STATE SECRETARY – FOREIGN MINISTER KANAT SAUDABAYEV SPEAKS ON HUMAN RIGHTS IN GENEVA
Astana, 5th March: Kazakhstan's Secretary of State - Minister of Foreign Affairs Kanat Saudabayev told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Navi Pillay that Kazakhstan is committed to promoting further democracy and human rights both domestically and internationally.
The two officials met in Geneva on March 3 as Mr Saudabayev began his visit to UN institutions there.
Mr Saudabayev referred to specific steps Kazakhstan has taken to promote protection of human rights, including the adoption and implementation of the National Action Plan on Human Rights until the year 2012.
As Chair-in-Office of the OSCE in 2010, Kazakhstan plans to promote the Organization's human dimension. A key event will be a high-level OSCE conference on tolerance and non-discrimination in Astana on June 29-30 (Mr Saudabayev invited Ms Pillay to visit Kazakhstan and to address the conference).
The Kazakh diplomat stressed the importance of continuing cooperation between Kazakhstan and UN institutions, and said Kazakhstan would consider continuing voluntary donations to UNHCHR activities.
Ms Pillay said fighting discrimination, including religious discrimination, has been defined as her office's top priority for the next two years, and she was looking forward to cooperating with Kazakhstan in that dimension. She said she hoped Kazakhstan would continue to show strong leadership on democracy as it chairs the OSCE.
In February, Kazakhstan underwent a Universal Periodic Review on human rights when a delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister Yerbol Orynbayev addressed the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Ms Pillay said UNHCHR stood ready to assist Kazakhstan in implementing both the National Action Plan and the recommendations issued at the review last month.
Also today, Mr Saudabayev addressed the UN Human Rights Council - outlining the Kazakh government's actions on human rights. He said that Kazakhstan has put forward its candidacy for membership of the Human Rights Council for 2012-2015, and was hoping for international support for its bid.