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August 15, 2007 United Nations Under-Secretary-General B. Lynn Pascoe to Attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Meeting

The UN Under-Secretary-General B. Lynn Pascoe will visit Bishkek to attend the SCO’s Summit scheduled for August 16, 2007 in response to the invitation of President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Kurmanbek Bakiev

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (August 15, 2007) – The UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe, will be visiting Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, from 15 to 17 August where he is to represent the Secretary-General at the Council Meeting of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). On 16 August he will deliver a message on behalf of the Secretary-General to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, and meet with a number of visiting leaders to discuss the situation in Central Asia and the broader region.

In addition, Mr. Pascoe will meet with President Kurmanbek Bakiev of the Kyrgyz Republic, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambaev, Kyrgyz Minister of Foreign Affairs Ednan Karabaev, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov of Turkmenistan and President of Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon. He visited China before arriving in Kyrgyzstan and will travel on to Nepal following the summit meeting.

B. Lynn Pascoe was appointed the UN Under-Secretary-General by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 1 March 2007. In an almost forty-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service before joining the United Nations, Mr. Pascoe occupied various responsible positions around the globe being the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia and U.S. Special Negotiator for Regional Conflicts in the former Soviet Union, the Special Advisor to the U.S. Permanent Mission to the UN, the Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the East Asian and Pacific Bureau of the U.S. State Department, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department of State, and the Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State. He also held positions on the Soviet and China desks and has been posted to Moscow, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Beijing, and to Kuala Lumpur.

For additional information, please contact:

Nurlan Karybekov, UN Resident Coordinator Associate at: + 996 (312) 611211 ext. 121

Leonid Komarover, UN Senior Policy Advisor at: + 996 (312) 611211 ext. 196

Vasilina Brazhko, UNDP Communications Officer at: +996 (503) 698175

August 15, 2007 UN Political Chief holds talks with Kyrgyz officials ahead of regional summit

New York, Aug 15 2007 6:00PM - Just ahead of a regional summit in Central Asia, the top United Nations political official is meeting with authorities in Kyrgyzstan today on issues of mutual concern, a spokesperson for the world body announced.

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe met today in Bishkek with the Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan, and was expected to meet later in the day with the President and Prime Minister, UN Spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

Tomorrow he will attend the Seventh Summit of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization - a regional body comprising China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - where he will deliver a message on behalf of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

He is also scheduled to meet on the margins of the Summit with the Presidents of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

On his way to the region, Mr. Pascoe conducted two days of talks with Chinese Foreign Ministry officials in Beijing, touching on issues including Darfur, the Middle East peace process, Nepal, Myanmar, Kosovo and the Korean Peninsula, as well as cooperation between China and the UN in Africa, Ms. Montas said.

Mr. Pascoe is expected to arrive in Kathmandu this weekend to discuss the peace process with national leaders and to consult with the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), which is providing critical assistance to the holding of Constituent Assembly elections later this year.

He is also expected to meet with Nepal's Prime Minister and other key political figures.

July 02, 2007 For CIS and South-Eastern Europe, an Up-and-Down Ride Uneven Progress Slowing Drive to Meet Millennium Goals, UN Finds

MOSCOW, 2 July -- The transition countries of South-Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have been on a socio-economic roller coaster since the early 1990s, with progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) seemingly tied to the sharp rises and falls of extreme poverty and income inequality, a United Nations study has found.

The study, the Millennium Development Goals Report 2007, said that the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day jumped from less than 1 per cent of the population in the CIS countries and South-Eastern Europe in 1990 to 5.5 per cent and 1.3 per cent respectively in the two regions in 2004, and then fell back to the low levels of the pre-transition period of the 1980s.

But the slowdown in extreme poverty was accompanied by rising rates of income inequality in the region, the UN report found.

Inequality in the CIS countries was very low in the 1990s, the report noted. But the share of consumption (or income) by the poorest quintile of the population in the CIS countries went from among the highest among all regions (nearly 8 per cent) in 1990 to just over 6 per cent in 2004.

By the turn of the century, the overall situation was again showing signs of improvement, the report found, although other longstanding problems continued to afflict the CIS and South-Eastern European countries.

The report also pointed to sharp distinctions between CIS countries in Europe and CIS countries in Asia. For instance, in the European countries, the total net enrolment ratio of children in primary school fell from 91 per cent in 1991 to 83 per cent in 1999, and then bounced back to 90 per cent in 2005.

By contrast, primary school enrolment levels n the Asian CIS countries, which were lower than CIS Europe’s in 1990, rose steadily throughout the transition period, reaching 94 per cent in 2005.

Similarly, the report said, the mortality rate for children under the age of 5 declined significantly in the European parts of CIS and in the countries of South-Eastern Europe, dropping to 17 deaths per 1,000 births. By contrast, in the Asian CIS countries, the slow rate of progress was dramatized by figures showing that child mortality there is the third highest among all regions.

Yet the CIS and South-Eastern European countries entered the last decade in a situation of relative advantage compared to all other developing regions. Examples include the relatively high rate of measles immunization (85 per cent coverage in 1990), widespread health care for women in childbirth (which already stood at 99 per cent in 1990); relatively high access to improved sanitation facilities (82 per cent in 1990); and in the declining incidence and prevalence of diseases such as tuberculosis.

But the report found that the region’s slow pace in addressing such problems as poverty eradication, prevention of major infectious diseases and gender equality had impaired progress in moving more rapidly towards implementation of the MDG targets.

In the case of tuberculosis control, the report said, the region will have to step up the pace of its efforts if the MDG target of halving TB prevalence and death rates is to be met. The latest statistics show that the region’s low prevalence of 83 cases per 100,000 in 1990 doubled to 163 cases in 2000.

In the drive for gender equality, women in the CIS and South-Eastern European countries have traditionally enjoyed easy access to paid employment and political participation, the report noted. But with the onset of the transition, parliament representation by women dropped dramatically, since their participation in national politics was no longer guaranteed. The trend has since been reversed, the report found, and women are slowly gaining ground again.

The Millennium Development Goals Report, an annual assessment of regional progress towards the Goals, produced at the request of the General Assembly, is based on data compiled by over 20 organizations both within and outside the UN System. The report is supervised and coordinated by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

For more information and media contacts, please see

December 12, 2006 UN Resident Coordinator hands over the credential letters to the President of Kyrgyzstan

12 December 2006 – Today the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative of the Neal Walker hand over the Credential Letters to the President of the KR, Kurmanbek Bakiev by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervish.

The United Nations System and UNDP in the Kyrgyzstan will continue their support to the democratic, social and economic reforms that you are undertaking, with the clear objective of fostering further development of the country and the Kyrgyz people at this new stage in its history”, addressed Neal Walker to the head of the state.

In his turn, Kurmanbek Baliev noted that the Kyrgyz Republic is interested in cooperation with UN and with its further strengthening and development. The President expressed his wish to give consideration to the on going projects that render assistance to the economic potential of the republic.

December 11, 2006 Meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic

Bishkek, December 11, 2006 - Today Mr. Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic held the first meeting with Mr. Alikbek Djekshenkulov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic.

During the meeting both sides discussed the issues of further development of cooperation between UN and the Kyrgyz Republic. The meeting was held in a friendly and warm atmosphere corresponding to the traditionally high level of cooperation and partnership between UN and the Kyrgyz Republic.

December 04, 2006 Mr. Neal Walker assumed his duties of UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic

Bishkek 4 December 2006. - Mr. Walker, newly appointed UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic arrived in the Kyrgyz Republic December 3, 2006 and immediately assumed his duties.

CV of Mr. Walker is attached.

November 20, 2006 ILO calls for zero tolerance of violence against children in the workplace

GENEVA (ILO News) – Millions of child labourers and legally employed adolescents face “systemic” violence at their places of work, ranging from physical or verbal abuse to sexual harassment, rape and even murder, according to a new “World Report on Violence Against Children” 1/ published today, Universal Children’s Day.

The International Labour Organization (ILO), which contributed to the study, called for zero tolerance of violence against the estimated 218 million child labourers and some 100 million adolescents who are legally employed worldwide. The UN study is the most comprehensive examination of violence again children ever undertaken and is expected to launch a new movement to try and control or halt the practice.

Although global figures are unobtainable due to the “hidden” nature of the problem and the difficulties for children to report incidences of violence against them, the ILO found that in some areas, most working children faced some form of violence in the workplace – either verbal, physical or sexual.

“For many child labourers, violence is a terrifying fact of daily life and must be stopped together with child labour”, said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia, in commenting on the UN report. ”Worldwide, violence at work is generally on the increase and violence against children and adolescents who work is endemic, and in some cases just ‘part of the job’. This must stop.”

ILO researchers found that violence against working children is often “part of a collective workplace culture of physical brutality, shouting, bad language, and casual violence including sexual harassment, and in extreme cases, even rape or murder”. In addition, the ILO said these children represent the most vulnerable group amid a generalized global increase in violence at the workplace 2/. The report called for “a policy of zero tolerance of violence against children who are working”.

“Violence against a single child is one instance of violence too many”, said Frans Roselaers, Director of the ILO’s Department of Partnerships and Development Cooperation and member of the editorial board of the UN report. “If we acknowledge this, we can accelerate the present rate of reduction in child labour that has been achieved over the last four years, and make this a world without child labour.”

According to the report, some categories of child and adolescent workers are particularly at risk of violence: domestic workers, youth in the informal economy, children in debt bondage and modern forms of slavery, and those doing hazardous work. The world’s 5.7 million children in forced and bonded labour, including a significant proportion of victims of trafficking, are also at constant risk of violence.

According to the report, children in unsafe working environments are also at constant risk of violence. In 2004, more than 60 per cent of the world’s 218 million working children were deemed to be in ‘hazardous’ workplaces such as glass factories, mines, and plantations and other agriculture where health and safety regulations are often lax or non-existent.

What’s more, some situations of working children are tantamount to violence by their very nature, including sexual exploitation and trafficking in human beings, says the report. A blatant example of violence against children is the exploitation of children under 18 in prostitution, pornography or sex shops.

According to the ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC), a strong political consensus on the elimination of child labour exists worldwide. More than 80 per cent of the world’s children now live in countries that have ratified the two key ILO Conventions on child labour. The ILO said enforcement requires workplace regulations, inspectorates, stiff legal sanctions against the employment of under-age workers, and elimination of illegal activities involving children.

The report recommends comprehensive approaches addressing the economic and cultural causes of child labour, the promotion of education and alternative livelihoods, and social mobilization to change attitudes about child labour and violence against children in workplaces. An example for such an approach are the ILO’s ‘Time-Bound Programmes’ (TBPs) to eliminate child labour comprising a package of interventions covering prevention, withdrawal, rehabilitation and future protection. Over 20 countries have adopted such programmes.

IPEC is the most comprehensive global programme dedicated to the elimination of child labour and the largest single operational programme of the ILO. By December 2005, it was operational in 86 countries, with an annual expenditure on technical cooperation projects that reached over US$70 million in 2005.

October 25, 2006 Kyrgyzstan has Helped the STAND UP AGAINST POVERTY Campaign to make it into Guinness Record Book

Guinness World Records have officially verified that the first ever world record has been set for the most number of people to Stand Up against poverty in multiple locations over 24 house.

Bishkek, 25 October 2006 - On 15-16 October, 23,542,614 people, in over eighty countries around the world set a new Guinness World Record for the largest number of people to “STAND UP AGAINST POVERTY”. The Stand Up record attempt, an initiative of the United Nations Millennium Campaign in partnership with the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) was set in time for the United Nations International Day for Poverty Eradication on 17 October.

At each event, people stood up and pledged their solidarity with the world’s poorest people and demanded that governments take urgent action to end poverty and inequality and to meet and exceed the Millennium Development Goals.

Almost 600 people around Kyrgyzstan participated in this action. United Nations staff members, Heads of UN Agencies in Bishkek, United Nations Volunteers in Naryn and Issyk-Kul, students and teachers of Naryn State University, Naryn Trade Lyceum and Institute of Entrepreneurship and Law in Issyk-Kul stood up to remind our leaders of their promises to eliminate extreme poverty by 2015.

Six years ago, 189 world leaders sat down and agreed to end poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. On October 15&16, over 23 million people across the world stood up to remind them of this promise.

STAND UP is part of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty month of mobilization around The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP).

