Kazakhstan and the organization.

The President of Kazakhstan stressed that the Secretary-General’s participation had bolstered the prestige of the Congress.

“Despite your tight schedule, especially in the period of economic crisis and inter-faith conflicts, preparations for the 70th anniversary of the organization, you have come to our country. Besides, you supported our initiative to shut down the nuclear test site celebrated on the 29th of August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests. I believe that by hosting such forums Kazakhstan greatly contributes to the establishment of peace in the world,” the Head of State said.

Ban Ki-moon, in turn, thanked Nursultan Nazarbayev for the invitation to take part in such prestigious religious forum which brought together leaders of world religions.

The UN Secretary-General praised President Nazarbayev’s vision and initiative to convoke the Congress. “You put forward the initiative 15 years ago when the situation was completely different. Nowadays, when the entire world is suffering from religious extremism and terrorism, the voices of religious leaders calling for an end to hatred need to be heard,” Ban Ki-moon added.