ASTANA – On 8 December 2017, the European Union (EU) Reception to mark the International Human Rights Day and a Photo Exhibition “the EU-Central Asia Faces of Cooperation” were held at the Marriott Hotel in Astana.
The event featured an award ceremony to present International Human Rights Awards to recognize outstanding civil society organizations, which have contributed to protecting, promoting and advocating for human rights in Kazakhstan. The nominees were chosen by an International Community Panel in Kazakhstan.
The Photo Exhibition “The EU-Central Asia Faces of Cooperation” portrayed development cooperation’s ‘human faces’ with over fifty portraits of people from diverse backgrounds from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The portraits represented beneficiaries, partners and implementers of EU-funded cooperation and development projects, who have positively contributed to and benefitted from the long-standing EU-Central Asian development cooperation.
More than 150 representatives from governmental bodies, business community, arts and culture of Kazakhstan and EU countries attended the event. The deputy of the Parliament Byrganym Aitimova, the Paralympic Champion in swimming Zulfiya Gabidullina, the journalist and TV Host Lyaila Sultankyzy, the singer and the fashion designer Lidiya Dossalina (Lido), the actor Arthur Tolepov and the actress Dina Tasbulatova supported the media campaigns of the European Union on human rights, #EU4HumanRights and #EU4Women, which are currently being held in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In the framework of the event Ms Lyaila Sultankyzy made an exclusive presentation of her new book "Әйел" (Women) in front of the international community.
Famous Kazakh opera singer Sundet Baigozhin performed his signature vocal parts during the event. Recently Sundet was named as the first Kazakh soloist to perform at Rome Opera House, being the representative of EU-Kazakhstan cultural diplomacy.
The aims of #EU4HumanRights and #EU4Women media campaigns are to raise awareness of human rights, gender equality and female empowerment issues and to discuss human rights priorities in EU foreign policy in Central Asia.
Within the campaigns #EU4HumanRights and #EU4Women, the social videos on human rights, on the rights of people with disabilitiess and on women’s rights were produced.
Human Rights Day is observed by the international community every year on 10 December – the day when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted. The EU believes that peace, sustainable development and prosperity are possible only when they are based on respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.