Assembly of People of Kazakhstan

•  General provisions

Interethnic and interconfessional concord and civil unity form basic requirements for the development of Kazakhstan , including realization of strategic goals of socio-economic and political modernization of the country.

The Doctrine of National Unity (hereafter the Doctrine) has been worked out in compliance with the task of President of the Republic of Kazakhstan , given at the XIV session of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan on October 23, 2008.

The Doctrine is based on the provisions of Constitution, the Law “On the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan” and other international legal provisions of the related sphere.

The basic goals, objectives and principles of national policy, as well as the main ways of their realization are given in the Doctrine.

The Doctrine forms a basis for the programs, legislative acts and other legal provisions, aimed at creation favorable conditions for further consolidation of society.

Modern interethnic and inter-confessional relations in Kazakhstan , topicality of strengthening the national unity

Over the course of history the fates of many nations - the bearers of different cultures, religions and traditions - clashed at the historic Kazakh lands. Therefore, it happened so that 140 different ethnicities and 40 confessions live together in peaceand concord in Kazakhstan . Meanwhile, the lasting co-existence has formed a stable tradition of tolerance in Kazakh society.

Since the first days of independence, consolidation of Kazakh society and ensuring a full-fledged co-existence of all ethnic groups have become the basic trend of state national policy. Due to the purposeful and consecutive state policy, Kazakhstan , having been experiencing the difficult period of transition, has managed to avoid religious confrontations, destabilization and social split.

The initial intention to form civil community instead of the ethnic one has become the basis of social concord and stability. With the lapse of time, the chosen direction has proved to be the most reasonable way of reconciling interests of citizens regardless of their ethnicity.

Today Kazakhstan has formed its own model of interethnic concord, which was highly praised by the world community.

There have been created effective legislative and conceptual principles of interethnic concord. The Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan guarantees the protection of interests of all citizens regardless of their ethnicity, race, or religion. The provisions of Constitution have laid a basis for mutual trust and respect between all ethnic groups.

The priorities of interethnic and interconfessional concord are reflected in the working program by President N.A.Nazarbayev “Ideological consolidation of society as an essential part of progress in Kazakhstan ”, Kazakhstan-2030 Strategy, and in the Concept of forming the state identity of the Republic of Kazakhstan . The topic is also thoroughly examined in the books written by the Head of State “In the streams of history”, “Crucial decade”, as well as in the reports made by President at the sessions of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan and other statements.

Moreover, in compliance with the task of the President there has been adopted a State program of language functioning and development for 2001- 2010, a mid-range Strategy of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (until 2011) and some other acts.

The Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan (APK), found in 1995 and comprising 818 ethnic and cultural associations, has become one of the main instruments, implementing national policy. The leaders of associations are the members of APK, as well as of some smaller assemblies. 46 ethnic groups have their own culturalcenters.

In 2007 in terms of the constitutional reform, the Assembly gained the right to elect nine deputies of Mazhilis of Parliament. Thus, a constitutional method of presenting the interests of various ethnic groups to the state bodies was introduced. In 2008 there was adopted a unique Law “On the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan”.

Realization of balanced language policy has become one of the main areas of state activity in the sphere of interethnic relations. According to the Constitution, the Kazakh language is a state language, while state and local bodies have the right to use Russian as well. The government displays concern about creation of the required conditions for the development and study of the languages of peoples of Kazakhstan .

The Concept for expanding the sphere of state language use and promoting its competitiveness for 2007-2010 has been adopted.

There has been implemented a phased transition to maintaining procedures in Kazakh by central and local state bodies. More than 60 language centers, teaching Kazakh, are working in different regions of the country, the number of which is going to be redoubled in 2009-2011.

Currently, 61% of schoolchildren and 48% of students in Kazakhstan are studying in Kazakh.