For further information, please contact: Vasilina Brazhko, Communication Officer, UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic at + 996 312 61-12-13 Ext. 222 or

October 16, 2006 UN in the Kyrgyz Republic supported the Global Action “Stand Up Against Poverty”

Bishkek, 16 October 2006 – Today almost 600 people around Kyrgyzstan participated in the global “STAND UP AGAINST POVERTY” campaign, supported by the United Nations, to remind Kyrgyz leaders of their promises to eliminate extreme poverty by 2015.

“We stand up because we are asking not for charity but justice – we know, that in our names, world leaders have already made promises to bring this to an end- they are called the Millennium Development Goals”, were the opening words of Carlos Zaccagnini, UN Resident Coordinator a.i.., in launching this event.

65 United Nations staff members together with the Heads of Agencies stood up in front of the UN House and read out the pledge saying “We stand here proudly as members of the generation that intends to defeat extreme poverty […] what is needed is the political will to achieve and exceed these goals – so we are on our feet to say […] to the leaders of poor countries - be great - make it your first responsibility to save the lives of your poorest citizens. We ask you to achieve real transparency and accountability in how money is spent, to tackle inequality, to root out corruption. You know what needs to be done. Do it”.

In the Naryn the Stand up action started at 9:30 a.m. in the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Youth Project field office, where all Youth Project volunteers (10 people) recited the pledge and then went to Naryn State University where 213 students participated in the action.

Then at 12 p.m. Youth Project volunteers went to one of the biggest events of that day – the concert organized by students of the Naryn Trade Lyceum, where volunteers encouraged all concert participants and visitors to participate in the action - in total 178 people.

Volunteers of Issyk-Kul regional office of UNV Youth Project organized their Stand Up action in the Institute of Entrepreneurship and Law where 82 students and teachers of that university supported the initiative. The volunteers explained to them the aim of the action and then all together they said the pledge against poverty.

Launched by the United Nations Millennium Campaign, STAND UP is an exciting challenge to set an official Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people ever to Stand Up Against Poverty and for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In September 2000, 191 UN-member countries, rich and poor alike, reaffirmed their commitment to peace and security, good governance and attention to the most vulnerable with the adoption of the Millennium Declaration. Containing commitments to achieve the eight Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), the declaration reflects the vision of entire nations, working together with international and country-based organizations to wipe out poverty and the worst forms of human deprivation and lay the foundations for sustainable human development by 2015.

For further information, please contact: Vasilina Brazhko, Communication Officer, UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic at + 996 312 61-12-13 Ext. 222 or

July 26, 2006 In Central Asia, UN-backed water project paves the way for further cooperation

New York, 26 July 2006 - Water relations in Central Asia take a significant step forward today with the inauguration of the United Nations-supported Chu-Talas Rivers Commission involving Kazakhstan and landlocked Kyrgyzstan, with the world body saying the agreement provides a model for cooperation for other trans-boundary river basins in the region.

As part of the bilateral deal, Kazakhstan has agreed to pay part of the operating and maintenance expenses for a number of Kyrgyz dams and reservoirs supplying water to both countries, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) said in a press release.

“The Chu-Talas River Commission is an eloquent symbol of the spirit of cooperation to address trans-boundary issues of common concern. It lays the foundation for future cooperation in achieving more sustainable growth in these two countries and in Central Asia,” said Kim Hak-Su, UNESCAP Executive Secretary.

The setting up of the Commission, inaugurated in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, is supported by a joint project implemented by UNESCAP and the Geneva-based UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), along with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

UNECE Executive Secretary Marek Belka congratulated Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan for their constructive collaboration, noting in a statement that they set an example for future water relations in Central Asia.

July 08, 2006 UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific Dr. Nafis Sadik Pays a visit to Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, 08 July 2006 - UN Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS for Asia and Pacific Dr. Nafis Sadik arrived to Kyrgyzstan in the framework of the high level visit.

During the visit, Dr. Sadik will meet with high-level governmental officials to promote key issues on HIV/AIDS and advocate for continued ownership and leadership of the government in the area of HIV/AIDS in the context of MDG through scaling up of universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

It is planed that Dr. Sadik will meet with representatives of Civil Society Organizations, and namely People Living with HIV/AIDS to advocate for greater involvement of new partners from Civil Society in the National response to fight HIV/AIDS.

One of the key events of her visit is a planned meeting with the State Secretary of Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Adahan Madumarov, during which the implementation of the UNGASS declaration and Millennium Development Goals will be reviewed.

In the framework of UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific Dr. Nafis Sadik will meet with Dr. Ainagul Isakova, Head of the Unit on Coordination and Monitoring in HIV/AIDS area, and other Government Representatives. They will discuss the importance of strengthened ownership of different ministries in the appropriate sectors and intersectoral cooperation to ensure universal accesses of population to comprehensive package on HIV prevention, treatment and care services in the country. The meeting with Dr. Shapiro, General Director of National AIDS Center will stress a need to focus on priority areas in scaling up towards universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support which were identified at the national consultation.

Dr. Sadik will be an honored guest at the UN Theme group Meeting during which she will present the results of the UNGASS review session and the role of the Government, International community and civil society organizations on scaling up towards universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support by 2010.

A special Meeting with AIDS service NGOs and Dr. Sadik will be organized to discuss how Civil Society Organizations in Kyrgyz Republic are being involved in HIV/AIDS prevention activities and to highlight the importance of Civil Society organizations in preventing of HIV/AIDS among vulnerable groups and general population.

As a result of UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific Dr. Nafis Sadik visit to Kyrgyzstan a Press Conference will take place at the Government House on July 11, at 15:00 P.M.

The schedule of events could be downloaded from here.

Dr. Nafis Sadik is a UN General Secretary’s Special Envoy in Asia and the Pacific and in this role she is responsible for promoting the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS throughout Asia and the Pacific– a historic document adopted at the UN General Assembly Special Session in July 2001.

Dr. Sadik is the former executive director of the United Nations Population Fund. After her retirement from the UNFPA in December 2000, she continued to work in the UN as Special Adviser to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Dr. Sadik served as the secretary general of the landmark International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994, where she rallied the international community to radically change the approach to reproductive health by empowering women through education and economic opportunities.

A citizen of Pakistan, Dr. Sadik became one of the highest ranking women in the UN system when she was appointed UNFPA executive director, and the first woman in UN history to lead one of its major voluntary-funded programs.

UNGASS Declaration on HIV/AIDS - adopted in June 2001 at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session, during which governments from 189 countries committed themselves to a comprehensive programme of international and national action to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

For more information please contact: Dr. Anara Salamatova, UNAIDS Programme Officer, or Ms. Cholpon Egeshova, UNAIDS Programme Assistant, , at + 996 (312) 61-12-32

December 12, 2005 Talking about you and me - Sneak Preview of “Love as a test”, a TV Serial Drama on HIV/AIDS

Bishkek 07 December 2005 - With a TV serial drama about problems and dangers young people face in Kyrgyzstan today the UN addresses fears, indifference and discrimination connected to HIV/AIDS in a very personal way.

A first glance on the serial was presented in a trailer with the key scenes on 07 December to a selected audience of journalists, cinematographers and specialists active in HIV/AIDS prevention communication.

Everything seems fine in the life of Adyl, a student of informatics in Bishkek; a promising future in front of him, a bride who he is to marry soon... But there are some secret things from Adyls past that are bouncing back and putting him and the ones who love him on the biggest test of their life.

“In the end of the film love is the winner over the conflicts”, said Galina Gaparova, scenarist and director of the Children Media Center. She and Rinat Tukhvatshin, who is still a student, won the contest for the best script and were trained in the techniques of story line development for serials by an international Expert of the most popular German TV serial “Lindenstrasse”.

A local film crew of Studio Begim, under the internationally known director Aktan Abdykalykov, carried out the production of the four series, 52 Minutes each. For the main roles the team cast among popular actors also new faces to play the many young characters in the film.

The drama uses the concept of “Entertainment-Education”. By showing the conflicts and problems connected to HIV/AIDS as its dramaturgical context it implicitly conveys information, gives alternative role models and provides a window on risks connected to HIV and AIDS. “More than just dealing with the epidemic the serial is about problems and dangers young people in Kyrgyzstan face today. It is about love, friendship, courage, solidarity. It shows how these human values can strengthen communities and families in a situation that seems to be overwhelmingly difficult and hopeless,” said Michael Unland, mass media specialist of UNDP. In this way the project contributes to the demedicalization of HIV and AIDS.

Entertainment-education as serial dramas or soap operas on TV have been successfully used since 1975 in many countries to boost social change and life skills based learning. Issues brought up are often social problems that affect many people: alcoholism, violence against women, ethnic conflicts, unemployment, racial and class inequalities.

The project is funded by UNAIDS (UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS) through the UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan, while the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is implementing it together with the Unit on Coordination and Monitoring in HIV/AIDS in the Prime Ministers Office. The start of the series is being accompanied by a cross media promotion campaign carried out by UNFPA and trainings that were supported by German development foundation InWEnt. The overall budget amounts to 100.000 USD.

For more information please contact Ms. Ainagul Isakova, Head of the Unit on Coordination and Monitoring in HIV/AIDS, Prime Ministers Office, 664155, or Michael Unland, UNV/UNDP Mass Media Specialist, 611213,

May 20, 2005 The UN Inter-Agency Mission to Kyrgyzstan: No Humanitarian Crisis but Risks and Vulnerabilities.

“There is no complex or other humanitarian crisis that has occurred in Kyrgyzstan as a result of the events of this past March.

The current food security situation in the Kyrgyz Republic is not significantly different from the situation prior to the March events.

The March events may have resulted in a ‘crisis of confidence’ but did not affect to a noticeable extent, the food security status of the population,” states the report of the UN Inter-Agency Mission to Kyrgyzstan.

“However the Interagency mission is concerned about the on-going structural risks and vulnerabilities, exacerbated by the deep and chronic poverty in many parts of the country, affecting many communities in both rural and urban areas, which under certain conditions could intensify and result in humanitarian crisis.”

As a consequence of recent events in Kyrgyzstan, the mission, comprising experts of OCHA, UNICEF, UNDP, WFP and WHO, was requested by the UN Resident Coordinator and members of the UN Country Team (UNCT).

The team was deployed to Kyrgyzstan since 10th May for ten days to assist the UNCT in assessing emergency needs and increasing its capacity in addressing potential crisis.

The mission held meetings with the UN Resident Coordinator, Heads of UN Agencies, its staff and a number of government agencies, non-governmental and research institutions.

On 15 May, the assessment group went to Jalalabat and Osh for household interviews and discussions with officials relating to food security and health / education issues.

Violent Uzbek Incidents added “extra lens”

In the course of the mission a series of violent events occurred in Uzbekistan, causing an influx of asylum seekers to Kyrgyzstan.

The events added an extra ‘lens’ to the mission’s work, not only in terms of the influx itself but on its potential implications for the already meager coping capacities in the Southern provinces of Kyrgyzstan.

In this situation the mission could assist, providing “real life” training and guidance to the UNCT which reacted immediately under UNHCR leadership and support from USAID.

“The missions arrival was very timely,” Carlos Zaccagnini, chief of the UNHCR mission in Kyrgyzstan stated. “Instead of 540 asylum seekers there could be many more if such events should happen again. We are now building up UN presence in the South with additional stocks, communication equipment and staff. The tools and mechanisms the mission brought will helped us to increase our capacity.”

Recent events have also underscored the disconnect between the central government and local authorities. An aggravation of this weakness can strain the state structure with potentially severe consequences, especially for vulnerable population groups.

Political stability, a fair and free election process for the upcoming presidential elections on July 10th, economic security and mechanisms to effectively fight corruption are obvious priorities. Protection issues during this period need to be very closely monitored and an advocacy strategy developed.

“With the presidential election ahead and the establishment of a new Government, Kyrgyzstan is going through a transition period,” said Gregoire de Brancovan, Head of Preparedness and Contingency Planning Cell in OCHA, New York. “The Government will have to manage tensions, coming from political processes, natural disasters and international tensions to avoid spillover effects that can transform into a national crisis.”

Benefits of Economic Growth do not reach the Poorest

Although official government statistics indicate overall economic progress, those aggregative figures do not seem to capture adequately the dramatic poverty at the household level found in some areas.

Household visits in the Osh & Jalalabad oblasts confirmed very poor food diversity with consequent high levels of micronutrient deficiencies and under-nutrition.

