In 1999 the new capital of Kazakhstan received UNESCO award “Cities for the peace”. It is a reward given to cities acknowledged to be socially and economically successful, with developed municipal sphere, and contributing to the world culture. Presenting the award, UNESCO General Director Mr. Frederico Mayor particularly noted, that within a few short years from the transition of the capital from Almaty to Astana, the President of the RK Nursultan Nazarbayev and the city municipal government invested huge efforts for the transformation of the new capital into scientific, cultural and educational center. According to the opinion of the UNESCO Head, Astana became a bright symbol of the independence of the young state.
After Astana recived the capital status in 1998, an ancient town of masters, merchants and grain growers became the center of state, social and cultural life of new democratic Kazakhstan. Astana is the pride of the Republic, its nation and its President, who noted during the conversation with journalists: “The plans are very wide. I think that basic construction of the city will have been finished by 2012. the city will live its own life, and its development will never stop”.