At the same time, the government provides for the development of languages of other ethnicities living in Kazakhstan . 1673 schools are teaching in Russian . There are 81 schools that teach purely in Uzbek, Tajik and Uyghur. 108 schools teach 22 languages of ethnic groups of Kazakhstan as a separate subject. 195 special ethnic-linguistic centers, where children and adults have the opportunity to study 30 ethnic languages, have been opened recently. Weekend schools are financed for studying native languages of ethnic groups.

A great deal of attention is given to the development of manifold cultural and informational sphere. Thus, except for the Kazakh and Russian theaters there are also 4 national (ethnic) theaters, which are Uzbek, Uyghur, Korean and German. Notably, three of them are second to none among CIS countries.

Newspapers and magazines are published in 15 languages, radio and television programs are broadcasted in 8 languages and 11 languages accordingly. Thegovernment allocates funds for 19 ethnic mass media, which in total amount to 33.

Public celebrations of Nauryz and Maslenitsa festival have become a tradition, while Qurban Ayt and orthodox Christmas are proclaimed to be the days off.

During the years of independence a real religious renaissance has taken place in Kazakhstan . During 18 years the number of religious associations has become six times as much, being 671in 1991 and more than 4200 in 2009. Now there are almost 3200 mosques, churches and preaching houses.

Since 2003 the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, where the religious leaders and representatives of different confessions take part, has been held regularly,

Thus, Kazakhstan has gained a unique experience of national policy, providing peaceful co-existence of many different ethnicities and confessions. At the same time, the main success factor of interethnic concord model is a balance of interests of different ethnic groups living in Kazakhstan , which prevents granting special privileges for some and discrimination of others.

There also exist a number of factors, which may negatively influence interethnic concord.

Namely, it is a strengthening of ethnic and religious contradictions in different parts of the world, including some neighboring countries. Intrusion of different forms of ethnic and religious extremism and radicalism forms a potential danger for Kazakhstan . Local social and household problems may also gain a religious character. Possible drawbacks in the upbringing of youth may as well negatively influence interethnic and intercultural tolerance of people living in Kazakhstan .

All these aspects require special attention both from the government and from the society.

The relevance of cohesion and consolidation of Kazakh society has been greatly improved today, when Kazakhstan faces challenges in implementing the plans of new industrialization plan, ensuring innovative technological breakthrough of the country in the twenty-first century.

In this regard, the work over the national unity must be brought to the level of long-term strategic priority for the state policy. The basic provisions of the Doctrine must be included into the Strategic Plan of Development of Kazakhstan till 2020.

III. The goal, objectives and principles of state policy, aimed at ensuring national unity

The main goal of the Doctrine is to define the priorities and mechanisms for ensuring national unity in Kazakhstan on the grounds of civil identity, patriotism, spiritual and cultural solidarity, stability and interethnic and inter-confessional harmony in society.

The national unity implies integrity of the existence of ethnic communities in the same state, a high degree of self-identification of citizens with the Republic of Kazakhstan and with the existing system of values and ideals.

The basis of national unity of Kazakh society is a commonalty of values that are close to the absolute majority of Kazakh people and consolidate society into the entire whole.

The common preamble and the subject of a well-deserved pride of all generations of Kazakh people is our history.

After gaining the Independence , the shared values of Kazakh people were formed by the freedom to choose your own destiny, a sense of involvement into the construction of a new state, a shared responsibility for the fate of the country and future generations of its citizens.

The high level of tolerance towards the lifestyle, customs, feelings, ideas, beliefs of all ethnicities, religions, social groups are characteristic of Kazakh people.

At the same time, ethnic diversity and dialogue of cultures in the country is a constant source of enrichment and development for people living in Kazakhstan .

Moral values, respect for elders, respect for the institution of family, and hospitality have deeply rooted into the Kazakh society.

All of this greatly contributes to the enhancement of mutual understanding and friendship between citizens of different ethnicities and religions.

