President Tokayev’s visit to Almaty: diplomacy, new reforms, January unrest and women’s status: 16 November 2022, 16:55

ASTANA. KAZINFORM – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev arrived on a working visit to Almaty on November 15, following a series of visits he paid to the regions of the country over the last two months. In Almaty, he spoke about the country’s diplomacy, new reforms, the January unrest, and women’s status in society, among other topics. More about the visit is in the latest article of Kazinform.

Arriving on November 15, he launched the construction of a plant for the production of Changan, Chery, and Haval vehicles. The plant where the small-knot assembly method is to be in use is planned to open in the fourth quarter of 2024.

On November 16, he met with the public in Almaty. In terms of the development of Almaty, he outlined six priorities – diversifying the city’s sustainable development, equal development of all city districts and intensification of housing construction, development of the road and transport system, addressing environmental problems, development of social infrastructure of the city and ensuring security and law and order, digitalization of the city management system.

The rising role of diplomacy

Addressing the public, Tokayev highlighted the need to promote the country’s progressive agenda.

«This also applies to our diplomacy, whose role in today’s geopolitical realities is growing considerably. Kazakhstan pursues an active foreign policy aimed at protecting national interests and promoting the values of peace, trust and cooperation,» he said.

According to Tokayev, the nation’s foreign policy, which has always sought to be a multi-vector one, aims to strengthen the country’s security, attract investment, develop transport and transit potential, and promote exports.

Similar to his previous statements at domestic events and international summits, Tokayev reaffirmed a strong commitment to the fundamental principles of the United Nations.

«Kazakhstan will always firmly adhere to the universal principles of the United Nations on international issues. On the other hand, the organization itself needs reforms in terms of transforming it into a more inclusive global body that takes into account the interests of all States. This is especially important at a time when military conflicts in different parts of the world, growing distrust between states, and various terrorist and hybrid threats are on the rise,» he said.

Located in the very center of Eurasia, he noted Kazakhstan feels the impact of these developments, but it will not divert the country from its path of reforms, which, according to him, enjoy the support from the international community.

«Absolutely wrong are those who try to present our efforts to modernize Kazakhstan as if they were limited reforms and convince foreign politicians and experts in this. In reality, a very large amount of work has been done. All over the world, there is a recognition that Kazakhstan has acquired new content and image. And there is no exaggeration in this,» he said.

January unrest

11 months since the tragic January events shocked the country, Tokayev said it was an «unprecedented test.» Peaceful rallies were used by «conspirators and radicals» to destroy the stability of the country, he said.

Protests began on January 2 in western Kazakhstan because of the increased price of liquified petroleum gas and spread quickly across the country. On January 5, President Tokayev declared a nationwide state of emergency.

«The January tragedy was caused by the devaluation of the idea of justice and the mutual estrangement between state and society. People who had been suffering from systemic socio-economic problems for decades took to peaceful demonstrations. This is understandable. However, the criminal elements had other motives. Using pre-prepared provocateurs and bandits, they turned the protests of citizens into mass disturbances,» he said.

He spoke about the vast damage incurred to Almaty and other cities. According to the latest data from the Prosecutor’s Office and Internal Affairs Ministry, the damage is estimated at more than 100 billion tenge, including 92 billion tenge to business entities. Hundreds of buildings and vehicles were set ablaze.

Throughout the country during the January events, at least 1,151 citizens and 3,998 law enforcement officers were injured.

«Almaty plunged into chaos and the situation was practically out of control. Administrative buildings were seized. When they [criminals] took to the streets, they smashed and looted everything on their way. They did whatever they wanted. But, despite the critical situation, our citizens managed to keep the unshakable spirit of Almaty. The citizens rallied together and came out together to defend their beloved city. Of course, the bandits didn’t expect this,«he said.

He commended the unity that people demonstrated.

