Astana Calling № 377-1

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First EXPO 2017 Int’l Planning Meeting Attracts 70 Countries

 

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The first EXPO 2017 International Planning Meeting (IPM) was held in Astana on Oct. 22-23 alongside the inaugural Future Energy Forum (Oct. 23-24), which brought together leading energy experts from international businesses and nongovernmental organisations to discuss reducing carbon dioxide emissions – one of EXPO 2017’s key themes.

The IPM brought together potential participants of EXPO 2017 from more than 70 countries to discuss worldwide carbon dioxide emissions and their implications over both the short and medium term. In total, more than 500 leading experts in the energy industry and academia, leaders of public and nongovernmental organisations and representatives of the public sector came to participate and air

their opinions during the forum.

International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) Secretary-General Vicente Loscertales, who also participated in the event, noted the rapid construction of the EXPO 2017 site during a meeting with President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev in the Akorda.

“Construction is rapid, even ahead of schedule. I must note that in 25 years, I have never seen construction going so fast and at the proper level. I’m sure that the upcoming EXPO 2017 will be held successfully,” he said.

Commissioner of EXPO 2017 Rapil Zhoshybayev emphasized the scope of the future venue: “We are expecting more than 100 participating states and international organisations, as well as nearly five million visitors to the exhibition.”

The organisers held presentations on key industry exhibition projects, including on the current status and prospects of building Expo City on the main theme of the exhibition, on the promotion of the exhibition locally and internationally and on the conditions for countries to participate in EXPO 2017.

Speakers at EXPO 2017’s first international planning meeting Astana will host the international specialised exposition EXPO 2017, with a theme of “future energy,” from June to September 2017. The exposition aims to promote new energy solutions and innovations in conventional energy in the pursuit of sustainable energy and development.

While the expo will take place for only a few months, sustainable energy is a long-term priority for Kazakhstan and the international community. Since receiving the official BIE expo flag in June, Kazakhstan has embarked on a mission to promote the future energy agenda throughout the international community and make the most out of EXPO 2017 in its capital.

While the expo is widely known in the West and Far East, where expositions have been held most often, this type of fair is rare in Central Asia.

Since the late 1980s, expos have become more than just expositions, but nation branding exercises that can help build a country’s image worldwide as well as facilitate the construction of specialized accompanying infrastructure. The Eiffel Tower in Paris (built for the expo of 1889), the Atomium in Brussels (1958) and the Space Needle in Seattle (1962) are all venues built for international expositions that now attract millions of tourists per year.

The forum was also attended by First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakhytzhan Sagintayev, Chairman of the Board of Astana EXPO 2017 Talgat Ermegiyaev and representatives of the Astana city administration.

Among the IPM’s guests and speakers were Director General of Ecoenergomash Albert Bolotov, Senior Energy Analyst of the International Energy Agency in Paris (Renewable Energy Division) Adam Brown, Energy Policy Officer of the Delegation of the EU to Kazakhstan Octavian Stamate, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar Ahmad Belhoul, Senior Associate at IHS Energy Insight Daniel Berkove and President of the Alliance for Rural Electrification Ernesto Macias.

 

Kazakhstan Officially Joins ASEM Multilateral Cooperation Forum

 

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Kazakhstan has officially joined the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) dialogue and cooperation forum, taking part in the 10th ASEM Summit on Oct. 16-17 in Milan. The forum is aimed at fostering communication and cooperation between Asia and Europe.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev, head of the Kazakh delegation, held bilateral meetings with his European and Asian counterparts at the summit and addressed an audience of heads of state.

At the plenary session, “Promotion of financial and economic cooperation through enhanced Europe-Asia connectivity,” President Nazarbayev said a shared European and Asian agenda will be crucial to finding solutions to today’s threats and challenges. Eurasian integration is also a power to be harnessed in the search for solutions, he said.

“It is necessary to change the paradigm of international cooperation, which implies taking real action in eliminating protectionist barriers, opening markets and increasing bilateral trade,” Nazarbayev told the audience.

Transforming the current global financial architecture is one of the most important areas of cooperation, along with overcoming imbalances in the financial sector and developing an effective model to regulate international capital flows, Nazarbayev said. He also stressed the need to develop new financial bridges, possibly using Almaty’s financial centre as a transcontinental link, as well as improve transit and transport infrastructure, particularly in the context of the Silk Road revival. Kazakhstan would also work to diversify energy routes, he said.

