Welcoming speech by Sukhrob Khojimatov, Acting UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan, at the event dedicated to the launch of joint projects with the Government of Japan

September 13, 2022
Photo: UNDP Kazakhstan/Batyr Aubakirov

Distinguished participants -

Your excellency, Ambassador Yamada, Ms. Elvira Azimova, Ms. Zulfiya Suleimenova,

Ladies and Gentlemen!

I am pleased to welcome you to the launch of two new UN Development Program projects in Kazakhstan, funded by the Government of Japan.

Before I begin, let me express my special gratitude to His Excellency Mr. Yamada, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Kazakhstan, for the financial support by the Japanese government of our joint initiatives.

We strongly believe that these projects will contribute to further improving the well-being of the people of Kazakhstan, supporting the nation's socioeconomic development priorities and structural support for entrepreneurship, both of which were recently stated by the country's leadership.

With this, we will focus on the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the most authoritative widely accepted set of principles for responsible business, and the adaptation of agriculture to climate change.

UNDP is currently working actively with the global business community, with a strong belief in and emphasis on the importance of private sector participation in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Meanwhile, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, adopted 11 years ago, make it possible to integrate the environmental and social components of sustainable development into business activities.

It is critical to note here that many countries have passed laws requiring corporate-level human rights compliance and environmental due diligence in recent years. National action plans are being developed to reduce business's impact on people and the environment, and supplier due diligence policies are being implemented.

Kazakhstan projects will do the similar work, considering the promotion of gender aspects and the support of government agencies in the development of national plans and similar strategies.

From this point of view, businesses in Kazakhstan need to become not only a key contributor to economic development, but also a promoter of respect for human rights.

Distinguished participants,

We launched our flagship Human Development Report just yesterday, which emphasizes the importance of reducing our environmental impact. The current climate and energy crisis emphasizes the importance of rebalancing nature, climate, and economy.

Climate change now affects all countries and is one of the most serious threats to development. According to UN estimates, extreme weather and climate events caused nearly 85 percent of all disasters over the last decade.

Recognizing this, we are especially grateful to the Government of Japan for its financial support of the "From Pledge to Action" UNDP Global Climate Agenda which supports countries in achieving the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) goals.

We are pleased to highlight Kazakhstan's progress in combating climate change, having made commitments under the Paris Agreement and the ambitious goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

However, in view of the rapidly changing rate of climate change, it is now important to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

UNDP is proud to support national efforts to incorporate adaptation priorities into the NDC of Kazakhstan, with a particular emphasis on water and food security, protection of economic assets from extreme climate events and natural disasters, and protection of natural capital. We have a clear roadmap for achieving our adaptation goals.

We are glad that our new joint project will now almost demonstrate how to implement these goals.


Distinguished colleagues,

To conclude, I would like to once again emphasize the importance of partnership for achieving common development goals. We can only achieve sustainable development by the joint efforts of the state, business, the civil sector, society and international organizations, following the key principle of the Leave No One Behind 2030 Agenda.

UNDP highly appreciates the long-term cooperation with the Government of Kazakhstan and looks forward to the successful implementation of planned initiatives generously supported by the Government of Japan.

Thank you for your attention.


Concluding remarks (after the panel discussion)


Distinguished Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank everyone once again for participating in today's meeting, with special thanks to the Embassy of Japan and His Excellency Mr. Yamada for supporting the launch of two new projects.

We are hopeful that today's event will be a starting point for new partnerships, learning and knowledge sharing, including raising awareness of the importance of human rights and the climate change agenda.

Thank you for your attention.