In order to achieve the goal of the Doctrine it is necessary to concentrate the efforts of state and society on the solution of the following major objectives :

strengthening common Kazakh identity, support of the consensus concerning basic values of Kazakhstan society;

formation of the effective system of interaction between state bodies and civil society institutions in the field of inter-ethnic and inter-confessional relations;

development of state language as a factor, uniting the peoples of Kazakhstan ;

promotion, preservation and development of ethnic and cultural, linguistic identity of Kazakh ethnic groups;

counteraction to extremism and radicalism, non-violation of rights and freedoms of people.

Realization of the Doctrine, which forms a set of basic facilities, approaches and guidelines of state policy in the field of interethnic relations, aimed at achieving national unity, is based on the following principles :

equality of rights and freedoms of people, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, or membership in social groups and voluntary associations;

prohibition of all forms of restrictions of the rights of citizens on social, racial, ethnic, linguistic or religious grounds;

suppression of activities aimed at inciting social, racial, ethnic and religious contradictions, undermining the state stability;

respect for the state language and its role in society;

respect for national traditions, promotion of the development of ethnic cultures and languages;

right of every citizen to determine and indicate or not indicate his nationality and religious affiliation;

timely and peaceful resolution of conflicts and social conflicts;

unitarity and indivisibility of the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan ;

protection of rights and interests of citizens of the Republic of Kazakhstan abroad, support for the compatriots living abroad, preservation and development of native language, culture and traditions, reinforcement of their ties with the historical homeland.

IV. Basic realization trends of the Doctrine

Based on the above outlined goals and objectives, doctrine provides for the following main realization trends of state national policy.

4.1. In the sphere of strengthening interethnic cooperation institutions

State activity in this sphere is aimed at ensuring effective participation of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan , ethnic and cultural associations and other institutions of civil society in implementation process of national state policy, including state bodies, dealing with its realization. The implementation of the following measures are implied:

•  Improving the organizational structure and methods of work of the APK and its territorial structures;

•  establishing under the APK an analytical and research centre for systematic and focused study of inter-ethnic relations on the basis of scientific and expert council;

•  establishing a youth advisory council to the APK, designed for elaborating proposals for the promotion of inter-ethnic harmony and ethnic and culturaltolerance among youth;

•  development of the network of research institutions, providing scientific and applied basis of the state national policy;

•  improvement of mechanisms of cooperation between the government and ethnic-cultural associations, including the field of patriotic education, and study of state language by citizens;

•  improvement of mechanism of involving representatives of different ethnic groups, who have appropriate qualification and skills, into the government service. At the same time, it is important to put into practice appointment of representatives of ethnic groups, having a good command of state language, at key positions in thegovernment service.

•  regular funding of ethnic and cultural organizations in line with the state socialorder;

•  improving the legal framework of ethnic and cultural associations' activity;

•  involvement of NGOs into the process of consolidation of society and cultivation of Kazakhs patriotism, spreading the ideas of spiritual unity, knowledge of history and culture of people of Kazakhstan, preserving its historical heritage;

•  improving cooperation and the effective joint work of state structures and NGOs on preventive solutions of the complex of social problems that could negatively affect the development of interethnic and interfaith relations;

•  involvement of political parties and public associations into the process of formation a culture of peace and non-violence on the basis of tolerance andcultural diversity.

These measures should enhance the effectiveness of institutions of inter-ethnic cooperation and reinforcement of cooperation between state bodies and civil society institutions in this field.

4.2. In the field of language policy

Language policy is designed to create a harmonious sociolinguistic space and become a factor that would unite people. It should be aimed at broadening and strengthening social and communicative functions of the state language, preserving the interactive features of the Russian language, as well as developing the languages of other ethnic groups. In this direction the following measures will be taken :

- providing the operation of the Kazakh language as the official in the workflow management of central and local government bodies;

- development of legal frameworks for use of the state language, reinforcement of its consolidating role;

- further development of the state language through the implementation of terminological and onomastic work;

- increasing the proportion of broadcasting in Kazak, the development of Internet sites using the state language;

- extension of work on the translation business, art and other literature into Kazakh ;

- establishment of special requirements aimed at teaching the state language for immigrants who would like get the citizenship of the Republic of Kazakhstan, creating a system of language training for them;

