February 6, 2008, No 42
PRESIDENT NAZARBAYEV DELIVERS HIS ANNUAL STATE-OF-THE-NATION ADDRESS, ANNOUNCES KAZAKHSTAN’S “ROAD TO EUROPE”
The focal points of President Nazarbayev's keynote speech were economic development, further political modernization and democracy, social security and strengthening of Kazakhstan’s international alliances.
October 10, 2007, No. 41
Dear Guest, Please consider this my personal invitation for you to attend Kazakhstan’s launching of its new Regional Financial Center of Almaty, to be held at the Hay Adams Hotel (on the roof-top) on Sunday, October 21, 2007 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. There will be a reception and presentations by Kazakhstan’s top financial officials, including National Bank Chairman Anvar Saidenov and Deputy Finance Minister Daulet Saudabayev.
Kazakhstan is ideally suited to be the financial hub of Central Asia given its geographic location between Dubai and Hong Kong. The privatization and integrity of its financial institutions are already well known and respected. It is President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s vision that has led to the creation of our regional securities market and its successful integration into international capital markets. This is already attracting international investment and will facilitate investment of Kazakhstan’s capital in foreign securities markets. Joining us will be leaders of financial institutions, government officials and others attending the Fall World Bank and IMF meetings, as well corporate representatives and U. S. officials who appreciate Kazakhstan’s leadership in Central Asia. Your presence will contribute to this unique opportunity to bring together leaders across the spectrum who are eager to learn more about Kazakhstan’s new role as a regional financial center -- a major development that will enhance our country’s integration into the global economy and contribute even more substantially to regional stability. Sincerely,
Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan
May 21, 2007, No. 40
Secretary of State Saudabayev: Constitutional Amendments Open
New Stage in Kazakhstan’s Development
Kanat B. Saudabayev, Kazakhstan’s Secretary of State, held a press conference in the Ak Orda presidential administration complex in Astana on May 18, 2007, commenting on the approval of constitutional amendments by the Parliament earlier that day.
He said: "President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan introduced a bill in the Parliament “On amendments and additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan” on May 16, 2007. Today, as a result of thorough discussions, the Parliament of Kazakhstan passed the bill in its second reading. This most important event in the modern history of our country opens a new stage in the development of our society. Of particular importance is the fact that these historic amendments to the Constitution are introduced in full accordance with the logic of Kazakhstan’s domestic development and are based on a solid foundation of social, economic and political reforms conducted since independence under President Nazarbayev’s outstanding leadership."
May 16, 2007, No. 39
President Nazarbayev: Now is the Time for a
New Stage in Kazakhstan’s Development
Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, speaking at a joint session of Parliament in Astana on May 16, outlined a program of further democratization of the country.
The upcoming reforms of the political system call for a new balance of power between branches of government and the strengthening of the role of Parliament by giving it some of the responsibilities hold now by the President. Moreover, Kazakhstan’s leader proposed reducing the term of office for the president from seven to five years.
May 2, 2007, No. 38
Tazhin Says Kazakhstan on Track with
Democratic Reforms, Ready to Lead OSCE
Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Dr. Marat Tazhin addressed a special meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna on April 30, 2007, outlining the reasons for his country’s bid to chair the OSCE in 2009, the reforms in the political area Kazakhstan is pursuing and the priorities it will focus on if elected chairman.
Kazakhstan’s candidacy was originally put forward in 2003. Later, the 12-nation Commonwealth of Independent States made Kazakhstan its joint candidate for 2009. In December 2006, the OSCE decided to postpone its decision on the 2009 chairmanship until the end of 2007 to give Kazakhstan more time to follow through on its political reforms.
April 20, 2007, No. 37
Kazakhstan’s President Says Iran Should Prove to the World Its Nuclear Program Is Peaceful, While the World Must Re-Examine Nonproliferation
Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev said Iran should prove to the world its nuclear program is peaceful and called for the world to review the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty which he said has failed to ensure progress in nuclear disarmament by nuclear weapon states.
Speaking at the opening of the 6th annual Eurasian Media Forum in Almaty on April 19, President Nazarbayev said: “I am convinced that a military confrontation with Iran is fraught with serious consequences for the entire world. We hope Iran, our friendly neighbor, unequivocally proves to the world that it is engaged only in peaceful nuclear energy research. The nations of our region and, I am sure, the entire world are waiting for this.”
