Article by His Excellency Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nur-Sultan, 5 January 2021


1. Our Course and Milestone

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of our Independence. This is an important milestone in the strengthening of the revived Kazakh statehood, the freedom that our ancestors longed for. Historically, thirty years is a blink of an eye. However, for many peoples it is a whole epoch of difficulties and joys, crises and development. We are going through the same path.

At the height of our freedom, every sensible citizen should asked questions as follows:

“What have we achieved in thirty years?”, “What country will we entrust to the next generation?”, “What else can we do to strengthen our statehood?”. In this sense, it is an important moment to return to the past, to reflect on our achievements and shortcomings, to meet our dreams and to step into the future with a new impetus.

Thirty years of Independence can be divided into three decades. Each of them carries the burden of the century in terms of its mission.

I would call the first decade of our Independence a period of laying the foundations of a new Kazakhstan. At that time, under the leadership of Elbasy (H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Leader of the Nation), the symbols of our state were established and the governmental system (state system, powers, administrative authorities) was formed. Our national currency has come into circulation. Our Armed Forces have been created. Our Constitution was adopted. Diplomatic relations have been established with foreign countries. Our country has become a member of authoritative international organizations.

We have adopted the Strategy entitled, “Kazakhstan – 2030”. We have established our border with our eastern neighbour (the People’s Republic of China). Negotiations on the border with other neighbouring countries have begun. We have completely cleared the country of nuclear weapons.     We moved our capital to the Kazakh Uplands (Saryarqa).


Kazakh Uplands (Kazakh: Saryarqa, lit. “Yellow Ridge”), also known as the Kazakh Hummocks, is a large peneplain formation extending throughout the central and eastern regions of Kazakhstan. It consists of low mountain oases (Qarqaraly, Kent, Kyzylarai, Ulytau, etc.) and elevated plains, and contains large deposits of coal in the north and copper in the south. Rare species, such as the Asiatic cheetah, may still live in the region. Several notable cities, including the country’s capital, Nur-Sultan, are located there. Part of the Kazakh Uplands are included in the Saryarka – Steppe and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan world heritage site. It is of the Palearctic temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands ecoregion of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome.

We have moved to a market economy and established strong private institutions. We laid the foundation of domestic business. Young people began to study in the world’s leading universities. Our National Fund has been established, which has allowed us to survive various crises. We invited our fellow Kazakhs all over the world to their homeland and opened the way to the Great Return of our brothers and sisters to the Fatherland. As a result, our country’s statehood has been solidified and our national spirit has risen.

The second decade of our Independence was a period of expanding the needs and further development of the Kazakh state. During these years, the position of our country has been strengthened and our economic potential has increased. We have defined and legally established all our land borders. We have implemented the Programme “Cultural Heritage” and made an inventory of our history. We saved the North Aral Sea and returned the fleeing sea. We have initiated Congresses of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Summits of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and several other important international projects. We have attracted significant foreign investment in our country. Our capital, which grew up on the banks of the Esil river, has become our national idea. Major infrastructure projects, such as the Western Europe – Western China international transportation corridor, have been launched. Housing construction has also been developed at an unprecedented pace.

In the third decade of our Independence, our country has grown and raised, becoming a prosperous state. We have finally resolved all the border issues with our neighbours. We have adopted the Strategy “Kazakhstan – 2050” and plan to join the top thirty developed countries.

Large-Scale Programmes such as, “Sustainable Industrial-Innovative Development”, “Nurly Jol” (lit. “Radiant Path”), “100 Concrete Steps” were implemented in each area.