The mission recommended to the UN in Kyrgyzstan to sponsor a forum bringing together all stakeholders to identify key areas of targeted action and to better complement their activities.

Further in-depth assessment efforts are needed to better understand, why the benefits of recent economic growth have not reached the poorest segment of the population.

The UN should develop a common advocacy strategy to ensure the protection of vulnerable groups and respect of basic human rights.

Regarding food security and livelihood, the mission’s recommendations include targeted in-depth studies of livelihoods in chronically poor and vulnerable areas as a pre-condition for the implementation of complementary UN activities and effective safety net and social protection programs.

Food-for-work programmes could combine a direct food security impact with labour-based improvements of community infrastructure and agriculture land. Food transfers could also assist during the resettlement of families from highly disaster prone areas. School feeding in the poorest areas could contribute to the nutrition of children and encourage regular school attendance.

As for health and basic services, the humanitarian mission underlined that water and sanitation and the provision of safe drinking water needs to become a priority intervention to reduce the high level of infectious diseases.

Drug trafficking, associated with a rising HIV/AIDS prevalence in some parts of the country and the associated high level of corruption is a major underlying problem affecting all sectors and needs a consolidated effort from the Government.

Therefore during the transition and medium term, priority should be given to the maintenance of basic social services, based on an improved analysis of the most vulnerable.

This should help to reduce the risk of social unrest. Also, education curricula should integrate disaster and risk awareness information.

In natural and technological disasters the UNCT should consider supporting the Ministry of Environment and Emergency in establishing or consolidating a forum to map-out and coordinate all the ongoing initiatives in disaster preparedness and prevention. This would facilitate the identification of priority unmet needs, avoid gaps and duplications, while making optimal use of available resources and capacities. In the broader framework of disaster preparedness and response the issue of high risk for both natural disasters and man made disasters need to be addressed as priority areas for intervention with a clear necessity to upgrade the capacity of local authorities to prevent and manage potential crisis and to cope with health related aspects of such events.

“One of the important results of the mission will be the need to engage the Government of Kyrgyz Republic, the civil society, the donor organizations and the UN to refocus the existing development assistance to the country in view of addressing the most urgent issues ensuring the needs of the most vulnerable groups of population, - said Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator at the meeting with acting President of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Kurmanbek Bakiev.

“The mission report also points out that we need urgent response of the international community and that additional resources might be required, - he said.

For additional information please contact Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer: Tel. 0 996 (312) 61-12-13. Cell phone: 0 996 (502) 51-22-99. E-mail: [email protected]

March 21, 2005 Statement of the UN in the Kyrgyz Republic

United Nations in the Kyrgyz Republic Calls for Return to Kyrgyz Tradition of Resolving Conflicts Peacefully

The United Nations in the Kyrgyz Republic expresses its deep concern at recent events in the country following the 2005 parliamentary elections. Recent events are moving the country into a climate of uncertainty as a response to the outcome of the elections. The only way to address this division is through political dialogue and non-violent means.

The United Nations in the Kyrgyz Republic calls on all parties to apply the utmost restraint and avoid any escalation of the situation. Kyrgyzstan is rightly proud of its tradition of resolving conflicts peacefully and all sides should respect the principles of human rights and refrain from using force in order to avoid any threat to life.

All sides should resume a political dialogue as the only viable means to overcome dispute and conflict. The United Nations in the Kyrgyz Republic welcomes the recent offer of the President to begin a dialogue, and the positive response of the Opposition. The United Nations in the Kyrgyz Republic is ready to provide a platform for any such negotiations.

The United Nations in the Kyrgyz Republic supports the recent statement of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek.

November 30, 2004 Commemorating the victims of HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan and worldwide

Journalists, Artists, HIV/AIDS activists and UN community came together to express their solidarity with People Living with HIV/AIDS and congratulate the winners of the Jonathan Mann Award 2004.

On the eve of the International HIV/AIDS Day, in the National Fine Arts Museum, the staff of the UN Agencies and the World Bank in Kyrgyzstan, journalists and NGOs working in the area of HIV/AIDS came together to commemorate victims of the HIV/AIDS and express their solidarity with people who have to live with the HIV.

The guests together with actors of the Kyrgyz Theatres and the well-known Kyrgyz poets went through feelings of those who live with HIV, try to find a job, retain friends and those who have infected their beloved people.

Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic, read a message of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and stressed the responsibility of each agency to take care of its staff and join the efforts against HIV and AIDS-related stigma and discrimination.

At the end, before the Hall was lit up with candles, Richard Young, the Chairperson of the UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS handed over the Jonathan Mann Award to this year’s winners: NGO “Sotsium” and Kifayat Askerova, journalist of the newspaper ‘Slovo Kyrgyzstana’.

It is also meant as an encouragement to all the organizations and individuals in Kyrgyzstan to step up their efforts and address the impact of the pandemic, to help those who suffer from HIV/AIDS and protect themselves and their beloved ones. 1st December is marked as World AIDS day to remember that in the world about 39 million people are living with Virus and 6 people get infected every minute.

"Sotsium" is one of the most recognized NGOs working with Injecting Drug Users (IDU) in the field of HIV/AIDS for several years. IDUs account for most of the infections with HIV in Kyrgyzstan. "Sotsium" is renowned by its statewide and international activities, and its achievements are well-known not only by government and civil society, but professionally recognized by medical institutions on harm reduction and rehabilitation.

Ms. Kifayat Askerova is a prominent and committed journalist writing on HIV/AIDS. She has published a series of articles on various aspects of HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan, focusing on problems of vulnerable groups, people living with HIV/AIDS. Ms. Askerova touches upon the most controvert matters and has demonstrated humanism and tolerance and thereby mitigated stigma and discrimination.

The International Jonathan Mann Award in Central Asia has been awarded since 1999 to assist the global fight against HIV/AIDS. It is supported by UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNODC and UNICEF. For the last 6 years, the award went to winners from Kyrgyzstan, which is an indicator of a clear commitment both in governmental and non-governmental organizations.

October 01, 2004 The Years Influencing our Lives the Most, Receive the Least

6-7 October, 2004. The “Silk Road” Lodge: With UNICEF support, a Conference on Early Childhood Development (ECD) convenes high ranking officials of the ministries of health, education, labour and social protection, other decision makers and representatives of international organizations working in the field of ECD to set up priorities and debate on adequate, coherent policies and strategies on ECD in Kyrgyzstan in the coming years.

ECD refers to a comprehensive approach to policies and programmes for children from birth to eight years of age, their parents and caregivers. It includes attention to health, nutrition, education and water and environmental sanitation in homes and communities.

The participants will have an opportunity to discuss findings of the UNICEF-supported Child Rearing Practices Study. The study was designed to find - a valid description of family and community characteristics; - cultural, educational, and behavioral factors; - correlations that determine or influence the value of the child for the family; - primary socialization patterns; and child rearing practices.

It also provided information regarding health, nutrition, and developmental status of children and collected data on human, institutional, and financial capacities of communities, which might become a valuable input for planning, designing, and implementation of the ECD projects.

The Conference will allow different organizations to exchange best practices. The agenda includes issues of early learning and stimulation, care for development, integrated management of childhood illnesses, micronutrient programmes and early screening for children with disabilities.

The Conference will also host a launch of a series of books in the Kyrgyz Language for children under the age of six and their parents. The objective of the books is to help the caregivers to learn more about how to better nurture, feed and care for children.

The information is presented in a form of children’s poems, puzzles and short messages for the parents. The books have been developed by a group of well-known Kyrgyz writers, artists, parents and children under the age of six.

UNICEF hopes that the Conference will help synergize efforts of various organisations working in the field of ECD area and promote increased public expenditures for children

For additional information, please contact: Galina Solodunova, UNICEF Communications Officer. Phone: (996 312) 611 211 (ext.139); 611 224...7, e-mail: [email protected]

September 18, 2004 MDGs Caravan in Kyrgyzstan: Peer to Peer on Development and Millennium Declaration

On 18 September 2004, in Talas, the Students’ Theatre of the American University in Central Asia gave a performance to advocate the Millennium Development Goals.

"Each of us deserves the best, only because we have come to this world", say the boys and girls to their equals in different corners of the country.

There are no bad people and there are no ones unworthy of decent life. Eight the Millennium Goals must reach each inhabitant of the earth, as they reflect the aspiration of humanity for harmony and better future.”

These performances are given within the framework of the UN campaign in Kyrgyzstan on promotion of the MDGs. The theatre has talented singers and dancers, as well as participants and winners of song contests.

Inspired by the task of advancing the ideas of the Millennium Summit, the students wrote the scenario of the play themselves, set up the concert numbers and competitions for the spectators. Thus, the audience became a participant of festivals in Bishkek and elsewhere in Kyrgyzstan.

During the competitions, they propose ways of reducing poverty, protecting children, environment, advancement of gender equality and global partnership.

The performances are not limited to concerts and competitions, but as it was in Bishkek, young people plant eight symbolic trees in each provincial centre, according to the number of goals.

In addition, the spectators are given T-shirts with the MDGs symbolism, booklets and the postcards, where all eight goals are printed.

Earlier this month, the performance was given in the Issyk Kul provincial centre Karakol, which gathered more than two thousand university and school students, and the local residents. On 25 September, the festival will move to Naryn.

Note: In September 2000, the highest representatives of 191 countries, including Kyrgyzstan, adopted the Millennium Declaration. This declaration reflected the view of the world community regarding peace, security, development, environment, human rights, and governance.

The Declaration established development goals for all countries, which are now known as Development Millennium Goals.

These goals establish concrete, measurable benchmarks of development to be achieved by humanity by 2015.

The MDGs are in full conformity to the objectives set by the people of Kyrgyzstan, and which are reflected in the country's strategic programmes of CDF and NPRS.

For additional information, please contact Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Relations Officer. Tel.: 61-12-13. Email: [email protected] You are welcome to visit UNDP in Kyrgyzstan website at where we placed a lots of information on MDG Promotion campaign in Kyrgyzstan

September 14, 2004 FIFA and UNICEF together for young football players

Mr. Joseph Blatter, the President of FIFA, arrived in Bishkek on a sunny September day.

His visit excited young footballers in this small capital of less than a million inhabitants. A newly built stadium was packed with government officials, Kyrgyz footballers, boys and girls in bright football gear, and their fans.

It was a special event for the young footballers and it was especially pleasing to see the girls participating in the sport as well. All the speech makers said that these boys and girls are the source of great hope for the future development of football in the country, as well as being key players in helping to solve problems of young people, such as drug abuse, HIV/AIDS infection and violence.

UNICEF and the Kyrgyz Football Federation kicked off their cooperation in January this year and dedicated the biggest youth championship in Kyrgyzstan to the need to create healthier lifestyles among young people. The Kyrgyz President’s Cup – 2004 was held under the slogan “Kyrgyz Young Football Players against Drugs and HIV/AIDS”.

That day – September 16 - was also a day when the organizers of the campaign could see the results of their efforts. Richard Young, UNICEF Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic could not pass by the smiling faces of boys, 12-14 years old, who were jostling each other to share with him their thoughts on the trainings that they had during oblast and finals tournaments.

Volunteers of the National Red Crescent Society and the NGO “Alliance for Reproductive Health”, using peer-to-peer methods, helped them to learn about the risks of unhealthy behaviors and how to protect themselves, where to get information and how to communicate sensitive issues to their peers.

Richard Young sat down on the grass of the new stadium to listen to their stories and answer their questions. Born in Manchester, he was surprised to learn that the young boys knew all the members of Manchester United Football Club.

With great interest, they listened to him explain why Manchester United was invited to be a Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF and how famous football players help children in developing countries.

During the official speeches, Mr. Blatter specially mentioned the collaboration of FIFA and UNICEF at the global and national level pointing out that football is more than a game, it is a culture.

“Together sport and development organizations can do many good things for youth” he said. Mr. Muraliev, the President of the National Football Federation expressed thanks to UNICEF for organizing trainings for coaches.

And Mr. Young, to conclude his speech, said: “We believe in the power of football, we believe that sport helps children – both boys and girls - not only to grow physically strong; it also helps to build the confidence and self-esteem that will serve them throughout their lives”.

For additional information, please contact: Galina Solodunova, UNICEF Communications Officer. Phone: (996 312) 611 211 (ext.139); 611 224...7, e-mail: [email protected]

July 14, 2004 UN Supports Country's Relief To People Affected By Landslides In The South.

