Independence Day of Kazakhstan

Special Issue No. 135, Dec 17, 2012

On December 16, 2012 the people of Kazakhstan celebrated the Independence Day, the country’s main national holiday. On the eve of the event, many festivities were held throughout the country and all over the world, where diplomatic missions of Kazakhstan operate.

Two days prior to the festive occasion, President Nursultan Nazarbayev hosted in a grand reception at the new Opera and Ballet Theater, honoring the National Day of Kazakhstan. While delivering the state-of-the-nation address, President Nazarbayev reviewed the progress made over 21 years of independence, summed up the goals of his Strategy 2030 plan and presented the new Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy, which is aimed at ensuring economic prosperity, political modernization and further strengthening of independence well into this century.

Many world leaders sent congratulations to Kazakhstan on the occasion, underlining that today’s Kazakhstan is a progressive and strong member of the international community. In particular, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her greetings said that "Today, through our Strategic Partnership Dialogue, the people of the United States and Kazakhstan continue to work closely together to improve economic ties, chart a responsible and reliable energy future, promote innovation through cooperation on science and technology, and enhance regional and global security."

She also recognized Kazakhstan's leadership in non-proliferation issues: "In Seoul this past spring, President Obama was privileged to meet with President Nursultan Nazarbayev and honor Kazakhstan’s global leadership on non-proliferation and disarmament issues."

Kazakhstan’s Embassy in Washington D.C. hosted a solemn reception on the evening of Dec 11 at the historic and magnificent Willard Intercontinental Hotel, to celebrate the National Day with friends. Speaking at the reception, Host and Chargé d'Affaires, Dastan Yeleukenov, appreciated the strategic partnership Kazakhstan enjoys with the United States and shared his opinion that Kazakhstan is a success story of national building. According to him, "Kazakhstan is a recognized voice for peace and stability in the world. It is a strong partner for the U.S. in assisting Afghanistan. Kazakhstan is also emerging as a bridge connecting the West with East and Europe with Asia, Christianity with Islam. Its initiative to convene the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions is spreading the message of love and mutual understanding among religions.

All those present agreed that "Kazakhstan is emerging as an influential center of world politics and economics, which can be testified by the fact that Astana hosted the OSCE Summit in 2010 and we chaired the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in 2011." Just the other day, Kazakhstan won its bid to host EXPO 2017, which will bring us attention the world over, contribute to our business and touristic appeal, inviting entrepreneurs, corporate leaders and innovators to Kazakhstan.

At the reception, the U.S. Administration was represented by Mr. Geoffrey Pyatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Affairs, who outlined major priorities of bilateral cooperation. He reassured that the United States supports Kazakhstan's many aspirations, including the accession to the WTO.

The reception was attended by H.E. Capricia Penavic Marshall, U.S. Chief of Protocol, who kindly congratulated Kazakhstan on its Independence Day.

Overall, the Independence Day festivities in Kazakhstan and around the world allowed fellow citizens and friends to pause, reflect on and celebrate the achievements of the young nation and chart a course for future progress.