March 2, 2007, No. 36
A New Kazakhstan in a New World:
President Nazarbayev’s Strategic Vision
Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev delivered his annual state of the nation address, New Kazakhstan in a New World, on February 28, outlining the strategy of Kazakhstan’s development for the next decade. The most important messages of the address were:
- ensuring a major breakthrough in quality of life of the people of Kazakhstan;
- raising the quality of education and healthcare to best world standards;
- speeding up and diversifying economic development;
- joining the World Trade Organization (WTO); and
- implementing concrete measures to further democratize society which would strengthen the roles of Parliament and local representative assemblies. The changes will require amending the country’s Constitution.
February 22, 2007, No. 35
Ambassador Tells Yale about Real Kazakhstan
Kanat B. Saudabayev, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to the United States of America and Canada, delivered a lecture, Kazakhstan: Realities and Challenges, at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, on February 20, 2007. His prepared remarks are available here. His appearance drew a lot of attention from the news media and lot of questions from students and others who were clearly curious about Kazakhstan. Following are some news clippings which we hope will be of interest.
February 5, 2007, No. 34
Sustaining Kazakhstan’s Macroeconomic Success
An op-ed by Aasim M. Husain, Division Chief, Middle East and Central Asia Department, International Monetary Fund (IMF), published in The Business and Power, a Kazakhstan newspaper in December last year. It may be of interest to those wishing to get a deeper insight into the workings and challenges of Kazakhstan’s booming economy. Kazakhstan maintains mostly consultative relations with the IMF, having paid all of its debts to this organization in the early 2000s.
January 3, 2007, No. 33
Being a Woman in Kazakhstan
By Salima Sadybekova, The Washington Times, December 29, 2006
"It seems that in America few people know of the role women play in the real Kazakhstan, or any other “stan,” for that matter. What is more, this lack of knowledge may now be reinforced by a misrepresentation in “Borat.” So I want to share my side of the story with the Americans because I believe there are reasons why they can benefit from knowing it."
December 11, 2006, No. 32
Who Needs Borat? Here’s the Kazakh President
The Republic of Kazakhstan celebrates the 15th anniversary of its independence on December 16. During these years, Kazakhstan, under the prudent leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, has turned from one of the worst off fragments of the former Soviet empire into an economically strong and dynamically developing democratic country, a recognized leader in Central Asia, and a reliable and respected player in world politics. Kazakhstan and the United States are bound by the relations of true strategic partnership. The September 2006 meeting between Presidents Nazarbayev and George W. Bush at the White House gave a new impetus to these relations. President Nazarbayev tells the story of how his young nation has achieved such impressive successes in domestic and foreign policies in his recent article in Britain’s “Spectator” magazine.
What follows is an article from The Spectator along with the editors’ introductory note.
December 4, 2006, No. 31
Kazakhstan Has “Made a Lot of Right Choices” in 15 Years of Independence, U.S. Ambassador Says
This Echo offers the text of the December 1 interview with U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan John M. Ordway by Tolkyn Maiussova of the KazInform News Agency in Kazakhstan.
The United States was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan when it declared its independence in December 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union. This year Kazakhstan is celebrating the 15th anniversary of its sovereignty. The United States Ambassador John Ordway has shared his views on what has been done for the past 15 years and how the Kazakhstan–American relations are developing today.
November 8, 2006, No. 30
My ‘Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’
By Gauhar Abdygaliyeva, The Washington Post, November 8, 2006
"I'm a Muslim Kazakh woman who arrived in the United States two months ago to work on my master’s in public administration. Almost every time I meet people and tell them where I come from, they ask me about the “Kazakh journalist” Borat, “the sixth most famous man” in Kazakhstan. I answer that Borat is a satirical fictional character who has nothing in common with Kazakhstan or its people. Many of my new American friends find Borat’s adventures in “US and A” hilarious and his remarks about my country amusing. Unsurprisingly, not many of the people of Kazakhstan are equally amused. So I want to tell you the inside story about Kazakhstan. And, to steal a line from Borat, please read my article, or I will be execute..."
October 6, 2006, No. 29
Kazakh President Rallies for Participation of
All States in Nuclear Nonproliferation
On September 28, 2006, a dinner was held in Washington, DC, in honor of President Nursultan Nazarbayev and “Kazakhstan’s Nuclear Disarmament, A Global Model for A Safer World”, organized by Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). NTI Co-chairmen Senator Sam Nunn and Ted Turner, members of the U.S. Congress Shelley Berkley (D-Nevada) and Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa), U.S. Undersecretary of Energy Linton Brooks and Chairman Emeritus of the Eisenhower Institute Susan Eisenhower addressed the audience of more than 400 representatives of the U.S. Administration, Congress, think tanks and NGOs, business circles and the news media. They noted Kazakhstan’s critical contribution to strengthening global security and its consistent leadership in the global nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. President Nursultan Nazarbayev delivered the keynote address at the dinner proposing new initiatives to help solve the most complex problems of global disarmament and nonproliferation.
