Historical path of the development of Kazakhstan as a state is directly associated with the name of the First President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Thanks to the wisdom and political will of the Head of State, Kazakhstan was able to create a coherent strategy for economic development. Nazarbayev forever went down in history as a man whose name is associated with the achievements of sovereign Kazakhstan. Serving the people in the name of prosperity is the main message of the entire political work of the First President and the meaning of his whole life.
As Deputy Director of the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President Sanat Kushkumbayev noted that the peacemaking initiatives of Kazakhstan and the Kazakhstani leader are the “classic signature dish” of Kazakhstani foreign policy. First of all, this is nuclear non-proliferation and the contribution of the President of Kazakhstan, who pays special attention to this issue is widely known. By the decree of the President of Aug. 29, 1991, the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site was closed, which was the fateful decision for the entire Kazakh people. It is for this decision that Nursultan Nazarbayev forever entered world history as a politician who made a tremendous personal contribution to the struggle for nuclear non-proliferation.
“Another important aspect is that Astana has become a globally significant negotiating platform, that is, a kind of Asian Geneva, where various parties are negotiating. The Syrian 11th round of negotiations showed its effectiveness; really important issues that concern millions of Syrians were considered. It was here, in Astana, thanks to the geopolitical efforts of Kazakhstan that the negotiations took place and became productive for the guarantor countries,” said Kushkumbayev.
According to the expert, an important factor is also the strategy chosen by Kazakhstan initially — multi-vector diplomacy, a cooperative approach based on interaction and dialogue.
“Therefore, the entire foreign policy of Kazakhstan is designed to take part in various structures and associations with an open format, ready for dialogue. Thanks to this, Kazakhstan manages to establish relations with world leaders who are in opposition to each other,” Kushkumbayev added.
An expert of the Institute of World Economy and Politics under the Foundation of the First President of Kazakhstan – Elbasy, A. Zharylgapova, said that the Day of the First President is an opportunity to highlight and note the significant contribution of Elbasy to the development of Kazakhstan.
“The President was at the forefront of the formation of the whole statehood. And it was a difficult time for the people when the system that operated in the Soviet Union could no longer provide stability and prosperity. At the beginnings of independence, under the wise leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev, virtually from scratch, many state institutions were created, the main law of the country, the Constitution, the national currency – tenge, introduced the transition to a market economy, the transfer and construction of the new capital Astana. Since then, there have been many events in the domestic and foreign policy of the Republic, thanks to which today Kazakhstan in the international arena is rightfully considered one of the most dynamically developing countries in the world. Thus, in 2018, Kazakhstan ranked 36th among 190 countries in the Doing Business World Bank ranking,” Zharylgapova said.
In her opinion, the signing by the President of the decree on the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and the rejection of the world's fourth nuclear arsenal was also one of the important tools for ensuring the peace policy of Kazakhstan. This allowed Kazakhstan to consolidate the image of a state promoting peace initiatives and dialogue in addressing critical issues of global security. Thus, in 1992, the President of Kazakhstan, at the 47th session of the UN General Assembly, announced the idea of convening a Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia. Today, there are 26 Member States, which make up 90% of the territory and population of the continent.
“Another confirmation of this is the successful holding of negotiations in the capital to resolve the situation in Syria. The eleventh round of the Astana process has recently ended. The recognition by the world community of the significant role of Kazakhstan and the activities of the President in security matters was demonstrated in 2017, when Kazakhstan became the first Central Asian state elected to the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member. As part of the chairmanship, special attention was paid to issues of general disarmament and countering terrorism,” she noted.
In general, according to Zharylgapova, among the success factors of the policy pursued by the President is the unwavering leadership in the idea of building a democratic peaceful society that is open to innovation and technological progress, and also seeks for mutually beneficial cooperation with countries of both the near and far abroad.
In turn, the head of Sociological and Image Research Program, an expert of the Institute of World Economy and Politics at the Foundation of the First President, Serik Beisembayev, said that the results of regular sociological research show a consistently high level of public support for Nursultan Nazarbayev.
“The following main factors of loyalty of citizens towards the President of the country can be singled out: first, Kazakhstanis have noted an increase in the standard of living of the population as a result of economic growth since the early 2000s. During this time, in the opinion of the majority, the consumer capacities of citizens have improved, and qualitative infrastructural changes have taken place. Nowadays, the Head of State’s initiatives in the social sphere, associated with wage increases, housing affordability and creating conditions for young people, enjoy high support,” he informed.
Secondly, as Beisembayev noted, for citizens the political stability in the country is very important, especially in the sphere of inter-ethnic relations. Kazakhstanis note that the socio-economic achievements in the country have been made in large part thanks to conflict-free development and social harmony in the country.
“Thirdly, the public support of the President derives from his personal qualities. Citizens are impressed by the charisma and strong-willed character of the Head of State. Recent studies have shown that Nursultan Nazarbayev responds to the needs of Kazakhstan citizens regarding what an ideal political leader should be. This applies to both business and personal qualities. So, for example, the most important image characteristics of the president are ‘wise,’ ‘far-sighted’ and ‘diplomatic,” the expert emphasized.
In general, according to Beisembayev, a high level of trust in Nursultan Nazarbayev is one of the main factors for the stability of the political system in Kazakhstan. The symbolic capital accumulated by the President extends to other branches of the government, thereby giving stability to the entire political structure in the country.
Director of the Expert Institute of European Law and Human Rights Marat Bashimov also noted the high importance of the First President on the world stage and the peacekeeping role of Kazakhstan in international politics.
“Peace-loving policy that Kazakhstan adheres to is based on friendly relations with all countries, both with the Turkic world and with the European Union, China, Russia and the United States. The international community widely recognizes Nursultan Nazarbayev as a world leader,” said Bashimov.
According to him, over the years of independence under the leadership of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Kazakh people with their persistent and constructive work managed to find the right path of development. Thanks to the wise policy of the President, today the economy of our country is steadily and dynamically developing, the well-being of the population is improving, the sociopolitical stability of the society is preserved.
Recall that the Day of the First President was established in December 2011, in accordance with the law adopted by the Senate of the Parliament “On Amendments to the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan ‘On Holidays in the Republic of Kazakhstan.” Holiday has been celebrated in the country since 2012. Dec. 1, 1991, as a result of the first national elections, Nazarbayev was reelected as president of the Kazakh SSR. One of the first steps of the first president was the signing of the law on renaming the Kazakh SSR to the Republic of Kazakhstan Dec. 10, 1991. And six days later, Dec. 16, the Supreme Soviet declared independence, which meant the proclamation of Kazakhstan as a sovereign state. The first December days of 1991 became crucial for the country and determined the development of an independent Republic.
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