Annual State of the Nation Address of the President of Kazakhstan
Head of State Nursultan Nazarbaev delivered his annual State of the Nation Address entitled “New Kazakhstan in the new world” which outlined the situation in the country and major priorities of the internal and foreign policies.
In the Address the President introduced Kazakhstan’s new development strategy for the forthcoming 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);
- 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.
The President underscored that stable development of the economy allows us to strengthen social orientation of the reforms. He also emphasized that development of social infrastructure must be a strategic objective. Therefore a number of tasks were put before the Government including improvement of social status of the mother and the child, increase of amounts and indexation of pensions, further improvement of the wage payment system of civil servants.
The President also noted that the consistent implementation of the Strategy “Kazakhstan 2030” had ensured the reliable basis to our country’s further progress and its accelerated multifaceted modernization.
"Today, having secured firm foundation for our economy and statehood, we are confidently moving into a new stage. This will allow putting Kazakhstan's continued development on a sustainable, modern and promising economic, social, political and administrative basis," the President said.
"Having a systematic approach is the main formula for our continued movement forward in the modern world for the next decade. For Kazakhstan to become an integral and dynamic part of world markets for goods, services, labor, capital, and modern ideas and technologies. We should achieve the following goals," the President said.
The first goal is not just to ensure and maintain sustainable economic development, but to manage this growth.
Listed among other goals were turning Kazakhstan into a "regional locomotive" of economic development and a successful player in the world economy; raising the effectiveness of extractive industries; ensuring the development of non-raw materials sectors and the diversification of the economy; developing modern infrastructure in accordance with the country's new role in regional and global economies; swift implementation of administrative reform taking into account international practices; and promoting the achievements and opportunities of a new Kazakhstan in Central Asia and the world.
Another important goal will be ensuring modern education and professional training, creating foundations for a "smart economy," using new technologies, ideas and approaches.
Modernizing the political system will be among the most important goals, and its achievement will ensure political stability for the future.
First of all, the powers of Parliament will be expanded, in particular, in the formation
of the Constitutional Council, the Central Election Commission, the Accounting Committee and, as a whole, in areas governing the approval and control over national budget. The Parliament will also play a larger role in forming the Government.
Second, measures will be taken to increase the role of political parties.
Third, one of the major directions of reforms will be improving the judicial system. As of this year, Kazakhstan is introducing jury trials. Kazakhstan will gradually move to legal proceedings of a modern and open type.
Fourth, local representative bodies will develop and maslikhats, local assemblies, will be strengthened.
"The overall objective of political transformation for us is a movement toward such modern democratic form of authority which can provide the most effective system of managing society and state, simultaneously keeping political stability in the country and ensuring all constitutional laws and freedoms of our citizens," President Nazarbayev said.
Kazakhstan's foreign policy priorities have been determined as maintaining good neighbourly relations with Russia and China, developing the strategic partnership with the United States and multifaceted cooperation with Europe.
Kazakhstan also intends to play an active role in ensuring regional stability, promoting economic integration in Central Asia and creating a dynamic market around the Caspian and Black seas. Such a policy course is already seen in Kazakhstan's constructive initiatives to intensify cooperation in Central Asia, Asia in the general and the Middle East as well as to strengthen regional structures such as the Eurasian Economic Community, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building in Asia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Kazakhstan has to become ‘a regional driving force” of economic development and a successful participant of the world economy. It should increase the effectiveness of the extracting sector and to ensure the development of non-extracting industries, diversify the economy and to develop a modern infrastructure according to our new role in the regional and global economies.
Finally, Kazakhstan intends to strengthen its position as a center of inter-cultural and inter-religious harmony to promote a dialog of civilizations. Together with certain countries which are also interested in expanding and deepening the dialog of civilizations, we could jointly come forward with major international initiatives aimed at improving understanding between East and West on key issues of modernity," the President noted.