“Nurly Jol” is a US$9 billion Kazakhstani domestic economic stimulus plan to develop and modernize roads, railways, ports, IT infrastructure, and education and civil services in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Nurly Jol plan was announced by Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev in November 2014. Areas of infrastructure development. Nurly Jol targets seven areas of infrastructure development:

transportation and logistics infrastructure

industrial infrastructure

energy infrastructure

public utilities infrastructure

housing infrastructure

social infrastructure

small and medium-sized enterprises

Goals. Nurly Jol is intended to turn Kazakhstan into a key Eurasian transport and logistics hub by modernizing roads, railways and ports, among others projects. Over $40 billion of projects already implemented within the Nurly Jol framework as for 1 January 2021. 1.4 million square meters of rental housing is expected to be constructed in 2015-2019. The New Economic Policy “Nurly Jol” is expected to create over 200,000 new jobs.

Along with political and economic reforms, we focused on spiritual renewal.

We have achieved all these successes thanks to the leadership and wisdom of Elbasy (H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Leader of the Nation), as well as wisdom, unity and solidarity of our people and the hard work of our compatriots. Therefore, it would be true to say that the Elbasy has become an eternal symbol of our independence.

The task of the forthcoming fourth decade of our Independence is to become a powerful country and a mature nation. Along the way, we need to continue the process of political and economic reforms and modernization of our consciousness, to form a new identity of the nation adapted to modern requirements.

We want to build a just society and an effective state. If we are guided by the principle of justice in any matter, we will definitely achieve this. For example, if we do not improve the lives of our citizens, how we can be proud of our achievements on the international arena? If our people do not feel the benefits of economic growth, there is no need for it. I am guided by this principle in every decision I make. We shall not only improve the social situation of the population, but also protect the interests of all citizens. In my opinion, this is a paradigm of a Just State.

Historically, each generation has had its share of trials. Our ancestors saw the Barefooted Flight (Kazakh:  Аqtaban shubyryndy, Alqaköl sulamany), and they also saw a terrible famine, repression, as well as world wars.


The Barefooted Flight (Kazakh: Аqtaban shubyryndy, Alqaköl sulamany) is a name given to the catastrophic defeat and ensuing relocation of the Kazakhs from some southern areas of Kazakhstan in 1722 or 1723. The relocation included members of the Senior Horde, Middle Horde, and Junior Horde, as well as members of the Kyrgyz and Karakalpaks. The degree of starvation and loss of life is open to historical debate, but the after-effects are documented among the sedentary neighbors of the Kazakhs. In short, the Barefooted Flight created a “worst case of nomadic-sedentary relations: steppe pastorallsts ravaged the cultivated land of sedentary neighbours.

During the totalitarian period, we almost lost our national values, language, mentality and religion. All of them returned to our people thanks to Independence. But in order to survive as a nation and a country, today’s and future generations must be prepared for new challenges.

The current pandemic and the resulting crisis have clearly shown that the whole world is facing unprecedented challenges. In addition to economic, social, environmental, biological and other threats, negative ideological viruses are spreading around the world. In the age of globalization, the people do not realize that it has unconsciously succumbed to the influence of outsiders. In other words, population is trapped voluntarily, not out of compulsion. In my opinion, it is because of the poisoning of the people’s consciousness. Therefore, in addition to weighing the pros and cons of the new age and absorbing its advantages, we need to keep our roots strong. In particular, we should not be separated from our national identity, culture and traditions, as they are only guarantee that all civilizations will not be swallowed-up in the spiritual chaos.

2. Knowledge and Lessons Learned

Peers of Independence turn 30 this year. Born and raised in a sovereign country, they have a clear mind, a different outlook, and a different way of life. They even see our Independence as an axiom that requires no proof. This is a normal phenomenon that shows that the concept of sovereignty is firmly entrenched in the minds of young people. But the Independence as our most precious treasure shall be remembered and preserved forever! That is why our younger generation must always know its value.

 Freedom did not come to us easily. Our ancestors fought for liberation. Many dark times and tragedies have befallen them. All this must be remembered by the people and passed down from generation to generation.

