EU - Central Asia Civil Society Forum dedicated to the post-pandemic period held in Kazakhstan

ALMATY. KAZINFORM - With the assistance of the Ministry of Information and Social Development of Kazakhstan, the «European Union - Central Asia» Civil Society Forum was held on the theme «Building Forward Better: engaging for a sustainable post-COVID recovery,» Kazinform reports.

The Forum was attended by representatives of civil society to discuss the implementation of the EU Strategy for Central Asia. More than 70 people, including around 30 representatives of Kazakhstan, involving leaders of NGOs, participated in the discussions. The participants included the EU Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore, EU Special Representative for Central Asia Terhi Hakala, Special Representative of the President of Kazakhstan for International Cooperation Erzhan Kazykhan, Kazakhstan’s Commissioner for Human Rights Elvira Azimova, Chairperson of the National Commission on Women and Family and Demographic Policy Lyazzat Ramazanova, and representatives of foreign states.

Yerzhan Kazykhan spoke about the implementation of reforms in the field of civil society, the protection of human rights, the development of international cooperation, including in terms of readiness to consider various ways of engagement with the European side. It was also noted that regional cooperation is invariably in the centre of attention of Kazakhstan.

In light of the fight against the global negative consequences of the pandemic and the joined efforts of all stakeholders, including the civil sector, the theme of the Forum acquired particular relevance.

The importance of holding the event in Kazakhstan is attributed to the active work in the development of civil society and the protection of human rights in the country.

The agenda of the event enabled Kazakhstan to highlight the achievements of 30 years of political developments of the country, to determine approaches to cooperation in Central Asia and the changing situation in Afghanistan.

Three thematic sessions focused on building resilience through social inclusion; green prosperity - harnessing the potential of women and youth to improve well-being; regional cooperation - joint solutions to environmental problems.

This is the third forum dedicated to the civil sector in the Central Asian region.

The organizers have high hopes for the viability of the Forum. According to the EU Strategy for Central Asia, civil society should play an important role in strengthening resilience and prosperity, as well as in promoting regional cooperation.