A humanitarian shipment was delivered on 13 July 2004 to the Budalyk rural municipality in Alai district by the UN Liaison Office in Osh. That was the third delivery since the disaster occurred in spring earlier this year.

On 26 April 2004 the landslide killed 33 people in Kainama village and 64 families (397 people) became homeless.

UNDP, UNICEF, WHO, UNHCR and UNFPA responded immediately and provided emergency aid to the affected population.

UNOCHA had also provided emergency grant in the amount of 10 thousand US dollars to cover immediate needs of people.

Local residents were supplied with blankets, mattresses, metal ovens, hygienic kits, soap and detergents, folding beds, jerry cans and medicines.

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic decreed to resettle the residents of the affected village to a safe zone. Twelve families has already moved in new houses constructed at the government expense, while 43 families were given low-interest long-term loans and are building their homes themselves. Almost 70 percent of all houses are near completion.

The Ministry of Environment and Emergencies is working on infrastructure for new settlements. Temporary power lines are installed; a new road in Kyzyltal has been constructed to secure access for vehicles. By mid-August the residents of the new settlement will have access to potable water, the supply system for which is being mounted.

For additional information, please contact Ms. Ainura Alymbekova, UNDP National Programme Associate. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13; e-mail: [email protected]

July 13, 2004 Exhibition at UN House: History in Photographs

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of German UN membership, an exhibit is open at the UN House in Bishkek.

At the opening the guests were greeted by the heroes of the occasion and the organizers of the event: UN Resident Coordinator Jerzy Skuratowicz and German Ambassador Klaus Achenbach, as well as Kyrgyz Deputy Foreign Minister Erkin Mamkulov.

Jerzy Skuratowicz underlined that German membership in UN is a great event for both parties. Klaus Achenbach outlined historic landmarks of cooperation and added that his father was a member of the first German delegation at UN in 1973.

Erkin Mamkulov reminded the visitors that Germany was one of the first countries to recognise Kyrgyzstan's independence and to open its embassy here. Our cooperation is developing very dynamically, and many people in Kyrgyzstan know about the role of Germany in UN.

On 18 September 1973, a still divided Germany, an observer for many years, became a fully fledged UN member. Since that time it has been very active in this international organisation. Germany is the UN third largest donor, after the US (22 %) and Japan (19.6 %). In 2003 its contribution to the regular UN budget was 132 million dollars (9.8 %).

Germany is hosting headquarters of a number of UN agencies. Since 1996, when the Haus Carstanjen was turned to UN, Bonn has been known as a "UN City", when it accommodated twelve UN organisations. Besides, Hamburg hosts the International Tribunal for the Law of Sea and UNESCO Institute for Education, Frankfurt is the site for the Office of the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group, and Berlin hosts the Mission of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Since January 2003, Germany for a second time has been elected a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for a two-year term. Almost 145,000 German troops, 3,000-strong police force and 800 civilian experts has taking part in peacekeeping missions in Kampuchea, Somalia, Kuwait, Iraq, former Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan.

That and many more is what the exhibits tell the visitors about.

April 28, 2004 Investment Promotion: Joint Efforts of the Kyrgyz Government and the UN organizations.

A round table discussion on the UNIDO/UNDP Investment Promotion programme took place on April 28, 2004 in the “Pinara” Hotel in Bishkek. The meeting was conducted by the government of the Kyrgyz Republic with the support of the UNIDO and the UNDP in Kyrgyzstan. Among the 70 participants were the representatives of the Kyrgyz government and international organizations, the private sector and the mass media.

The conference aimed at discussing the ways of attracting foreign investment and the lessons learned throughout the UNIDO/UNDP Investment Promotion programme. The participants discussed the possibility of a single investment promotion agency establishing, based on the analysis of the current legal and institution setting in the country.

“It is important to keep in mind that the process of foreign investment attraction is closely related to national private sector development”, said Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator.

If we take a look at the amount of the FDI flow in the region, it is clear that the majority goes to Kazakhstan on utilization of the gas and oil sources. Kyrgyzstan has no significant natural resources, so in order to bring effectively FDI into the country, favorable conditions have to be created for the investors, which in the first place, implies establishment of the clear legislative frameworks and regulatory mechanisms”.

In the course of the programme, deep analysis has been done and recommendations have been made on accomplishment of the existing structure of controlling organs responsible for foreign investment attraction. All the findings have been presented to the participants of the meeting.

For additional information, please contact Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Relations Officer. Tel.: (0 996 312) 61-12-13. Fax: (0 996 312) 61-12-17. Email: [email protected]

April 24, 2004 Football coaches learn to communicate issues of HIV/AIDS prevention to young sportsmen

Fifty coaches of the Kyrgyz Football Federation from all over the Republic have participated in two day workshops on HIV/AIDS prevention among adolescents. The training was conducted by the Alliance for Reproductive Health with support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Kyrgyz Republic as part of the Young Football Players against Drugs and HIV/AIDS Campaign.

According to a baseline assessment, young football players consider their coaches to be a reliable source of information and a role model. The boys often seek from their coaches answers to difficult questions such as reproductive health and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, especially in remote areas and small communities where there is an intimidating lack of information.

The workshops included special sessions on communication techniques on sensitive issues, basic tools on drug addiction detection, community mobilization methods.

The trainers have managed to draw attention of the coaches to issues that were underestimated by them before.

At the closing, Mr. A. Ageev, Deputy General Secretary of the Kyrgyz Football Federation pointed out “We hail cooperation of this kind, as it contributes to harmonious development of coaches who directly work with children. It is of primary importance for coaches to be able to communicate to the young citizens of Kyrgyzstan the policy of the Republic on healthy life style in a simple and appropriate manner, and help children to realize their right on receiving information necessary for their healthy development.”

After these workshops, the coaches with assistance of young volunteers from the Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan and the Alliance for Reproductive Health plan to discuss HIV/AIDS issues and risky behaviors with young football players.

Contact: Richard Young, UNICEF Representative. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 24, 61 12 25; e-mail: [email protected]

April 20, 2004 Kyrgyz Passports for Tajik Refugees

In accordance with the Presidential Decree of the Kyrgyz Republic of 1 March 2004, 57 families of Tajik refugees, total of 126 persons were granted Kyrgyz citizenship.

On 14 April, at the solemn ceremony that took place in the Kyrgyz National Historical museum, the new citizens received their long awaited passports from the hands of Mr. Turdakun Usubaliev, Chairman of the Citizenship Commission under President’s Office, Mr. Bolot Januzakov, Deputy Head of President’s Administration, Mr. Ularbek Mateev, Vice Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic and other Government officials.

Since 2001, when the Presidential Decree on Measures for Assisting Ethnic Kyrgyz Returning to their Historical Motherland was signed, over 4300 refugees became full fledged citizens of Kyrgyzstan. However, it should be noted that for the big number of refugees who arrived from Tajikistan after adoption of the Tajik Constitution in 1994 and thus are citizens of the Tajik Republic, the procedure for acquisition of the Kyrgyz citizenship is more complicated as they first have to renounce their Tajik citizenship, and only after that apply for Kyrgyz citizenship.

In order to simplify this procedure, the governments of the two countries signed an agreement providing for simultaneous renunciation of Tajik citizenship and acquisition of Kyrgyz citizenship. This agreement was signed in July 2002 and entered into force after it was ratified by the parliaments of both countries late August 2003.

Regrettably, not even one citizenship case falling under this agreement was considered up to date, as the mechanism for its implementation had yet to be elaborated.

Currently, the Regulations on Implementation of this bilateral agreement are at the stage of approval by the Kyrgyz Government. If the agreement finally starts working, over 5,000 long standing refugees would be able to obtain Kyrgyz citizenship in foreseeable future.

For more information please contact: James Lynch, UNHCR Head of Office; or Gulzat Aitimbetova, PI Assistant. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 24, 61 12 25; e-mail: [email protected] or [email protected]

April 17, 2004 The UN Journalist Club: A Club Uniform Jacket? No! A Photo Camera and a Notebook…
By Jiapara Abdrakhmanova, UN Journalist Club Member (published in “The Internews” Newsletter on April 12, 2004)

“UN Journalist Club” has successfully functioned in Bishkek since last year. The representatives of the forth power of the Kyrgyz republic play the main role in the Media Forum launched under the blue banner of one of the most well-known organizations.

Creating of the journalist club was initiated by Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator in the Kyrgyz Republic. The novelty was very much welcomed by the local journalists. After all, the informal meetings with the journalists are presently attended by the heads of the UN agencies, government officials, parliament members, competent experts and the representatives of the non-governmental sector.

Thus, the new topics for discussions are born during the officious meetings and the hottest news as well as the most burning problems of the country are discussed. Besides the democratic framework of the club allows taking the opinions and suggestions of different journalists into account.

The UN Press-club has an extraordinary prehistory. More then 5 years ago, the UNDP office started to organize press trips for the local journalists to the remote regions of the country.

Every year, the mass-media troops together with the UNDP representatives travel across the distant regions of the republic studying the ways in which different programs on poverty alleviation, power decentralization, preventive development and ecology work in practice.

That is how the backbone of the brotherhood of writers and photographers, or in other words, something like creative teamwork was knit together. As the permanent participants of such trips often joke, they have gained such a deep insight into the UN programs, that each of them could be considered a prepared expert in the field of human development.

The number of the UN Journalist Club members has recently increased up to 50. According to Ms. Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer, the Journalist Club doors are open for everybody. “Some people falsely believe that the UN Journalist Club is an elite institution inaccessible for the rest of the journalists. It is totally wrong. Our journalist forum can be visited by all, who wish”, declares Olga Grebennikova.

Thanks to the UN Officers, club visitors can get any information they are interested in at first hand or broaden their knowledge at specially organized training workshops and seminars.

In addition, the representatives of the fourth power can get all the necessary information at the UN Library, which is equipped with modern computer technologies and permanent internet access. For, as correctly observed by one of the forum guests, there is no influence over public opinion stronger then that of a knowledgeable journalist.

During the short history of existence, the club members have studied the problem of the HIV/AIDS infection in the republic; they have also discussed modern aspects of gender development in Kyrgyzstan and even have managed to conduct the training workshops on Functional Analysis of Public Administration and Information-Communication Technologies. And this is just the beginning.

The activists of the club are planning another press-trip to Naryn province in the nearest future. To the reporters’ opinion, this region was undeservedly deprived of the attention of government and republic mass media. After all, it is already since 1998 that the Naryn people have sowed and plowed to build a new life with the support of the UN programs. The readers will soon learn about the degree of their success through the stories told by the same untiring fellowship of journalists.

For additional information, please contact Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Relations Officer. Tel.: (0 996 312) 61-12-13. Fax: (0 996 312) 61-12-17. Email: [email protected]

April 07, 2004 Salt producers strengthen their role and commitment in prevention of iodine deficiency diseases in t

On April 7, at a regular meeting of the Kyrgyz Salt Association, the Chair of the Association Mr. Eshaliev and the UNICEF Representative Mr. Richard Young signed an agreement on supporting centralized procurement of potassium iodate necessary to iodize salt.

Mr. Richard Young thanked salt producers for their commitment in improving the situation in Kyrgyzstan where a large proportion of children suffer from iodine deficiency that causes irreversible mental retardation, lowers IQ and undermines social and economic progress of the nation. A 2003 Survey conducted by the Ministry of Health showed that, though 72% of population consume iodized salt, only 40% of that salt is adequately iodized. This puts more than 80 % of population at risk to iodine deficiency diseases.

After signing official documents, members of the Association, UNICEF and ADB representatives discussed the situation and future plans. All the participants stressed that import of technical salt that is often packed as food salt and inadequate quality of iodized salt are the main challenges. To fight smuggling and falsification requires a multisectoral approach and makes iodization of salt a public issue.

Mr. Eshaliev hailed a recent decision of the President of the Kyrgyz Republic to establish a National Fortification Alliance (NFA) that brings together Government, health, education, industry, customs sectors and international organizations. The participants shared their visions on how to improve the situation and will make recommendations to the NFA.

At the end of the meeting, UNICEF and ADB representatives expressed the commitment of their respective organizations to continue supporting efforts to improve the quality of iodized salt and to promote healthy food to ensure that children in Kyrgyzstan develop to their full potential, progress in learning and have the best start in their lives.

