October 31, 2001
In this issue:
“UNITED FOR A BETTER FUTURE”: UN Week in Kyrgyzstan
- UN-Exhibition in the Museum of Fine Arts
- Drawing Contest for Children
- Inauguration of the Human Development Center
- UN for Children
- The UN Day Celebration
“UNITED FOR A BETTER FUTURE”: UN Week in Kyrgyzstan
UN-Exhibition in the Museum of Fine arts
Under the slogan “United for a better future”, the UN Week 2001 in Kyrgyzstan was organized from 17 to 24 October. The week started on the 17th of October with the opening of a UN photo exhibition in the National Museum of Fine Arts. 120 photos by the best photographers in Kyrgyzstan portrayed the various activities of the Kyrgyz UN family. The visitors also had the opportunity to get more acquainted with the UN-activities by an information fair next to the exhibition. In addition handicrafts produced by women-beneficiaries of the UNDP Poverty Alleviation Program were exhibited and also for sale. Invited to the opening ceremony, which coincided with the International Day of Poverty Alleviation, were representatives of the Kyrgyz Government, donor agencies, NGOs, mass media and students.
Drawing Contest for Children
Under the same slogan, “United for a better future”, a drawing contest for children was organized on 20 October in the Children‘s Esthetic Center in Bishkek. The Center was recently renovated with support of the UN Agencies in Kyrgyzstan and the awarding ceremony after the contest was therefore also the inauguration of the renovated Center. Participating in the drawing contest were children from the Center for Children’s Social Adaptation, orphans and refugee children. The winners were awarded by the UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Ercan Murat, who stated in his remarks: “Today, when the world is uniting against terrorism, we believe that young artists can contribute to the vision of a world without wars and conflicts. To see the bright colors of their drawings, nourishes our common dream to create a better world for all”.
Inauguration of the Human Development Center
On 23 October, the official inauguration of the Human Development Center in the Kyrgyz Russian Slavonic University took place. The Center was established in October 2000 with the support of UNDP and with the purpose to spread the idea of Human Development in Kyrgyzstan. The Center is aimed to monitor and analyze Human Development processes in Kyrgyzstan, work out and introduce innovative social technologies and encourage social partnerships and effective communication in the society. The Center is working in close cooperation with other research institutions, NGOs and academia and has already held workshops for journalists on human development, conducted surveys and elaborated the curriculum of the first course on Human Development in Kyrgyzstan offered in the Kyrgyz Russian Slavonic University. All its partners including the UN family actively participated in the inauguration of the Center, sharing their views on how to further promote the idea of Human Development in Kyrgyzstan.
In connection to the inauguration of the Human Development Center another exhibition of UN activities in Kyrgyzstan was opened in the Kyrgyz Russian Slavonic University. This exhibition was organized by the Kyrgyz Association to Support the UN, established in the University in October 2000. The publications, UN films, photos and other material for the exhibition were provided by UNDP. In addition the Association also initiated an essay competition under the slogan “United for a Better Future” among students of three Universities in Bishkek. The winners two from the International University of Kyrgyzstan and one from the Kyrgyz Russian Slavonic University were awarded during the opening ceremony.
UN for Children
On the 23rd of October the UNDP Public Relation and Information Management Unit staff met with children in the children’s library in Bishkek. This meeting began with a small concert by the pupils of various art studios, followed by questions and answers about UN activities in Kyrgyzstan and ended with a presentation of librarians on library acquisitions, received mainly from UNDP and the American Embassy in Kyrgyzstan. Children of 12-15 years proved to be well informed about the general work of the UN and also knew about the work of UNDP in for example alleviating poverty. Concerning the latter, the children even had their own bright ideas about how to alleviate poverty in rural areas.
The UN Day Celebration
As a result of the terror attacks in the U. S. and the war against terrorism, the main idea of the UN Day celebration 2001 became to demonstrate unity of and solidarity between all nations living in a country that hosts over 80 nationalities. In times when humanity and tolerance is severely challenged it is very important to stress that people stand “United for the better future”. The Kyrgyz UN-agencies therefore decided to invite the Assembly of Peoples of Kyrgyzstan, an umbrella association gathering many of the different Diasporas resident in the country, to cooperate around the UN-day festivities.
The Kyrgyz National Opera and Ballet Theatre, where the celebration was held, proved to be a very suitable international meeting place. Together with 150 dancers, singers and musicians from the Opera and Ballet Theatre, the over 70 artists from different cultural centers within the Assembly of Peoples of Kyrgyzstan participated in a very colorful performance especially designed for the UN-day. Build up on the stage was a big yurta, the typical ancient Kyrgyz nomad home, out of which the many different national Diasporas entered and performed short numbers of their respective folk music and folkdance. The yurta became the symbol of Kyrgyzstan, the common home in which all these nationalities live together, enjoying equal human rights.
Also taking part in the celebration was the President of the Kyrgyz republic H.E. Askar Akayev, who was the President when Kyrgyzstan soon after independence joined the UN in March 1992. In his speech the President congratulated the audience with the UN Day and noted the large scale of influence of the UN on the world processes. He stressed that Kyrgyzstan is proud of being a member of the United Nations and considers the membership as one of the provisions of the country’s independence and its valuable participation in the peace building efforts and cooperation in the economic, social and cultural development. Speaking about the danger from the world terrorism, he expressed his hope on establishing political stability in Afghanistan, where the high authority, profound experience and enormous potential of the UN will play a key role.
Mr. Ercan Murat, UN Resident Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan stated in his speech that “in this complicated time when peace and human security are at jeopardy, we, the UN family, stand ready to assist your beautiful country in facing the many challenges on its way to democratic, economic and social progress.”
In addition to the speeches of the President and UN Resident Coordinator, which were followed by the above mentioned performance, the official part of the UN-day celebration also included an awarding ceremony of journalists, the winners of a media contest announced by UNDP on the best series of reportages on human development issues. Another prestigious award, given to Mrs. Meimanbu Tashieva, a teacher from a remote village in Osh oblast, was the award from "The Women’s Fund for creativity in rural life" given to 30 women from all over the world for their contribution to alleviate the poverty of their countrymen/women.
After the performance the 600 guests, who included the President, the State Secretary, Ministers and government officials, UN Agencies staff, representatives of academia and mass media, were invited to the Malachite Hall in the Opera and Ballet Theater, which was decorated with the flags of all 189 UN member states. In the hall the national Diasporas from the Assembly of Peoples of Kyrgyzstan together with restaurants and Embassies offered the guests to taste the kitchens from over 30 different countries.
The most touching and magic moment of the whole UN-day celebration was when children, at the end of the cultural performance, carried out a huge balloon in the form of the globe and carefully passed it over to the audience. The passing around of the globe among all guests, very clearly demonstrated the joint responsibility everybody has in taking care of our planet and showed the truth of the UN-day slogan that only united we can build a better future.