07ASTANA3350, NAZARBAYEV’S INDEPENDENCE DAY ADDRESS

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07ASTANA3350 2007-12-21 02:24 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Astana

VZCZCXRO7268
RR RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHPW RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTA #3350/01 3550224
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210224Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY ASTANA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1400
INFO RUEHAST/USOFFICE ALMATY 0071
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 1849
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE 0340
RUCNCLS/SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 003350 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR SCA/CEN - O'MARA 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV ECON PHUM OSCE SOCI OEXC KDEM KZ
SUBJECT: NAZARBAYEV'S INDEPENDENCE DAY ADDRESS 
 
 
ASTANA 00003350  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1. President Nazarbayev delivered his annual Independence Day 
address on December 14.   His remarks largely focused on 
Kazakhstan's economic achievements and the government's successes in 
the socio-economic sphere, especially regarding health care, 
education, and pensions and other forms of socio-economic 
assistance.   Nazarbayev also discussed political reform and 
Kazakhstan's 2010 OSCE chairmanship.  End Summary. 
 
--------------------- 
ECONOMIC ACHIEVEMENTS 
--------------------- 
 
2.  Nazarbayev focused most of his December 14 Independence Day 
speech on Kazakhstan's economic achievements and the government's 
successes in the socio-economic sphere.  He pointed to several 
indicators of Kazakhstan's efforts at achieving economic 
diversification, noting the recent openings of a large aluminum 
producing complex and steel tubing factory, and the fact that 
Kazakhstan is currently, manufacturing cars and light trucks for the 
first time.  He claimed that agricultural production had tripled 
over the past ten years, and that Kazakhstan is now the world's 
leading country in per capita grain production.  Nazarbayev 
explained that Kazakhstan is currently experiencing the effects of 
the U.S. sub-prime mortage crisis, but claimed that in conditions 
where there have been cases of default and bankruptcy among large 
Western financial institions, "Kazakhstan's financial system has 
shown itself to be stable and functioning effectively." 
 
3. Nazarbayev ran through a litany of statistics pointing to the 
government's efforts at improving the population's living standards. 
 He said, for example, that the minimum wage had increased 350% 
since 1997, and the average pension 230% since 1998. (Note: It 
appears he was expressing these figures in nominal terms.  End 
Note.)  He promised that by 2012, the average pension would be 
increased an additional 150%.  Nazarbayev contended that government 
spending on health care had increased 13-fold over the past decade - 
as a result of which, over the same time period, life expectancy had 
increased by two years, and infant and maternal mortality had 
decreased by 40%.  He pointed to the government's Bolashak 
scholarship program to send students to study abroad and the 
independent efforts of parents to do the same as keys to developing 
the country's human capital, while noting that construction had 
begun on a new university in Astana so that students could receive 
the same high level of training domestically. 
 
---------------- 
POLITICAL REFORM 
---------------- 
 
4. Nazarbayev described Kazakhstan's 16-year period of independence 
as a time of radical political change and wide-scale constitutional 
reform.  He argued that Kazakhstan is greeting each anniversary of 
its indepedence with "qualitatively new democratic standards." 
Nazarbayev pointed to the strengthening of parliament, political 
parties, and the independence of the courts; the development of 
local self-government; the new role of the Assembly of Peoples; and 
the strengthening of citizens' rights in the judicial system as 
indicators that the country had moved forward along the path to 
democracy.  He said that the May 2007 constitutional changes had 
transformed Kazakhstan from a presidential to a 
presidential-parliamentary republic, with competencies of the 
president moving to parliament.  Nazarbayev contended that 
Kazakhstan's political system, "in its fundamental parameters," 
accords with all the universally-accepted democratic norms and 
criteria.  This, he said, was one of the main achievements of the 
years of independence.  He argued that Kazakhstan had never 
previously had any liberal traditions.  In a short time, however, 
"we established a new Kazakhstani, and a new country which has 
turned to the side of the civilized world." 
 
----------------- 
OSCE CHAIRMANSHIP 
----------------- 
 
5.  Nazarbayev concluded the substantive portion of his speech with 
a discussion of Kazakhstan's selection as 2010 OSCE 
Chairman-in-Office (CIO).  He said that in supporting Kazakhstan's 
CIO candidacy, OSCE member states confirmed the correctness of the 
"strategic vector" of Kazakhstan's development, and recognized the 
effectiveness of the country's economic and political model.   With 
this decision, he continued, world society had given a positive mark 
to Kazakhstan's efforts to build a democratic state and develop 
civil society, and to the political reforms carried out in the 
country this year. 
 
ASTANA 00003350  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
 
6.  Nazarbayev argued that a number of countries disagree in their 
interpretation of the OSCE's tasks and the prio
ritorization of the 
organization's activities.  In this situation, he explained, the 
principled position of Kazakhstan is the necessity of achieving 
compromises regarding all issues, even the most pointed ones.  He 
said that Kazakhstan's considers one of the fundamental tasks for 
its chairmanship to be finding common platforms and 
mutually-acceptable resolutions for problems, "taking into account 
historical and cultural specifics and the equality of all member 
states."  Nazarbayev promised that Kazakhstan would work to develop 
and strengthen the OSCE's institutions, to maintain the OSCE's high 
principals and standards, and to develop all three dimensions of the 
organization's activities.  He also underlined the importance of 
using the OSCE's capabilities for Afghan reconstruction. 
 
7. Nazarbayev contended that Kazakhstan's course of development 
regarding democratization, free market economics, and security fully 
accord with the OSCE's traditions and criteria.  He added that 
democratization of Kazakhstan's political system and the development 
of its civil society are, first of all, in the interests of 
Kazakhstan itself. 
 
8. Nazarbayev explained that Kazakhstan has significant work ahead 
of itself to prepare for the OSCE chairmanship.   This will require 
the efforts of all government bodies; of the executive, legislative, 
and judicial branches of power; and of political parties and civil 
society.  Nazarbayev argued that the chairmanship must become yet 
one more symbol of the unity of Kazakhstan's people, and demonstrate 
to the entire world an advanced, democratic, economically 
competitive Kazakhstan. 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
YOUTHFUL NAZARBAYEV - WITH POST'S ASSISTANCE 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
9. Shown at the venue (Astana's Pyramid) prior to the speech, and 
broadcast, at least in part, on national television was a 
documentary featuring Nazarbayev in his twenties and thirties.  The 
film, in which the youthful Nazarbayev appears as a Komsomol leader 
at the Karaganda mines, received a roaring response from the 
audience.  The footage came from films restored with a grant from 
the Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation.  An attribution to 
the Embassy was not made during the presentation. 
 
ORDWAY

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