At the very start, let me emphasize that, in my opinion, the National Kurultai is not a solemn meeting at which grandiloquent speeches are made.
Our ancestors convened the Kurultai in critical periods of history to discuss and make important decisions for the country.
Today's Kurultai takes place after the tragedy, as a result of large-scale fires in the Abai Region our fellow citizens passed away.
I repeat once again: we must learn the lessons from this tragedy and make concrete decisions.
The trials that have befallen us, first and foremost, test the strength of our unity.
Such difficult moments show that the most important thing is mutual solidarity, support and responsibility. You understand this very well yourselves.
The National Kurultai is a unique platform that consolidates our people to achieve common goals.
The initiative to convene the Kurultai was put forward by me in the Address to the Nation in March last year. This step was required due to the need to strengthen public dialogue and establish a broad discussion of issues and tasks affecting the future of our country.
The first meeting of the Kurultai we held exactly a year ago in Ulytau – the cradle of our centuries-old statehood, the place where fateful decisions were made. This tradition has continued this year.
Today's event is taking place in a city sacred to the entire Turkic world. Our people traditionally call Turkestan the spiritual capital of the country. However, the role of this city is far more significant.
Turkestan occupied a special place in our history. Since ancient times, it has been a major trading hub on the Great Silk Road, a spiritual and educational center for all fraternal peoples. Many outstanding personalities who left a significant mark in the history of the Kazakhs are buried here. We can say that this ancient city preserves the entire multifaceted chronicle of our people and is a bright guiding star of the civilization of the Great Steppe.
For centuries, Turkestan has been an important political center and the capital of our state. It was home to many of our khans, who ruled the vast steppe expanses. From here, our wise chieftains ensured justice and called the people to unity.
All this underlines the centralized nature and deep roots of our statehood. The dynasty of khans from Zhoshy to Kenesary ruled in the Great Steppe for more than six centuries. There are very few such examples in world history.
Now we are located near the settlement of Kul’tobe and not far from the area of Ordabasy, which Abish Kekilbayev called "the Kaaba of the Kazakh spirit."
It was in such iconic places that representatives of our nation gathered many times to make wise and balanced decisions that determined the future of the country at key moments in history. The people supported them, entrusting the fate of the country into the hands of their best sons. Thus, being united, we successfully resisted all external challenges and threats.
Sacred Turkestan, which is the stronghold of the unity of the people and the integrity of the country, will continue to fulfill this high mission. This imposes a special responsibility on the leaders of this region.
No matter how many eras have changed, the continuity of generations will not be disrupted. The current meeting of the National Kurultai is special in form and insightful in content.
A number of important topics have been discussed here since yesterday. Members of the National Kurultai expressed their positions and put forward new initiatives in interesting and comprehensive discussions with Government ministers on many issues.
The Presidential Administration will study all constructive proposals in detail and prepare a general conceptual vision on them. They must certainly be taken into account in the upcoming work.
I thank everyone for their active participation in the work of the Kurultai.
It’s been exactly one year since the first meeting of the National Kurultai. This period of time has become historical on the path to building a Just Kazakhstan.
By adding a true spirit of justice to our Basic Law, we carried out a constitutional reform that strengthened the foundation of the state and set a far-reaching democratic vector for the development of the country.
In a short time, we have formed a qualitatively different configuration of key institutions of power, significantly expanded the participation of citizens in decision-making, and comprehensively strengthened the system for protecting human rights and freedoms.
All of this has significantly increased the strategic stability and effectiveness of our political system, made it more fair, open and competitive.
Some people initially doubted the success of our transformations. However, we have not derailed from our initial course, and have consistently carried out the intended plan for large-scale political modernization. We have done this outstanding job together.
Today’s Kazakhstan is vastly different from what it was three, two and even a year ago. Thanks to the unity and solidarity of the people, and a constructive public dialogue, we have made a real breakthrough in a short period of time.
In fact, Kazakhstan has become the only country in our wider region that has carried out such substantial changes in the political system in such a short time. Our consistent innovations have formed a special - Kazakh - model of political reforms, which will be updated with new ideas in the future.
Nevertheless, we must not rest on our laurels. We are at the very beginning of the journey, and more work lies ahead.
Building a Just Kazakhstan is an undertaking for the whole society, not just for ministers or akims. It is not sufficient to simply carry out political and economic reforms to achieve this goal. It is essential that our individual and social values and patterns of behavior are modernized, that our nation’s world view is changed. Without this, any transformation will be in vain. In other words, if our thoughts and aspirations do not change, nothing will change.
Today we are witnessing an unprecedented rise in international tensions. Some large countries are trying to literally dictate their agenda, to impose their standards.
Moreover, the clash of various ideas and approaches, often diametrically opposed, is now taking place not only in the sphere of geopolitics or economics, but even within culture and spiritual values, in other words, ideology. This is fraught with the most serious negative consequences for the secure coexistence of several states and peoples.
The international situation is far from encouraging; therefore the Republic of Kazakhstan should be united like never before.
