1. The Assembly of People of Kazakhstan is a unique institution created on the initiative of the First President – Elbasy Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The Assembly of People of Kazakhstan (APK) was established by the Decree of the Head of State on March 1, 1995. The Chairman of the APK is the President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
The Chairman of the APK has three deputies – the Head of the APK Secretariat, who is part of the Presidential Administration and also the Deputy Chairman of the APK – Azilkhanov Marat Almasovich. Two (public) Vice–Chairs of the APK from ethno-cultural associations are appointed by the order of the President annually on a rotating basis on the recommendation of the APK Council – Maya Tolegenovna Bekbayeva and Zakirjan Pirmukhamedovich Kuziev.
The Deputy Chairpersons of the APK represent the Assembly in state bodies and international organizations, carry out the instructions of the APK Chairman on the implementation of the decisions of the APK Session and the APK Council, inform the APK Chairman about the state of affairs and the implementation of the APK program documents as necessary.
The APK is composed of 526 people, its members include authoritative public figures, politicians, members of Parliament and regional maslikhats, businessmen, journalists, creative and scientific intelligentsia, elders, etc.
Regional APK have been established in the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Shymkent and the regions. They are headed by the respective akims of the regions.
The supreme governing body of the APK is the Session of the APK, which is held annually with the participation of the Chairman of the APK. In April 2021, the XXIX session of the APK decided to transfer the powers of the Chairman of the APK to the President of the country and grant Elbasy the status of Honorary Chairman of the APK.
The session of the APK is convened by the President of Kazakhstan by an order to convene a regular Session with an outline of the date, venue and agenda. An extraordinary Session may be convened at the initiative of the Chairman of the APK, the APK Council or at the request of the APK members.
The exclusive obligation of the APK Session is the election of 5 deputies of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan,
development of conceptual approaches in determining the development of the APK and submitting them to the President, hearing the reports of the APK members.
The decision of the Session is approved by the Chairman of the APK, recommendations and proposals on state policy in the field of public consent and national unity for state bodies are subject to mandatory consideration.
The Republican Council of the APK works between sessions, which includes representatives of republican ethno-cultural associations, public figures, members of Parliament, ministers, akims of regions. 75 people make up the Republican Council of the APK. Councils also operate in the regions where APK sessions are held.
The APK Council is a collegial body. Meetings of the APK Council are convened by the Chairman of the APK Council or the Vice-Chairpersons of the APK once every six months. The powers of the APK Council include nomination of candidates for deputies of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan elected from the APK, consideration of candidates for members of the APK, making proposals to the President of Kazakhstan on the convocation and agenda of the regular Session, establishment of public awards and approval of regulations on them, etc.
Over the years of independence, the APK has proved that it is a unique institution of intercultural and interethnic dialogue, an effective tool of “people’s diplomacy”, interaction between the state and civil society. The development of civil values and identity among Kazakhstanis, internal responsibility for the development of the country, the implementation of the policy of social harmony and national unity, regardless of ethnicity, is recognized by society as the basis of Independent Kazakhstan.
The purpose of the APK is to ensure social harmony and national unity in the Republic of Kazakhstan on the basis of Kazakh patriotism, civil and spiritual and cultural community of the ethnic groups of Kazakhstan with the consolidating role of the Kazakh people.
The tasks of the APK are to ensure effective interaction of state bodies and civil society institutions in the field of interethnic relations, creating favorable conditions for further strengthening of social harmony; strengthening the unity of the people of Kazakhstan; assisting state bodies in countering manifestations of ethnic intolerance in society and aspirations aimed at infringing human rights and freedoms; promoting the integration of all ethnic groups into a single Kazakh society; preservation and development of traditions, languages and culture of the people of Kazakhstan.
The main activities of the APK are assistance in the development and implementation of state policy to ensure public harmony and national unity; assistance to the development of Kazakh patriotism; popularization of the study of the state language and other languages of the people of Kazakhstan; development of the Kazakh model of public harmony and national unity; monitoring of the sphere of interethnic relations; participation in the socio-political examination of draft laws on public policy issues; policies in the field of interethnic relations; development of recommendations and implementation of practical measures to resolve disagreements and disputes, prevention of conflict situations in the field of interethnic relations; methodological, organizational and legal assistance to ethno-cultural associations; creation of conditions for dialogue between government agencies and public associations on strengthening interethnic relations; assistance in the development of charity, mediation, etc.
