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LONDON, 22 October 2018 – The book of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, “The Era of Independence", translated into English by leading British literary translators, has been presented in London. The book was translated and published by the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Elbasy (Foundation), with the support of the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the UK.
Prominent British and Kazakh leaders, including the Co-President of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Baroness Susan Miller, Deputy Executive Director of the Foundation Igor Rogov, Director of International Security Studies at the Royal United Services Institute Raffaello Pantucci, and Chair of the British-Kazakh Society Rupert Goodman.
The presentation was attended by more than 100 people, including ambassadors of a number of leading countries, members of the British parliament, business executives, experts and journalists. Among the audience were the member of the House of Lords of the British Parliament and Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Kazakhstan Lord Mohamed Sheikh, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Wales Douglas Townsend, and the Central Asian Research Associate at the University of London Dr. Shirin Akiner.
“The Era of Independence" is a personal reflection of President Nazarbayev on Kazakhstan's rise as an independent nation. In this book, “you will indeed find a first-person account of the 'making' of today's Kazakhstan," said the Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UK Erlan Idrissov, speaking at the event.
As well as information about the milestones of independent Kazakhstan's development, the book offers its English-speaking readers tips on successful management, unique examples of public and personal diplomacy, as well as interesting facts from the political life of world leaders.
“Attempts to reveal the formula of Kazakhstan's development are observed constantly. A lot of unique literature, including from foreign authors, has been written and published in this context. However, the vision and first-person presentation of the concept of building a strong state from the author of the 'Kazakhstan' state project, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has a special meaning," said Mr. Rogov.
Even before independence, Kazakhstan became the first country in the world to close a nuclear test site, thereby initiating an international movement against nuclear testing.
“I think Kazakhstan is to be particularly commended for being such a shining example of a country willing to relinquish the nuclear arsenal they inherited at the end of the cold war. And at the time it had ten times more nuclear weapons than the UK has now," Baroness Miller highlighted.
Speaking about the achievements of modern Kazakhstan, Mr. Pantucci noted the country's actions to strengthen cooperation and security in the Central Asian region. He believes that connectivity of the entire Eurasian continent is the key to security for all.
The event also included a screening of “Where the Wind Blew", a documentary by the famous British director Andre Singer about the consequences of tests at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site and the global movement for a nuclear-weapon-free world. The film tells the stories of those who lived and worked in the nuclear test zone, including their losses and sufferings. Despite the fact that the Nevada-Semey anti-nuclear movement managed to unite forces around the world and close the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, the people profiled in the documentary still ponder about the dangers that nuclear weapons continue to carry in different parts of the world.
“When it came to looking at what happened during the cold war and post-cold war years, looking at the nuclear testing in Kazakhstan, I was quite shocked by my ignorance of the subject matter. The deeper I dug into the subject matter when making the film, the more I realised that this was an extraordinary story not just for Kazakhstan, but for the world's population," Mr. Singer said.
The documentary, released in 2017, won the Raven Award for Best Feature documentary at the Southern Utah International Documentary Film Festival.
During the question and answer session, participants at the event had a lively discussion on the foreign policy achievements of modern Kazakhstan, its efforts to strengthen peace and security not only in Central Asia, but also in other parts of the world, as well as the successful domestic policy of the country's leadership, noting the State of the Nation address by President Nazarbayev on 5 October, titled “Growing welfare of Kazakh citizens: increase in income and quality of life."
“Undiscovered Kazakhstan" and “Astana – the heart of Eurasia" photo exhibitions, which included photos of modern Astana, as well as Kazakhstan's nature and sacred objects, were also part of the event.
The presentation concluded with the award ceremony for the winner and the runner-up of the fifth international “Kazakhstan through the Eyes of Foreign Media" contest for foreign journalists. British journalist Jilly Pickup, who published an article on Kazakhstan in the 'Country and Townhouse' magazine titled “One Steppe Beyond", was presented with the winner's certificate signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov and the President of the Chief Editors Club Yerlan Bekkhozhin. Her husband Mike Pickup was awarded with a certificate of appreciation for a series of tourism articles on Kazakhstan.