EIAS congratulates the ‘architect’ of modern #Kazakhstan

| July 7, 2020

In a congratulatory letter on the occasion of his 80th birthday, the European Institute of Asian Studies praised Nursultan Nazarbayev’s achievments as the ‘architect of modern Kazakhstan’.

It said:

“The European Institute for Asian Studies would like to convey its warm and sincere congratulations to
the Government and People of Kazakhstan on the occasion of First President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s
80th birthday. On this day, we celebrate the founder of Kazakh statehood and architect of modern
Kazakhstan, who built the solid pillars upon which Kazakhstan rests today: a modern, strong, diverse,
developed and internationally engaged state.

From humble beginnings in rural Kazakhstan near Almaty, Nursultan Nazarbayev climbed the ranks of
the Communist Party to become Kazakhstan’s First President. He steered the country through the first
difficult years following the break-up of the Soviet Union. After having consolidated post independence sovereignty and state institutions and having Kazakhstan stand on its own feet, President
Nazarbayev showed remarkable farsightedness through the shaping of the Kazakhstan 2050 vision.

This strategy goes to demonstrate the importance of having Kazakhstan advance along a planned route
towards a more developed future; and to have a competitive and diversified economy able to deal with
the challenges of the 21st century and become one of the 30 most developed countries by the middle of
the century.

Under President Nazarbayev’s leadership, Kazakhstan has built an open, enabling environment for
foreign investment to flourish, having attracted over USD 350 billion in investments since
independence. Furthermore Kazakhstan has made the journey from a lower-middle to upper-middleincome country in the space of two decades, a remarkable achievement.

President Nazarbayev furthermore shepherded Kazakhstan through the admission process to various
influential and notable organizations, becoming an active shaper of a new era of cooperation and
integration processes: Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO, as a founding member), the Eurasian
Economic Union (EAEU, as a founding member), Council of Turkic Speaking States (CCTS), World
Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as well
as many others.

Sandwiched between two major powers, Russia and China, Kazakhstan has built a
multi-vector foreign policy, establishing good and equidistant relations with major world and regional

President Nazarbayev also set the foundations for the upgrading of relations with the EU
through the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (EPCA), and as a facilitator for
numerous dialogue processes, including most notably the Astana Peace Talks on Syria. Kazakhstan
was also the first central Asian country to be elected as non-permanent member to the United Nations
Security Council.

At the international level, one of his most significant legacies is the renunciation by Kazakhstan of
nuclear weapons through the official decree to close the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site, on August 29
1991. President Nazarbayev well understood that the acquisition and retaining of nuclear weapons
would have had a paradoxically destabilizing effect in the region and beyond. Another important
milestone was in 2009, when the UN adopted a resolution put forth by President Nazarbayev to
designate August 29 as “International Day against Nuclear Tests.” Through these initiatives, President
Nazarbayev demonstrated an unmistakable concern for the welfare of its own people, and the people of
the world.

Having set the basis for Kazakhstan’s prosperous future, it is now up to the current and future Kazakh
generations to continue building on and consolidating President Nazarbayev’s legacy in the 21st century
to take Kazakhstan to new heights of progress and prosperity.


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