At one time, the Programme “Cultural Heritage” opened the way for an inventory of the nation’s genealogy. Domestic historical science is developing with a new impetus, and many studies have been conducted in various areas. Many previously unknown historical data and archaeological treasures have been found. News has been revealed that our history goes back thousands of years. Such fundamental initiatives of Elbasy (H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Leader of the Nation) have made a significant contribution to the revival of the historical consciousness of our people. Volumes of works within the Programme were published. However, do many see the fruits of that hard work? Aren’t many research projects limited to research institutes and centres?

It is inappropriate that the results of such fundamental research only benefit specialists in this field. They need to be made clear and accessible to the general public. Because the historical consciousness of not only historians, but of all people, especially the younger generation, must be clear and strong. At the same time, instead of being interested in large-scale exhibitions or other large-scale projects, it is necessary to focus on simple and easy-to-accept works for children and young people. Let us take, for example, documentaries and feature films. Historical movies such as “Diamond Sword”, “Jau Jürek Myń Bala”, “Tomiris”, “Keyki Batyr’, and “Tar Zaman” were made in this direction. But this is not enough.

I instruct the competent authorities and domestic TV channels to direct a certain part of the state order (governmental procurement) to historical topics. Of course, the financial issue must be resolved. However, our Kyrgyz brothers and sisters have clearly showed in the popular historical movie “Qurmanjan Datqa” that it is possible to make a high-quality work of art without spending a lot of money.

Today, the world film industry is in high demand for historical movies’ scripts (motion pictures scripts, film scripts, scenarios). There are many movies about the great events of both America and Europe. Now Netflix, HBO and other big movie companies are heading to Asia. In this regard, in our chronicles there are many important milestones and events that form the basis of large-scale movies/films. For example, the history of the Golden Horde, one of the most powerful empires in the world, deserves it! In this vein, this issue should be given special attention by film experts in the future.

The idea of consolidation of our ​​statehood, as well as commemorating and encouraging our state-minded persons must always be reflected in historical works (inter alia, fiction, prose, poetry, feature films and documentaries, and etc.). We learn from Alash leaders (Alash Orda was the Kazakh autonomous state from 1917 to 1920), who once set an example of service to the country. At the beginning of the last century, they worked hard to promote the idea of ​​independence among the people and sacrificed their lives for Freedom.

As part of the 30th Anniversary of our Independence, we must remember such outstanding people and show their legacy to our youth and the world. At the same time, the work of scientists and writers studying this topic should be supported and appreciated. The development of the noble heritage of the Alash lions (leaders) must continue.

One hundred years have passed since the first famine of 1921-1922, which killed millions of our compatriots and forced many survivors to flee abroad. But without that tragedy, without that darkness, without that hunger, our population would have been many times greater than it is today.

These blank pages of our history have not yet been thoroughly studied. Even scientists do not agree on the exact number of victims of famine. Different views on the facts and their causes are misleading. Relevant historical documents and collected data should be studied very carefully.

Qualified specialists should conduct systematic research and the state should assess the problem of hunger accordingly. We need to approach this complex issue with restraint and responsibility. In general, historical research should be conducted on a purely scientific basis, without rhetoric and fame.

This year marks the 35th Anniversary of the famous December events. In 1986, our sons and daughters, not afraid of the wrath of the Soviet Union, took to the streets for the honour of the nation., The adoption of the Declaration of our Independence exactly five years later, on 16 December 1991, is symbolic. At the same time, the civic heroism of the first swallows of freedom – the heroes of the December Uprising – should be properly appreciated and systematically propagandized.


The Jeltoksan (Kazakh: Jeltoqsan köterilisi, lit. “December Uprising” of 1986) were protests that took place in Alma-Ata (present-day Almaty), Kazakhstan, against Soviet Government’s discriminatory ethnic policy targeting Kazakhs. The events lasted from 16 December until 19 December 1986. The protests began in the morning of 17 December, as a student demonstration attracted thousands of participants as they marched through Brezhnev Square (present-day Republic Square) across to the building of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan. As the result, USSR’s internal troops (gendarmes) and special police forces entered Almaty, and violence erupted throughout the city. In the following days, protests spread to other cities, inter alia, Shymkent, Taldyqorǵan, and Qaraǵandy.

