19 June 2012, 20:53
Astana becomes CIS Cultural Capital City for 2012
ASTANA. June 19. KAZINFORM On June 15-16, Astana hosted an international forum titled Eurasian Culture in the New World held for the purpose of strengthening cultural and humanitarian cooperation between the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), according to the press service of the Kazakh Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The forum was attended by political and opinion leaders along with the prominent cultural figures of Kazakhstan and CIS member countries, including Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to UNESCO Olzhas Suleimenov, Russian Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, Chairman of the CIS International Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation Polad Bul Bul Ogly, and many others.
The forum participants discussed such important issues as spiritual and cultural consolidation of creative and humanitarian community of the Commonwealth, the development of Eurasian unity through diversity, as well as the general issues of cultural cooperation between the peoples of the CIS.
In addition, the participants considered the development of integration processes, strengthening the capacity of cultural cooperation, cultural dialogue and tolerance in the Eurasian region along with the formation of optimal models of cooperation in the cultural policies between relevant ministries.
Addressing the forum, Kazakh Secretary of State Mukhtar Kul-Muhammed stressed the meeting is held in the capital of the country, whose President is the author and initiator of the idea of Eurasian integration. He then read out a greeting of President Nazarbayev to the participants of the international forum.
Nursultan Nazarbayev first suggested main principles and guidelines of the new Eurasian Union 18 years ago in an address to professors and students of Lomonossov Moscow State University. Since then the idea of the Eurasian integration in the 21st century has become a reality.
"It is highly symbolic that the forum of representatives of the cultural and creative community, embracing one sixth of the world's population, takes place in Astana, the heart of Eurasia and the young capital of independent Kazakhstan. Our country has always been a platform for dialogue on the most pressing issues of modern times," the President's greeting reads.
"I can state with confidence that it is you, the representatives of the CIS creative and scientific intelligentsia, can become the driving force of the most important spiritual values, humanistic education and creative art throughout the Eurasian region. I wish all the participants fruitful work, interesting meetings, spectacular discoveries, inspiration and creative heights!" Nursultan Nazarbayev wrote.
Co-chair of the CIS International Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation and the moderator of the forum Mikhail Shvydkoi noted the event organised by Kazakhstan's Ministry of Culture and Information, and the CIS Fund gathered renowned people from across the Commonwealth.
"This is a meeting of friends. We all must seek and find common ground, the basic principles of consent, which are equally necessary for all of us," he said.
Shvydkoi praised an exhibition held within the forum under the title "Kazakhstan: yesterday, today, tomorrow", which, in his words, was "a living testimony to the popular opinion that the spirituality and culture are able to destroy the barriers of misunderstanding and tighten the ties of friendship and good neighbourly relations".
Shvydkoi emphasized the idea of Eurasian integration is firmly supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"For Putin, and he mentioned this during his visit to Kazakhstan, the process of integration taking place today is a highly important step towards the future, because the union of our countries and our community is a pledge of dynamic development against the background of very difficult challenges that we are facing in today's world," he said.
At the end of the forum's plenary session, Polad Bul Bul Ogly handed Kazakh Minister of Culture Darkhan Mynbai a certificate saying that in the year 2012 Astana has been chosen as the CIS cultural capital.
The forum's first day ended with a gala concert of the most popular performers from across CIS that was held in the Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall
On the second day of the forum, the participants visited Kazakh National University of Arts, met with Azerbaijan's national writer Chingiz Abdullayev and the People's Artist of Kazakhstan Aiman Musakhodzhayeva and attended the Folk Dance Festival.
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