On 20-21 June 2023, TURKPA delegation led by the Secretary General Mehmet Süreyya Er attended the International Volunteers Forum, organized by the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Astana.
The event brought together participants from 34 countries, in particular, officials, heads and representatives of international organizations, parliamentarians, representatives of NGOs.
Secretary General Mehmet Süreyya Er delivered a speech at the Session titled “Regional consolidation of the volunteer movement”. Secretary General mentioned the volunteer movement as a phenomenon of modern social reality and noted that the development prospects of the volunteer movement were increasing against the backdrop of global trends and challenges. In this context, he assessed the volunteer activity as an increasingly significant resource in the development of states. Noting the compliance of volunteer activity with the national character and mentality of Turkic peoples, who had centuries-old traditions of benevolence, volunteer and mutual help, Secretary General emphasized that the values of Turkic peoples encouraged the further development of volunteer activity in Turkic states.
The forum focused on the various areas of volunteer activity. The participants noted the special role of volunteers in the field of ecology and animal protection in the era of growing global environmental disasters. The forum participants were provided with information about the national project "Birgemiz: Taza Álem", aimed at involving citizens to volunteer activities in the field of ecology.
On 21 June, the Plenary Session of the forum kicked off with an opening speech by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. In his speech, Head of State noted the importance of reliable partnership between the state and society, and proposed a number of comprehensive steps to strengthen the traditions of volunteerism and charity in the country.
The Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in the field of volunteering was signed between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Türkiye, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
The forum concluded with the signing ceremony of the Agreement between the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the United Nations Volunteers Program (UNV) on the implementation of the full funding program.
On 20 June 2023, within the framework of the International Volunteers Forum, Secretary General Mehmet Süreyya Er met with the Minister of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan Darkhan Kydyrali. Thanking for the visit, Minister Kydyrali informed Secretary General on the activities of the Ministry, ongoing projects, as well as recently adopted laws related to youth policy and information technologies. Mr. Kydyrali noted the importance of the International Volunteers Forum as a unique platform for the exchange of experience and sharing knowledge between volunteers from various countries and regions.
Expressing gratitude for the warm hospitality, Secretary General informed the Minister about the current activities of the Assembly.
The parties expressed readiness to further strengthen cooperation.