A very important event for the United Nations in Kazakhstan, for the city of Almaty, and for Republic of Kazakhstan took place on 23 October.
Mr. Bauyrzhan Baybek – Mayor of Almaty, Mr. Ashikbayev – Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Arystanbekova – First Kazakhstan Permanent Representative to the UN, and high-ranking representatives of United Nations attended this ceremony of presenting the building to the future tenants.
The representatives of Government, Almaty Akimat, United Nations took a tour of the premises, and noted the significance of the project and its importance for the cooperation and development for both Kazakhstan and the United Nations.
Mayor of Almaty Mr. B.Baybek noted in his speech:
We studied construction of regional offices in Europe, Istanbul, Bangkok; we are confident that the Almaty UN building meets the high level international safety and comfort standards and UN requirements; the building is in Almaty business district, within walking distance to the botanical garden, the Atakent exhibition center, parks and public gardens; close to main transport corridors; ensuring convenient access for public and private transport. The Kazakh proverb says, “a prosperous dwelling ensures peaceful life.” We believe that the work of UN agencies in this new office will be comfortable and will contribute to our efficient cooperation for benefit of sustainable development and prosperity of our city, country and region.
Vice Minister Ashikbayev said:
Opening of the new building has significance not only for the city and Kazakhstan but for the entire Central Asia region. New reality has formed in Central Asia. Our shared goal is creating in our part of the world and beyond a model zone of peace, security, trust, development and cooperation. On the other hand, cross border threats and challenges require a new paradigm in addressing them; therefore, transit from country specific to regional strategy is necessary. This was the overarching rationale behind the proposal to establish a UN hub for multilateral diplomacy with specific focus on SDGs implementation here in Almaty – our southern capital – that was put forward by his excellency the first president of RK Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev.
My president’s initiative on establishing UN regional hub in Almaty is consistent with UNGA resolution on repositioning of the UN development system inspired by UN SG Mr. Antonio Guterres.
The building is fully equipped, with all facilities that meet all UN standards including ecofurniture, fitness, parking, and spacious offices and security requirements.
Mr. Vitalie Vremis speaking on behalf of UNDP in Kazakhstan thanked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Akimat for this generous support of the Government of Kazakhstan to the UN system. He noted that this is yet another sign of a strong partnership between the UN and Kazakhstan – a relationship that lasts already more than a quarter of a century. “A team of 20 agencies located in Astana and Almaty, we work hand in hand with our national partners to achieve the country’s development objectives including the SDGs. We also promote cooperation with and within the UN at regional and global level. Now that the renovations are coming to an end, the UN agencies here in Almaty are looking forward to be able to move to the new building once all the formalities are completed. We are confident that with such upgraded conditions for work as in the current building, we will become more effective in elevating our already excellent cooperation to yet another, higher level.”