The quality of our nation primarily determines what place we will take in the future world order. If we want to become a powerful country, we must together find answers to fundamental questions about what kind of future we are building, what our national dream is, what a citizen of Kazakhstan should be like, where are our pivot points, what is the mission of our country. Today I want to introduce my vision on this matter.
We are facing the urgent task of combining ongoing political and economic reforms with profound socio-cultural changes in society. We have to move forward and constantly work to strengthen our values, methodically getting rid of everything that hinders the country’s progress. This is the only way for us to achieve a new quality of the nation and enhance our centuries-long statehood. Otherwise, we will find ourselves on the sidelines of history and sink into oblivion.
I am well aware that any values cannot be implemented by a special decree or law. Various concepts and doctrines without simple and comprehensible foundations are artificial and doomed to failure. The formation of any viable, future-oriented ideology is always the result of a joint search between state and society.
We must harmoniously combine our traditional values with modern cultural norms. Looking at my fellow citizens - patriotic, talented, courageous, educated, goal-oriented, hardworking - I am very optimistic about the future. I see how our young people, growing up in a free and independent country, have made great strides in science, education, music, cinema, sports and other fields, showing the world the uniqueness of our country, our perception of the world and our identity. Our youth revives our national spirit in a modern way, combining the experience of the past with the horizon of the future.
The task of the state is to maintain and repeatedly strengthen this positive momentum. Having done this, we will create our own Kazakh renaissance and our own age of reformation.
The older generation must actually promote the values of work and enterprise, and wean young people from verbosity, glorification, laziness, indifference, and idleness.
We, as a society, must change not to be appreciated or praised, but first and foremost for our own sake, for the sake of our country's future and the future of our children.
Frankly speaking, sometimes it seems that we care about what people think of us rather than who we really are. One could say that this has already become commonplace for us.
Hospitality is undoubtedly a good quality. But it is wrong to keep our homes tidy only when we are expecting guests. Cleanliness and neatness should become a daily norm for us. We ourselves require well-maintained cities and villages, clean and orderly parks, squares, entrances to houses and apartments, and yards. We all want our houses to be cozy and beautiful. This is absolutely normal. Citizens should have the same attitude towards public spaces and our unique nature. Kazakhstan is our common home, and what it will become depends on us alone.
Recently, our major cities have faced water shortages and interruptions in water supply, which caused a justified discontent among the citizens. Of course, this is a serious omission in the work of akims. Thus problem needs to be solved urgently. Otherwise, I will make the appropriate decisions.
We should strive to create not by form but by content. "To be, rather than to seem" is our principle.
Our new social ethics should be based on the values of unity and stability, justice and solidarity, law and order, trust and responsibility. It should become the embodiment of patriotism, humanity, the cult of knowledge, professionalism, thrift and diligence. Above all, one of the most important qualities of the individual that should be valued is a reverent attitude to their land and country.
An individual personifying these noble qualities can be characterized by one profound phrase – a responsible citizen – "Adal Azamat". A Just Kazakhstan can only be built by responsible citizens. These concepts are closely related to each other, one is impossible without the other.
Responsibility to one's country and family is a sign of a highly moral and mature person.
A man who works honestly and gets his income in an honest way will achieve real success and will always be deservedly respected in the society.
The great Abai said that acquiring wealth by honest work is a worthy occupation for a truly noble man. A man of honor would never act unjustly.
A just society will be established only if responsibility and decency come first in every sphere, corruption is strictly suppressed, and all decisions are made on the basis of our national interests. In short, the origins of all good deeds in society come from the ideals of responsibility, honesty and fidelity to duty.
Therefore, "Just Kazakhstan" and "Responsible Citizen" are two interrelated concepts, which should always be considered as the unshakable pillars of our country.
To build a Just Kazakhstan, each of our compatriots should strive to become a responsible citizen. We must educate the younger generation as responsible citizens of their country.
Systematic ideological work must be carried out to instill new values and strengthen the national identity. Let me now outline the concrete areas of this work.
FIRST. It is necessary to improve the state symbols.
Today, the level of influence of any state is largely determined by the strength of the national brand. To ensure its effective promotion, it is important to adhere to a unified style and common standards. Our symbols should clearly and vividly express our unique national code.
At a recent session of the Assembly of the People, I spoke about the need to further improve the country's heraldic symbols. I think that first and foremost we must bring the coats of arms of our regions and cities to a common denominator.
Today, many of them do not meet the most basic requirements and canons, differing in form and content. This arouses valid public criticism. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct a thorough analysis in this area and develop common approaches. It is necessary to streamline the system of development and approval of regional symbols, making it uniform for all regions.
I will focus separately on the system of state awards.
We have our own well-established traditions in this important field. There are many people in our country who make a great contribution to the development of the state and ensure the safety of citizens with their daily hard work. They include teachers, doctors, scientists, entrepreneurs, police officers, military personnel, rescuers and representatives of many other professions. The state should always support and mark the merits of such citizens – creators and true patriots. I pay special attention to this.
It is vital for orders and medals to have deep symbolism, to be unique and to find a broad response in society. For these purposes, the system of state awards should be made less abstract, more understandable and closer to the people.