Another priority for regional sustainable development is creating common trade infrastructure, with the Eurasian Economic Union playing a key role, the President said.

“Today, Asia and Europe need to rediscover each other and build a fundamentally new foundation for cooperation. Kazakhstan’s G-Global initiative could become a platform for concerted international action in the field of economics and finance.”

Kazakhstan is ready to promote dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe, he concluded.

While in Milan, Nazarbayev held a number of bilateral meetings with his European and Asian counterparts. From Europe, he met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.K. Prime Minister David Heads of state at the recent Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Milan. President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev third from right Cameron, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, Italian Prime

Minister Matteo Renzi and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

From Asia, the President met with President of South Korea Park Ceun-hye, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister of China Li Keqiang.

President Nazarbayev told the Kazakh media that the talks on the sidelines of the meeting were aimed at expanding existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation and considering new areas for joint work.

“These meetings expand opportunities for attracting investment to Kazakhstan in the difficult situation in the global economy that we face today. Many countries are seeking to invest in Kazakhstan, which creates incentives for further economic development, new jobs and the improvement of the lives of our people,” he said.

Participants of the summit also discussed the settlement of the situation in Ukraine, the President said. He reaffirmed Kazakhstan’s commitment to an end of violence and a negotiated resolution.

The Asia-Europe Meeting was formed in 1996 and currently has 53 partners, with Croatia and Kazakhstan joining at this summit. ASEM partners account for around 60 percent of the world’s population, half of global gross domestic product and almost 70 percent of international commerce.

The forum is intended to support political dialogue, reinforce economic and trade cooperation and promote partnerships in addressing environmental, cultural, educational and social issues.

ASEM holds government-level meetings as well as brings together members of parliament, the business sector, civil society, academia and the media through encouraging people-to-people contact.

The ASEM group includes the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), which is intended to support cultural and intellectual connections; the Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEFP), which aims to unite civil society; the Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF), which supports business-to-business exchanges and the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Forum (ASEP) for parliamentary cooperation.

 

Diplomats Briefed on Kazakhstan’s Judicial System Improvements

 

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Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov and Chairman of the Supreme Court of Kazakhstan Kairat Mami held a briefing on the rule of law in Kazakhstan for Astana’s diplomatic corps on Oct. 20. Claims to the courts have increased, which indicates a more available and efficient judicial system, Mami said at the briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Astana.

“It is no secret that citizens of Kazakhstan prefer to go to court than to higher state bodies, to arbitrators or mediators. The number of claims submitted every year to the courts has increased from 539,487 to 647,229. This is a clear indication of the efficiency of the judicial processes available to people,” he said.

Mami highlighted work done by judicial bodies to modernise and strengthen the judicial mechanisms that protect the rights and interests of citizens.

“Despite the importance of improving legislation, a central component of any independent and fair justice system is the figure of the judge. The professional development of judges, their skills and moral qualities is one of the main priorities of the Supreme Court,” Mami said.

“This year, reforms to the personnel policy of the judiciary have been approved. The new concept is aimed at further increasing transparency and consistency in the selection and appointment of judicial personnel. Judges undergo training at the Institute of Justice at least once every five years and every three years take part in internships in a higher court,” Mami said.

Kazakhstan’s priorities for developing its justice system, including creating a more independent judiciary; ensuring quick, affordable resolutions of legal disputes; and regularly implementing international law principles in legislation and justice, are set out in the Concept of Legal Policy for 2010-2020.

Kazakhstan’s Senate is now considering a draft law aimed at simplifying civil proceedings. A new Code of Civil Procedure has been drafted. Adopting a new Criminal Code, Criminal Procedure, Executive Penal Code and Code of Administrative Offences are the next steps in implementing the Concept of Legal Policy.

Astana’s Diplomatic Corps at a recent briefing to discuss improvements to Kazakhstan’s judicial system “Our country faces the challenge of forming new national legislation that will work within current systems, while ensuring the competitiveness of Kazakhstan’s legal system,” Mami noted. “The main message of our new model of criminal justice is that we are determined to reduce the number of laws restricting citizens’ rights to exercise their civil rights and obligations. We want people to feel empowered to implement entrepreneurial initiatives.”

