National Olympic Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan (NOC Kazakhstan) and UNESCO officially announced their cooperation. The corresponding document was signed by Mr. Saken Mussaibekov, NOC Kazakhstan Secretary General, and Ms. Krista Pikkat, Director of the UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, during their meeting in NOC Kazakhstan Branch Office in Almaty. The signed Memorandum became the first adopted document in Central Asia.

Within the framework of this Memorandum, the Parties intend to unite their efforts to promote physical education and sport. In addition, special attention will be focused on inclusive and equal access to sports, as well as development of the Olympic Movement among people of Kazakhstan. Also, the Parties identified key areas for collaboration such as Sport for All, Education, Gender Equality and Fight against Doping.

The protection of clean athletes and fight against doping are among the top priorities of global Olympic Movement, including Kazakhstan. The Olympic Charter, World Anti-Doping Code and International Convention against Doping in Sport are the main documents on fight against doping. It should be noted that Beijing 2008 Olympic Games were the first Games following the entry into force of International Convention against Doping in Sport, adopted under the auspices of UNESCO. Kazakhstan ratified this document in 2009.

NOC Kazakhstan Secretary General Mr. Saken Mussaibekov noted: “NOC President Mr. Timur Kulibayev sets us the tasks to strengthen relations with international organizations. Moreover, the International Olympic Committee and UNESCO have a solid foundation for cooperation based on many areas of mutual interests and support. For our part, we are ready to develop partnership in our country and continue to be active in specified areas. Today we gave our partnership an official status. I am confident that this step will give impetus to our further joint activities and will redouble our efforts in achieving common goals”.

During the signing of Memorandum, Ms. Pikkat stated:

“We are very pleased to cooperate with NOC Kazakhstan as for UNESCO sport is not just competition and physical education. Sport is a key tool for the formation of a tolerant, just and peaceful society, it unites people despite their gender, race and beliefs. This cooperation will be a new starting point for the promotion of sport for peace and development, as well as the popularization of the Olympic Movement in Kazakhstan.”

It is also worth noting that NOC Kazakhstan and UNESCO have already conducted several joint projects, including a joint training workshop – “Girls Power” Women Athletes’ Career Transition Program” at the end of last year. This program was designed for active female athletes and those who have already completed their sports career or preparing for the transition to other social areas. The first such project in Kazakhstan has aroused the interest of women athletes and will undoubtedly find its continuation in the future.

We also note that the national Kazakh game “Asyk atu”, “Hunting with birds of prey”, “Kazakh kuresi (wrestling)” were included in UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

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