Recently, we gave the state awards a personalized character, naming them in honor of outstanding thinkers and educators, such as al-Farabi, Abai, Akhmet Baitursynov. This approach allows us to remember the names of the great sons and daughters of our people, to widely promote their progressive views in society.
In fact, our national ideology is formed on the basis of such decisions.
The system of state awards should be transformed in the same way.
Orders and medals in many countries are given the names of prominent figures. This is done to strengthen civic patriotism, rooting in the public consciousness of iconic historic figures who have left a great mark on history.
We need to use this experience carefully in our work to improve the system of state awards.
It is necessary to think about giving a number of our state orders the names of outstanding figures of our people. I think it would be a great honor for every citizen of our country to become a recipient of orders, which, for example, bear the names of Sultan Beybars and a number of other historic figures.
Earlier, I instructed to develop and approve a new state award "El Birligi" (Unity of the Country), which will be awarded for the first time on Republic Day this year.
Next year, on Republic Day, we will celebrate the merits of distinguished citizens with orders named after historical figures.
The Presidential Administration, together with authorized state bodies, scientists and experts, needs to analyze this issue in detail and make concrete proposals by the end of this year.
SECOND. It is very important to strengthen the historical self-consciousness of the nation.
All developed countries pay special attention to the formation of a canonical image of their past. The multi-volume research publication on history of the country plays a key role in this.
The strategic task of preparing a multi-volume history of Kazakhstan that meets modern scientific approaches has remained completely unresolved all the years of Independence. Therefore, in the article "Independence above all," I initiated the preparation of a new multi-volume publication on the history of Kazakhstan.
A group of domestic and foreign historians carried out initial work on writing seven volumes on the history of Kazakhstan from ancient times to the present day. Now it requires thorough scientific and stylistic revision and a single visual design.
It is necessary that the seven-volume book excludes conceptual errors and shortcomings of past editions, cover all the latest discoveries on the history of Kazakhstan, organically includes the historical processes taking place on our territory in the global context, represents a complete and objective chronicle of the country without contradictory facts and myths.
It is fundamentally important to make the text comprehensible and interesting for readers of all ages.
The multi-volume book on the history of Kazakhstan should be completed by the middle of next year. And then it should be widely discussed in the scientific community.
This work will make a great contribution to strengthening our statehood and the historical identity of the nation.
Our centuries – old history is the subject of our national pride, an important component of the cultural code of our people. Therefore, one of the primary tasks of the state is to create the necessary conditions for its comprehensive study, understanding and popularization.
Archaeology is an important tool of historical knowledge.
A key scientific organization of the country that engaged in the systematic study of our unique historical heritage is the Institute of Archaeology in Almaty. Its current state is very deplorable.
To modernize and ensure the proper work of the Institute, it is essential to create the necessary conditions and provide it with appropriate resources. It is advisable to create a special fund for archaeological finds at the Institute. Such experiences are widespread in the world.
In addition, we should identify a single list of outstanding figures in our nation's history. They will become one of the key markers of our national identity at home and abroad.
Onomastics is also an essential ideological tool that is of great importance for strengthening historical self-awareness.
It is necessary to stop the practice of assigning to various objects the names of figures of the Soviet period, whose biographies are purposefully mythologized in favor of someone's personal interests and preferences.
In general, it is necessary to put things in order in the sphere of onomastics. The work in this direction should be conducted in a comprehensive, consistent, and centralized manner.
Onomastics is not the responsibility of descendants and relatives of our ancestors or famous personalities, it is the prerogative of the state. All onomastic processes need to be clearly regulated, taking into account not only regional specifics, but also national priorities.
THIRD. We must engage in comprehensive promotion of our cultural heritage.
To modernize the country, we need to effectively use the capabilities of soft power.
One of the key institutions here should be the Kazakhstan Agency for International Development “KazAID” under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In many countries, such structures are engaged in the promotion of their national brand, history and culture. This approach allows them to promote a positive image of the country, to form a favorable environment for the implementation of foreign policy initiatives and strengthen the business position in the world.
Zhuldyz Suleimenova, a member of the Mazhilis (the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament), has just spoken about the need to support entrepreneurs engaged in the popularization of national values. This is also a very good initiative.
Kazakh culture is multifaceted. We have inherited a huge legacy from our ancestors, which we need to consistently modernize and promote all over the world.
For example, the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yassawi is considered one of the symbols of our unique history and occupies a special place in our spiritual values. A proposal has been made to give this site the status of a national historical and cultural monument. I support this initiative.
Talking about Turkestan and the mausoleum, it is impossible not to say about Khoja Ahmed Yasawi himself. He is an outstanding thinker, one of the pillars of our spirituality, who has made a huge contribution to the establishment of Islam throughout the Turkic world. The continuity of the spiritual traditions of the Great Steppe, originating from Yasawi, has not been interrupted to this day.
This year marks 930 years since his birth. In this regard, it is necessary to give a new impetus to the work of studying and popularizing the works of the thinker. It is also necessary to work out the issue of creating a center or institute that will be purposefully engaged in Yasawi studies.