Modern technology is being incorporated into judicial proceedings. Audio and video minutes of court hearings are available, Mami said, and claims may be made via the Internet.

“This year, we received over 30,000 e-applications. Participants in proceedings are notified electronically. We are pushing ahead to increase the use of email and allow the public to submit requests via a website and a call centre.” Courts across the country will soon be equipped with audio and video systems that will allow trial participants to appear remotely, he said.

Mechanisms for the extra-judicial settlement of disputes are also being created. Measures worked up in collaboration with the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs have been initiated to improve administrative procedures in government agencies and encourage the development of mediation and arbitration bodies, Mami said.

“We hope to involve the chamber’s representatives as mediators in disputes between businesses, including in trial proceedings,” he said.

The court has also initiated the creation of a special court to hear disputes involving foreign investors. Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court works with international and regional nongovernmental organisations including the UN, the International Organisation for Migration and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) Centre in Astana. Partnerships have been formed with the EU, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ), the Venice Commission and the American Bar Association.

 

Also In The News...

 

New defence minister, mayor of Astana appointed

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has appointed Imangali Tasmagambetov Minister of Defence of Kazakhstan, appointing Adilbek Zhaksybekov to Tasmagambetov’s erstwhile position as akim (mayor) of Astana. Zhaksybekov has served as secretary of state of Kazakhstan. Former Minister of Defence Serik Akhmetov has resigned his post

 

Diplomatic relations established between Kazakhstan and Mauritius

On Oct. 15, Permanent Representatives of Kazakhstan and Mauritius to the UN Kairat Abdrakhmanov and Milan Jaya Nyamrajsingh Meetarbhan signed a joint communique on establishing diplomatic relations. They discussed the shared aims of their states, both of which are central to their respective regions, which provides an opportunity to develop national and regional cooperation at once. Mauritius offers a package of financial incentives and services for companies to do business, and Meetarbhan said his country was a conduit for investment between Asian countries, primarily India and China, and the African continent. The diplomats considered agreements on promoting and reciprocally protecting investments and avoiding double taxation as first steps in strengthening their cooperation and developing political and economic cooperation and the possibility of Kazakhstan’s providing goods and services to the vast continent of Africa were highlighted during the discussion. (mfa.gov.kz)

 

New senators begin work, elect committee members

Kazakhstan’s 16 newly elected senators began work on Oct. 17 with a meeting chaired by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, head of Kazakhstan’s Senate, then elected heads and members of committees. Serik Akylbay became head of the Committee for Constitutional Law and the judiciary and law enforcement agencies; Rashid Akhmetov will chair the Committee on Finance and Budget; Ikram Adyrbekov will chair the Committee on Foreign Relations, Defence and Security; Talgatbek Abaidildin will chair the Committee on Economic Policy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development; Ahan Bijanov will chair the Committee on Social and Cultural Development and Research and Sergei Plotnikov will chair the Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development. Tokayev congratulated the new senators on behalf of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, thanked those senators whose mandate expired for their work on improving the legal system and awarded them with the chamber’s Certificates of Merit. (parlam.kz)

 

Regular Astana-to-Paris down flights scheduled to open in 2015

The aeronautical authorities of Kazakhstan and France have signed a new memorandum of understanding regarding launching direct Astana-to-Paris flights in spring 2015. The flights anticipate the meeting of the Kazakhstan-France intergovernmental commission and the visit of French President Franзois Hollande to Kazakhstan, the press service of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Investment and Development announced on Oct. 20. “Designated carriers are entitled to implement scheduled flights on the Astana-Paris route with a frequency of three times a week,” the press service said. Deputy Chairman of the Civil Aviation Committee of the Ministry of Investment and Development Talgat Lastayev stated that Kazakhstan’s airlines were scheduled to open flights on this route in March 2015. (trend.az)

 

Leaders of Kazakhstan and Hungary’s Parliaments discuss partnership

Speaker of the Mazhilis (lower chamber of Parliament) Kabibulla Dzhakupov met with Chairman of the National Assembly of Hungary Kövér Láslό during his official visit to Hungary, the press service of the mazhilis reported. During their discussion, both stressed the importance of negotiations between President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban during the Asia-Europe Forum Summit held recently in Milan. Dzhakupov emphasised that Kazakhstan considers Hungary a strategic partner in Central and Eastern Europe and noted Kazakhstan’s willingness to become a bridge between Hungary and Central Asia. They also discussed mutual support within international parliamentary organisations. Dzhakupov noted that Hungary has been granted observer status in the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkish Speaking Countries (TURKPA) and invited Kövér to participate in the sixth meeting of TURKPA. (inform.kz)

