Nazarbayev University and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kazakhstan held their first joint meeting on gender equality and harassment. During the online roundtable, the parties discussed an action plan for creation of equal opportunities and safe work, learning and social space.
In his welcoming speech Shigeo Katsu, Nazarbayev University President, noted that it is important to ” create respectful working and learning places where everybody can work and study peacefully without any fear of being harassed or ashamed”.
In turn, UNDP representatives shared their corporate practices of mainstreaming gender equality in areas of its activities including programming, partnerships, communications and advocacy, management systems, in-house environment and capacities of the staff. UNDP also presented their revised Code of Ethics, which promotes, strengthens and supports an ethical culture throughout UNDP, to help staff to make ethical decisions both in the context of their work for UNDP and also in their personal interactions outside of work.
In his welcoming remarks Yakup Beris, UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan, emphasized the importance and relevance of the round table discussion: “Building a culture of safety and fairness starts with strengthening ethical values and the ability to act upon them. I strongly believe that today’s event is a great way Nazarbayev university affirms its values and commitment to high ethical standards which can potentially become industry standards in Kazakhstan.”
Nazarbayev University students also spoke at the meeting, presenting their progress in the creation of Anti-Harassment Policy, which is being developed by the initiative group of the NU community.
Summing up the first meeting of the NU-UNDP format, President Katsu pointed out that it is necessary to carry out comprehensive institutional reforms that will eventually build up the atmosphere of trust between students, faculty, and administrative staff. As for the innovations, according to the President, the introduction of the Ombudsman position and institution of mandatory sensitivity trainings for faculty and staff are planned. Also, there are going to be some revisions of the Code of Ethics and the Anti-Harassment Policy.
At the end of the meeting, Mr. Katsu thanked the UNDP representatives for their expert contribution and expressed confidence that such an experience sharing event will become one of many.