Until the end of the year of 2021, we will celebrate a number of significant events in our recent history. In 1991, the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site was closed. Considering that it is an especially important decision for the future not only of our country, but of all mankind, I think it is necessary to hold a special event to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of shutting-down the Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS or Semipalatinsk-21), also known as “The Polygon”, the primary testing venue for the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons. Thanks to the Decree signed by the First President of our country, Kazakhstan has been recognized worldwide as a leader and champion in the global movement against nuclear weapons, has gained the trust of major powers, and is recognized as a responsible country in the international community.

Until the end of the year of 2021, we will celebrate a number of significant events in our recent history. In 1991, the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site was closed. Considering that it is an especially important decision for the future not only of our country, but of all mankind, I think it is necessary to hold a special event to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of shutting-down the Semipalatinsk Test Site (STS or Semipalatinsk-21), also known as “The Polygon”, the primary testing venue for the Soviet Union’s nuclear weapons. Thanks to the Decree signed by the First President of our country, Kazakhstan has been recognized worldwide as a leader and champion in the global movement against nuclear weapons, has gained the trust of major powers, and is recognized as a responsible country in the international community.

3. Our Society and Our Values

 The eternal triad of our sovereignty is our vast land, stretching from Altai mountains in the east to Atyrau (Caspian Depression) in the west, from Alatau (other names: Täńir Tau, Mountains of Heaven, Tian Shan) mountains in the south to Saryarqa (Kazakh Uplands) in the north, our sacred language, which is nourished by our mother’s white milk, and our prosperity and unity that our ancestors protected and provided to our nation as their legacy despite all difficulties. We cherish these three values.

Our sacred land, inherited from our ancestors, is our main wealth. No one from outside has given this vast territory to the Kazakhs. Our history today is not measured by 1991 (establishment of the Republic of Kazakhstan) or 1936 (establishment of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic within the Soviet Union). Our people lived and grew-up here during the Kazakh Khanate, and earlier in the Golden Horde, the Turkic Khaganate, the Huns and the Sakas. In short, the deep roots of our national history lie in the core of antiquity. In general, history should be studied by historians, not politicians.

The formal recognition of the border by an international treaty and its recognition by the world community has become a trend in the last few centuries. Before that, there was no such thing as delimitation and demarcation.

We remember that while we were dealing with the border issue, some politicians and public figures wanted to say, “Let us not hurry”, “We can agree later”. Time has shown that it is right to negotiate persistently and to strengthen our foundations immediately. Now, no matter what anyone says, we have an internationally recognized border, established by bilateral agreements. Now no one can argue with this.

It is necessary to carry out educational work with restraint, officially and publicly resisting the provocative actions of some foreigners who question our territorial integrity and criticize good neighbourly relations. I would like to emphasize once again that we must be ready to defend our national interests with both food and stone (i.e., peacefully, utilizing soft power; and even militarily, if necessary, utilizing weapon, i.e., hard power).

As I said above, our borders are completely demarcated. After signing the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea in 2018, our borders, not only on land, but also at sea, were finally defined and finally resolved.

Kazakhstan is a unitary state. Our country is not divided into southern, northern, western, and eastern. These are only conditional names that indicate the direction. In 2018, by the Decree of the President, the Southern Kazakhstan region was renamed as Turkestan region. The people unanimously supported the decision to restore the historical justice. After all, not only the city of chronicles, but the whole region has been called Turkestan since ancient times. This good trend can be continued throughout the country. Our intention is serious, and we will take such steps thoroughly.

It is a well-known and indisputable fact that Kazakh land is not given to any foreigner and will never be sold. Every citizen of Kazakhstan should be aware of this. The moratorium on certain provisions of the Land Code will expire next year. It is especially important to put agricultural lands into circulation and use them for the benefit of our population. Therefore, this year it is necessary to create a Commission on Land Issues and come to an agreement within it.

