Dear Deputy Minister,
Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all allow me to offer you all a warm welcome to this meeting of the Consultative and Advisory Body “The Dialogue Platform on Human Dimension” or CAB -DPHD
I know, it's a long name and a long abbreviation and even pronouncing it properly demands stamina and patience.
During the last couple of years we have seen meetings in lots of different formats and some lively – and occasionally very controversial – debates. But in my humble opinion the Consultative and Advisory Body is an the most ambitious platform for dialogue on human rights issues in Kazakhstan, allowing the government and civil society to take stock of the situation and to discuss openly potential ways of advancing the implementation of our commitments.
But CAB, - like the entire human dimension - was created to remind us, particularly at times when security policy is facing such critical challenges, like nowadays with terrorism or migration that human rights and fundamental freedoms are neither an unnecessary luxury nor a decorative accessory. It's useful exercise also reminding all stakeholders, and government officials and international actors in particular on a daily basis of our obligations in the human dimension.
Because implementing human rights and fundamental freedoms – in a dialogue with civil society – is an obligation. They form the human rights backbone of any comprehensive concept of security. From this point of view, just as an example, it is especially regretful that Kazakhstan refrained from presenting a Second National Human Rights Action Plan. Let me remind you that an alternative National Action plan was already prepared by the civil society in the framework of an EU funded project. We hope that the EU Taxpayers' money spent and our continued bilateral engagement will lead to renewed efforts on the topics foreseen by the NHRAP as they are of paramount importance in the UPR. We'll have an additional opportunity on HRD.
On the most positive side let me use this opportunity to thank the lively participation this year again of civil society, and above all of the many courageous defenders of human rights in Kazakhstan.
We explicitly heard your – sometimes critical - voices, not only at this meeting, even if you are difficult and nudging us, to reassess and justify priorities and political decisions in the light of our responsibility for protecting the individual. Because these rights and values constitute an inseparable part of every far-reaching solution.
In this, we are counting on all of you, and on your active support.
Many thanks for your attention.