Since 2012, December 1 is officially marked in Kazakhstan’s calendar as the Day of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
December 1 is the anniversary of Nursultan Nazarbayev’s election by a popular vote as the first President of Kazakhstan in 1991, which was followed by the Declaration of Independence on December 16.
In many countries of the world, the first leaders and founding fathers play a crucial role in development of a country, in uniting a nation and positioning it on the international arena as a responsible member of the global community. The United States, for example, has been celebrating George Washington’s birthday – which is now called Presidents’ Day – as an official holiday since 1885.
Since the first days of independence of Kazakhstan, President Nazarbayev’s strategic vision and forward looking policy helped to shape Kazakhstan’s modern multiethnic society, making diversity and inclusiveness one of its biggest strengths. Promotion of the inter-religious dialogue through President’s initiative of hosting Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions is another testament to the commitment of Kazakhstan to strengthen human rights and universal freedoms around the world. The 6th Congress of Religion is scheduled to be held in Astana in October 2018.
Economic reforms and the ambitious infrastructure and industrial programs make Kazakhstan today one of the most favorable countries for foreign investment and trade. According to the World Bank, GDP per capita has grown from about USD 1,500 to over USD 13,000 by 2013. Kazakhstan has reached a 12-fold growth of foreign trade turnover and a 20-fold increase in industrial output. In 2015, Kazakhstan joined the World Trade Organization and has set a goal to be among the 30 most developed countries by 2050.
On the global arena, Kazakhstan is a well-known advocate of nuclear non-proliferation, regional integration and peaceful negotiations on international disputes. In the last decade, Kazakhstan has chaired, among others, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Wide international recognition of its constructive role in promoting peace and security has led to the election of Kazakhstan, as the first ever Central Asian country, to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018. From June to September 2017, Astana hosted the World EXPO-2017 on the theme of Future Energy.
The impressive achievements of independent Kazakhstan in many spheres are the result of tireless work and strong political will of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.
On this important occasion, Embassy of Kazakhstan to Canada would like to join in celebration of the Day of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.