to the Third Committee on the agenda item 27 Social development
H.E. Mrs. Byrganym Aitimova,
of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the United Nations
to the Third Committee on the agenda item 27 Social development
3 October 2011, New York
I take this opportunity to congratulate you, Your Excellency, for assuming the stewardship of the Third Committee, as well as the members of the Bureau, for guiding us through the deliberations on important and complex issues on the agenda.
The year 2011 has been remarkable for the very important gatherings that were held under the auspices of the United Nations, such as the High-level Meeting on Youth, the first session of the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing and the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, as well as the High Level Meetings on Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases and HIV/AIDS. The commitment of Member States to address the challenges aggravating the situation of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations has been demonstrated and my delegation encourages speedily and effectively implementing internationally agreed decisions to mitigate, to the extent possible, the negative impact of the ongoing economic, fiscal and social downturn.
In order to counteract the disruption caused by several world crises and which make national social protection systems vulnerable, and welfare polices fragmented, Kazakhstan endorses the recommendation contained in the Report of the Secretary-General to support post-crisis recovery. In accordance with this guidance, my country has established a National Fund comprising of both ensuring savings and stabilizing functions to reduce dependence of the national economy on external negative and uncertain factors. This has been achieved through financial donations which have positively contributed to a universal social protection system with labour market strategies.
Kazakhstan doesn’t support any reduction in social spending in light of budget constraints, cognizant that undermining the social cluster will have long-term consequences with a cycle of inter-related repercussions. The lack of access to education, primary health care and gainful employment will cause budgetary deficits through decline in revenues associated with output and income expenditures. Moreover, the rising trend of austerity and fiscal balancing in some countries will debilitate the potential for recovery from the prevailing social crises.
In these critical times, Kazakhstan has overcome the crisis, which has shaken the world, by stepping straight onto the path of social development. According to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, in his address entitled “Building the Future Together”, a new inclusive social policy was launched in 2011. This comprehensive strategy embraces new employment approaches, modernizing housing and public utilities and providing the population with quality drinking water.
Kazakhstan is concerned about the catastrophic effects on employment, with large-scale increases in joblessness, underemployment and vulnerable and hazardous employment opportunities the poor are forced to pursue for their survival. As mentioned in the Report of the Secretary-General, the global crisis has caused the loss of some 27.6 million jobs between 2007 and 2010 - a situation which jeopardizes internationally agreed goals and anti-poverty, hunger reduction and health-related agenda commitments. It also threatens an equity-based approach through widening the gap between high and low-income quintiles of populations. Unemployment of the working-age population severely erodes families and communities, and thereby the wellbeing of nations.
Following the Outcome Document of the High-Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals, Kazakhstan spares no efforts to provide productive employment and decent work as the critical means to achieve the eight Goals. Kazakhstan has ensured job creation for the population, by opening many employment in various sectors, whereby the level of unemployment has been reduced and there is considerably improved infrastructure in our cities and villages within the framework of the anti-crisis “Road Map” programme. The Programme requires increasing the efficiency of the labour market, retraining personnel and advancing opportunities for self-employed population. Working together with the non-government stakeholders, the Government, along with the business community, has provided free training for people willing to work at industrial sites. The starting point is that the unemployed will receive a grant for obtaining a professional skill, the basic principle being that the problem of poverty must be addressed rather than mitigated at the expense of governmental benefits.
Young specialists are a very special group of the working-age population. Despite their willingness to be engaged in social processes, the youth disproportionately suffer from job losses, underemployment and low wages. The National Road Map considers the actual needs of young specialists through youth skills training and the creation of social jobs. These measures met with success and resulted in only a 4.7 per cent of unemployment among the Kazakh youth in 2010, in comparison with the globe rate of 12.6 per cent.
Recognizing the vital importance of social support and protection, my country has significantly increased healthcare financing to 3.2 percent of GDP in 2010. In order to develop preventive medicine and improve the quality of primary medical care, the National Unified Healthcare System will be adopted by 2013. Kazakhstan has set the goal of implementing a package of national health surveillance programmes for vulnerable groups, with priority focus given to children, adolescents, women of reproductive age and the rural population. As a result of these proactive measures, the life expectancy of the people of Kazakhstan will increase to 70 years by 2015, and 72 years or more by 2020.
Kazakhstan is committed to fully implement, enhance and widen its social obligations despite the current recovery period with the goal of raising the per capita income by ensuring predictable and stable employment, development of human resource capacity and improving the system of targeted assistance.
My delegation stands for promoting greater coherence in fulfilling the objectives of the United Nations system and its entities, as well as its response, through more closely converging global initiatives with national governments, the private sector, non-governmental partners and the academia. Kazakhstan also encourages developing a long-term equity-oriented approach with due attention to the needs of the most vulnerable groups. We believe that it is only through concerted political will of all Member States of the United Nations that we can accomplish our vision of a world free of want and fear based on social justice for all.Tags: third committee