X CIVIL FORUM OF KAZAKHSTAN:
Plenary session with the participation of the Economic Research Institute
Today, 26 November, the plenary session and closing of the X Civil Forum of Kazakhstan was held attended by Aida Balayeva, the Minister of Information and Public Development, Dauren Abayev, the First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, Banu Nurgaziyeva, the President of the Civil Alliance of Kazakhstan and other officials and civil society representatives. Economic Research Institute JSC (ERI) participated in the event.
At the plenary session of the Forum, issues of the development of civil initiatives in rural areas, protection of human rights and freedoms, international cooperation, civil society, ecology and inclusion were discussed.
Dauren Abayev opened the plenary session with a welcoming speech on behalf of the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev:
"The Civic Forum is an important event that brings the Government and civil society together. The creation of civil society in the country is a key priority for us in order to build an effective dialogue between stakeholders."
"30 years of the country's independence is a symbolic milestone, and it is impossible not to note the enormous role of civil society in the establishment of a democratic society in Kazakhstan: from closing the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site to signing the Constitution of Kazakhstan," Dauren Abayev said.
In the picture (from left to right): Banu Nurgazieva, Dauren Abayev, Aida Balayeva
In addition, Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, the Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, delivered a welcoming speech on the importance of the civil sector in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the long-term strategic partnership between UNDP and the Government of Kazakhstan.
In the picture: Mirjana Spoljaric Egger
The plenary session was also attended by Serik Zhunussov, the Director of the Katon-Karagai District Sustainable Development Public Fund, Shakhnoza Khassanova, the Head of Sana Sezim Womens Initiative Legal Centre, Jamilya Assanova, the Executive Director of the Civil Society Development Association, Lyazzat Kaltayeva, the Head of Shyrak Public Association of Women with Disabilities, Kirill Ossin, the Director of Eco Mangistau NGO, and others.
In his speech, Serik Zhunussov noted that the sustainable development strategy of Katon-Karagai district (East Kazakhstan region) is being implemented with the support of business and civil sector representatives, and is a good example for other regions in the implementation of SDGs practices.
Shakhnoza Khassanova outlined the existing problem of human trafficking, as it violates human rights. A significant development in this area is that the Head of State has signed the decree "On Further Measures of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Field of Human Rights", which will contribute to ensuring the protection of rights of victims of human trafficking.
"The state and civil society can do a lot to combat human trafficking," the speaker noted.
"Non-governmental organizations were actively involved in the preparation of the first Voluntary National Review in the field of sustainable development of the country in 2019. I invite the non-governmental sector of Kazakhstan and all Central Asian countries to join in the preparation of voluntary reports with their research projects, analytical reviews and real cases," Zhamilya Assanova proposed.
Lyazzat Kaltayeva emphasized the need to move from the concept of "Disabled" towards the international concept of "A person with disability". The new term will mean that a person with disability becomes an equal participant in society.
Environmental protection is an important area of civil society development. As Kirill Ossin noted, by 2030, Kazakhstan could face serious problems of drinking water shortages.
"This problem can be solved only by combining the efforts of cross-border countries," the speaker added.
Banu Nurgaziyeva concluded by saying that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have brought government, civil society and business together.
In the picture (from left to right): Banu Nurgaziyeva, the President of the Civil Alliance of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Bakytgul Khambar, the Director of the Secretariat for the SDGs, ERI
The speaker proposed three main areas for the civil society development:
1. Civil society should be involved in the development of the country's main strategic documents.
2. Generate an annual performance report of civil sector representatives.
3. Include interaction with the civil sector as one of the criteria for assessing the performance of government agencies.
For reference: The 30 Years of Partnership for Sustainable Development of Society and State focuses on the development of society and democratic processes, the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the key objectives of society, government and business in their achievement. The Forum program covers a wide range of topics and involves interesting experts and participants. More than 30 discussion platforms, expert discussions, facilitation and panel sessions are also organized within the framework of the Forum.