The delegation of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan took part in the Winter Meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly held on February 24-26 via videoconferencing. Senator Gumar Dyussembayev spoke at the meeting of the General Committee of the Assembly on Economic Issues, Science, Technology and Environment.
In his speech, the deputy told that the major item on the agenda for all the countries worldwide is water resources in the context of a changing climate. According to him, Kazakhstan has now also faced serious issues on the use of water resources of transboundary rivers. Moreover, the Aral Sea disaster adversely affects the conditions and quality of life of 70 million people who live in Central Asian countries.
“The states of Central Asia, jointly with international organizations, team up to overcome the environmental and socio-economic crisis in the Aral Sea basin. The International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, established by the countries of the region, is in operation. We believe that the OSCE can contribute to its remediation and we call on the member states of the Organization to support the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, since this is a problem for the whole world community and not only for the Central Asian region,” Senator Gumar Dyussembayev noted.
The session also featured a meeting of the General Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions attended by senators Kairat Kozhamzharov and Akmaral Alnazarova.
Senator Kairat Kozhamzharov thanked the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE for sending their mission to monitor the parliamentary elections in Kazakhstan, which took place on January 10 this year. In his words, the elections passed in conditions of openness and transparency.
“The number of international observers who monitored the elections was 398, including 323 observers from 10 international organizations and 76 observers from 31 countries. The past elections differed in that they were held according to party lists and in a new legislative environment. Also, a 30% quota for women and young people under 29 years of age was introduced for the first time in our parliamentary practice to encourage their active involvement in the activities of the Parliament and local representative bodies of power,” Kairat Kozhamzharov said.
Addressing the OSCE parliamentarians, the senator underscored that the President of Kazakhstan had indicated the need that the threshold for political parties to enter the Mazhilis of the Parliament should be lowered from seven to five percent, and also called for the return of the “against all” column in the ballot paper.