August 21, 2006, No. 28
Denuclearization is the way to go
By Kanat Saudabayev, The Washington Times, August 21, 2006
The international tensions over Iran's nuclear program and the global outcry over recent missile tests by North Korea and its nuclear weapons program, coupled with the growing threat of international terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons, have again shown the world the importance of strengthening the efforts for nuclear nonproliferation. In order to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, the world must learn from the experience of Kazakhstan, which has proven that the one path to true security and prosperity lies through nuclear disarmament and the promotion of peaceful relations with the world.
July 10, 2006, No. 27
Tokaev: Kazakhstan Is Eager to Lead
Sustainable Development in Central Asia
Kassymzhomart Tokaev, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, delivered a speech, Kazakhstan: Strengthening Security in Central Asia through Democratic Reforms and Economic Development, at the Central Asia and Caucasus Institute of Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C., on July 6. In the speech Minister Tokaev said, “Kazakhstan is eager to lead sustainable development in Central Asia because it is crucial for the security of our own country and will generate prosperity for the entire region. We see our role as promoting regional economic integration, facilitating trade and investment, making the region more attractive to foreign capital and ready for full fledged integration into the global economy.”
June 12, 2006, No. 26
Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Tests in Nevada and Kazakhstan:
Lessons the World Must Never Forget
Representatives of Kazakhstan and Nevada, two places with the longest history of nuclear weapons testing, have called on the world to learn from the past and stop developing new nuclear weapons and follow Kazakhstan’s example of voluntary disarmament as the right way to true peace and prosperity.
March 27, 2006, No. 25
President Nazarbayev Says “Democracy Is Our Choice”
The first session of the State Commission on Democratization was held in Astana on March 24 under the chairmanship of Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The State Commission includes members of Parliament, leaders of political parties and nongovernmental organizations. The State Commission’s task is to find ways and means for continued democratic reform in Kazakhstan. President Nazarbayev spoke at the session underscoring the need for a “people’s examination” of all political reforms and for the people’s support for reforms, calling on all interested parties to engage in the dialog and cooperation in implementing the reforms.
March 6, 2006, No. 24
President Nazarbayev: Kazakhstan Stands on the
Threshold of Major Breakthrough in Development
President Nursultan Nazarbayev delivered his annual state of the nation address to the people of Kazakhstan on March 1 presenting his “Strategy of Kazakhstan’s joining the world’s 50 most competitive countries.” This document marked a new stage in social and economic modernization and political democratization in Kazakhstan. It also confirmed the continuity in Kazakhstan’s foreign policy priorities and its desire to remain a responsible international partner.
December 2, 2005, No. 23
A Model for Central Asia
By Vladimir Socor, Wall Street Journal Europe, December 2, 2005
"Sunday's presidential election will be intensely scrutinized by international observers. U.S. and European expectations are high. But regardless of the outcome, foreigners should view this election as a stage in a continuing learning process and acknowledge the likely improvements in
comparison to past elections. Western acknowledgment of such improvements
provides a strong incentive -- and failure to recognize, a disincentive -- to continuing advances on a long and unfamiliar road to democracy for this Western-friendly country of strategic import."
November 30, 2005, No. 22
The Kazakh Way to Democracy: Evolution, Not Revolution
By Kanat Saudabayev, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the USA
Kazakhstan rapidly approaches the crucial December 4th presidential election which will define the future of our country and the region. As U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said recently in Astana, “with the presidential election in December, Kazakhstan has an unprecedented opportunity to lead Central Asia toward a future of democracy and to elevate U.S.-Kazakhstan relations to a new level.”
November 21, 2005, No. 21
Presidential Elections in Kazakhstan:
The Political, Economic and Development Agenda
On November 17, 2005, Hudson Institute’s Center for Future Security Strategies hosted a panel discussion on “Kazakhstan Presidential Elections: The Political, Economic, and Development Agenda.” The featured speakers were Center Director S. Enders Wimbush, who also served as moderator; Matthew Bryza, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia; Vlad Socor, Senior Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation and columnist for The Wall Street Journal Europe; and Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow for Russia and Eurasia Studies and International Energy Security of the Heritage Foundation. The panelists agreed that the elections, scheduled for December 4, should be seen as an
opportunity to help promote political and economic reform in the region. They stressed the need to place the upcoming vote in regional and historical context. Kazakhstan may not meet all the criteria of an established Western-style liberal democracy, but the country has achieved substantial economic and political reform in a very short time, and from an initially low baseline. The elections will have a major impact in defining the environment in which other actors will pursue their own, often conflicting, political, security, and energy strategies in the region. The speakers argued that the United States needs to develop a better understanding of Central Asia and its various external actors to participate more effectively in this game.