Along with the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi, we have other sites that have a high spiritual value and deserve to become a common heritage. A transnational application has now been submitted for several sites to be included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This work is carried out jointly with neighboring countries.
Recently, at my invitation, the Director General of UNESCO, Ms. Audrey Azoulay, visited Kazakhstan. She specifically visited the city of Turkestan. This visit of the head of an influential international organization to our country was the first in the last ten years.
I held a separate meeting with Ms. Azoulay, during which she presented me with confirmation certificates for the inclusion on the UNESCO list of the Burabay and Markakol natural reserves, as well as the Orteke musical and puppet art.
Undoubtedly, this will make a significant contribution to the worldwide promotion of the natural and cultural heritage of Kazakhstan. It is necessary to continue the work to include our unique traditions and sites in the list of intangible cultural heritage.
Our country is the center and the place of intersection of different cultures, which are organically woven into our national code. We highly value our history associated with the names of outstanding representatives of many nations. For example, Kazakhstan has unique museums of such world-famous poets and writers as Alexander Pushkin, Taras Shevchenko, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Mikhail Sholokhov and a number of others. It is necessary to preserve and study this heritage, which embodies the versatility of our national culture.
Another of our distinctive features is that we are heirs to a nomadic civilization. This is one of the main brands of our people, which is widely known in the world.
On my initiative, the fifth World Nomad Games will take place in Kazakhstan next year. This event will contribute to the development of national sports. We must hold these international competitions at the highest level.
FOURTH. An important task is the education of the younger generation.
We need to strengthen our national identity. Every nation in the world is unique in its own way. We must understand this correctly. The uniqueness of our nation must lie in the success. To be successful, we must do concrete things, not follow loud slogans and live in the captivity of illusions. This should be clear and understandable to all citizens.
We must have a clear answer to the question, “How do we become a successful country?” The qualities inherent in being a responsible citizen must be ingrained in the minds of the younger generation.
A new quality of the nation will be formed only through the development of education, science, and culture. These directions can be called the unshakable triad of spiritual development of our society.
We must pay special attention to the upbringing of the younger generation, guiding them to achieve good goals. In the age of the Internet, this is not an easy task.
We need to say openly: children and teenagers are now essentially being raised by social media. If we don't guide children, show them the right path, it can become a very dangerous trend. Among young people there are those who through the Internet have fallen into the networks of radical religious movements. The bad habits of young people are first and foremost the failings of the older generation.
We must protect our young people from the negative influences of globalization in every way possible.
It is important to strengthen measures aimed at improving educational work. It is no secret that a lot of problems have accumulated in this area. Educational work in schools leaves much to be desired. Recently, cases of bullying, violence, and aggression have become more frequent in educational institutions. Such cases are even filmed and posted on social networks. It has becoming a certain trend. The cruelty of children is sometimes beyond the pale.
The problem of domestic violence is also on the agenda. People who have committed such offenses must be held accountable in accordance with the law.
Our successful development directly depends on such an important social institution as the family. If happiness and well-being reign in Kazakh families, then the future of our country will be bright.
Al-Farabi, the teacher of the East, stated that knowledge without proper education is the enemy of humanity. Parenting is primarily the responsibility of parents. However, parents frequently set a poor example for their children. Some are indifferent to the issues concerning child upbringing, shifting all the responsibility to schools and teachers.
The main source of wealth for the state is people, its citizens. This is obvious. In any case, parents are the ones who open the door to this world for their children. They do this for themselves, not for the state or for society. As a result, every parent should prioritize the development of a conscious generation.
It is necessary that the school should also serve not only as a place of knowledge and enlightenment, but also as an educational institution. Along with knowledge, the teacher's task is to instill in the student humanistic values.
As a society, we should pay special attention to this issue by actively participating in educational work in kindergartens and schools.
It is critical to instill universal and national values in children. Graduates of our schools should, first and foremost, exemplify the characteristics of a responsible citizen.
In every child it is necessary to engrain the sense of patriotism. It is critical to revitalize the work of children's and youth organizations.
Love for the homeland does not entail shouting slogans and playing rousing marches at large gatherings. Patriotism is a feeling that comes from deep within. Patriotism is defined as a person who constantly ensures cleanliness and order in his home, yard, and city, cares for public spaces, does not litter, and does not spit everywhere. Unfortunately, even in Astana, our fellow citizens are irresponsible when it comes to the environment, especially when it comes to littering in parks during the summer. This is not done by foreigners, but by our fellow citizens. Many foreigners and visitors to our capital are taken aback by this. These are very sad facts.
A person who sincerely loves his homeland protects his country's environment in every way possible. He protects every flower and tree, thus demonstrating true patriotism.
In my speeches, I frequently mention volunteers. They are true patriots who contribute significantly to the development and improvement of our country's image. We must support volunteers with the whole society, recognizing and appreciating their efforts.
At the same time, it is critical to instill in children a strong ecological culture and to set a good example of environmental stewardship.
