Менің құрметті достарым және құрметті қонақтарым! [My dear friends and guests!]
It is a privilege to be here today. Many thanks to all those involved in making today possible – and in particular to Saule Mektepbayeva, Alison Hannah and their team at Penal Reform International, Mr. Rakhmet Mukashev and the Legislation and Legal Reform Committee at Majilis, Ambassador Zarudna of the OSCE and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Welcome and thank you all present here today.
I’m particularly delighted to welcome Baroness Stern. She has worked on criminal justice issues for many years now. And she will provide an international perspective on the development of prison legislation in Central Asia. I am also delighted that Kuanysh Sultanov MP is here too – he is most welcome.
The UK continues to see human rights as a crucial international issue. For that reason, I am glad that the British Embassy supports criminal justice initiatives in Kazakhstan. Since 2003 we have been supporting projects in Kazakhstan on public monitoring of prisons, prevention of torture, death penalty abolition, life imprisonment and imprisonment alternatives among other projects. We hope that our support of penal reform projects is making a valuable contribution to the reform of criminal legislation in this country.
Now, there is a wide scope of issues to discuss today. But the key will be to follow through on positive intentions. This conference today is an indication of the commitment of the Kazakh Parliament, government authorities, civil society and academia to continue work on making the criminal legislation more effective and humane.
We hope that each of you will have an opportunity to discuss challenges and share experiences, but most importantly to put forward further ideas and solutions. We hope that today’s discussions will further contribute into improving penitentiary systems of Kazakhstan and other Central Asian states using best international standards and practices.
Best wishes for your discussions.
Барлықтарыңызға сәттілік тілеймін! [I wish you all success!]
Көп рақмет! [Thank you very much!]