Over 29 years since the establishment of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, the organization has achieved the following:
consolidation and integration of ethnic groups on the basis of Kazakh identity and citizenship has been ensured;
conditions have been created for the development of languages, traditions, cultures of Kazakh ethnic groups in accordance with international standards;
recognition of the unifying role of the Kazakh language as the state language has been ensured;
The depoliticization of interethnic relations by the ethnic groups of Kazakhstan has been ensured;
The factor of external influence on the ethnic groups of Kazakhstan and their transformation into agents of the interests of external political forces has been prevented.
Currently, the APK focuses on:
– transformation into the most important institution for the formation and protection of civil interests and consolidation of Kazakh society;
development of the APK as the main institution of integration of ethnic groups into the Kazakh society, transformation of the Kazakh people into a single civil nation;
wide use of information resources to promote their main tasks and priorities, including through active presence in social networks, involvement of other civil society institutions in their work.
The new priorities of the APK – the consolidating role of the Kazakh people as the “civic core” of multicultural Kazakh society, as well as its responsibility for the state of interethnic processes in the country is of key importance in the process of integration of ethnic groups. In this regard, representatives of the Kazakh public have been introduced into the APK.
Integration of all ethnic groups into a single Kazakh society, as well as strengthening the civil identity of the nation on the principles of:
– Kazakh patriotism based on trust and interaction between the state and citizens;
– civil equality based on real equality of opportunities;
– the unifying role of the state language;
– continuous modernization of the nation;
– unity in diversity;
– the policy of “interculturalism”.
For reference: the policy of “interculturalism” is based on contacts and dialogue between groups and individuals. Today, the search for unifying principles and interests, as well as the establishment of positive interaction between representatives of various ethnic groups, come to the fore. This is a global trend. Recognizing cultural differences, it is impossible to allow the creation of closed cultural communities. It is necessary to focus not on differences, but on the common values and interests of all groups of the population, in overcoming cultural and ethnic boundaries in the process of joint activities and interethnic contacts. At the new stage, representatives of ethnic groups, especially the leaders of ethno-cultural associations, are responsible for integrating their state into society, including by mastering the state language. At the same time, the basic basis is the equality of all citizens before the law. This policy has been carried out in Kazakhstan for many years within the framework of the Kazakh model of Nursultan Nazarbayev, in accordance with the principles of the Doctrine of National Unity, and creatively develops in accordance with our specifics.
New tasks of the APK outlined by the First President at the XXIX session of the APK:
• The APK should contribute to the formation of a new image of the country and a new identity of the nation;
• take measures to improve the efficiency of the APK as an effective institution of social development in the new conditions;
• The APK institutions need to be ready to fight back against any challenge that may damage our model of interethnic harmony;
• promote people’s diplomacy and interaction with former citizens of Kazakhstan in Germany, Russia, and other countries who experience spiritual and cultural affinity with our people, their associations and organizations;
• The corps of friendship ambassadors of the APK, created on behalf of Elbasy, should expand and intensify its work.
Guidelines in the activities of the APK, designated by the Head of State at the XXIX session of the APK:
• pay special attention to the implementation of specific projects aimed at fulfilling the requests of the population;
• to ensure the functioning of mothers’ councils and councils of public consent of the APK as platforms for broad interethnic communications;
• to further promote the APK’s charitable events as examples of high civic patriotism;
• akims of the cities of Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Shymkent, regions should strengthen the work of friendship houses as centers of interethnic communication, charity, volunteering and learning the state language.
2. The role of the APK’s public structures as the basis of an integral system of interethnic interaction and a state-forming nation.
The APK is a system-forming institution and a key element of state policy to strengthen social harmony and national unity.
The main role of the APK’s public structures is to ensure the functioning of the APK itself as an effective mechanism of public communication with access to broad social and information platforms with the consolidating role of the Kazakh people as the “civil core” of Kazakh society, as well as its responsibility for the state of interethnic processes in the country.
First of all, the APK relies on its public structures, covering all categories of citizens with its work.