It is critical to educate the next generation about our cultural heritage and teach them to value it. It is necessary to create conditions for schoolchildren to visit theaters, museums, and historical sites in order for them to grow spiritually. Such cultural and leisure activities for students should be held on a regular basis and across the country. This is a joint task of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
I also constantly bring up issues concerning the promotion of the work ethic and entrepreneurship among young people.
For example, young people from neighboring countries travel abroad and are actively engaged in business. They open national-style shops, cafes, and restaurants. In other words, they earn. It would be good if our youth would follow such examples.
Of course, this is not a call for young people to leave the country and work abroad. First and foremost, there is no such thing as good or bad work; any honest work is valuable. There is no need to politicize every issue, engage in idle talk, or wait for manna from heaven; instead, it is necessary to do specific things that enables one to receive legal income.
At the last National Kurultai meeting, I gave several instructions on instilling the values of work in the younger generation. This, in particular, led to the revival of the lesson on labor on the school curriculum. Work in this direction must continue.
As a progressive society, we must always treat the working man with special regard. There are no useless professions, only foolish specialists. Anyone who works tirelessly will eventually become a professional in their field. And true professionals will always be in high demand.
We pay special attention to elevating the status of a worker. In our country, there is a variety of professional holidays. They are, however, frequently overlooked. On Labor Day, the accomplishments of the best specialists, in my opinion, should be recognized at the state level. This step will help to establish the value of labor in our society.
In fact, it makes little difference what kind of work a person does; what matters is how he does it. Regardless of whether a person is a minister or an akim, a builder, a doctor, or a teacher, the important thing is that everyone conscientiously fulfills the tasks assigned to him and earns his living honestly.
Vadim Basin, the “Kazakhstan Enbek Eri” titleholder, spoke very well on the promotion of labor values in our society.
Who is the true man of labor? Primarily, this is a specialist who gives his all to his work. A real person of work is an individual of action and a responsible citizen.
Recent fires demonstrated irresponsibility. Such irresponsibility exists not only in forestry, but also in other industries.
Everyone should be well aware that their irresponsible attitude toward their responsibilities could lead to a national tragedy. We will only succeed if there is accountability in all spheres and at all levels.
In critical situations, it is clear who is who. A person who cares about the country and the people who are always willing to assist with concrete actions.
Unfortunately, various destructive cults are gaining momentum in our society today. Many people, especially the youth, hero-worship criminal leaders posing as people’s defenders, like Alpamys Batyr. All sorts of frauds, who are popular among a certain segment of our compatriots, are acting in a similar way.
In fact, these are nothing but sects that poison the minds of our citizens. They confuse people with their pseudo-charity and sophisticated psychological manipulation, by promoting false values and setting fundamentally wrong patterns of behavior. All of this is ideological garbage and informational waste.
We are a progressive country and must strongly oppose dissemination of these views that are alien to our people. In doing so, we must, first and foremost, step up our education efforts. It is important in this modern age to instill critical thinking skills in our youth. We must create conditions to expand the horizon of knowledge for the younger generation. A well-known public figure, Zhaksybek Kulekeev, spoke about this very concisely and accurately.
Students should be given lectures on comprehensive personal development. Such important qualities as the ability to analyze and absorb information, properly plan one’s time and allocate financial resources should be instilled at school.
It is necessary to protect the younger generation from gambling. This problem was raised by members of the National Kurultai, including the famous athlete Islam Bairamukov, who described it well.
I would also like to draw your attention to the problem of drugs that undermines the health of the nation. Drugs poison both the physical and psychological state of our youth.
We must nip in the bud the production and distribution of drugs. Otherwise, the future of our country is unclear. I am very concerned about this issue.
Synthetic drugs have become widespread in our country. Criminal groups are actively involving young people in this illegal activity.
Another scourge threatening the health of our nation is the so-called vaping and various types of e-cigarettes. Unfortunately, their use has become somewhat fashionable among teenagers, because they are easily available and actively advertised as allegedly harmless. However, young people actually put themselves in grave danger, as vaping is harmful and is a step towards real drugs. We need to take urgent and systemic measures to combat this dangerous phenomenon, prohibitions alone will not help the case.
The police need to be more effective in this work. I will keep this issue under a special control.
There has not been a specific document in Kazakhstan since 2016 to regulate the fight against drugs. Therefore, in last year’s Address, I instructed the Government to prepare a Comprehensive Plan. The Government will adopt this important document in the coming days to promote systemic work.
The question of developing legal consciousness as raised by experienced lawyer Serik Akylbay is also relevant. It is very important to raise the legal literacy of young people. Thereby, everyone will be able to protect their rights and will not violate the rights of others. The foundation of our state will be unshakable if law and order reign in our country.
FIFTH. We need to improve the efficiency of information policy and develop the creative industry.
The media is an important institution for the comprehensive modernization of the country, acting as an effective channel of communication between the government and citizens, as well as a key source of different viewpoints and a reliable indicator of public opinion. We need a fundamental restart of the information policy to be able to solve urgent tasks in this sphere.
We need to bring the creative industry to a new level.
In today’s world, media, movies, TV shows, cartoons, sport and music shows, computer games and books constitute a single area aimed at shaping a progressive system of values and patterns of behavior. We have great potential for development in this area and need to take systemic steps to fully implement it.
Book publishing is one of the main aspects of ideological work. It is not a secret that foreign products from other countries are dominant on Kazakhstan’s market. About 90 percent of fiction comes from abroad. It is obvious what this trend can lead to.
It is crucial to publish as many books as possible, reflecting our country’s specific features and corresponding to our national interests.
A smartphone should not replace a book for a child. Today, there are 130 million books in the country’s school libraries. However, the share of fiction among them is insignificant.
In fact, only a reading nation can become a truly intellectual nation. We must awaken an interest in reading books among the younger generation. I understand this is very difficult, especially in an era of social networks. Nevertheless, we need to address this issue. There is no other way.
That is why I instruct to start implementing a new program “Children’s Library.”. A special list of books covering various periods and genres of Kazakh literature should be compiled. Works from this list must be available for all children.
In the words of Martin Luther King, I have a plan, I could say, a dream – to build a Presidential Library that would work 24 hours a day. I saw such a library in Ankara. Visitors to this library get the chance to explore both fiction and special literature published all over the world. I think we can build such a library in our country.
Member of the Mazhilis Yerlan Sairov recently reported on the development of various opportunities to promote our culture on TikTok. I support this initiative. Promoting our national values on social networks that are popular among the youth is the right way to do it.
There is a movement of so-called “anti-influencers” being formed in the West. It opposes various fakes and manipulation of public opinion, questioning information and narratives that are spread by online publications and imposed on citizens, especially young people, as an ideology with no alternatives.
You are aware that there are also such pseudo publications in our country as well, which are engaged in destructive activities. They are backed by certain homegrown moneybags and even individual influential countries.
The new movement promotes traditional values primarily in literature and also in the information sphere. Therefore, we have to pay attention to modern tendencies in the world. Perhaps these new trends will be a determining factor in the revival of an ideologically poisoned atmosphere.
In general, the Writers’ Union of Kazakhstan should take an active part in such important affairs, including book publishing. A month ago, the Union held a regular meeting and elected a new Chairperson. He is a well-known writer, Mereke Kulkenov. At a recent meeting with him, we discussed the future of Kazakh literature.
As the head of state and the citizen, I have always supported the development of Kazakh literature.
I believe the works of our writers and poets must be available to readers, and in demand among citizens, especially young people. This is a task not only for the state, but also for writers and poets. Readers expect new works that may provide them with spiritual nourishment. I hope the Writers’ Union will be able to meet those expectations by giving a new impetus to its work.
I support Mereke Kulkenov’s proposal to restore the title of People’s Writer of Kazakhstan which should be awarded only to writers who have created relevant, interesting and popular works.
Today, we must also pay special attention to cinematography in order to become a strong country, because cinema has a significant impact on public consciousness.
It is hard to say that we have an advanced film industry in our country. A renowned artist, Azamat Satybaldy, has just made a number of conceptual proposals for the development of cinema.
Today, many problems have accumulated in the field of domestic cinema, various discussions and disputes have begun to arise more and more often. I'll give you an example.
Currently, the owners of cinemas charge an impressive amount for the rental of domestic films. Most of the funds from ticket sales also go to cinemas and other private companies.
Film producers cannot determine exactly how many people have seen their films in cinemas. As a result, having spent a great deal of time and energy and put all their knowledge into making movies, they only get a small share of the profits.
They have to make films on very modest budgets to cover their expenses and earn something. As a result, the quality of films really suffers. That is why the development of domestic cinema needs a new outlook and a new impetus.
For example, it would make sense to create a digital system for determining the number of cinema visitors. I instruct the Ministry of Culture and Sport to develop and implement such a platform in the near future.
In general, we need a comprehensive and consistent solution to the problems that have accumulated in the industry, treating the film industry as a separate sector of the economy. It is especially important to establish constructive cooperation between film producers and film distributors, which would take into account the interests of both sides. This is the only way that will enable us to have decent movies about new heroes, significant historical figures, and important events of our country, which will be shot not only by the Kazakhfilm studio, but also by private studios. Then, our rising generation will be brought up on our own heroes masterfully shown on the screen, rather than on the basis of foreign films.
Such earlier released films, as Kyz-Zhibek, The Fall of Otrar, and The End of the Ataman have become classics. I believe we need to make these types of films. Back then, there was no creative freedom, no great financial resources and no computer-generated graphics. Nevertheless, good films were made that still resonate in people’s hearts today.
We must openly admit that the films made in recent years on historic themes have many grounds for criticism.
Ultimately, we need to reform the cinema sector in a comprehensive way in close cooperation with experts.
SIXTH. It is vital to provide high-quality expert and analytical support for state policy.
It is extremely important that the decision-making process must consider public sentiments, wishes and suggestions from the citizens. Government agencies at all levels should take such an approach. I always talk about this. Ultimately, it guarantees social stability and harmony, as well as sustainable and dynamic development of our nation. This is the key to the "listening state" concept.
Today, various institutions receive considerable financial resources for sociological research. However, this work is not systematic. Results are inconclusive. Therefore, this work should be carried out in a comprehensive and coordinated manner.
Effective public administration depends on the quality of analytical support.
The state urgently requires comprehensive research and recommendations to address social problems and ensure the country's comprehensive progress. However, the interaction between state agencies and domestic think tanks is not sufficiently effective at present.
The efficiency of state-owned think-tanks is also questionable. They often duplicate each other and lack distinct specialization.
We need a strong network of expert and analytical centers, capable of working efficiently and offering quality and relevant intellectual products. This is particularly important for preserving the ideological sovereignty of our state.
Expert organizations must thoroughly analyze all areas of our country's development since independence and identify the causes and consequences of mistakes that were made.
The Government must take into account these assessments while elaborating new programs. A policy only based on comprehensive research and recommendations will be successful.
SEVENTH. The development of the border regions is another issue of strategic importance to our country.
Land is our main wealth. Our state will not exist without it. Our ancestors left us a huge territory. We must preserve it and make it prosperous.
People sometimes say that our land is for sale to foreigners. This is lie and disinformation. We have already made a fundamental decision on the land issue, which is completely fixed by the law.
We will always be faithful to our ancestors' precepts. Not one inch, not one centimeter of our land will be given to foreigners. We will cherish it as the apple of the eye.
The situation in our border regions has a direct impact on the territorial integrity and prosperity of the country. This is a matter of strategic importance.
Unfortunately, the population in some of the border settlements has sharply decreased. This is the result of previous decisions to merge some districts.
Last year, we created the Abai, Ulytau and Zhetisu regions. This step provided a powerful incentive to the development of these regions.
As you might know, the Amanat Party has put forward a number of initiatives to rehabilitate the border regions. Upon my instructions, the Government has considered this issue in detail. As a result, I made an important decision to reinstate Katon-Karagai, Markakol and Makanchi districts.
Of course, this will require some preparatory work. It is necessary to make appropriate calculations based on the real possibilities of the state budget. Upon completion of all the preliminary work this year, over the next two years we will start reviving the mentioned districts. This issue is also very important in terms of national security. We cannot delay.
The merger or division of districts generally has a direct impact on the daily lives of citizens. It is therefore important to consider the population, the economic potential, and the infrastructural aspects of such districts when making decisions.
I prioritize the improvement of each region and all the settlements, especially the villages. Last year, after the presidential election, my first decree was aimed specifically at the development of rural areas. In the next five years, the Government will make every effort to address this challenge.
Auyl (village) is the golden cradle of our nation, which nurtured many prominent figures who made a great contribution to the development of the country. For the national progress to continue, we need to undertake thorough efforts to improve the condition of schools in the countryside. This comprehensive work should be carried out within the framework of the "Auyl - El Besigi" project. It is crucial to build, reconstruct and furnish rural schools with all the necessary equipment at the appropriate level.
One of the topics often raised in society is the state language. Once again, I will outline my position on this issue.
A balanced language policy is being implemented in our country. Favorable conditions have been created for representatives of various ethnic groups to use their mother tongues. This approach will remain. This is one of the key factors of internal stability.
I pay special attention to the development of the state language. The range of use of the Kazakh language is consistently expanding. There is no longer any reason to worry that it is not developing. We will take other concrete measures to further strengthen the role of the state language in the future.
Some people are using the language issue for their political purposes, deliberately trying to divide our society. Ultimately, such destructive thoughtless actions harm the security of our country. We need to talk about this openly, because in our geopolitical environment, language issues can, under certain conditions, become an instrument of separation.
If we look at the current state of our language, it is much better than before. In order to further develop the state language, we need to move away from unproductive arguments and empty rhetoric and focus on concrete actions. This is the only way for us to succeed.
The Kazakh language is now becoming the language of the creative industry. For example, the widely acclaimed “Avatar” movie was dubbed in the Kazakh language.
Our young talents glorify Kazakhstan to the whole world, promoting the Kazakh language through their art, hard work and real actions. This is a conscious choice of our young people.
The Kazakh language is a symbol of our civil identity and our spiritual unity.
In addition to being a regular means of communication, we need to turn the Kazakh language into a language of science and education. This has been said many times before. This crucial task should be approached in a balanced and pragmatic manner, without any hype and populism. It is a task for society as a whole.
The Kazakh language will progressively develop, acting as a main factor in the consolidation of all of our people. There should be no doubt about this.
Most importantly, our language priorities are very clear and comprehensible to all. By doing everything gradually, we will achieve our goals.
Along with this, we will comprehensively develop relations and strengthen spiritual ties with our fellow countrymen – the kandas. This issue is under my personal control.
Consistently solving all the tasks set, we will achieve our goals.
EIGHTH. I know that there are serious complaints in society about the work of the state apparatus, and its officials. These complaints are justified.
We have already taken a number of measures to renew the state apparatus. The goal is to strengthen local self-governance and give more autonomy to civil servants.
In addition, elections have been held for district and countryside akims. Elections to the regional maslikhats (local representative bodies) are based on a mixed system, while elections to the district maslikhats are based solely in single-mandate constituencies.
