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ATOM Project Ambassador Gains International Attention, Urges More Global Action

ASTANA – Honorary ATOM Project Ambassador and artist Karipbek Kuyukov, a victim of Soviet nuclear testing at the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site who was born without arms and who paints with his feet and mouth, was named on June 28 one of the 100 most influential people in armed violence reduction by the British organization Action on Armed Violence (AOAV).
State Continues Commitment to Multi-Religious Society

ASTANA – Kazakhstan’s constitution proclaims it a secular state: Article 1.1 reads “1. The Republic of Kazakhstan proclaims itself a democratic, secular, legal and social state whose highest values are an individual, his life, rights and freedoms.” Though the state respects religious freedom and does not espouse any particular faith, the majority of its population, about 70 percent, are Sunni Muslim, and the devout among them adhere to the significant rituals of their faith. One of these rituals is the fast for Ramadan.
Security Council Tackles Problems Ranging from Terrorism and Extremism to Environment

ASTANA – “Security Council activities are multifaceted and involve a variety of issues, from the prevention of terrorism and extremism to environmental challenges and threats,” Deputy Secretary of the Security Council and Head of the Secretariat of the Security Council of the Presidential Administration Korpesh Dzhanburchin said in an interview with the Astana Times. He discussed how the work of the Security Council, a body coordinating activities of various government ministries and agencies, on these and other areas is developing.
Kazakhstan Reduces Grain Export, Expects High Yield in 2013-2014

ASTANA – Kazakhstan, one of the world’s largest exporters of grain, saw a reduction of grain exports to 7.1 million tons in the 2012-2013 marketing year, Minister of Agriculture Assylzhan Mamytbekov announced in early July.
Officials Call for Increased Special Economic Zone Development

ASTANA – Kazakhstan Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov stressed the need to develop Kazakhstan’s investment attractiveness and create clear development strategies for the country’s special economic zones (SEZ) during a July 16 government session.
In London, Nazarbayev and Cameron Discuss Future of Relations, Regional Security

President Nursultan Nazarbayev met British Prime Minister David Cameron on July 23 at 10 Downing Street in London.
Recreated Silk Route Will Help Build Stability in Central Asia, Experts Say

SRINAGAR, JAMMU AND KASHMIR – The newly recreated and rejuvenated Silk Route will help foster stability and development in Central Asia, international and regional experts agreed during a conference here in late June and early July as they looked at concrete ways to rebuild the ties that once connected huge areas of Eurasia into one large trading network.
Solar-Powered Belgian Bicyclist Raf Van Hulle Reaches Astana after 37 Days

ASTANA – The first of 33 bicyclists from around the world who are riding solar-powered bicycles from Savoy, France to the Kazakh capital in support of EXPO 2017 and its theme “Future Energy” arrived in Astana on July 23.
Astana Bids to Host 2017 World Petroleum Congress

Kazakhstan presented its application on July 11 in Moscow to host the 2017 World Petroleum Congress in Astana. Kazakhstan is competing against the United States city of Houston, Istanbul, Turkey, and Copenhagen, Denmark.
Upcoming Local Elections: A Step to Greater Democracy

This is a question of power. Local elections of akims (mayors in Kazakh) in villages, towns and cities of regional importance will raise the level of legitimacy and transparency within Kazakhstan’s government. Akims, who are the heads of akimats, similar to mayors of municipalities, will be elected for the first time in the history of independent Republic of Kazakhstan. The prominence of this historic event should not be underestimated.
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