For Kazakhs, our sacred land is very dear, and we usually say, incredible as it may seem, that the cost of a handful of our land is equal in weight to gold. But actually, in fact, our sacred land is even invaluable!

However, the knowledge of the value of our land (soil) is not measured by slogans alone. Unfortunately, it is our citizens who pollute our mountains, lakes, and steppes. They set fire to the Kök-Jaylau, a plateau in the territory of the Ile-Alatau State National Natural Park located at an altitude of 2251.2 m, located between the Small and Big Almaty gorges, 10 km from the city of Almaty. They scattered rubbish, carried thousand buckets of Köbeytuz lake’s therapeutic mud to their houses, and even washed their dirty cars in that unique lake. Others have killed saigas for the sake of a bunch of horns. How can we claim to be the owner of this sacred place, without being afraid of the the wrath of the heavenly protector of our sanctuaries (the God Almighty) and doing things that no one else can do? This is a bitter truth. We must show that we are truly compassionate owners of our land. It should be reflected in a wide range of environmental measures, ranging from simple things such as not littering the streets, and not lighting fires anywhere.

It all starts with education. A child who does not plant a tree in the yard with his parents, who does not see the kindness of adults to animals, and who is not accustomed to caring for nature from an early age, does not feel sorry for his homeland when he grows up. The problem is not in protecting environment (ecology) – but in patriotism, not in law – but in consciousness.

In order to love the country and the land, the younger generation must know the wonders of Kazakhstan. Bozjyra and Sherqala in the west, Aqsu-Zhabagly and Sairam-Ugam in the south, Han Täńiri and Charyn in the Jetisu region, Kölsay and Qayyńdy, Qapal-Arasan, Altyn Emel and Burhan springs, Muztau and Shyngystau in the east, Marqaköl and Rahman springs, Burabay and Bayanauyl in Kazakh Uplands. Qarqaraly, Imantau and Ayyrtau and other places of interest are overcrowded. There is no need to look for paradise on earth. We have everything. We need to show our young people such a wonderful nature and teach them to respect and protect it.

There is another thing that can be done without wasting time and consistently implemented. Due to the mass migration of our people to urban areas, the population has sharply decreased in many villages, especially in the border areas. We are keeping this work in mind, creating favourable conditions for the population of the labour-intensive southern region to settle in the northern and eastern regions. This is a particularly important issue for the security of our country. In addition, we will do our best to support the movement to Kazakhstan of our fellow Kazakhs, which has slowed down in recent years for various reasons and intensify their resettlement in the above-mentioned regions.

Both issues are of strategic importance. It should not be seen as another campaign. Local authorities should not do this solely for the reports to the superior central governmental authorities but should do such work in the interests of the state and for the sake of a genuine compassion for our Kazakh brothers and sisters.

One of the main symbols of our country is our state language, Kazakh. The fact that the state language of Kazakhstan is the Kazakh language is clearly stated in the Constitution even in the difficult period of the 1990s. During the years of our Independence, we have created all the conditions for the development of our native language. During this period, the number of schools, educational institutions and kindergartens teaching in the Kazakh language has multiplied.

Today, the share of Kazakhs and other ethnic groups who know the state language has increased significantly. All the legal approaches and guarantees to make the Kazakh language, in fact, a unifying factor of all our people, have been formed. The problem is the intention. The correctness of the intention depends on both those who want to learn the Kazakh language and the Government, which will help to achieve this goal.

 Children’s literature plays an important role in language acquisition. Therefore, in addition to the best works of Kazakh writers, it is necessary to translate, publish and distribute the best works of foreign writers for our children. It is in high demand.

Knowledge of the state language is the duty of every citizen of Kazakhstan. It can be said that it is a task. In this regard, I would like to appeal to all Kazakhstanis, including my compatriots who have not yet mastered the Kazakh language. We see that young people can learn English or other languages ​​in a short time. Anyone who wanted to learn the Kazakh language in those years, when a whole generation changed, would have known it long ago. There is a saying among our people: “Better late than never”. The main thing is to be enthusiastic.