Contact: Richard Young, UNICEF Representative. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 24, 61 12 25; e-mail: [email protected]

March 16, 2004 Handing Out of Medical Equipment

Handing out of medical equipment within the frameworks of project “Improvement of Community Reproductive Health Services in the northern regions of Kyrgyzstan”

On March 16, 2004, at the UN House, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) jointly with the representatives of the Embassy of Japan in Kyrgyzstan, within frameworks of project “Improvement of Community Reproductive Health Services in the northern regions of Kyrgyzstan” handed out the medical equipment to the Family and Marriage Consultations Room under Chui Family Medicine Center and Chui Crisis Center.

The Government of Japan within the frameworks of UN Human Security Trust Fund finances the project, which was officially signed in 2003 for 3 years of duration and is jointly implemented by UNFPA, the Government of Kyrgyzstan (the Ministry of Health) and Kyrgyz Family Planning Alliance.

The project aims to improve the reproductive health status of women, men, and adolescents in Northern Kyrgyzstan through improved community health care services, which a focus made on vulnerable groups (families living under the poverty line in mountainous and remote areas, families with large number of children, internally displaced persons, youth).

It will allow building the capacity of the national Social Patronage System (SPS) to deliver reproductive health services and to provide information on HIV/AIDS/STI prevention and family planning. Within the frameworks of the project, establishment of crisis centres in all northern provinces to provide consultation and information to vulnerable groups of population in the area of HIV/AIDS/STI prevention, reproductive and sexual health issues will be supported.

One of important components that will allow reaching the goal and purpose of the project is the technical equipment of institutions that provide reproductive health and family planning services. Medical equipment is envisaged for all northern provinces: Chui, Naryn, Issyk Kul and Talas.

Medical equipment planned for Chui Family and Marriage Consultation Room includes high-density ultra sound scanner, examination gyn, instrument trolleys, chairs adjustable, midwifery kits for Social Patronage Workers, IUD insertion kits, sterilizer and light examination mobile. Examination table gyn, IUD insertion kit, sterilizer will be handed out to crisis centre of Chui province, which was established on the basis of Kyrgyz Family Planning Alliance. Total amount of medical equipment is USD 9,727.00.

Handing out of medical equipment to Family and Marriage Consultation Room under Naryn Family Medicine Centre and Issyk Kul Human Reproduction Centre is to be held by the end of 2004.

For additional information, please contact Alexander Ilyin, UNFPA Assistant Representative. Phone: (0 996 312) 61-12-02. Fax: (0 996 312) 61-12-04. Email: [email protected]

March 11, 2004 RT dedicated to the Capacity of High Schools in realization of Millennium Development Goals

On March 11, 2004 the Round Table discussion “Potential of the High School in realization of Millennium Development Goals, Comprehensive Development Framework and National Poverty Reduction Strategy” organized by the CDF Secretariat under the Presidential Administration of the Kyrgyz Republic brought together rectors of all Kyrgyz Universities, leaders of student’s associations, non-governmental and international organizations and mass media. The fact that the event took place at the Presidential Residence in Bishkek suburb was not the only sign for the eminence the government attributes to these issues.

“High Schools shouldn’t be behind the developmental process but lead the process, considering current tendencies of development and future demands of the society. Thus in realization of national development strategies high schools should play key role”, Ms. Ishengul Boljurova, Minister of Education of the Kyrgyz Republic said.

The main goal of the Round table was to discuss the role high school should play in country’s development, involvement of students into the process of MDGs/CDF/NPRS realization, as well as how scientific and practical capacities Universities can be used for successful achievement of those developmental goals prioritized by the country.

“Since 2004 was officially announced as the Year of Social Mobilization and Good Governance, - said Ms. Boljurova, - the exclusive task was put on the system of education in achievement of MDGs/CDF/NPRS goals.

“High schools in Kyrgyzstan have a solid capacity and could actively stimulate developmental processes in the country, said at the meeting Mr. Leonid Komarover, UNDP Policy Advisor. Universities should become intellectual developmental centers, especially in the provinces”.

Mr. Roman Mogilevski, leader of the team of National experts who with support of the UN system in Kyrgyzstan worked out the National MDG Report presented the report to high school decision makers during the Round Table.

As it was discussed during the Round Table, that the activities to raise awareness in Kyrgyz Universities on National development strategies should continue and MDGs/CDF/NPRS should be included into the curriculum of high schools in Kyrgyzstan starting next year. It was also proposed to develop a work plan in order to address those issues discussed during the Round Table.

For additional Information, please contact Narynbek Junushev at the CDF Secretariat under the Presidential Administration. Tel.: (0 996 312) 69-05-00. Email: [email protected]

March 11, 2004 World Bank Provided a Distance Learning Course to Train Specialists in Promoting Reforms

Building understanding and consensus among a broad range of stakeholders is critical to the success of public sector reforms.

In recognition of this, the World Bank has launched a new Global Distance Learning Network (GDLN) program on “Communicating Reform: the Missing Link” for policymakers, development specialists, government officials, civil society representatives and mass media professionals.

From 4 February to 11 March 2004, this course was provided for specialists from Central Asia via a series of videoconferences with their colleagues from Washington, D.C. and countries of Eastern Europe.

About 30 participants from the Kyrgyz Republic have learned from international experience and debated with each other the value and use of strategic communication in implementing politically difficult or controversial reforms.

“Let me thank the World Bank for such an interesting and useful course. Hopefully, you will invite us to participate in initiatives of this kind in the future” – said Elena Avdeeva of newspaper “Vecherni Bishkek” at the ceremony of awarding the course certificates.

“I think we will be able to apply in practice the received knowledge and skills” – noted Kayrilla Ismailov of the Social Fund of the Kyrgyz Republic.

For additional information, please contact Chris Lovelace, WB Country Manager. Tel.: (0 996 312) 61-06-50. Fax: (0 996 312) 61-03-56. Email: [email protected]

February 18, 2004 An issue of competence on HIV/AIDS among the UN staff in Kyrgyzstan

What would you do if you get infected with HIV or if this happens to your colleague or your beloved family member? In Kyrgyzstan with estimated more than 5000 HIV-positive people, the threat of being infected has already stepped beyond risk-groups of drugs abusers or sex workers. Today, we are all at risk. To protect oneself means adopting appropriate attitudes and behaviours.

Often, this requires change, which is not an easy thing since we are all influenced by centuries-long customs and stereotypes. Though the UN Agencies have been at the forefront of battling the epidemic for two decades, still global learning needs assessments show that only 51% of the UN staff self-reported to be ready to live and work with people who HIV-positive. Two thirds of respondents do not know where to turn for best possible treatment and counselling. Many people within the UN System still consider HIV be an issue of shame, remain shy of openly talking about it, and prefer to silence their inner fears and concerns.

An issue of competence on HIV/AIDS among the UN staff in Kyrgyzstan was on agenda of the meeting of Heads of UN Agencies in Kyrgyzstan on 18 February 2004. Jerzy Skuratowicz, the UN Resident Coordinator in KR, stressed that it is of primary importance to ensure that all the staff have basic knowledge to protect themselves, learn to speak about difficult issues and support a non-discriminating environment in the workplace. The UN staff ought to be models for changing attitudes towards HIV and infected people.

With this in mind, a learning plan is to be developed for the UN staff in Kyrgyzstan. It aims to empower the staff and their families, build a supportive and compassionate environment, and in the long run, to be one of UN contributions to overall national efforts towards achieving the UN’s Millennium Development Goal on reversing the spread of HIV/AIDS in the world.

“This experience might also serve as an example to follow for heads of the Government Agencies and non-governmental organizations in KR” added Richard Young, the Chair of the UN HIV/AIDS Theme Group. Throughout the world many companies make efforts to raise the competence of their staff on HIV/AIDS recognizing that the HIV/AIDS epidemic is a serious threat to productivity and profitability of their work. HIV is not only a social but also a development and business issue for all of us.

Contact: Richard Young, Resident Representative. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 24, 61 12 25; e-mail: [email protected]

February 16, 2004 The meeting of the UN Journalist Club took place in Bishkek

The focus theme for the meeting was gender equality and the UN agencies' activities to empower women in Kyrgyzstan. UNICEF was hosting the meeting this time.

Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator in his welcoming address said that the UN Family in Kyrgyzstan puts lots of strengths to support efforts of national institutions in achieving fair gender balance in the country. The UN Thematic Group on Gender was established aimed at coordination of activities; a lot of activities undertaken by all UN Agencies aimed at providing assistance to the country in achieving the third goal in MDGs.

That is why, especially on the eve of the International Women’s Day it was important to initiate a debate in Kyrgyz society on this issue since the role of journalists in this discussion couldn’t be over estimated.

Invited guests for the Club meeting were Ms. Aigul Kangeldieva, Executive Secretary of the National Council on Women, Family and Gender Development under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Ms. Toktokan Borombaeva, Deputy of the Kyrgyz Parliament, Ms. Bonnie Bernstrom, Sprangbradan, Sweden, Mr. Goran Wimmerstrom, consultant of SIDA/UNDP/Kyrgyz Government project “Gender in Politics in the Kyrgyz Republic” and Ms. Altyn Djanyshbaeva, businesswoman from a rural area of Chui valley.

Ms. Kangeldieva and Ms. Borombaeva briefed members of the Club both on the official report made by the Kyrgyz Government and alternative report, prepared by non-governmental organizations represented to the meeting of the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in New York recently.

“Much is being done to improve the status and rights of Kyrgyz women, - said Ms. Kangeldieva at the meeting. But much more is still ahead of us. We have to work together with our partners, civil society and media in order to achieve such situation in the country when men and women could equally participate in the decision making process.”

Ms. Borombaeva highlighted that with support of UNDP and other international agencies progress was achieved in changing of men – members of Kyrgyz Parliament gender stereotypes. In the result legislative foundation for gender equality have been firmly established.

A lively and friendly discussion of the current situation in the area of gender ensued. It included discussion on gender stereotypes and eastern mentality of Kyrgyz society, its customs and traditions.

Not only was the topic of gender in the focus of the Club members, but the journalists, invited guests of the Club and heads of UN Agencies discussed principles and roles of democracy and parliamentarism in the development of the society, education system in Kyrgyzstan and worsening situation in the country with girl’s access to primary education, especially in provinces, as well as rights of women for all kind of property including land.

A lot of attention was paid to current situation with women in prisons, women’s traffic and problems in the area of official and illegal labor migration.

Ms. Bonnie Bernstrom, from the Swedish NGO Sprangbradan who was in Bishkek with a mission to launch the SIDA, UNDP and Kyrgyz Government project “Gender in Politics in the Kyrgyz Republic” also actively participated in the discussion of the UN Journalist Club and answered a lot of questions by Kyrgyz journalists.

Note: The UN Journalist Club was officially launched in October 2003, on the eve of the UN Day celebration in Kyrgyzstan. The main goal of the Club was to build a firm platform for friendly, unofficial discussion of the most important areas of development, UN contribution and partnership on the way of MDGs achievement in Kyrgyzstan.

Up to date there are more than fifty journalists represent actually all Kyrgyz media and national stringers of the international news agencies are enjoy their memberships in the Club.

For additional information please contact Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Relations Officer. Tel.: (0 996) 312 61-12-13. Fax: (0 996) 312 61-12-17. Email: [email protected]

February 14, 2004 UNIFEM Supports Evaluation of Gender Dimension of the Land Reform in Kyrgyzstan

On 12 – 13 March 2004, the government of Kyrgyzstan held an international conference devoted to the evaluation of the first decade of the land and agrarian reform in the republic.

UNIFEM hosted The Gender Dimension of the Land Reform working section within the conference with the aim to discuss the impact of the land reform on the economic situation of women and strategies for full realization of women’s economic rights in the further course of the reform.

The gender section summoned together MPs, representatives of the ministry of agriculture, national statistical agency, heads of district and local administrations, women and men farmers and NGOs, in total over 80 persons. “For the first time in my life I see an obvious majority of men present at a gender-theme meeting and this gives me big hope men will understand women’s problems and help”, said Gulnara Baimambetova, manager of UNIFEM project on women’s land rights in Kyrgyzstan and head of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Kyrgyzstan.

Access to land resources is critically vital in the country where 80% of the territory is covered with mountains while two thirds of the population lives in the rural areas. Kyrgyzstan has been a pioneer in the region in land privatization and general liberalization of economy. It is the only country so far in the CIS to have conducted a nationwide agricultural census after the independence. According to census data, the share of women in agriculture has dropped from 64% in 1999 to 43% in 2003. Women head 12% of all households and are consistently among the poorest. Women-headed households account for only 8% of total farmland distributed for private use. The average size of a farmland plot held by a household in Kyrgyzstan is 3.8 hectares while for women-headed household this figure is only 2.5 hectares.