»As a native of Almaty, it was very painful for me to see the criminals destroying the city, the golden cradle of our people. At that moment, any delay would have led to bandits, feeling their impunity, tearing our beloved city apart. At a moment critical to the fate of our country, our people showed unparalleled unity and determination. We have shown that we are ready to run any risk to defend our statehood. All the people of Kazakhstan felt for the people of Almaty in those difficult days. Unfortunately, we now see attempts to justify criminal actions and present them as a popular uprising. I want to repeat, we must clearly distinguish between peaceful public rallies and bloody crimes committed by bandits. Thanks to decisive and courageous actions, we were able to quickly restore law and order,«he said.

The task is now to rely on a constructive dialogue of all responsible socio-political forces to not let this happen again.

«I see hope and faith in a society that all our strategic goals of building a strong and developed country will be achieved. And this is the most important thing. I am sure that together we will overcome all the challenges and solve all the tasks,» he said.

Reforms and the role of the younger generation

Tokayev said during his visits to other regions, he raises problems that concern the entire country.

«We are building a new society. In the last few years, we have made many changes as part of political reform. But we are not limited to only political issues. Large-scale work is ahead in economic, social and other directions. However, this is not enough to achieve our ultimate goal. We have to start the change, first of all, with ourselves. We need to form a new quality of the nation. All other reforms are useless until the mindset of every citizen and the whole society changes. The new quality of the nation is formed through new values,» he said.

The country will hold presidential elections on November 20 in an effort to reset the political system in the country. The election comes just six months after the country voted in favor of the constitutional amendments that affect nearly one-third of the country’s Constitution.

They include limiting the presidential term to a single 7-year term with no right for re-election, instead of the previous two 5-year terms, the introduction of a mixed majority-proportional model for the election of deputies to the Majilis and regional maslikhats, re-establish the Constitutional Court, giving more power to the Commissioner for Human Rights at the constitutional level, and fully banning the death penalty, among other amendments.

«In just a few days there will be presidential elections. Their outcome will determine how Kazakhstan will develop in the next seven years. The voting process, as well as the entire election campaign, must be honest, open and fair. Strict observance of these principles will be a guarantee of further strengthening of citizens’ trust in the state,» he said.

The presidential office is not a privilege, but a responsibility.

«In my understanding, the President is a hired manager, with whom the people enter into contract for a certain period. Whoever occupies the highest public office in the country as a result of the free expression of the will of the citizens, in fact, signs a contract, sealed with the votes of millions of compatriots. (…) Everyone who has held and will hold this office will answer to the three most demanding judges – the people, history and their own conscience,» he said.

Young people are the hope of the nation, driving change in the country. When meeting with young people, Tokayev said he was glad to see their willingness to make difference in the country.

«They are convinced that the new country must be built by people with a renewed system of values, based on hard work and active participation in the destiny of the motherland. Young people today are different. I like the fact that many young people today do not expect help from the state, but rather want to be useful to their country. Of course, Kazakhstan is a welfare state, and we will always support our citizens, especially the socially vulnerable. But you cannot shift responsibility for your own well-being onto the state or society,» he said.

Women’s role

According to Tokayev, another important sign of a progressive country is the status of women in society, calling the government and the public to pay attention to the protection of women’s rights.

«In recent years we have made considerable progress on this issue. Comprehensive measures have been taken to increase accountability for domestic violence and eradicate labor discrimination. Maternity and child-rearing conditions have been improved. The state is systematically expanding opportunities for women’s participation in politics, public administration and business. According to global ratings, Kazakhstan, along with Singapore, South Korea, Japan and the United Arab Emirates, is consistently among the leading Asian countries in terms of gender equality,» he said.

Almaty is expected to be Tokayev’s final destination, wrapping up a series of his visits to other regions. All regions are different in economy, culture and mentality, embracing the country’s key «unity in diversity principle.» But the goal for all in different parts of the country is the same – improving the well-being of the people and ensuring a brighter future for all generations ahead.

Written by Assel Satubaldina


Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *