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WARSAW, May 7, 2019 – As part of his working visit to Poland, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Beibut Atamkulov met with Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Director of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE/ODIHR).
Foreign Minister Atamkulov noted the consistent development of democratic institutions and strengthening of the rule of law in Kazakhstan, welcomed the current state of cooperation with the ODIHR, and expressed readiness for the closest cooperation on various aspects of the Office's future activities.
In turn, Ms. Gísladóttir extended her appreciation to Kazakhstan for long-standing and constructive cooperation within the third, humanitarian dimension of the Organization, noting that the ODIHR is “a tool created by OSCE participating States to assist them in this dimension, which they can and should use more actively”. The ODIHR Director welcomed the recent support by Kazakhstan in the launch of two ODIHR projects on “Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims: Addressing Islamophobia through Education” and “Muslims in Media: Toward More Balance and Diversity”.
In this context, Mr. Atamkulov discussed the experience of Kazakhstan in preserving and strengthening inter-ethnic and inter-religious harmony in the country, including the activities of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan and the key international initiative of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev in this area, the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. The meeting also included discussions of the comprehensive efforts of Kazakhstan to prevent the spread of religious radicalism.
Speaking on the upcoming presidential elections in Kazakhstan, the sides discussed practical aspects of the activities to be carried out by international observers under OSCE/ODIHR.
The Foreign Minister reaffirmed Kazakhstan's readiness for open interaction with the head of the mission Urszula Gacek, who has already arrived in Kazakhstan and would coordinate the work of 22 long-term and 300 short-term observers. In turn, Ms. Gísladóttir conveyed appreciation for the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Central Election Commission of Kazakhstan and expressed confidence in ODIHR's capacity to assess the electoral process transparently and efficiently.
The sides confirmed their mutual desire to continue constructive cooperation, both in the upcoming electoral period and in future, identifying specific areas of such cooperation and plans for further meetings.
Note to editors: The main purpose of the ODIHR is to assist the OSCE participating States in strengthening systems for the protection of human rights, promoting democracy and establishing the rule of law in the OSCE area. The Office is mandated with international election observation, assistance in fulfilling human dimension obligations by providing expert data and practical support, and promotion of a universal agenda in the field of tolerance and non-discrimination.