This week the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of South Africa, together with the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Pretoria Launched the second edition of the book by Abu Nasr Al-Farabi entitled, “Treatise on the views of excellent societies and their opposites: (The need to strive for an excellent state).
The book of Al-Farabi was published in Pretoria at the initiative of the Embassy of Kazakhstan to the Republic of South Africa in cooperation with the Embassy of the State of Qatar to RSA (a qualitatively new Kazakh and English translation was made by the diplomatic mission of the Land of Great Steppe).
The event coincided with the celebration of Kazakhstan National Day in Pretoria on 25 October 2022 and bidding farewell to a Diplomat Par Excellence, His Excellency Ambassador Kanat Tumysh, who is due to complete his tenure in South Africa.
The event was attended by representatives of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and other South African governmental institutions, the diplomatic corps, led by its Dean Ambassador Salih Omar Abdou of the State of Eritrea, prominent public figures, inter alia, Professor Ndileka Mandela, the Founder and CEO of the Thembekile Mandela Foundation, representatives of business circles, academia, mass media and clergy, led by the Maulana Abdul Khaleq Allie, headman of the country’s Muslim Community, President of the countrywide United Ulama (Muslim Theologians) Council, First Vice President of the Muslim Judicial Council.
In his openning remarks Ambassador Kanat Tumysh of Kazakhstan made a briefing on the establishment of the Second Republic in his country and gradual building a New Fair Kazakhstan.
Ambassador Tumysh familiarized the audience with a solid package of political, social, and economic reforms undertaken by the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in line with His Excellency’s State of the Nation Addresses of 16 March and 1 September 2022; as well as amendments made to the Kazakh Constitution and the domestic legislation at the nationwide referendum held on 5 June 2022 to achieve the great goals set up by the Head of State. The changes included following innovations:
•A ban on the membership of the President in political parties for the period of his presidency. The membership ban also affects the chairpersons and members of the Central Election Commission, the Accounts Committee and the Constitutional Court.
•A ban at the constitutional level for close relatives of the President on holding managerial positions in state and quasi-state structures.
•The Majilis (lower chamber of Parliament) would be fully formed under a mixed electoral system based on party lists and single-member territorial districts. Introduction of a mixed proportional-majority system of forming the Majilis in the ratio of 70/30. This measure would increase the degree of direct participation of citizens in the formation of the Majilis. A recall mechanism was also introduced. It would also allow our citizens to recall MPs elected under the majoritarian system who have not justified the faith of the voters.
•The Constitution of Kazakhstan explicitly abolished the death penalty.
Kazakh diplomat acquainted public with the upcoming snap elections of the President of Kazakhstan to be held on 20 November 2022, as well as the snap parliamentary and local elections to be arranged in the first half of 2023.
The President Tokayev recommended limiting the president’s term to one term of seven years (instead of maximum two five-year terms) in order to prevent the monopolization of power.
Re-election to the highest state post is prohibited. New electoral cycle designed to restart the political system because of the enshrined constitutional and legislative novelties. This will lead to more efficient and smart state governance.
Ambassador Tumysh said the milestone achievements and results by different benchmarks, obtained recently under the leadership of President Tokayev in the socio-economic sphere. Among them are the growth of the national economy by 3-4% this year and proficient surplus of the Kazakhstani budget (to be at the level of USD 7-10 billion at the end of 2022)
The main results and other information on the high-level international events held recently in Astana, inter alia, Seventh Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions (14-15 September 2022), as well as the Sixth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia
(CICA) (13 October 2022) were also communicated to the South African and international guests. They proved the relevance of peace-loving, pragmatic, predictable, reliable and balanced multi-vector foreign policy of President Tokayev. Yet, such a course is very important in modern geopolitical realities. At the CICA summit the process of its transformation from multilateral forum into a full-fledged international organisation was launched. The CICA summit also appointed incumbent Executive Director of the CICA Secretariat H.E. Ambassador Kairat Sarybay as the First Secretary-General of CICA.
In conclusion, Ambassador K.Tumysh spoke about Abu Nasr Al-Farabi and his book. Ambassador emphasised that this event is a second large-scale gathering since Covid-19 time, when Kazakhstan and the international community celebrated the 1150th birth Anniversary of the outstanding Oriental scientist, philosopher and educator of the Islamic Golden Age Abu Nasr Al-Farabi (870 AD – 950 AD), who known in the West as Alpharabius. He was born in the ancient city of Farab (Otrar) on the Jaxartes (Syr Darya) river in Central Asia (territory of the modern Kazakhstan). Al-Farabi was a renowned philosopher, jurist and theologian, who wrote in the fields of political philosophy, metaphysics, ethics and logic. He was also a scientist, cosmologist, mathematician and music scholar. In the Islamic philosophical tradition, he was often called the Second Teacher of the world, following Aristotle who was known as the First Teacher of the world. Through his works and especially wise philosophical treatises Al-Farabi became well-known in the West as well as the East.
In general, the participants noted the great potential of cooperation between Kazakhstan and South Africa, in particular, in the areas of bilateral trade, investments, tourism, and cultural exchange. Some of them noted that Kazakhstan and South Africa, who this year celebrate the 30th Anniversary of their diplomatic relations, may be geographically distant from each other, but distances matter a little, when nations build cultural bridges.