October 31, 2005, No. 20
Washington Conference Further Strengthens
Kazakhstan-U.S. Commercial and Political Ties
The growing role of Kazakhstan as a leader in Central Asia and the increasing strength of ties between Kazakhstan and the U.S. were examined at a Washington conference hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Embassy of Kazakhstan on October 25. “The Challenges of Kazakhstan: Regional and Global Impact” brought together officials and business leaders from Kazakhstan and the United States. The message from speakers on both sides was clear: The United States and Kazakhstan already enjoy a very strong and wide ranging strategic partnership, the relationship has the potential to grow even stronger, and a lot depends on the upcoming presidential election in Kazakhstan.
October 13, 2005, No. 19
Rice Urges Kazakhstan to Lead Central Asia on Democratization
Secretary of State speaks at Eurasian National University in Astana on October 13
Kazakhstan should lead Central Asia to a democratic future, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged in a speech at the Eurasian National University in Astana October 13.
Praising Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev for lifting Kazakhstan to a position of regional leadership on international security and economic development, Rice called on his government to ensure the country’s December presidential elections are free and fair.
August 18, 2005, No. 18
Tokaev: Shared Values Bring Kazakhstan and U.S. Closer
Kassymzhomart Tokaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, is visiting Washington the week of August 22.
On the eve of his visit, we offered our readers excerpts from Minister Tokaev’s recent statements on issues such as: relations with the United States, the situation in Iraq and the fight against terrorism, the future of democracy in Kazakhstan, regional cooperation in Central Asia, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and disarmament, and greater interaction with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). These excerpts are from a speech at the Asia Society’s conference in Almaty on June 15 and an interview on The Line of Power, a program of the Kazakhstan national TV channel, aired August 10, 2005.
Senate Praises U.S.-Kazakh Nonproliferation Cooperation as “Model”
The United States Senate voted unanimously May 25 in favor of Senate Resolution 122, “recognizing the historic efforts of the Republic of Kazakhstan to reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction through cooperation in the Nunn-Lugar/Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, and celebrating the 10th anniversary of the removal of all nuclear weapons from the territory of Kazakhstan.” U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and co-founder of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, introduced the resolution earlier this year to mark the important anniversary.
"After Recent Elections, Kazakhstan Taking Carefully
Planned Approach to Democracy"
In an interview with The Washington Diplomat newspaper, Kanat B. Saudabayev, Kazakhstan's Ambassador to the United StatesSaudabayev said Kazakhstan’s status as a major Muslim democratic country can be a model for the world. “Our success is important not only for ourselves and our region, but also for the United States... This is particularly important today when promoting democracy in this very complicated region is one of the priorities for the administration... The success of Kazakhstan as a Muslim majority country, and as a country that only recently shed the shackles of a totalitarian regime, can be an important example to show to other countries across the region and beyond that it is possible to build a market economy and a democracy in such a situation... It was our choice to build this democracy and the market economy. We are doing this in the name of our own people and in the name of our own country. We are moving forward from our own realities, our own traditions and our own capabilities.
Kazakh Foreign Minister Calls for Stronger Nonproliferation Regime,
Supports New Disarmament Initiatives
Kazakhstan, a country that suffered greatly from Soviet nuclear weapons testing, has been one of the strongest advocates and global leaders for nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction since its independence in 1991. Kassymzhomart Tokaev, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, reinforced the country’s commitment to these principles in his May 3 statement at the 2005 Review Conference of the State Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nations in New York. In his statement, Minister Tokaev said Kazakhstan believes the Nonproliferation Treaty must remain “one of the pillars of global security that still needs to be reinforced and protected” and “should become universal.”
Kazakhstan Marks Nuclear Weapons Free Decade,
Lugar Introduces Senate Resolution in Praise
Kazakhstan marked a nuclear weapons free decade in April 2005. U.S. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a Senate resolution to commemorate the milestone. In a statement marking the occasion, Sen. Lugar said “we should remember Kazakhstan. Instead of violating international norms and retaining nuclear weapons, Kazakh leaders made the right choice. When searching for success stories, the international community can turn to Kazakhstan... The United States, Kazakhstan, and the international community still have much work to do and these efforts will require compromise and sacrifice. The last ten years have shown that nothing is impossible.”
