Chairman of the Senate Maulen Ashimbayev met with the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Teresa Ribeiro. In the course of the talks, the Senate Speaker noted the commitment of Kazakhstan towards the advancement of key areas of OSCE on security, including those on freedom of speech.
“It has been 10 years since the adoption of the OSCE Astana Declaration. In this document, the basic thesis of the indivisibility of security for all member states of the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian Security Community is enshrined. Kazakhstan has consistently upheld the importance of all three dimensions of security adopted by the OSCE: politico-military, economic and environmental, and human ones. In this respect, we attach great importance to freedom of speech and the media,” Maulen Ashimbayev said.
The Chairman of the Senate emphasized that Kazakhstan is also consistently working over the improvement of the situation in the field of ensuring the rights of citizens to freedom of speech, creating conditions for the modernization of the national media sphere, and the development of competitive domestic media. For this purpose, the Laws “On Access to Information” and “On the Mass Media” were adopted. Moreover, Kazakhstan has ratified the basic international documents on media freedom, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other documents of the OSCE and UNESCO. The two sides also discussed the systemic reforms initiated by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev under the “Hearing State” Concept. Maulen Ashimbayev noted that the Parliament plays an active role in their implementation.
“As part of the presidential modernization agenda, three political reform packages have already been put forward. Currently, the Law “On Public Control”, which aims to increase the openness and accountability of government agencies to the public, is being developed. Special attention is given to strengthening mechanisms for the protection of human rights. Work is underway to improve legislation to combat torture, human trafficking and protect citizens, in particular children, from cyberbullying,” Maulen Ashimbayev noted.
According to the Senate Speaker, the development of the digital media environment across the world is becoming a determining factor in ensuring the rights of citizens to freedom of speech. With the advent and development of today’s media technologies, new opportunities have opened up, while risks have emerged on the other side. Their efficient solution is possible if the international community is involved, Maulen Ashimbayev believes.
In conclusion, the Chairman of the Senate expressed his hope that the arrival of Teresa Ribeiro will allow consolidating contacts and will give further impetus to the cooperation between Kazakhstan and the OSCE.
(Press Office of the Senate, 74-72-27, Photo by Zh. Zhumabekov)