Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA


UN Human Development Report: Kazakhstan Reduces Gender Inequality 0

Posted on November 27, 2011 by Alex

Astana Calling, Nov 18, 2011

Kazakhstan has demonstrated a significant decline in gender inequality over the past few years. In the United Nations 2011 Human Development Report, Kazakhstan’s Gender inequality index (GII) equals 0.334, “which positions it 56th among 146 countries,” Director of the National Accounts Department of the Statistics Agency Yuri Shokamanov said, presenting the Report on November 16. The last year’s report showed Kazakhstan’s GII for 2008 as equal to 0.575, ranking the country 66th among 138 countries.

The Gender inequality index was introduced in 2010 as part of the 20th anniversary edition of the Human Development Report. The GII is a composite measure reflecting inequality in achievements between women and men in three dimensions: reproductive health, empowerment, and the labour market. The Index varies between zero, indicating that women and men fare equally, and one, meaning total inequality.

The health dimension is measured by two indicators: maternal mortality ratio and the adolescent fertility rate. The 2011 HDR shows Kazakhstan’s maternal mortality ratio equalling 45 per 100,000 live births based on the data from 2008. The adolescent fertility rate in 2011 amounted to 30 per 1,000 women. In the 2010 Report, the value of the mortality rate was calculated based on the data from 2003-2008 years and shown as 140, whereas the average adolescent fertility rate for 1990-2008 equaled 30.7. Thus, Kazakhstan has shown a tremendous decline in both indicators over the years. The average value for maternal mortality ratio among countries with high human development – which includes Kazakhstan – equals 51. The average adolescent fertility rate is 51.6.

The next dimension of the GII – empowerment – is also measured by two indicators: parliamentary representation and educational attainment. The 2011 HDR shows that women hold 13.6 percent of seats in the Kazakhstan Parliament, an increase from 12.3 percent in 2010. A total of 92.2 percent of women in Kazakhstan have secondary education compared to 95 percent of men, according to the 2011 data. The 2010 HDR showed the same values. In high human development countries, women on average occupy 13.5 percent of seats in parliament, while educational attainment levels for women equal 61 percent and 64.6 for men, according to the 2011 HDR.

The labour dimension is measured by women’s participation in the work force. In 2011, the labour force participation rate for women in Kazakhstan equalled 65.7 percent, compared with men’s 76.3 percent. In the 2010 HDR, this indicator showed 73.9 percent and 80.4 percent for women and men respectively. Among high human development countries, the average labour force participation rate equals to 47.8 percent for women and 75 percent for men.

In addition to the GII, Human development reports include indicators related to gender inequality such as the prevalence of the use of contraceptive methods and of antenatal care, as well as the percentage of births attended by health personnel. Reports for 2010 and 2011 show that in Kazakhstan 51 percent of women use forms of contraception, 100 percent receive antenatal care, and 100 percent of deliveries are attended by health personnel. Among countries with high human development, the average contraceptive prevalence rate equals to 72.4 percent, while 94.4 percent of women use antenatal care and 96.1 percent of deliveries are attended by professionals, according to the 2011 HDR data.

The Human development index of Kazakhstan in 2011 equalled to 0.745, a rise from 0.740 in 2010, which ranks it 68th among 187 countries in the Human development report.

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=801&cntnt01origid=90&cntnt01category_id=6&cntnt01returnid=90

Kazakhstan-UN cooperation set to expand 0

Posted on November 04, 2011 by Alex

Gazeta, Oct 24, 2011

On October 24, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a roundtable devoted to the United Nations Day and the 20th anniversary of Kazakhstan’s independence, which gathered representatives of state bodies, the diplomatic corps and the UN agencies.

Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov of Kazakhstan and the UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Stephen Tull addressed the participants, the Kazakh MFA reports.

In his speech Kazykhanov noted that Kazakhstan became the UN member on 2 March 1992 at the 46th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations under the Resolution 46/224, passed unanimously.

The Kazakh Foreign Minister emphasized that the event was of great political importance for the country and quoted President Nursultan Nazarbayev as saying: “The significance of this fact is invaluable: we not only reaffirmed the commitment to the fundamental principles of the international law, but also came under the protection of the most authoritative international organization, which has accepted the major task of ensuring security in the world.”

Over the years of its UN membership, Kazakhstan has successfully integrated into the international community. Most of Kazakhstan’s international initiatives, which are now being successfully implemented, have been put forward from the UN rostrum.

Suffice it to mention the following ones: convening of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), launch of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA), and proclamation of 29 August as the International Day of Actions against Nuclear Tests.

According to Minister Kazykhanov, since joining the Organization, Kazakhstan has actively participated in all of its main events and hosted some of the major international fora under its auspices. The most recent ones are the 18th Session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (October 2009), the 6th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (September 2010), the 7th Pan-European Ministerial Conference “Environment for Europe” (September 2011).

Speaking of Kazakhstan’s role in the field of disarmament Kazykhanov particularly noted that the UN widely recognizes the country’s contribution to strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime.