As of March 28, 2022, there are more than 1,000 ethno–cultural associations and their branches in the country (ECO), of which 26 are republican, of which 14 are accredited in the APK. There are 580 ECO in the Register of Ethnocultural Associations of the APK, 371 of them are accredited in the QUESTIONNAIRE.
Ethnocultural associations of the APK contribute to the integration of all ethnic groups around Kazakh values, contribute to the preservation of traditions, languages and culture, as well as in the development of public activity of citizens.
APK Mothers’ Advice
Councils of mothers of the APK contribute to the preservation and strengthening of the institution of the family, participate in the education of spiritual and moral values among schoolchildren and students, contribute to the prevention of offenses among adolescents. There are 1,832 Councils at the regional, district, and rural levels, which include 13,000 people.
Councils of Public Consent of the APK
There are 2,619 councils in all regions of the country. They include more than 18,000 people. The Councils assist the state bodies of the regions in developing strategic directions of work in the interethnic sphere, carry out work to prevent conflict situations on interethnic grounds, hold meetings with the population to identify urgent problems and involve state bodies to solve them.
APK Inclusive Mediation Network
1 republican and 19 regional Mediation Councils of the APK have been established. There are 17 mediation offices at Friendship Houses, and 407 dialogue platforms have been opened under the auspices of the APK. There are 2,346 mediators in the APK register.
During 2021 and the 1st quarter of 2022, the APK mediators received 8,667 appeals, of which 3,443 were resolved by the conclusion of a mediation agreement and 5,224 were resolved at the consultation stage.
From 2021 to the 1st quarter of 2022, 145 training seminars were held, 6,922 people learned the basics of using ethnomediation.
The APK Mediation Council is an advisory body of the APK, which includes members of Parliament, judges, representatives of government agencies, public organizations engaged in mediation, lawyers, etc. The Council promotes the development of the mediation institute, develops mediation strategies in the field of public consent and national unity, studies international experience and contributes to the improvement of mediation practices within the framework of the APK.
Scientific and Expert Council of the APK (NES).
The Scientific and Expert Council of the APK was established in 2009 to provide scientific and analytical support for the activities of the APK. 52 scientists are involved in its composition, 31 of them are doctors of sciences, 12 are candidates of sciences, as well as heads of research institutes and public figures.
Furthermore, scientific expert groups work on the basis of regional universities, which include 262 scientists, 57 of them are doctors of sciences, 117 are candidates of sciences, 5 are PhD doctors.
The scientific and methodological basis for the NES is the “Institute of Applied Ethnopolitical Studies” of the IOR.
Republican public Association “Assembly of Zhastary”
The NGO “Assembly of Zhastary” has been operating since November 2021, created on the basis of the republican youth movement of the APK “Zhangyru Zholy” and the public association “Zharasym”. Branches of the NGO “Assembly of Zhastars” operate in all regions. The activities of the APK youth organizations contribute to the involvement of young representatives of ethnic groups in the activities of the APK. Representatives of the APK youth movement actively participate in social projects, charity and volunteer actions of the APK. In addition, the movement offers youth initiatives, cultivates a new generation of activists. More than 140 youth organizations across the country are involved in the activities of the APK, which are the youth wings of the ethnic and cultural associations of the APK.
There are 40 friendship houses all over the country, as well as 174 Sunday schools at ECO, including 124 groups for teaching the state language.
Friendship Houses are open and operate in all regions, the Republican House of Friendship operates in Almaty. Friendship houses are resource, cultural and methodological centers for ethno-cultural associations, as well as project offices and places for the formation and dissemination of ideas of unity, interethnic harmony, education of Kazakhstani patriotism, assistance in supporting priority projects aimed at strengthening social harmony. Offices of ethnic and cultural associations of the APK, Sunday schools are located in the Houses of Friendship, where meetings, events, councils are held.
Association of Entrepreneurs of the APK
The Association of Entrepreneurs of the APK was established in 2014, it includes about 50 representatives of ethno-cultural associations from all regions. The purpose of the Association of Entrepreneurs of the APK is the participation of business structures of ethno-cultural associations in the implementation of social modernization projects, the creation of a favorable environment for attracting and introducing innovations and high technologies from the countries of origin of the ethnic groups of Kazakhstan, the development of charity and patronage, methodological assistance to entrepreneurs.
APK Journalists Club
There are 16 clubs of journalists: 1 republican and 15 regional.