- increasing the number of teaching centers in cities and regions, in universities and other institutions, including private ones;

- forming the motivation for studying in-depth Kazakh language by youth, inculcation the Kazakh culture and traditions into the young Kazakhs;

- Improving the teaching methods of the Kazakh language;

- Improving the teaching of the Kazakh language in preschools, schools and universities;

- Further consecutive implementation of the cultural project "trinity of languages", and transition to multilingual education;

- Involvement of ethnic and cultural associations in the implementation process of state language programs in line with the state social order;

- maintenance of the Russian language as a language officially used by thegovernment institutions and local state bodies;

- governmental support of studying the native languages of ethnic groups;

- promotion and creation conditions for proper functioning of languages of ethnic groups in the field of culture and mass media.

Knowing the Kazakh language should become a natural desire of every citizen. In future, all Kazakh people, especially the younger generation, must know the state language.

Knowledge of the state language should be an important factor in increasing individual competitiveness of citizens, career promotion and participation in political and social life. The state should create conditions for studying the state language.

4.3. In the field of education and training

One of the main factors of national unity in the country is the education and upbringing of the young generation of Kazakhstan in compliance with values of tolerance and harmony. In this area, a number of measures are to be implemented:

- Development of ethnic and cultural education programs designed for all levels of study;

- Introduction of pre-primary, secondary, vocational and technical educational institutions and institutions of interactive teaching methods, ethnic and culturaltolerance, the formation of strong positive stereotypes of Representatives intercultural environment;

- Creation of conditions for teaching a compulsory course "Basics of science of religion" in schools in order to increase awareness and knowledge of religion by the younger generation;

- Professional development of teachers and providing them with teaching materials on the methods of inculcation spiritual concord into the young people, the fundamentals of tolerance and intercultural communication;

- Assistance in the development and acquisition of teaching materials, dissemination of periodic publications, television and radio broadcasts in the languages of ethnic groups in places of their residence;

- Development of school museums historical, military and labor glory of the people of Kazakhstan ;

- Expansion of interaction between schools and parents through after-school activities for ethnic and cultural education, fostering citozenship, tolerance and culture of inter-ethnic harmony in the younger generation;

- Initiation of the annual national-patriotic action "Menin Yelim", dedicated to the Day of Unity of Peoples of Kazakhstan, aimed at consolidating society and strengthening Kazakh patriotism.

These measures should contribute to further consolidation of ideas and traditions of ethnic and religious tolerance among the younger generation.

4.4. In the spiritual-cultural sphere

Measures, aimed at inculcation of common spiritual and cultural values and traditions of Kazakh society into citizens, are intended to strengthen interethnic integration under condition of maintenance the cultural identity of all ethnic groups. In order to achieve the goal it is necessary to:

- Improve the organizational forms of Sunday schools and schools of national revival as a tool of preservation and development of culture and language of each ethnic group;

- Create conditions for strengthening the institution of the Kazakh family, its educational role, including the sphere of preservation and development of national traditions, inculcating tolerance and respect for cultural traditions, language and values of all the ethnic groups living in Kazakhstan into the young people;

- Support the development and operation of national (ethnic) theaters and creative teams;

- Activate cultural and educational institutions, aimed at preserving the historical and cultural heritage of Kazakh people, further cross-fertilization of cultures of ethnic groups living in Kazakhstan;

- Promote the wide dissemination of knowledge about the history and culture of ethnic groups living in Kazakhstan ;

- Ensure the preservation of culture, historical heritage, traditions and identity of each ethnic group in Kazakhstan ;

- Promote intercultural dialogue and humanitarian cooperation Kazakh Diaspora, as well as with countries that form the historical homeland of Kazakh ethnic groups.

Implementation of all these measures will ensure the preservation anddevelopment of ethnic and cultural diversity in Kazakhstan , as well as further implementation of the formula "unity - through diversity".