Gender section participants expressed concerns women have not been gaining adequately from the land reform in Kyrgyzstan. Some of the cited reasons are low awareness of rural women of their property rights and land related procedures; dominance of stereotypes discriminating women in land and property ownership and use; flaws in land and civil legislation and policies; and prejudiced attitude of land distributing agencies.

As a result of the gender section work, participants issued a statement with recommendations for the government to take into account in further planning and realization of the reform. In particular, the participants highlighted the need for further development of gender disaggregated statistics and statistical surveys in rural areas, more responsibility and involvement of local authorities and further improvement of legislation and policies, such as increase of women's access to credits and other agricultural resources, etc (please see the full text of the statement in Russian on

The statement was submitted to the organizing committee for further incorporating into the common resolution of the conference. Damira Sartbaeva, UNIFEM CIS Regional Programme Director, voiced the main points of the statement during her speech at the conference general plenary meeting, which was attended by the President of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akaev and Prime Minister Nikolay Tanaev.

Since 2002, UNIFEM has been using the land reform as an entry point through its project “Strengthening economic security of women in the course of the land reform in Kyrgyzstan”. The first phase of the project focused on providing legal counseling for rural women and men on their land and property rights through offices all over the country, and a nationwide information campaign. The analysis of cases handled by project legal offices allowed to draft amendments to the articles of the Land Code that discriminate women’s land rights and are in discord with the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). The amendments have already been approved by the Lower Chamber of the Kyrgyz Parliament.

Significant achievements of the first phase of the project enabled UNIFEM to attract funds of the Norway government in the amount of one million euro for its continuation. In the second phase of its project, UNIFEM will continue strengthen economic security of rural women by training them in farming, cattle breeding, marketing of agricultural produce etc. Other strategies include further engendering of the national legislation and social mobilization in the form of gender budgeting.

UNIFEM efforts in the country have consistently enjoyed the government’s interest and support. The day before the land conference, UNIFEM project staff was invited for an exclusive meeting with Prime Minister Nikolay Tanaev, who showed deep knowledge of the project activities and pledged further support.

December 17, 2003 UNDAF Presentation to the President

Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic, together with the UN Country Team, including the Bretton Wood Institutions, presented a draft of the First UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) to the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Askar Akaev, this Monday, 15 December 2003, in the Government House. The meeting was attended by the UN Agencies Heads – Richard Young, UNICEF Resident Representative; James Lynch, UNHCR Head of Office; Mr. Chris Lovelace, the World Bank Resident Representative and others. The document prepared jointly by all the United Nations agencies accredited in the country, together with the national partners, was presented at the highest level to discuss it and get feedback from the Government partners. The Kyrgyz Prime Minister and other high-level government officials were also present.

Such a meeting of the President with all the UN agencies heads was held for the first time, as well as for the first time the coordinated action plan of all UN agencies has been consolidated into one document.

UNDAF for 2005-2010 is a joint document of the Government and the United Nations, which provides a collective, coherent and integrated United Nations System response to national priorities and needs, including the National Poverty Reduction Strategy (NPRS) and the Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF).

In his presentation, Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, explained that the UNDAF is an organic component of the efforts on UN Reform, undertaken by the Secretary-General since 1997. Now, the UN System worldwide has begun a coherent and integrated process of joint programming. It would be further improved as a result of harmonization and simplification, which will not only lead to cutting administrative costs associated with the UN assistance, but also would enhance an overall impact on the social and economic development of the country.

UNDAF for Kyrgyzstan is based on the Common Country Assessment (CCA) and the first National MDG Report and is the result of the consultative process of all UN agencies with partners from government structures and a non-government sector. The Resident Coordinator named three areas in which the UNCT will work under the UNDAF: poverty reduction, good governance and HIV/AIDS prevention.

President Akayev called the draft UNDAF a very good and important document aimed at "achieving more with limited resources." He urged the Government to actively participate not only in finalization of the UNDAF document, but also in monitoring and evaluation of the implementation. The President has requested that the Office of Prime Minister identify focal points to work together with the UNCT on the entire UNDAF process.

October 20, 2003 UN Journalist Club launched in Kyrgyzstan on 20 October in Bishkek

More than forty journalists representing the major Kyrgyz media, Russian and international news agencies expressed their interest to participate in regular UN Journalist Club meetings.

“I am glad to see that so many Kyrgyz journalists are interested in the UN activity and supported our initiative to establish the UN Journalist Club”, said Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator in his welcoming address. “I am sure that the Club will play a significant role in popularizing the UN mission in Kyrgyzstan”, he added.

UN Resident Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan also highlighted that the focus of the UN Week in Kyrgyzstan is Millennium Development Goals. Then he described each UN Agency’s input into the process on the path of MDG achieving and added that MDG could be achieved in the country only if the entire Kyrgyz society would participate in a debate on the issues of development and efforts of the Kyrgyz Government, civil society and international donors would be well coordinated. “That is why the role and input of mass media in this process cannot be overestimated, he reiterated.

Heads of UN Agencies making their addresses to the participants of the UN Journalist Club meeting pointed out that success of the United Nations presence much depends on the support from the Kyrgyz society and mass media plays a significant role in this area.

“We are enjoying our relations with media, noted James Lynch, Head of the UNHCR Mission in Kyrgyzstan. We’ll support your initiatives and provide you with any kind of information you need in order to strengthen our link.”

The next meeting of the Club is foreseen for 21 November 2003.

With the opening of the MDGs Photo Exhibition in the Kyrgyz Russian Slavonic University today 16 October the United Nations Family and the UN Association of the Kyrgyz Republic opened the UN Week in Kyrgyzstan. In 2003, all events planned including the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and UN Day itself are conducted within the Millennium Development Goals Promotion Campaign in Kyrgyzstan. Besides the Photo Exhibition, the programme includes a contest among students in all Kyrgyz Universities for the best essay on MDGs, a Student Conference in Bishkek, a launch of the UN Journalist Club, a publication of the UN “Dialogue” magazine and Children Booklet on MDGs, a set of radio programmes on MDGs produced by young journalists and set of publication in National press. The culmination of the UN Week will be the first National MDG Report Launch on 24 October. More than 800 guests including Government officials, representatives of NGOs, academia, international and diplomatic organizations, students and children are invited to see a theatric performance and to share common values and hopes in achieving of MDGs in Kyrgyzstan. Prepared in close partnership with broad specter of partners, including the CDF Secretariat, academia, MDG ambassadors, culture and art circles, the Launch will help to start up the dialogue in Kyrgyz society on progress done in achieving the MDGs, as well as constrains and challenges to overcome on this path.
September 26, 2003 UNICEF Workshop in Naryn

In Naryn, leaders of local children related NGOs and representatives of Children’s Resource Group supported by Save the Children (UK) discussed how NGOs could facilitate children’s participation in decision making processes and join their efforts to make their work more effective. The workshop was supported by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Save the Children (UK). At the round table, adults and children reviewed the commitments adopted by the Kyrgyz Republic by ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1994) and signing to the Final Document of the UN Special Session on Children “Word Fit for Children” (2002).

The children performed anecdotes on how a child in Naryn Oblast realizes the right to express his/her opinion. The participants analyzed the cases. They concluded that compulsory education and family environment create bases for developing children’s participation. However, parents do not give enough attention to a child and his/her schooling, domestic problems, lack of entertainment and a number of other factors become barriers to effective participation.

The participants unanimously agreed that joint efforts and partnerships of NGOs would provide an important approach to implementation of children’s rights. A healthy child who does not attend school or cannot express him/herself, won’t attain full potential. No individual NGO can address all the aspects of a child’s development. Effectiveness of their work lies in close partnership with others and mobilization of joint resources.

The participants, who represented 16 out of 22 NGOs working with children in Naryn Oblast, proposed to create an Oblast Network and developed strategic goals for five years:

- to reduce the number of children who do not attend school,

- to reduce the number of street children (mainly in Naryn town)

- to educate adults and children on children’s rights and other pressing issues like prevention of the spread of HIV infection.

In conclusion, the participating NGOs reaffirmed their commitment to work together with the Government, international organizations and children towards a better future for children. Similar workshops will take place in all other Oblasts of the Kyrgyz Republic.

September 05, 2003 Visit of the UNHCR Regional Director

The UNHCR Director of CASWANAME (Central Asia, South West Asia, Northern Africa and Middle East) Bureau, Mr. Ekber Menemencioglu, visited Kyrgyzstan on 29-30 August. Undoubtedly, the two major highlights of Mr. Menemencioglu’s visit were the citizenship ceremony for former refugees and the meeting with the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Askar Akaev. During the meeting, President Akaev praised the work of UNHCR and stressed that the Kyrgyz Republic had been able to make progress in the areas of legislation, citizenship as well as the protection of refugees with considerable support from UNHCR. He thanked UNHCR again for its assistance and expressed the hope for further co-operation between the UNHCR and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. On behalf of the High Commissioner, Mr. Menemencioglu expressed gratitude to President Akaev for his innovative approach to asylum practices and for his personal commitment to find lasting humanitarian solutions for refugees.

The citizenship ceremony was held on the two year anniversary of the President’s Decree on Measures for Providing Assistance to Ethnic Kyrgyz who are Returning to their Historical Motherland. This remarkable Decree, signed on 29 August 2001, significantly facilitated the procedure of Kyrgyz citizenship acquisition for some of the thousands of ethnic Kyrgyz who fled from Tajikistan during the civil war of 1992-1996. At present there are more than 3,500 ethnic Kyrgyz, former Tajik refugees, who have become fully fledged citizens of the Kyrgyz Republic owing to the joint efforts of the Kyrgyz Government, various NGOs and UNHCR.

Granting citizenship or naturalization by the country of first asylum is a rare phenomenon in the world practice, and Kyrgyzstan in this sense is an exceptionally progressive country. Mr. Menemencioglu thanked the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic for developing and adopting such policies and practices, which have provided an enabling environment for refugees to settle. The Director also thanked the people of Kyrgyzstan for their warm welcome they gave to the refugees, and for making them feel at home when they were forced to flee their country. The Director emphasized that Kyrgyzstan’s progressive approach towards refugees was extraordinary; only developed and industrialized countries such as USA, Australia, Canada and European countries, have provided naturalization of refugees.

During his visit to Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Menemencioglu have also met with various Government officials, including Mr. Osmonov, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Aitmatov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Subanbekov, the Minister of Interior, and Lieutenant General Sadiev, Chairman of the Border Guard Service. He also met the representatives of the International community, including Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan.

August 29, 2003 Refugees Repartriation to Tajikistan

On 23 and 25 August, over 20 Tajik refugees, mainly women with their children (four families), who expressed their willingness to return to Tajikistan departed from Bishkek. UNHCR provided free and safe air transportation for returnees and their belongings to Dushanbe and issued them small repatriation grants. UNHCR office in Dushanbe monitored arrival of returnees at the airport.

UNHCR co-ordinates voluntary repatriation of Tajik refugees with assistance of the Department of Migration Services under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic. Since a peace agreement in Tajikistan was reached in June 1997, UNHCR has facilitated the voluntary repatriation of more than 5,000 mainly ethnic Tajik refugees to Tajikistan. While most refugees who wish to return have already done so, it is expected that up to 70 refugees will elect to return to Tajikistan in late 2003.

In addition, eight families of Chechen asylum seekers have been assisted to return back to Chechnya on 25 August. Noteworthy, while the situation in some parts of Chechnya still remains critical, UNHCR Office in Bishkek receives many applications from Chechen asylum seekers who wish to go back to Chechnya. It is expected that another 50 asylum seekers will choose to return to Chechnya by the end of this year.

August 25, 2003 The World Bank supports the Kyrgyz National Statistical System

The World Bank, as administrator of the multi-donor Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building, made a grant in the amount of US$ 279,600 to the Kyrgyz Republic for strengthening organizational structure and statistical capacity of the national statistical system.

The grant is made in response to the request of the Kyrgyz Republic to assist the National Statistical Committee (NSC) to (i) modernize the organizational structure of the statistical system including information technology; (ii) adopt new techniques and methodologies to produce quality statistics; (iii) improve the link between the users of data and the NSC in order to enhance the efficiency of the data collection process.

The World Bank has previously provided assistance to the NSC within investment projects and by providing grant funds.

