H.E. Shawn Steil, Ambassador of Canada to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan:
Over the past 25 years, the Kyrgyz Republic has made remarkable progress in creating a country, and Canada commends these efforts. Along the way, Canadian investment and expertise has supported the Kyrgyz Republic in developing its pivotal mining and hydro sectors, strengthening health and education systems, securing borders from the threat of nuclear materials and the drug trade, as well as supporting democratic reforms.
Now, as the Kyrgyz Republic considers the next phases of nation building, Canada hopes to share lessons learned from 150 years of continually negotiating a diverse, inclusive national identity.
Our experience shows that stability and prosperity are best achieved through pluralism, transparency, and openness to the world, rather than restrictions, divisions, and protectionism.
In an era of rising nationalism, fear of immigration and foreign influence, countries like Canada and the Kyrgyz Republic must stand as examples of the importance of these principles.
PluralismCanada finds strength in diversity, but as the heinous attack on a mosque in Quebec sadly illustrates, Canada is not immune to prejudice: discrimination is everywhere. However, discrimination is not the foundation of a stable, secure, successful society. Discrimination does not protect anyone.
TransparencyAs we have seen time and again, corruption is the enemy of a free, just, and prosperous country, and prevents countries from reaching their full potential. Open government, as much as fair elections, are critical to democratic development. Canada is committed to helping the Kyrgyz Republic combat corruption by sharing our best practices and supporting local efforts to enhance transparency and open governance.Indeed, Transparency International consistently ranks Canada as a top-10 country with regard to domestic corruption and measures to prohibit the «export of corruption».
Open to International CooperationOpen doors are the keystone of Canadian international relations. As a nation dependent on trade outside its borders, Canada proves that international inclusivity equates to domestic prosperity. We face global challenges, and global challenges require global solutions. These challenges include climate change, security, water access, trade, and development, and Canada has made unique commitments and contributions to addressing each issue. As Canada and the Kyrgyz Republic confront the global challenges in our future, we must work to resist populist nationalism, and isolationism.