4.5. In the field of information

Support of the ethnic media, explanatory work aimed at elucidation of state national policy, as well as reinforcement of patriotism and ethnic-cultural tolerance should become a significant direction of development. In order to achieve the goal it is necessary to:

- Support the development of ethnic media, expanding the output in these materials on the topic of Kazakh identity, patriotism, ethnic and cultural and religious tolerance;

- Promote the production of positive information products (TV, shows, films, publications, commercials, etc.) that promote and perpetuate the public consciousness consolidating spiritual and moral values and national ideals;

- Increase the number of symbols, used in media and forming a sense of Kazakh patriotism in the minds of people, along with respect for culture and traditions of the people of Kazakhstan , self-identification of citizens of the republic;

- observing the ethics and professionalism by journalists while covering the issues of interethnic and inter-confessional relations;

- strengthen the work on prevention and suppression of media materials, which destabilize inter-ethnic situation in the country, in the frameworks of existing legislation;

- regulate the concepts and terms, related to ethnic issues, released by the media.

The proposed measures should contribute to the formation of stable positive models of interethnic and inter-confessional behaviour in public consciousness.

4.6. In the field of law

Measures are intended to promote the improvement of legislation in the sphere of national policy, prevent and suppress all forms and manifestations of ethnic and religious intolerance. They imply:

- further development of legislative norms, ensuring equality of Kazakhstan's citizens, regardless of their race, ethnicity and religion, protection of human rightsand freedoms;

- increasing the political and legal culture of the population in the area of interethnic relations, formation of intolerance to manifestations of xenophobia, extremism and domestic nationalism in all forms;

 improving the legal system and law enforcement practice to detect, prevent and neutralize negative trends and threats in the sphere of ethnic relations;

 avoiding the politicization of interethnic relations, discrimination on ethnic, racial, religious and other grounds;

- establishing and strengthening of mechanisms for prevention of implications conducive to the emergence of contradictions and social conflicts that may acquire ethnic character, as well as the development of a system of resolution of these conflicts;

 development of a single legal standard for application of the conceptual apparatus on ethnic issues;

- improvement of national legislation in the field of migration management.

State policy of national unity will be safely ensured by legislative and legal mechanisms that exclude the possibility of emergence of prerequisites for inter-ethnic and inter-confessional tensions.

4.7. In the field of inter-confessional relations

The unifying principle of religion, prevention of the negative impact of the religious factor on the state of interethnic relations should become an important direction of strengthening national unity. In order to achieve the goal it is necessary to :

- develop partnership between state and religious associations in order to develop interreligious dialogue and mutual understanding, strengthen the stability in society;

- provide cooperation and joint work of state bodies and religious associations in addressing such social objectives as strengthening moral societal guidelines, increasing role of the family, combating drug addiction, alcoholism, distribution of the youth crime and homelessness;

- use spiritual values of traditional religions to strengthen moral fabric of society, enhancing religious literacy of population;

- execution of a systematic awareness raising activities with the public, especially with the youth, in order to counter the spread of extremism and radicalism;

- support non-governmental organizations, whose activity is aimed at informing the population about pseudo-religious associations and providing psychological, legal and judicial assistance to victims of these associations.

Due to the stated measures, religion should facilitate enhancement of a correct system of moral values, ideas of tolerance, unity and harmony in society.

* * *

Ensuring national unity is an essential condition for creation of a democratic, secular, legal and social state.

Economic growth, social progress and democratic development may be achieved through consolidation and preservation of the unity of Kazakh society only.

To achieve the objective, Kazakhstan , as an independent, sovereign and universally recognized state, has all the necessary economic, social and political resources.

The Doctrine serves as the basis for establishing a coherent system of legal, socialand economic, political, state administrative measures, aimed at strengthening the unity of the nation.

Realization of the Doctrine is aimed at strengthening and mobilization of human and intellectual potential of the county for the rapid development of Kazakhstan, as well as for achievement the decent living standards for every citizen of Kazakhstan, and observance and protection of constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms of citizens.

Unofficial translation