Turkestan hosted the second meeting of the National Kurultai “Әdiletty Қазаққstan – Adal azamat” chaired by the President of the country Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The forum was attended by state and public figures, representatives of political parties, nongovernmental organizations and experts in various fields of social development.

Opening the session of the National Kurultai, Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stressed that the kurultai is not a solemn gathering with grand speeches; the kurultai has always been convened at the most critical times to discuss and solve urgent problems.

“Today’s Kurultai is taking place after the tragedy, the massive fires in Abay Oblast which killed our fellow citizens. Once again, we must learn from this tragedy and make concrete decisions. Above all, the ordeal that has befallen us is a test of our unity. Such difficult moments like these show that mutual solidarity, support and responsibility are the most important thing. You understand it too,” the President said.

In his speech, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev outlined a number of priority tasks facing Kazakh society and the state as a whole, noting that building a just Kazakhstan is a task for society as a whole, not just for ministers or akims. Political and economic reforms are not enough to achieve this goal. It is necessary to preserve the unity of the people, to revive the historical and cultural heritage, to educate and support young people, to pay due attention to the development of rural areas and to become responsible citizens of the country.

“Just Kazakhstan” and “responsible citizen” are two interrelated concepts that must always be considered as the inviolable pillars of our country. In order to build a just Kazakhstan, each of our compatriots must strive to become a responsible citizen,” said the President.

There are no useless professions, there are useless specialists, said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

“Everyone who works tirelessly will sooner or later become a true professional. And true professionals will always be in demand,” said the President.

Kasym-Jomart Tokayev believes that the merits of the best professionals should be celebrated at the state level on Labour Day.

“Who is a real worker? First of all, a specialist who gives his all in order to do his job properly. A real man of work is a man of action and a responsible citizen. What irresponsibility leads to is well demonstrated by the recent fires. Such irresponsibility exists not only in the forestry sector but also in other sectors,” Tokayev said.

Speaking about reforms in public administration, the head of state said that the reforms will continue.

“The process of renewing the managerial level will continue. My credo is that ministers, akims and other civil servants should combine two basic qualities – professionalism and patriotism. I am not interested in their personal loyalty to the Head of State. There is no need to praise the President; it is much more important to work honestly and conscientiously to earn the trust and respect of citizens. This applies to all civil servants,” stressed the President.

One of the main leitmotifs of the head of state’s speech was the theme of unity and consolidation of society in a turbulent world.

Meanwhile, the participants of the National Kurultai discussed pressing issues of social consolidation, development of culture and education the day before, working in sections.

Member of the National Kurultai, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Kazakhstan, Satybaldy Dauletalin, spoke in the first section, “Social Consolidation”. According to Satybaldy Dauletalin the Kurultai to a certain extent compensates the low level of involvement of citizens in the political process and forms additional mechanisms of consolidation of society.

“It is encouraging that the main instrumental socio-political idea of the state for the near future is the idea of consolidation.  Kurultai should become one of the tools by which civil society through social dialogue correlates the actions of the authorities, the state with its interests”, said the Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan (FTURK).

According to Satybaldy Dauletalin, a key social marker of the level of human rights protection, the fairness of the state and the maturity of its civil society is the protection of workers.

“Observance and protection of labour rights of employees in our country face numerous challenges. The main challenge is stagnating wage levels and falling labour incomes. Behind all this is the social well-being of people, their confidence in today’s and tomorrow’s life. The pessimism in society is justified by the objective fact of negative income dynamics. Cheap labour destroys the economy, while decent human labour cannot be ‘cheap’!” stressed the trade union leader.

As noted by Satybaldy Dauletalin, undervalued labour breeds ‘poverty’ in the mind. As a result, social and economic insecurity creates a sense of anxiety and despair among many rank-and-file workers, who take the most extreme and spontaneous measures to protect their rights and the interests of their families. With such a mindset, it is impossible to constructively overcome the crisis phenomena and build a New Just Kazakhstan.

Having outlined the challenges, the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic  of Kazakhstan (FTURK) Chairman shared his vision for overcoming them.

“To keep the socio-political situation in the country manageable, the quality of labour relations must be systematically achieved.  The situation in the social and labour sphere requires an immediate turn towards the man of labour. It is necessary to sign a new social contract with Kazakhstani workers The old social contract, which has been in force for the last thirty years, has exhausted itself, it is not increasing. The essence of new contract is that employees need increase of income and possibility to clarify their relations with their employer in legal field. And the point here is not just to ease social tension in the country. It is about restoring social justice and workers’ trust in the state. Today it is equally important for the government and the trade union movement to create a civilized labour market. It is not the search for temporary compromises and minimum compensations, but the solution to the strategic problem of forming a modern labour market. It is its real state that determines both the level of employee protection, the effectiveness of legal instruments and the success of trade union activity. It is necessary to strictly comply with the Constitution and laws, and it is important not to allow interference in trade union activities by employers and government agencies,” said Satybaldy Dauletalin.

As a reminder, the President signed a decree on the establishment of the National Kurultai last year. The National Kurultai is a consultative and advisory body under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The main tasks of the National Kurultai are to develop and make proposals for the development of social consolidation, promotion and strengthening of national values; to ensure a constructive dialogue between representatives of the public, political parties, the non-governmental sector and state bodies. By Presidential Decree, two representatives of the National Trade Union Centre of Kazakhstan, Satybaldy Dauletalin, Chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions of Kazakhstan, and Bauyrzhan Alteev, Head of the Territorial Association of Trade Unions of Shymkent, were appointed to the National Kurultai.

The third meeting of the National Kurultai will take place next year in the Atyrau region, as proposed by the President.