The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly session started its work on February 24 via videoconference, in which a delegation from the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, headed by Deputy Chairman of the Senate Askar Shakirov, is taking part.
In his speech at the session of the Standing Committee, the Vice-Speaker of the Senate mentioned the historical significance and topicality of the decisions of the OSCE Summit in Astana. He also welcomed the decisions by the OSCE Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs on the appointment of the heads of the four basic institutions of the Organization.
“The representative of Kazakhstan took up the post of OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities. It is worth pointing out that no representatives of the CIS and Central Asian countries had ever before been elected to the leadership of the Organization. It is our hope that the principle of equal geographical representation will also be respected at the elections at the July annual session,” the Vice-Speaker noted.
Askar Shakirov thanked the Parliamentary Assembly for sending an observation mission to Kazakhstan’s parliamentary elections on January 10, which were held under a new legislative basis. He briefed the members of the Standing Committee on the package of presidential political reforms and initiatives proposed by Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, in particular, to reduce the threshold for political parties to enter the Parliament from 7 to 5%, and to include the “against all” column in the ballot paper.
Secretary General of the OSCE PA Roberto Montella, referring to the fruitful results of the 2010 OSCE Astana Summit, noted in response to the head of the Kazakhstani delegation: “We must revive the “spirit of Astana”.
The Forum will also feature meetings of the Assembly’s General Committees (for Political Affairs and Security; Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment; Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs).
These meetings provide for an exchange of opinions on conceptual issues presented for consideration at the 29th Annual Session of the OSCE PA (July 6-10, 2021).
Senators Akmaral Alnazarova, Gumar Dyusembayev and Kairat Kozhamzharov also take part in the events.