The APK Journalists’ Club is a permanent platform that contributes to the consolidation of media efforts in strengthening tolerance, preserving public harmony and national unity. The Club develops recommendations for the media on the coverage of interethnic topics, actively promotes the topics of Kazakh patriotism, respect for the traditions of ethnic groups in the information field and promotes the popularization of the study of the state language.
52 ethnic media outlets in 10 languages (Kazakh, Russian, English, German, Korean, Turkish, Uighur, Uzbek, Azerbaijani and Kurdish) are registered in the country.
There is an official website of the APK, as well as social media presence of all regional structures of the APK, where news, analytical, photo and video materials about the activities of the APK and its structures, interviews of members of the APK are posted.
The APK actively engages with the media and holds discussions on open platforms, as well as closely interacts with NGOs and other civil society institutions.
On the information and educational portal “El.kz ” rebranding has been carried out, materials about the country and its residents are posted in three languages.
Charity and volunteering of the APK
APK provides assistance in the development of charity in Kazakhstan. There are 30 APK volunteer centers operating throughout the country, managers and coordinators have been selected for each direction with a total of 150 people.
2,013 APK volunteers are officially registered on a specially created account. At the same time, many volunteers conduct their activities without registering on this account (according to unofficial data, there are about 10,000 APK volunteers).
Since the beginning of 2021, with the support of patrons, benefactors and other representatives of the APK, charitable assistance has been provided to 128,000 citizens and 19,693 families in the amount of more than 1.3 billion tenge.
The state language is the language of interethnic communication.
In 2019, within the framework of the cultural and educational project of the APK “Kazakhstan”, the project “Mamile” was launched in all regions. Discussion clubs for the study of the Kazakh language among ethnic groups have been created.
Sunday schools at Friendship Houses are also used to promote the state language among Kazakh ethnic groups.
APK Public Awards
The Assembly of People of Kazakhstan has four public awards:
1. The public medal “Kazakhstan khalky Assemblyasynyn kogamdyk “Birlik altyn medali” has been awarded for more than 10 years, awarded for a significant contribution to strengthening the unity of the people, preserving peace and harmony and developing spiritual culture.
2. The badge “Zhomart Zhan” is a sign of public recognition and encouragement of citizens for their services in the development of philanthropic and charitable activities in Kazakhstan.
3. Certificate of Honor of the APK and Letter of Thanks of the APK is awarded to Kazakhstani citizens for their contribution to strengthening and preserving peace and harmony.
4. Also, by the decision of the APK Council of June 9, 2021, the badge “Algys” of the APK was introduced for the active participation of citizens in the activities of the APK, in the implementation of social, cultural and information projects aimed at strengthening the unity of the people and consolidating spiritual values.
Ambassadors of Friendship of the APK – On April 26, 2017, at the XXV session of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan, the Chairman of the APK made a proposal to introduce the honorary title “Ambassador of Friendship of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan”.
The APK Friendship Ambassador is an honorary title that is awarded to foreign citizens. The ambassadors’ powers include spreading abroad the experience of Kazakhstan’s model of national peace and social harmony, supporting the activities of the APK in Russia, Turkey, Germany, France and Argentina.
The first titles of the APK Friendship Ambassadors were awarded at an expanded meeting of the APK Council in 2018 to Ruslan Sultanovich Aushev, a political, state and public figure of the Russian Federation, former President of the Republic of Ingushetia, and Heinrich Tsertik, former deputy of the Bundestag. In 2019, the honorary title of friendship ambassadors was awarded to Oleg Soskovets – Soviet, Kazakh and Russian statesman, Ibrahim Kalyn – press secretary of the President of Turkey, Malgorzata Tuard – Director of External Communications of the Commissariat of France.
Currently, the APK Friendship Ambassadors are cooperating with the embassies of Kazakhstan to promote the project of the Assembly of People of Kazakhstan “People’s Expedition “Dear First President”.
A Club of Foreign Friends of the APK has also been created. The Club includes friendship ambassadors from France, Azerbaijan, Germany, Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation. Negotiations on cooperation with the United States are underway.
On behalf of the President of Kazakhstan, the Committee for the Development of Interethnic Relations of the Ministry of Information and Public Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan was formed in 2020.