The most complex and dramatic years, during which the idea of capital’s transfer was conceptually comprehended and accepted, by that time had left behind. And now, already fifteen years we are counting days of a new stage of history of our country, which can rightly be called the Great era of Astana. Astana’s destiny is a fortune of all Kazakhstan people bravely overcame the turn of the century. This is a fortune of independent Kazakhstan, passed a great way from an obscure, poor-known to the world disintegrated superpower’s margin to a dynamic modern state, which is known and respected in the world community, — the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev stressed.
Astana has become famous in the global historical processes. The capital of Kazakhstan is a traditional venue for major international forums; during 15 years the capital hosted more than 350 events of international and republican levels. Meeting on nuclear non-proliferation, Congresses of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Eurasian Media Forums, World Kurultai of Kazakhs, World Forum of Spiritual Accord, Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States, including OSCE summit in December 2010, for the first time after 11-year break, were held in Astana. Creation of authoritative regional intergovernmental organizations, such as the SCO, CSTO, EurAsEC, Customs Union, was initiated and implemented in practice from the very center of Eurasia.
The most important tendency of capital’s development is turning of Astana into a significant center of intercultural dialog of Eurasian space. Cultural events under the auspices of «Astana is the cultural capital of the Turkic world» and «Astana is the cultural capital of the Commonwealth», which were held in the framework of the «Eurasian culture in a new world» forum dedicated to strengthening of cultural cooperation between the countries of the CIS, were organized in Astana in 2012at a high level.
At the beginning of twenty-first century Kazakhstan revives the idea of Turkish integration. At the IX Summit of Heads of Turkic Speaking States N. A. Nazarbayev proposed the establishment of the Cooperation Council of Turkic States. The shank of Turkic integration traditionally is a humanitarian component, where the central issues are culture and language. The Turkic Council (TURKSOY) became the basis for the establishment of a regional Turkic union, designed to strengthen the unity of the nations who live in similar language and cultural environment, to develop the political, trade and economic relations between them. In 2010 Kazakhstan’s initiatives gained real features; in Astana Presidents of Kazakhstan and Turkey Nursultan Nazarbayev and Abdullah Gul opened the «Turkic Academy» research center which «through the scale of human values will contribute to deeper understanding of the rich scientific and historical heritage both Turk and the whole world civilization». Annual Eurasian Media Forum plays an important place in the media landscape of the republic; the 10th anniversary forum for the first time held in Astana in October 2012; the forum was attended by more than 430 delegates from 40 states of the world, its work was covered by more than 200 domestic and foreign journalists.
In late 2011, the President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced the idea of the creation of information-communication platform G-Global, designed to involve the world into resolving problems of our time and radical expansion of the number of participants in the process of search of anti-crisis solutions. Holding of the VI Astana Economic Forum «Ensuring balanced economic growth in the format of G-GLOBAL» and the World Anti-Crisis Conference in the capital of Kazakhstan, on May 22–24, 2013, demonstrates the increasing role of Astana in global peace strengthening. New pole of regional and global policies works out bold initiatives addressed to the whole world, logically generalized in conceptual vision of the world order and the principles of G-GLOBAL.
Over the 15 years of development Astana achieved worldwide recognition; thus in 1999 the new capital of independent Kazakhstan was awarded «City of Peace» by the UNESCO. This rank is assigned to the new cities of the planet, which could in a short time achieve impressive achievements in socio-economic, political and cultural development, and realized the goal of strengthening of interethnic and interreligious cooperation. On July 16, 1999 in the Bolivian capital of La Paz Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO, handed Astana medal and a certificate of the winner of the «Cities for Peace» International competition. Since that time, Astana has the title of «Cities for Peace».
As the result of the «Megacities of the XXI Century» first international contest held in Moscow in 2008, Astana declared the winner nine nominations for the stable and dynamic development, for effective management, and support for the preservation of cultural heritage, for development of a strategic plan for the city, for landscaping and gardening, etc., among 70 CIS cities. This shows the great potential of the city. In 2011 the capital won the «The Best City in CIS and EurAsEC» International Show — Contest
In 2012 International Agency «Moodys» gave the capital «Baa-3» rating with the prediction of stability, which characterizes the improvement of indexes of the operating balance at low rates of fiscal deficit or dynamism and diversification of the economy of the city at the relatively low debt load. The recognition of capital management system by the Fund on assess the quality of management in the European Union (EFOM) became an important event in the life of the city. Capital city administration became the first post-Soviet state body which awarded this high honor. «Recognized for Excellence» сcertificate confirming the qualitative management was awarded in Brussels on December 20, 2011.
Astana is a full member of the International Assembly of Capitals and Metropolises (IAC) within the organization the Agreement on long-term cooperation was signed, information exchange on issues of urban development in Astana and improvement of the ecological situation in the capital and the development of transport infrastructures was accomplished. As part of the tenth anniversary of Astana city, the capital of Kazakhstan, the International Assembly of Capitals and Metropolises (IAC) held the «The capital cities of the XXI century: innovation and tradition in urban planning and architecture» International Forum in the capital.
Establishment of fraternal relations with the world’s largest metropolises contributes to external relations of the capital and creation of the positive image of the capital as well. Twin towns of the capital of Kazakhstan are19 cities of the world, including Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Dubai, Beijing, Manila, Amman, Hanoi, Warsaw, Gdansk, Kiev, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Riga, Kazan, Tashkent, Bishkek. This holds a great foreign economic and political potential for dynamic development of the capital of Kazakhstan.
The list of twin towns of Astana is expanding every day. In the framework of the year of France in Kazakhstan in July 2013 Astana and Nice became the twin towns. The act of friendship between the two cities was signed by Akim Imangali Tasmagambetov and Deputy Mayor of Nice Benoit Kandel. The parties agreed to expand trade and economic relations, the development of relations in the field of economy, culture, education and other fields. A separate area of collaboration will be the implementation of projects in the field of urban transport, sustainable development, innovative urban technologies, telecommunications and energy security related strategic priorities in connection with EXPO-2017.
Recognition of potential capabilities of Astana will be the organization of EXPO-2017 World Exhibition. The President of Kazakhstan noted in the «Kazakhstan -2050» Strategy: «We have used the potential of the capital to demonstrate the abilities of our country to the whole world. That is why international community has chosen Kazakhstan to be the host place of the EXPO-2017 World Exhibition». This will not happen without Astana. Not all gain such a honor. It is enough to say that our country became the first in the post-Soviet area, who chaired the OSCE summit, held the summit of the organization and will host EXPO-2017, the event of the world scale».
Material was provided by the CS of the NES of the RK Institute of History of State