There is a lot of work ahead that will take time to complete. The key is to change the mindset of the state apparatus.
Everyone should work with full determination to serve the people and the country, not to gain false credibility among their relatives and in the community. This is the concept of “Adal Azamat” (Responsible Citizen).
I have recently carried out major personnel changes in the state apparatus. At the same time, there was no reshuffle and no sweeping purge of civil servants, especially senior servants. Their qualities and experience were taken into account. At the same time, a number of important ministries are under the leadership of young and capable people. Perhaps they lack experience, including life experience, but this can be acquired. Most importantly, they have the necessary knowledge and desire to work honestly for the benefit of our country.
The process of renewing leadership posts will continue.
My credo is that ministers, akims and other civil servants must combine two main qualities - professionalism and patriotism. Their personal loyalty to the Head of State does not interest me.
There is no need to praise the President, it is much more important to work honestly and conscientiously to earn the trust and respect of citizens. This applies to all government employees.
I have already mentioned that as a result of the implemented reforms, the President in Kazakhstan has become a state administrator, with whom the people enter into a contract for a seven-year term, as defined by the Constitution.
The president is not a sacred figure who stands above the people. At the same time, our society should have a respect towards the Head of State and persons holding senior government posts. Politically mature, responsible citizens should help them with useful advice and concrete proposals. Thus, we will have a high political culture peculiar to civilized countries.
This is the main task of the National Kurultai.
It is within this forum that reasonable proposals for the country's development should be developed.
If we are united, we will conquer any peak.
All the initiatives I have presented are only a small part of the substantial work that we have to do.
Successful promotion of the new ideological agenda will require the consolidation of efforts of the state apparatus, scientists, experts, journalists, and representatives of the civil sector.
The Presidential Administration will prepare an appropriate work plan and will keep these issues under special control.
Our generation has a responsible mission - to build a Just Kazakhstan. Each of us is able to contribute, consistently following the principles of active patriotism and conscious citizenship, step by step striving for the ideals of "Honest Citizen” (Adal Azamat).
I consider the National Kurultai not just as a dialogue platform, but a stronghold of the nation and the vanguard of the country's cultural and spiritual progress. At the meetings of the National Kurultai, issues of the formation of a new public ethics and a new development paradigm will be considered. This is not a momentary process, but painstaking daily work.
I am deeply convinced that the constructive partnership between the state and society will awaken the energy of change in our nation and we will be able to achieve our goals, turning the coming decade into an era of unprecedented growth for our country.
As you know, the State Commission is currently working, whose tasks include the full rehabilitation of the victims of political repressions. As part of this work, a lot of archival materials are being studied, and previously unknown information is being discovered.
Recently, among such documents, a work was found by Zhusipbek Aimautov. This is confirmed by two sources. There is reason to believe that the found poem is an integral part of the intellectual heritage of the figures of the Alash movement.
It says that the spirit of our nation will never fade. Indeed, the spiritual core of our people has always been unshakable. Any difficulties and trials, on the contrary, made us even stronger.
The spirit of Alash and the Kazakh state are inseparable, they will exist together in eternity.
Having formed a qualitatively new nation, we will strengthen our role in the world. As responsible citizens of our country, together we will build a Just Kazakhstan.
In conclusion, I want to share with you one more piece of news that will lift the spirit of our people. A Qur'an was found, which was presented to Kenesary Khan by the renowned Maral Ishan. This is a significant event in the spiritual life of our country.
Maral Ishan was widely known among the people. He was a faithful companion of Kenesary Khan, who occupies a special place in our history.
For two centuries, this Qur'an was passed from hand to hand and was eventually taken abroad.
Thanks to the help of caring people, philanthropists we returned it to Kazakhstan.
The Qur'an contains prints of the seals of Maral Ishan and Kenesary Khan. The relic has been thoroughly and comprehensively assessed by domestic and foreign scientists. The results confirm that the Qur'an belongs to Maral Ishan and that it was handed to Kenesary Khan.
Any civilized country treats its historical heritage with special trepidation, which is protected in every possible way and exhibited in museums and other special institutions. We must also honor and cherish the legacy of our ancestors.
In the near future, this Qur'an will be handed over to the Spiritual Administration of Muslims of Kazakhstan.
This relic is our national treasure. It is important that such a valuable spiritual artifact be in a place that is sacred to our people. Therefore, I believe that after the Qur'an is brought into a proper condition, it should be kept in the mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi.
At one time, our people saw a good omen in the return of Taikazan. And after a short period, Kazakhstan became an independent state. I think that the return to the country of the Qur'an, which Kenesary Khan had, will also be a good sign.
Let's all wish for this event to be the beginning of a new era in the history of Kazakhstan.
This concludes the second meeting of the National Kurultai.
Last year we met in Ulytau, this year – in sacred Turkestan.
Atyrau Region is another region of our country that has a special place in the national history. In the past, the rates of many of our khans were located there, in the famous Saraishyk.
Therefore, I propose to hold the next meeting of the National Kurultai in that region.
May there always be unity, harmony and prosperity in our country!
I wish you all well-being!