Speech of His Excellency Nursultan Nazarbayev
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
? t the International Conference: ‘Struggle Against Corruption & Good Governance as a Condition for Economic & Social Development of East Europe & Central Asia '
Dear Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the hospitable land of Kazakhstan and our beautiful capital city, Astana.
We live in an era of globalization, when many of today's problems go beyond the limits of Nations and State.
Issues of counteracting corruption - the theme of this Conference - are common to all countries across the world.
We were the first CIS country to have adopted a special law ‘On the Struggle against Corruption'.
Today, the Agency of Economic Crimes & Corruption (Financial Police) and the Commission on Issues Related to the Struggle against Corruption operate successfully in Kazakhstan .
It is now necessary for us to implement our State Programme to counter corruption.
Dear Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to welcome all of you - representatives of nearly 60 States and 20 international organizations – to Kazakhstan .
Such a representative forum stresses the importance of effective struggle against corruption for the entire world community.
The fact that the present Conference is held in Kazakhstan for the first time reflects our strong determination to be in the forefront of combating this global threat.
Countering this evil is an important priority of State policy in Kazakhstan .
This is reflected in our long-term Development Strategy ‘Kazakhstan 2030' .
According to international experts, Kazakhstan is a leader in anti-corruption activities in the post-Soviet space.
As I have said, ten years ago, Kazakhstan was one of the first CIS countries to adopt a special law ‘On combating corruption'.
Our laws on civil service, judiciary and law enforcement were clearly directed against all forms of corruption.
A lifetime ban on holding any positions in State bodies and organizations was introduced for those who had been dismissed for corruption offenses.
We now aim to improve the system of governance, making it more compact and transparent.
We must remove all unnecessary steps in State collaboration with citizens and the private sector - all of which can be a breeding ground for corruption.
We are presently implementing the second State Programme to combat corruption for the period until 2011.
Anti-corruption policy is implemented by the State in a systematic manner.
The Commission on Combating Corruption under the President and the Agency for Combating Economic Crimes & Corruption are working actively.
Last year, Astana hosted an Anti-Corruption Forum, which united corruption fighters from all over Kazakhstan .
The national action plan to combat corruption was developed and adopted.
The State apparatus and institutions of civil society joined in combating the evil.
This work actively engaged political parties, NGOs, the media, and large segments of our society. Public reception points and telephone help-lines are now in operation.
Anti-corruption policy in Kazakhstan is constructed according to international standards, based on international instruments adopted by the international community.
Our country ratified the Convention of the United Nations against Corruption in May last year.
Kazakhstan has accumnulated useful experience relating to the fight against corruption. But we are always open to dialogue with foreign partners on all questions.
We are ready to share approaches... We are ready to study and apply the successful experience of anticorruption work of other countries.
Our experience says that it is possible to counteract corruption successfully only if we have executed some important conditions.
Strict and fair laws - and their execution are necessary.
Henceforth, we will improve our legal base based on the wide experience of other countries.
The conception of a legal policy, which I have recently confirmed by Decree, contains a number of tasks concerning the elimination of the reasons and conditions promoting the occurrence of corruption in Kazakhstan .
We will bend over backwards to leave no possibility for those engaged in corrupt activities to find holes in our legislation.
The openness and transparency of government and local officials' work, the availability to all media of details on actions of companies and businesses are necessary.
For this purpose a strong political will is necessary, and the country's leadership has it!
Our legislation will create more transparent management systems and provide strict observance of the rights and freedom of each citizen.
It is necessary for every sector of society to become intolerant of corruption
Even the idea of accepting or giving a bribe must become anathema to each and every citizen. To achieve this is a most difficult task. It demands a very high level of legal culture and is reliant on the experience of society as a whole.
It is necessary to instill a certain ethos in citizens from earliest childhood.
And in this noble work the State should go hand-in-hand with civil society – political parties, non-governmental organizations and the media.
It is one of the main conditions for developing countries.
Criminality and corruption is invariably accompanied by poverty and crises in the economy.
The result of corruption is low incomes for citizens and public servants.
As you know, our country - as well as other former Soviet republics - endured Soviet totalitarianism and experienced the complete collapse of our economy following the breakdown of the USSR and other subsequent crises.
All of us who lived through this period know the story...
Overcoming the vestiges of old law enforcement systems - especially the judicial system - was a very difficult matter. This is an old disease.
Down through the decades, people solved certain issues by offering bribes.
It was easier to do so than solving things lawfully.
Unfortunately, that is the legacy of a command economy.
We in Kazakhstan , however, have been overcoming all this persistently.
Our independence is very young; it is not yet twenty years old.
There are still people with outdated education and outdated understanding working in all spheres.
Therefore, we value highly the experience of the Conference's work.
Fighting corruption does not only mean taking decisive measures to punish perpetrators; it means addressing the daily work of government and society.
Success in such a fight largely depends on the congruence of efforts of the world community.
I am convinced that today's discussions will contribute much to the world's anticorruption policies improvement.
I wish the Conference participants an efficient ideas and experience exchange - and look forward to much progress in this important work.
We in Kazakhstan will certainly put your ideas and experience to good use!
I wish you success in your work. Thank you.
Astana, 16th September, 2009