August 22, 2003 Mission of the Nordic World Heritage Foundation

Kyrgyzstan joined the World Heritage Fund in 1999. Kyrgyzstan has been implementing the UNESCO World Heritage Convention during a number of years. Kyrgyz National Commission for UNESCO submitted the Tentative List of 6 cultural sites to be considered for inscription in the World Heritage List: the Issyk-Kul natual-cultural landscape, Saimaly-Tash Petroglyphs, Sulaiman-Too natural-cultural landscape, Shakh-Fazil architectural monument, Uzghen historical-architectural complex, Burana Tower.

Within the framework of cooperation with the World Heritage Centre, on 19 August 2003 in Kyrgyzstan came on official mission Ms. Synnove Vinsrygg, Deputy Director of the Nordic World Heritage Foundation, and Mr. Ulf Bertilsson, Senior Project Co-ordinator, Swedish National Heritage Board. They will visit the Sulaiman-Too cultural-natural site and will extend their assistance in preparation of the nomination dossier for Sulaiman-Too to be submitted for inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

August 21, 2003 Technical support in developing Kyrgyz Children’s Code

On 21 August 2003, Mr. Richard Young, UNICEF Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic, handed over two computers to the Deputy Minister of Justice Mr. E. Mamyrov to facilitate the work on the development of the Kyrgyz Children’s Code.

Mr. Richard Young stressed the importance of the new Children’s Code in promoting and protecting children’s rights. The Children’s Code is believed to help further improve legislation related to protection of rights of children, especially vulnerable groups and children in conflict with law, to strengthen comprehensive child care and education system reform, to reduce a number of street children and number of crimes committed by adolescents.

Development of the Children’s Code was started in September last year as part of the State Programme on Relalization of the Children’s Rights “New Generation” and the National Strategy on Poverty reducation by joint efforts of governmental, non-governmental, and international organizations. International organizations are widely supporting participation of young people in the development process.

Protection of children is one of the main priorities of UNICEF in Kyrgyzstan and all over the world. Richard Young confirmed UNICEF’s commitment to continue providing technical assistance, sustaining capacity building activities for child friendly law enforcement and facilitating children’s participation in discussions. In a week, the Ministry of Justice will receive some more equipment, and later this year, UNICEF plans to support round table discussions with participation of children prisoners.

August 20, 2003 • The UN family in the Kyrgyz Republic expresses deep sorrow following deaths of the UN colleagues i

The UN staff in the Kyrgyz Republic expresses deep sorrow following the deaths and injuries of UN staff caused by the attack on UN Headquarters in Baghdad earlier this week.

On 20 August, at a joint UN staff meeting in Bishkek, Richard Young, UN Resident Coordinator a. i. and UNICEF Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic condemned the despicable attack against the UN and humanity. In a hall of deep silence with flags lowered to half mast, the UN family grieved for the international staff and Iraqi people killed and expressed most sincere sympathy and condolences to their loved ones.

It is still not known how many UN staff perished in this bombing. Currently, it is said to be 23 people. What we do know is that the United Nations lost some of its most outstanding public servants who were working hard in supporting the Iraqi people to reconstruct their country and regain control of their own destiny. Among them was Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top United Nations envoy in Iraq and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The UNICEF Programme Coordinator in Iraq, Mr. Christopher Klein-Beekman, was also killed.

Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, a Brazilian, had worked with the UN for more than 30 years, particularly in negotiating peacekeeping and nation-building in difficult situations, such as Kosovo and East Timor. In his statement, Mr. Annan said Mr Vieira de Mello impressed everyone with “his charm, his energy, and his ability to get things done – not by force but by diplomacy and persuasion”. Mr Annan remarked that Mr de Mello’s death is a bitter blow to him personally, to the UN in general and to humanity. He urged that the perpetrators of this heinous crime be brought to justice.

Mr. Christopher Klein-Beekman, a Canadian aged 32, held a senior position in Iraq and was Officer-in-Charge for UNICEF at the time of his death. His colleagues knew Chris as an energetic, incredibly talented young man who made a huge impact in Iraq in a difficult time.

All those who wish to express condolences can do so by writing to the Online Condolence Book opened for UN Special Representative Sergio Vieira de Mello and other UN staff killed in Baghdad through site. The UN House in Bishkek has also opened a condolence book which is available in the reception area.

August 20, 2003 "International and National Measures of Control over Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Pre

The seminar was held in Almaty on 11 – 15 August 2003, organized jointly by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) and the UN ODC/Regional Office for Central Asia. Licit Drug Control Specialists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russian Federation participated in the seminar. Among participants there were also representatives of the UN ODC: Senior Legal Adviser, Regional Project Coordinator and National Project Officers from four Central Asian countries and Kazakhstan. Deputy Secretary of INCB, Head of the INCB Narcotics Control Department and Specialist of INCB Psychotropic substances Control Department represented the International Narcotics Control Board.

Three main subjects were discussed within the framework of the seminar:

1. International control over precursors;

2. International systems of narcotics control;

3. Harmonization of Legal, Administrative measures of control over narcotics in the Central Asian countries.

It has been agreed that Central Asia and Russia will further deepen and strengthen the regional cooperation in the field as well as enforce the UN anti-narcotics conventions and improve the international reporting systems.

August 20, 2003 The press conference dedicated to the recently founded Kyrgyz Drug Control Agency was held on 19 Aug

The Program Coordinator of the UN ODC Regional Office for Central Asia, Roberto Arbitrio and the UN ODC National Project Officer on Drugs and Crime, Baktiar Mambetov, told journalists about the aims of establishing the Agency and the first steps of its activity.

Kyrgyzstan has its own raw material basis - tens of thousands of hectares of wild growing hemp and ephedera. According to official data, about 6,000 drug addicts have been registered in our country, but their actual number is 10-15 times as many.

Founding the Agency, - a mobile and highly professional structure having modern equipment, cars and financial base - became a necessity.

Another reason for establishing the Agency for Drug Control is the fact that the countries of Central Asia are often chosen as trafficking routes for drugs from Afghanistan. It is also forecasted that a large crop of opium poppy may be collected this year in Afghanistan.

For the last two months the Agency has been holding job interviews on a competitive basis. 64 people applied for 9 vacancies. To ensure transparency and international standards when selecting employees, the representatives of the UN ODC and the USA were invited to take part in the selection panel. The second phase of DCA staff recruitment is in progress at the moment.

August 15, 2003 IFC Vice President to Visit Kyrgyzstan

Ms. Farida Khambata, Vice President, Portfolio & Risk Management, International Finance Corporation (IFC) will visit the Kyrgyz Republic on August 18-19, 2003, as part of her official visit to the Central Asia Region. During the visit, she will be accompanied by Mr. Khosrow Zamani, Director of Southern Europe and Central Asia Department, IFC, Mr. Gorton De Mond, IFC Regional Representative for Central Asia, Mr. Vincent Rague, Manager, IFC SME Department and Ms. Gulnura Djuzenova, IFC Country Officer in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The purpose of this visit is to discuss IFC program and investment projects with relevant government officials and private sector representatives. During her visit Ms. Khambata will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Otorbaev, Minister of Finance Abildaev, Chairman of the National Bank Ulan Sarbanov, other government authorities, as well as representatives of local commercial banks and financial companies.

Note: IFC is the private arm of the World Bank Group. IFC promotes sustainable private sector investment in developing countries as a way to promote growth and reduce poverty. The Kyrgyz Republic joined IFC in 1992.

August 15, 2003 Sixty Tajik Refugees Receive Kyrgyz Citizenship

Sixty ethnic Kyrgyz refugees from Tajikistan received Kyrgyz citizenship at the ceremony that took place in Vinogradnoye village (Chuy oblast) on 7 of August.

The ceremony commenced with representatives of local authorities, deputy head of MIA Department for Passport and Visa Regime, Mr. Tairbek Kojonazarov, and UNHCR Chief of Mission in Bishkek, Mr. James Lynch, who addressed new citizens and presented long-awaited passports.

In their speeches, the local authorities congratulated the new citizens and underscored the input of the refugees into the local society through their hard work and the strong desire to become a fully-fledged member of the community. Mr. James Lynch, in his turn, praised the work of UNHCR's implementing partners and the good cooperation between UNHCR and the various government agencies in assisting Tajik refugees to obtain citizenship of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Ms. Etta Toure and Mr. Marc Meznar, officials of the US State Department Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM) on mission to Kyrgyzstan also attended the ceremony. The main purpose of their mission to the countries of Central Asia was to discuss the issue of humanitarian assistance to refugees and internally displaced persons with Government officials, international organizations and local NGOs. However, addressing the new citizens at the ceremony, BPRM representatives admitted that such an event became one of the major highlights of their trip, since it was the first time they could witness granting national passports to former refugees, and stressed that such durable solutions for refugees are difficult to achieve in other countries.

August 15, 2003 Workshop on Management and Planning

On August 12-15, the UN Common Premises hosts the second Workshop on Management and Planning organized for 25 members of the Resource Group from Jumgalski and Ak-Talinski Rayons of Naryn Oblast under UNICEF Project on Community Based Education Management Information System (C-EMIS).

The Resource Group consists of representatives of Akimiats, Rayon Education Departments, school principles, teachers and community members. They are volunteers who facilitate involvement of the community in the collection of information about all children in their community, identification of reasons for school non-attendance, and recommend development programmes that would ensure that all the children receive basic education.

The Workshop is designed to provide a deeper insight of the C-EMIS Concept and develop managerial skills. For the participants, it is also an opportunity to strengthen the team spirit.

The C-EMIS Project has been extended to 22 villages. In some villages, community volunteers including young people identify children of school age who have never attended school, nor have been registered. Together, parents and the community are now discussing ways to solve problems: some children do not have cloths to go to school; some children are just busy attending to their small sisters and brothers. Over the last year, according to Bakyt Jeenaliev, a member of the Jumgal Resource Group, the level of the school attendance has been increased by 10-15 percent.

In October, the UNICEF consultants together with the Resource Group will conduct a one-year review of the project to discuss aspects that need to be strengthened next year.

C-EMIS aims to strengthen the traditional information education system, to improve planning and make each child visible.

August 12, 2003 Peer Education Training for Trainers on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Safe Behavior

On 10 – 11 August 2003 Peer Education Training for Trainers on HIV/AIDS Prevention and Safe Behavior financed by UNFPA was conducted in Bishkek.

Kyrgyzstan is facing a growing HIV/AIDS epidemic. According to the Kyrgyz Health Ministry, 432 cases of HIV have been registered in the country. In 2001, 4 percent of all HIV cases were attributed to heterosexual transmission. In 2002 it comprises more than 20 percent. Based on the experience of the epidemic development in other CIS countries, it can be assumed that Kyrgyzstan has entered the second stage of the epidemic when HIV passes from injecting drug users to the general population through sexual transmission. The most vulnerable groups to HIV/AIDS are drug users, sex workers and sexually active young people.

Representatives from NGOs “Koz Karash”, “Socium”, “Tais Plus”, Kyrgyz Alliance of Family Planning and other participated in the training.

Peer education is an approach or a strategy whereby well-trained and motivated people actively attempt to reach their peers (those similar to them in background) and help ensure that those peers have the optimal knowledge about HIV/AIDS, attitudes, beliefs and skills to be responsible for and protect their health and well-being. The main subject of the training was prevention of HIV and safe behavior.