“It is symbolic that the recent International Forum for Nuclear-Free World held in Astana and Semey on October 12-13 was dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the closing of the Semipalatinsk test site. Such results were achieved due to the peaceful policy implemented by the President of Kazakhstan since the early days of independence”, Kazykhanov said.

Kazakhstan is the member of almost all UN specialized agencies, three UN Functional Commissions on Population and Development, on Narcotic Drugs, and Sustainable Development, two UN Regional Commissions (ECE and ESCAP), as well as the member of the UNEP Governing Council, and Executive Boards of the UNICEF, UNESCO, the UN3-Women, the Committee for Programme and Coordination, the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).

In his speech Kazykhanov noted that Kazakhstan attaches great importance to cooperation with the UN to protect and promote human rights. “Our country has successfully passed the procedure of the Universal Periodic Review, and submitted the National Reports on Implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” the Kazakh Foreign Minister said.

Kazakhstan is committed to its obligations for timely and effective achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), where the country has already accomplished a number of tasks.

Astana has started the implementation of the MDGs Plus agenda, which provides for higher rates and indicators. The priority issues for the country are the reduction of poverty and unemployment, maternal and child mortality, achievement of sustainable development, improvement of the environment, prevention of HIV/AIDS and support of gender equality.

He also added that the cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UN in the field of ecology is steadily growing, in particular, in climate protection, prevention of desertification and trans-boundary air pollution, biodiversity preservation and protection of the marine environment of the Caspian Sea.

In his address, Kazykhanov stressed that Kazakhstan intends to continue its active participation in all aspects of the UN’s activities. In this context, he stressed that the country’s achievements and its successful interaction with the UN have enabled it to plan the establishment of the KazAid Agency. Kazakhstan is also promoting the idea of turning Almaty into a hub of multilateral diplomacy under the UN auspices and establishing there a UN Regional Centre for Multilateral Cooperation.

In his opening speech, UN Resident Coordinator in Kazakhstan Stephen Tull noted the milestones of 20 years of fruitful cooperation between Kazakhstan and the UN, and also defined further prospects of interaction.

The roundtable held substantive discussions on Kazakhstan’s sustainable development, including its basic aspects, such as economic development, healthcare and environment protection, energy conservation and efficiency, as well as gender equality.

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=786&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=201

Kazakhstan to Host Nuclear Weapons Free World Forum 0

Posted on October 09, 2011 by Alex

On October 12-13, 2011 to mark the historic 20th Anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and to continue its efforts aimed at completing elimination of the nuclear threat, Kazakhstan will host the International Forum for Nuclear Weapons Free World in the capital of Astana.

“The Soviet era nuclear test site, which functioned on Kazakh soil for decades, was the world’s largest and home to 456 nuclear explosions. The total radiological effect is equivalent to 116 Chernobyl accidents. The consequences to our people and environment will be felt for a long time. I am very proud that one of my first orders of business as President of Kazakhstan was a decree I signed ordering its closure,” Nazarbayev said, while announcing Forum recently.

The Forum’s main goal will be to build international support for the UN resolution on proclaiming August 29 as the International Day against Nuclear Tests which the General Assembly adopted unanimously in December 2009. The resolution calls for practical actions to remind the world of the terrible consequences of nuclear testing and to prevent testing in the future.

Also on the agenda will be practical and effective actions that nations of the world can take in concert to reduce existing nuclear arsenals and prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The Nuclear Weapons Free World Forum in Astana will attract government leaders, former heads of state, nuclear experts, leaders of international organizations, and anti-nuclear activists. Among the high-level officials to share their thoughts will be Yukio Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Tibor Toth, executive secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

The U.S. delegation will be led by Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman, and include Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Rose Gottemoeller, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Defense Programs Andrew Weber and other senior officials. Several U.S.-based nonproliferation NGOs have confirmed their participation as well.

The Nuclear Weapons Free World Forum is but one of a series of events Kazakhstan is sponsoring, or participating in the lead-up to the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, in March 2012. The Kazakh Government sees the International Forum for Nuclear Weapons Free World as an important stepping stone to ensure the progress made at the inaugural Nuclear Security Summit, held last year in Washington, D.C. is built upon before it reconvenes in Seoul next year.

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=783&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=201

Nazarbayev Addresses GA, Says Kazakhstan Followed Spirit, Letter of UN 0

Posted on September 28, 2011 by Alex

President Nursultan Nazarbayev visited New York on September 20 through 22 for the UN General Assembly (UNGA) debates, a unique forum for the international community to address global issues.

In his speech to the UNGA’s general debates, President Nazarbayev summarised some of the major achievements his country had made over the past twenty years of its independence. Among others are the historic closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and convening of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building in Asia (CICA), a multilateral security dialogue of 22 countries representing world’s half population. Last year, Kazakhstan became the first post-Soviet country to assume the chairmanship of the OSCE. Its yearlong stint culminated in a historic summit, first since 1999.

This year Kazakhstan chairs the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Kazakhstan furthers all efforts to strengthen international and regional security, promote dialogue between the Islamic world and the West, counter Islamophobia and enhance nonproliferation regime, Nazarbayev said in his address.