President Nazarbayev Calls for New Stage of Accelerated Economic, Political Reforms, Drastic Upgrade in Quality of Life
President Nursultan Nazarbayev delivered his annual state of the nation address, “Kazakhstan on the road to accelerated economic, social and political modernization”, to the people of Kazakhstan on February 18, 2005. This landmark and defining document has summed up results of the past decade of the country’s development, and offered a program of wide ranging political and economic reforms and drastic upgrading of the quality of life for the people of Kazakhstan in the immediate future. The address has defined Kazakhstan’s foreign policy priorities and confirmed the country’s continuing commitment to nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the fight against terrorism.
Penal Reforms in Kazakhstan, Progress and Problems
Olga Malakhova, a reporter from Kazakhstanskaya Pravda daily newspaper, interviewed Vera Tkachenko, Director of Penal Reform International for Central Asia. Penal Reform International is an international non-governmental organization. Founded in London, UK, in 1989, PRI has members in five continents and in over 80 countries. In the interview, Ms. Tkachenko speaks of progress already achieved in reforming the old Soviet-based penal system and problems that still face this system in Kazakhstan today. The interview was published in Kazakhstanskaya Pravda on December 4, 2004.
Chief Rabbi Says No Anti-Semitism in Kazakhstan, Explains Why
A few days after the opening of the Central Asia’s largest synagogue in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana, we offer our readers excerpts from a statement by Rabbi Yeshaya E. Cohen, Chief Rabbi of the Republic of Kazakhstan, at the 2004 Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom. The conference took place in Brussels on August 6, 2004 and was organized by the Washington-based Institute on Religion and Public Policy.
Bolashak: Kazakhstan Invests In Its Future
It’s graduation time. Graduates across the U.S. happily clutch their hard won diplomas and lunge into the future. Their friends and families applaud their success. There is a special group of graduates whose families are on the other side of the globe. They came to the United States for the opportunity to get a Master’s degree in business administration, engineering or other specialty on a presidential scholarship from Kazakhstan. They hope to bring back knowledge and experience that will help them and their young Central Asian country succeed in the future. By Sholpan Kozhamkulova, a 2004 Bolashaker graduate of American University in Washington, DC. This article was run as a Special Advertising Supplement in The Washington Post on July 13.
America in Kazakhstan: Backyard Nuisance or Unappreciated Asset?
“Break the paradigm and stop worrying about the Americans being in Kazakhstan as part of the great game. You will be lucky if they stay.” By David C.M. Lucterhand, a Trustee of the Foreign Policy Institute in Philadelphia who has continuously lived and worked in Russia and Kazakhstan for the past eight years - implementing USAID funded projects through The Pragma Corporation. Originally published in Feld Post newspaper of Russia and Johnson's Russia List of Center for Defense Information. The U.S. military presence is a natural addition to its economic and political involvement in the affairs of our region which has special geopolitical interest. Everybody, advocates and opponents alike of various theories about the balance of power, will have to learn to live with this fact. Kazakhstan-U.S. relations are highly substantive. Political dialog and security cooperation are each supported by growing trade and economic interests. We will continue to pay increased attention to relations with the United States, because our cooperation with this country is an important guarantee of our own security. An interview of Kassymzhomart Tokaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, by Continent analytical magazine We appreciate positive Western values, such as democracy, tolerance, respect for law, for labor, for a person, but we do not set goals to become a Western-style country. Indeed our democracy is only ten years old, while Western democracy has been centuries in the making. And I understand that our circumstances do not yet fully correspond to your understanding of democratic principles. We are consistently moving toward an open society according to the basic principle: economy first, politics second. An interview by President Nursultan Nazarbayev with Le Nouvel Economiste
"The United States should be interested in the formation of the security system in the Caspian region".
Dr. Maulen Ashimbayev, Director of Kazakhstan Institute of Strategic Studies
"The Kazakhs have forged an open debate on the country's policies, which is laying the groundwork for a strong civil society. The debate over the environment has created a precedent for exchanges of opinion on a variety of other important issues. "
Eurasia Foundation Case Study
"We are an open nation and prefer to conduct affairs so as not to pitch interests against each other, but rather to harmonize them"
By President Nursultan Nazarbayev
"It is very important to find one's own place in the foreign policy area"
By Kassymzhomart Tokayev, Secretary of State- Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan
A Nation with the Vision
Strategy of Development "Kazakhstan 2030" bears fruit
By Chester A. Newland, Distinguished Professor of Public Administration University of Southern California
Thinking aloud about the opposition
By Karatai Turysov from Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, Astana * * *
Contact person: Zhanbolat Ussenov
Tel.: (202) 232- 5488, ext. 104
Fax: (202) 232- 5845