The widespread use of our native language does not mean that there are restrictions on other languages, especially Russian. There will be an opportunity to develop the native languages and traditions of all ethnic groups. It is important for our young people to understand that knowledge of several languages ​​expands their horizons and awakens their eyes.

The main force that saves us from difficulties in any age is the unity of the country. People who are united always get points. Due to different circumstances, the Kazakh land was inhabited by many people of different ethnicities at different times. The Kazakh people did not look down on anyone. Today, their homeland is Kazakhstan. It is clear that we have been able to turn our multi-ethnic nature to our advantage. We have refuted the predictions of many foreign experts about our country, such as “Eurasia is on the verge of collapse”, “failed state” and etc. The Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, which was the source of our internal peace and stability, worked effectively in this direction. We did not discriminate our citizens on the basis of their ethnicity. We have created all the conditions for everyone to grow and give equal opportunities. Our policy of inter-ethnic harmony has been recognized by the entire world. We must be able to appreciate the harmony of our people based on such unity. This is the only right way to a perfect future. Therefore, the preservation of inter-ethnic peace and harmony is the duty not only of governmental agencies, but of society as a whole and every citizen. After all, we are all equally responsible for the stability and prosperity of our country.

In this regard, we must promote the common values ​​that unite our people. For example, it is necessary to develop the concept of celebrating Nauryz (the Spring Equinox Festive) and enrich the content of this spring holiday. The more values ​​that unite the whole society, the stronger our unity will be.

4. Propagation and Principles

Nowadays, the desire of Kazakhstanis to take an active part in the life of the country, to participate in the decision-making process is growing. My concept of a “Listening State” (a state that listens to the voice of the people) and the National Public Trust Council are a direct answer to this demand. It is a modern example of the great gatherings that we had in the past (medieval times) in Ordabasy, Kültöbe and Ulytau. We will continue the good tradition of the Kazakh people to solve problems together.

These initiatives will be the basis for the development of civil society. The current measures have not been taken under duress. It is the result of a policy aimed at democratizing the country and modernizing the political system.

Political reform is not a matter of a day or a year. We must do this carefully and gradually, without shaking the foundations of the country and disrupting its prosperity and unity. However, the reform should not be delayed. Authorities should feel responsible to the people. That is why we are going to elect akims (heads) of villages and settlements. In this way, we strengthen the system of local self-government from the lowest level. This step is necessary for our population and local authorities to work together to address many pressing issues. Then we elect district akims (heads). If the new system proves effective, we will elect akims (heads) at a higher level (cities and regions).

However, in the process of political modernization, it is impossible to be in a hurry and only follow the slogans, bringing the entire state system into crisis. We can see from the current situation in some countries what it means to change everything at once. First of all, our country must have a law and order based on full respect for human rights. Clearly, anarchy and immorality do not lead to good.

Kazakhstan’s political system is developing in line with modern requirements. This year’s election of Majilis’s (the Lower Chamber of the Kazakhstani Parliament) MPs is an important step towards the establishment of a multi-party parliament. We have parties with different political views. Their positions can be conservative, liberal, patriotic, socialist and others. This is a natural process. Political pluralism allows the state to develop and strengthen in an evolutionary way. Although political forces are so diverse, they all have a common value. It is our cherished Independence.

Our goal is to pass Kazakhstan on to the next generation as a strong state with a strong economy and a strong spirit, and to bring-up a creative generation that will continue the country’s affairs with dignity.

The XXI century is the age of knowledge and skills. Everyone can increase their competitiveness only by constantly improving themselves, learning new professions and constantly adapting to the times. Education and technology, as well as high labour productivity should be the main driving force of the country’s development. Our great poet, philosopher and statesman, eminent founder of classic Kazakh literature Abay Qunanbayuly said once: “Human being can be superior to other human beings only because of his/her intellect, scientific knowledge (education), conscience and behaviour. Anything other than that is nonsense”.