 

Astana unveils exhibition of 200 years of jewellery and household items

An exhibition of a private collection of Kazakh national arts and crafts has opened in the Palace of Independence and features works ranging from the 18th century to the present. The exhibition displays the work of jeweller Berik Alibay as well as his father and grandfather and contains a variety of women’s jewellery, including rings, wristbands, necklaces, pendants, buttons, belts, combs and the traditional Kazakh bridal headdress, the saukele. There are also weapons, including knives; sabres; arrow heads of stone, bronze and iron; ancient rifles and guns. The collection shows the history of the development of national jewellery and the family traditions of the notable painter and jeweller. The exhibition will run until December. (inform.kz)

 

Gennady Golovkin knocks out Marco Antonio Rubio in second round

Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan beat Marco Antonio Rubio Mexico in round two of an Oct. 19 fight in California, knocking out him with a left hook in the second round. More than 120 countries aired the bout between the WBA and IBO middleweight champion Golovkin and interim WBC title holder Rubio live. Golovkin defended his WBA middleweight title with his 18th consecutive stoppage victory. Host of HBO Boxing Jim Lampley compared Golovkin to an early Mike Tyson. This was an important win for Golovkin, as it was his largest purse at $900,000 and Rubio is considered one of the toughest opponents the Kazakh has faced. Rubio has 59 wins, 51 by KO, and seven losses (after the fight against Golovkin) and is known for hard punches. (inform.kz)

 

Kazakhstan’s Paralympians Win Nine Medals by Oct. 22 at Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games

Kazakhstan’s paralympians won one gold, four silver and four bronze medals over two days at the Incheon 2014 Asian Para Games. Anuar Akhmetov of Astana set an Asian Para Games record in the 100-metre backstroke for athletes with visual impairments on Oct. 20 with a time of 1:10.66. He took silver in the 100-metre freestyle on the same day, while teammate Mansurbek Ibrashev took bronze. Akhmetov also won two silver medals in the 400-metre and 50-metre freestyle the day before. Dmitry Lee won bronze medals in the 100-metre freestyle and 100-metre butterfly for athletes with physical impairments. Kazakhstan’s wheelchair dance team also won silver on Oct. 20. The country’s volleyball team has a good chance for a medal, having won their first game against Japan; the volleyball competition will run through the end of the week. The 2014 Asian Para Games opened on Oct. 18 and will run through Oct. 24. Kazakhstan is represented by 84 athletes in nine sports: archery, athletics, judo, powerlifting, shooting, swimming, table tennis, sitting volleyball and wheelchair dance. (astanatimes.com)

 

Kazakhstan’s women’s hockey team advances to second round of European Women’s Champion Cup

Kazakhstan’s women’s hockey team, Aisulu, ranked second in Group A in the first round of the European Women’s Champion Cup (EWCC), held in Ankara, Turkey, and proceeded to the next round. Kazakhstan’s team had games on Oct. 17 and 19. The overall group winner was Slovak team HK Poprad. Aisulu came in second with victories against Romania’s HSC Csikszereda (15:0) and Turkey’s Millennium Ankara (12:0). The closing ceremony was held on Oct. 19 in the Ankara Ice Palace. The final of the EWCC is scheduled for February 2015. (inform.kz)

 

Charity race organised by British-Kazakh Society in London

A charity race was organised by the British-Kazakh Society in London’s Hyde Park on Oct. 19. The 10-kilometre race was headed by Kazakhstan’s London Olympic champion Serik Sapiyev and representatives of members of the British-Kazakh Society, including Air Astana, A-Global Resources, Grata, Equus Petroleum and the Bolashak Group, as well as students from Kazakhstan studying at British universities through the Bolashak Presidential Scholarship Programme. All funds raised will go to the Walk-Doctor programme of the Ayala Charity Fund, which aims to open sensory rooms in orphanages in the cities of Taldykorgan and Shuchinsk, in Almaty and Akmola oblasts. This is the second charity run the British-Kazakh Society has organised.

 

 

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