By Saniya Sakenova
ASTANA, 14 March 2023 (IDN | The Astana Times) — Over the past 30 years, Kazakhstan has built up a productive cooperation with the United Nations, being a coherent advocate and active promoter of its ideals and goals, First Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Umarov said at a March 10 event marking the three decades of UN presence in the country.
Umarov noted the international community had implemented and recognized many of Kazakhstan’s initiatives proposed from the high rostrum of the UN. These initiatives include well-established dialogue platforms such as the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia (CICA), the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, and the Universal Declaration on Building a World Free of Nuclear Weapons.
In 2022, Kazakhstan ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the UN Convention, completely abolishing the death penalty, and signed the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Child on Communications Procedure.
Umarov shared his views on implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) for 2021-2025.
“I would like to underscore that commitment to sustainable development remains integral to our domestic agenda. Our national development strategies and programs are directly aligned with Sustainable Development Goals,” he stressed.
UN Resident Coordinator for Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey commended the Kazakh government’s commitment to the country’s sustainable development.
“If you look at the life of Kazakh citizens 30 years ago, what they had access to, in terms of education, healthcare, social service, and what they have access to today, there is an enormous improvement. We see how life expectancy has grown and how the death of newborn babies has decreased tremendously, more than five-fold. These are very strong achievements,” she said.
In the coming years, the UN will focus on several key areas, including strengthening governance and the rule of law, promoting sustainable economic growth, investing in human capital, advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, and addressing the challenges posed by climate change.
“We are there as a government partner to make sure that the commitments are transformed into realities throughout all institutions,” Friberg-Storey added.
In the past three decades, the UN has implemented more than 400 projects in Kazakhstan in many fields, such as reducing inequality, modernizing institutions, diversifying the economy, and supporting the most vulnerable groups—children, women, the elderly, migrants, and refugees.
“There is still work to be done, and Kazakhstan will continue its productive engagement with the UN to build a better future for our country,” Umarov stated. [InDepthNews]
Image: A March 10 event marking the three decades of UN presence in Kazakhstan. Credit: gov.kz.
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