The Kazakh leader called upon the world leaders to draft a Universal Declaration of Nuclear-Free World. He called the situation when some countries are allowed to have and perfect their nuclear weapons while others are prohibited even to develop one paradoxical. He urged the de-facto nuclear states to refrain from their ambitions and join comprehensive treaties.

Speaking of the global recession, Nazarbayev stressed the need to change the paradigm the United Nations works in the economic sphere. Forecast and elimination of reasons of world crises should be the major work of international financial institutions, Nazarbayev added. An effective mechanism of global economic management with clear-cut rules and norms of responsibilities of all parties, the introduction of a world reserve currency, and strict control of speculative capital are needed.

A global pact on information and cybersecurity is vital to deter the increasingly frequent attacks by hackers against governments, businesses and other institutions, said the President. He also underlined the need for what he called an international legal framework of the global information space.

Nazarbayev said the emergence of a new world order is accompanied by the growth of conflicts. He told that it was worrying that world’s total arms expenditures are growing twice faster than during the Cold War, or 6 per cent per annum. He repeated the urgency to set up a UN Fund of Peacekeeping Efforts, a proposal he put forward 19 years ago. To this end, every country would contribute 1 per cent of its military budget.

He called upon UN’s closer cooperation with regional organisations such as CICA, SCO and CSTO in the Eurasian region.

The Kazakh President confirmed his country’s support for a Palestinian State, as without an independent Palestine, peace in the Middle East is impossible.

He underlined that only trust and unity could be the foundation of a new and fair world order.

On the sidelines of UNGA, the Kazakh leader held a number of bilateral meetings with presidents of Austria, Cyprus, European Council, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Ukraine, and USA, prime ministers of Turkey and UK, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The following day, President Nazarbayev delivered a keynote speech at the High-Level Meeting on Nuclear Safety and Security on the margins of the UN General Assembly’s sixty-sixth session. The meeting focused on strengthening the global nuclear safety regime and ensuring maximum nuclear safety standards.

In his speech, President described nuclear security as triune whole, consisting of protecting humankind from nuclear weapons, countering potential nuclear terrorism, and ensuring safety of atomic energy. He called for improvement of planetary management mechanisms in nuclear energy development. According to Nazarbayev, “unified, strict and internationally recognised standards and criteria to ensure safety of nuclear energy sites are needed’. He also underlined the importance that the world community be immediately informed of any minor incidents at any nuclear sites. And while the global radiophobia is growing it is of paramount importance to strengthen public trust of nuclear energy on the basis of true and realistic information, he added.

He also thanked the UNGA for declaring August 29, the day of closing the Semipalatinsk test site, the International Day of Actions against Nuclear Tests.

The leader of Kazakhstan also reaffirmed his country’s readiness to host the IAEA’s Low Enriched Uranium bank.

On the sidelines of the UNGA sixty-sixth session, Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov attended the Ministerial Meeting “The New Silk Way”. As the current chair of the OIC CFM, he also participated in an Organization of Islamic Cooperation – European Union meeting as well as the OSCE Ministerial Troika meeting. He also held talks with its Chairman-in-Office Audronius Azubalis. He met separately with First-Vice-President of the European Commission and EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Affairs Catherine Ashton, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and UNDP Administrator Helen Clark.

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=780&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=201



Kazakhstan Daily News Roundup – September 22, 2011 0

Posted on September 22, 2011 by Alex

Right to education: first mission to Kazakhstan 0

Posted on September 13, 2011 by Alex

Scoop.co.nz, Press Release: United Nations, Sept 10, 2011

GENEVA – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, will visit Kazakhstan from 12 to 20 September 2011 to collect first-hand information on the situation of education in the country, with special focus on the authorities’ efforts to guarantee quality education and to ensure equality of opportunity in education.

“Education plays a central role in the empowerment of individuals and communities,” said Mr. Singh, who will visit Kazakhstan at the invitation of the Government. “Investment in an inclusive education system that responds to the needs of the most marginalized groups is crucial to consolidate democracy and to ensure that everyone enjoys the benefits of economic development.”

During his first visit to the country, the UN special rapporteur will hold meetings with senior Government officials including the Minister of Education and Science. He will also meet UN representatives, the donor community and non-governmental organizations. During his mission, Mr. Singh will visit education institutions in Astana and Almaty.

Based on findings and discussions during the visit, the Special Rapporteur will prepare a report and make recommendations on strengthening the education system in a human rights perspective and on advancing the right to education. This report will be presented at the UN Human Rights Council in June 2012.

Mr. Singh will host a press conference to share his preliminary conclusions and observations on Tuesday 20 September 2011 at 10.00 at the U.N. building (Bukeykhan Str. 26).

Kishore Singh is the Special Rapporteur on the right to education since August 2010. He is an Indian professor specialized in international law, who has worked for many years with UNESCO for the promotion of the right to education, and advised a number of international, regional and national entities on right to education issues. Throughout his career, Mr. Singh has supported the development of the right to education in its various dimensions and worked to better understanding this right as an internationally recognized right.

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/SREducation/Pages/SREducationIndex.aspx

SOURCE: http://www.kazakhembus.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=776&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=201

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