During the years of our Independence, a whole stream of talented young people has grown. There are also amazing talents who have captivated the entire world. They are the cultural image of Kazakhstan, our spiritual ambassadors, our special power (“soft power”). They are the people who represents our country in the international arena and demonstrates the values ​​of our Independence to the world. It is the duty of the state to take care of such citizens.

In the age of globalization, the world has become like the palm of your hand. It has become a norm for our demanding boys and girls to go and study in any country of the world. There are many representatives of our youth who stay and serve overseas. At the same time, there are concerns that young people are leaving our country. But I hope that our young people will improve their education and still return to our country or defend the interests of Kazakhstan while traveling abroad.

Our people say, “When you have a horse, you have to know the Earth”. At one time, our Elbasy (H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Leader of the Nation), travelled to Ukraine as a young man, where he acquired labour, education and administrative skills. I also travelled to Moscow to study and worked in other countries. Although many of our contemporaries could not travel as far abroad as today’s youth, they were educated in various cities of the Soviet Union. However, most of them did not lost their roots and did not stay abroad forever. They returned to our country and worked for a sake of our state. So, there is no need to worry about losing young ones who are far away. Our task is to instil in them the spirit of Kazakh statehood and mobilize them to serve the country wherever they go. For example, we need to create conditions for our citizens, who started their careers in the most developed countries of the world and work in large companies, to strengthen ties with their Kazakh contemporaries and compatriots, as well as to mentor them.

Not all talented Kazakhstani young people are abroad. There is a growing number of skilled and educated people in the country itself. We are actively involving them in training a new generation of leaders. The Presidential Personnel Reserve, created on my initiative, is a clear proof of this. At the next stage of the project, we will pay special attention to the selection of leaders who are loyal to the public interest. Our citizens working in the governmental agencies must first and foremost be committed to the national interest.

Our people say, “If you are young, you shall work”. Young people are always a source of new ideas, the driving force of positive changes. Therefore, we need to direct and effectively use this potential of the younger generation. In this regard, it is necessary to intensify the activities of the Youth Council under the President. We will turn it into a systematic platform for the mobilization of qualified and educated youth. In addition, I propose to support talented young people, born in the years of Independence, who have not yet been recognized yet, by awarding them with a special grant entitled, “Generation of Independence”.

Whatever we do, we do it for our succeeding generations. We deeply feel the responsibility of public policy for the future. We will never change this position. Undoubtedly, the most amazing feats come from the boundless love for the Motherland. True patriotism is not just a slogan, but a service to your country and people.

Human being is not born a patriot. He/she was educated and brought up, interacted with the social environment and became a patriot in the formation of his/her civic identity. A person who feels that his/her personal goals and interests are in harmony with the public good and makes a significant contribution to the development of his country is truly happy.

Honourable Mr. Alikhan Bokeikhanov (1866-1937, a famous Kazakh statesman, politician, publicist, teacher, writer and environmental scientist who was a founder and led the Alash party. He served as the Prime Minister of the Alash Orda (Kazakh Autonomy) from 1917 to 1920, making him the first person in the history of Kazakhstan to hold such a position), a great son of our people, said, “Serving the nation is not about knowledge, but about character”. We must be inspired by true patriotism. We shall work together to strengthen our sacred Independence further.

I tell all my compatriots, especially young people: appreciate the vast Kazakhstan as a sacred Motherland, where you can freely realize your dreams and bold plans, focus on your success and always wish! I believe in the creative power of the new Kazakhstani patriotism.

Being an independent country is not limited to declaring it or laying the foundations of the state. The real struggle for Independence will continue forever with daily work, continuous and consistent national policy. We will survive on the Earth as a nation only with our strong and independent state. We must adhere to this unchanging truth. “Independence is the most precious treasure!”. This single word should always be our motto.

May the greatest pillar of our nation – our cherished Independence – be glorified by the patriotic spirit of all our people!

Egemen Qazaqstan newspaper