August 08, 2003 An orientation workshop on Gender, HIV and Human rights within the UNIFEM Media Fellowship Programme
This is a second workshop organized by the UNIFEM project “Gender dimensions of the HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan” which was conducted with the financial support of OSCE and the UNDP Joint programme on HIV/AIDS. Both print and TV/Radio journalists, active in covering gender, human rights and HIV prevention issues, participated in the workshop. The main goal of the workshop was together with the journalists and gender specialists to develop specific media approaches in covering gender dimensions of HIV/AIDS and promoting human rights. The workshop was opened by Mr. Bolot Djunusov, OSCE Public Relations/Media officer, who informed the participants about the OSCE mission in Kyrgyzstan. This first-hand information was very valuable for rural journalists. The format of the workshop included practical sessions, brainstorming and role games, which let participants understand deeply the reasons and consequences of gender inequality, social norms and traditions impact that discriminate women’s rights. The participants actively expressed their positions and attitudes regarding the gender dimension of the HIV/AIDS, discussed and provided their appraisal on the results of the UNIFEM community based research on gender stereotypes that contributes to rural women’s vulnerability to HIV. The journalists found them very interesting and timely and, which is more valuable, they could easily use the report as resource materials in preparing media messages for the completion programme. The video “Staining alive” produced by MTV aroused special interest among the journalists where in high professional and accessible way on the basis of human stories from different countries the problems of people living with HIV/IADS, the efforts and struggle for staining alive were brightly presented. Unfortunately, in communities there is a strong stigma and discrimination regarding the HIV and people living with HIV/AIDS. The role of the media is to break the barriers and change the society attitude to this issue, to increase tolerance and understanding. The second day of the workshop was fully devoted to the practical work where the journalists developed communication strategy on promoting women’s rights and extension of HIV/AIDS preventive activities. The participants suggested their approaches in covering gender and HIV issues, developed slogans, key messages and topics of future TV/Radio and print messages. The special attention was given to discussions of the issues of early sexual education in rural community due to actual polemics regarding the appropriateness of introduction of the “Healthy lifestyle” subject as a mandatory at the secondary school system. The practical part of the workshop was facilitated by Michael Unland, UNV Specialist in Mass Media of the UNDP Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan. The participants decided to consolidate their efforts and knowledge in media fellowship programme and expressed their wishes to the organizers of the workshop and UN agencies to pay more attention to the regional media. The conducting of such practical workshops for interested media during the competition programme allows evaluate, how the knowledge and skills in covering of the crucial problems (gender and HIV, human rights and tolerance) could be used by journalists in their work. For the additional information, please contact Cholpon Asambaeva, UNIFEM Project manager “Gender dimension of HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic”, tel: (996 312) 62 04 41, 62 04 45, e-mail: [email protected]
August 08, 2003 A Kyrgyz Buddy Bear in Berlin.
More than a hundred bears, painted by artists from all over the world, are being exhibited at the central square of Berlin, near the Branderburg Gates and globe. There is a Kyrgyz bear among them. It was drawn by one of talented painters of Kyrgyzstan, Honored Artist of the Republic Rifkat Bukharmetov. He became a participant of the UNICEF second international charitable event “United Buddy Bears 2003”, opened on July 29 in Berlin by heads and staff of foreign missions accredited in Germany, representatives of different ministries, departments, organizations, and German members of parliament. A special catalogue was published for this event with artists’ biographies and their concepts of drawing bears. Rifkat Bukharmetov, used motives of his famous picture “The Dream”, which was given the highest award at the World Modern Art Exhibition in Los Angeles in May 1998. Bukharmetov described his creation this way, “My bear is as light as maternity. Children are an important part of people’s life in Kyrgyzstan, as well as in other countries. Friendliness and tolerance make a genetic nature of the Kyrgyz”. The exhibition will work until November 2003. After its closing, all exhibits will tour 25 cities of the world. The tour will be over in New York City, where all bears will be sold at auctions, and proceeds will be used by UNICEF for projects supporting children. This is a second charitable event, where Kyrgyz artists participate. People’s Artist Yuristanbek Shigaev represented Kyrgyzstan in the first exhibition “United Buddy Bears 2002” in Berlin. For more information, please contact Galina Solodunova, UNICEF Assistant Communications Officer (996 312) 61 12 24, 61 12 25, 61 12 26. Email: [email protected]
August 08, 2003 Training Seminar “Social Integration of Homeless, Working and Street Children” takes place on 5 – 14
One of the serious consequences of the hard social-economic situation in Kyrgyzstan is an enormous growth of the number of homeless and neglected street children, who cannot afford sufficient food, education and whose life is often endangered by AIDS, drug abuse, sexual violence, exploitation and discrimination. In spite of the measures undertaken to improve the legislation, to create asylums and rehabilitation centers and the assistance of international organizations, the number of neglected children is steadily increasing. Today it is necessary to explore the reasons impeding practical implementation of the adopted laws, decisions, plans and projects and to assess the process of spending funds allocated by various organizations including international organizations. At the initiative of the UNESCO Division of Human Rights and Fight against Discrimination the large-scale project “Poverty eradication through social integration of marginalized youth” has been launched in Kyrgyzstan. Within the framework of this project the following activities are being carried out: · The National scientific-practical conference “Problems of homeless, uncared and neglected children and the ways to solve these problems”, held in September 2002 in Bishkek; · Sociological research on the problems of street children in Kyrgyzstan, carried out in March 2003; · The Children Rehabilitation Centre “Ak-Kanat” was created in Jany-Jer village, Sokuluk rayon; · A series of training seminars “Social integration of homeless, working and street children” will be held in August and September 2003 in Bishkek and Osh with the active support of the UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office, National Commission for UNESCO, Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, and National and International NGOs. The seminars have the aim to train Executive Secretaries of the Commissions for under-aged children, inspectors of childhood protection and social workers methods of work on identification of street children and their further arrangement. The training seminars will focus on the following issues: legal protection of children rights in Kyrgyzstan, preventive work, identification of risk-group children and forms of urgent assistance to them, methods of psychological rehabilitation and social integration through vocational education programmes, successful practices in this field, partnership of governmental and non-governmental organizations. For more information, please contact: Mr. Ulan Jumaliev, Programme Specialist, Kyrgyz National Commission for UNESCO. Tel: (0 996 312) 62 46 81, 62 66 36 Email: [email protected]
August 01, 2003 Islam and Family Planning.
The United Nations Population Fund in Kyrgyzstan in co-operation with the State Commission on Religious Affairs conducted a seminar “Islam and Family Planning” for representatives from Muslim clerical institutions on July 21st – 23rd, 2003 in the UN House. The purpose of the seminar was to discuss family planning and reproductive health issues. The book “Family Planning in the Legacy of Islam” (author – Abdel Rahim Omran) in the Kyrgyz language was launched at the seminar as well. Seminars with participation of Muslim clerical community are not the first action undertaken by UNFPA. In September 2001, UNFPA organized a round-table meeting for the clergy of the KR, the objective of which was to discuss male involvement in family planning and reproductive health issues. As a result of three-day discussions, the round-table participants adopted an appeal to the people of Kyrgyzstan on the importance and necessity of such elucidative actions. Imams agreed to participate in educational seminars on family planning and healthy life style. In 2002, some seminars were conducted in different regions of the country with participation of the clergy, public officials and mass media. This year it was jointly decided to conduct a familiarization seminar and presentation of the book “Family Planning in the Legacy of Islam” for heads and teachers of Muslim clerical institutes, as today there is an exigency of raising awareness of young people in prevention of HIV/AIDS and reproductive health issues. For more information, please contact: Mr. Alexander Ilyin, UNFPA National Programme Officer. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 02. Email: [email protected]
July 11, 2003 Public action “Stop Traffic”

On July 11, 2003 the public action “Stop Traffic” was held in the “SAVOI” night-club to introduce the problem of smuggling of and trafficking in persons through a series of simple but clear messages and competitions; make the young people understand that the problem is serious and actual; and inform on necessary steps to be taken when leaving for another country and on organizations, which can help in the country of destination.

This action is held in the framework of the Public Information Campaign on prevention of smuggling of and trafficking in persons implemented by the International Organization for Migration and supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) with the participation of Europe Plus.

This Public Information Campaign is directed at increasing of understanding of the dangers and risks of consequences of trafficking among the young people, unemployed and relevant authorities in their efforts to counter act and prevent trafficking in, from and through Kyrgyzstan.

Human trafficking is a new phenomenon for the Central Asian states. The Kyrgyzstan Mission of IOM is actively addressing the problem of trafficking in human beings with the support of the governmental organizations of the U.S. and Sweden.

In Kyrgyzstan, IOM expects to build upon its initial, successful interventions.

July 10, 2003 UNODC's Study Tour to Tajikistan

As the first practical implementation step towards DCA establishment in the Kyrgyz Republic, UNODC has organized a of the newly appointed DCA Director Designate General Kurmanbek Kubatbekov and the UNODC’s National Programme Officer Mr. Bahtiar Mambetov to Tajikistan. The Tajik DCA was established by the UNODC in 2000 and was recognized as one of the most successful UN projects in the field of suppressing dug trafficking.

During the study tour, Messrs. Kubatbekov and Mambetov visited the Tajik DCA, the DCA Forensic Laboratory, dog training center and had meetings with DCA management and UNODC’s team in Tajikistan.

Some of the issues of the future cooperation between the Tajik and the Kyrgyz DCAs were discussed as well as possible cooperation between the Russian Border Guards deployed in Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz DCA.

Next week the UNODC is arranging a mission of an international consultant on DCA staff selection and recruitment to assist UNODC and the DCA on elaboration of transparent and honest staff selection procedures.

The director of the Tajik DCA is also arriving to Bishkek to help his Kyrgyz counterpart on elaboration of amendments into existing legal framework, provisions and regulations bound up with the DCA establishment and operation.

Launching of the Kyrgyz DCA project in the Kyrgyzstan by the UNODC is the new step towards UN larger involvement in a global fight against illicit drugs.

June 25, 2003 Integration of gender and demographic factors

A Roundtable “Integration of gender and demographic factors within national policy implementation” was organized in the framework of the UNFPA project by the National Council on Women, Family and Gender issues under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic and Ms. Toktokan Boronbaeva, Member of Parliament on June 25th, 2003.

At the legislative level, Kyrgyzstan established equality of rights and responsibility between men and women in all spheres of life. Institutional mechanisms of human rights protection at both state and civil levels allow to hope that Kyrgyzstan will be able to implement a gender policy through human rights.

An achievement of true equality improves women position and must be considered as one of the essential conditions for attaining stability of the state and strengthening its demographic basis.

The main objective of the roundtable was to develop methods of the following laws implementation in ministries and departments of the Kyrgyz Republic:

1. “On the basics of the state guarantees of gender equality”

2. “On social and legal protection from family violence”

A special attention was focused on the discussion of communicative exchange system forming between ministries and departments, as well as development and implementation of joint actions strategy.

Representatives from the Parliament, the President’s Administration and the Government participated in the roundtable.

Within the roundtable evaluation and review of both legislative basis and institutional mechanisms of the Kyrgyz Republic towards gender policy and demographic factors were made.

May 18, 2003 UNODC mobilizes civil society efforts to take action against drug abuse and trafficking

Alay Foundation with support of the UNODC in Kyrgyzstan has launched a series of promotional activities in Alay and Chon-Alay regions of the country. The aim of the joint action is to mobilize civil society efforts to take action against drug abuse and trafficking and raise awareness among school children on drug issues.

Due to impoverished conditions and location of the Alay and Chon-Alay regions along famous illicit drug trafficking route from Tajikistan (Khorog) to Osh these regions are most vulnerable to the negative impact of drugs. Over 17 thousand school children from 30 schools will participate in action. The activities envisage arranging drawing and music contests on anti-narcotic themes, national games and tournaments, awarding rewards for winners, charity meals and distributing leaflets and posters among school children. 17 local both village councils and district state administrations agreed to provide support for planned activities.

The deputies of parliament, physicians and school administration representatives will take part in the organization of this wide-scale event. The action is expected to end up in Sary-Tash and Sopu-Korgon villages of Alay region. Alay Foundation will also arrange filming of the event.

May 12, 2003 OCHA/UNDAC Mission to Kyrgyzstan

Following the recent landslide in the Uzgen district in the Osh province of Kyrgyzstan and considering the expectation of repeated emergencies on a yearly basis, a professional advice both to the Government and the UN system on an effective and coordinated response to disasters would be very useful and timely. The interest in such a mission was voiced also by an official of the Ministry of Ecology and Emergencies.

In view of the above, the Government of Kyrgyzstan and UNDP office in Kyrgyzstan approached OCHA (the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) with the request to provide assistance to the victims of the disaster in the south of the republic and also place a mission to assess the situation and provide advisory services to the Government and UN Country Team.

The OCHA/UNDAC mission worked in Kyrgyzstan within 7 – 10 of May under the authority of the Resident Coordinator and in close consultation and coordination with the UN operational agencies. The mission comprised of three members, Mr. Toby Lanzer, Mr. Mati Raidma and Mr. Hubert Vetter, spent four days in the country with the field visits to Osh and Jalal-Abad provinces.

The meetings they had included those with Mr. Joomart Otorbaev, Kyrgyz First Vice Prime Minister and the Head of the General Co-ordination Committee on Emergencies, Mr. Satyvaldy Chyrmashev, the Minister of Ecology and Emergency Situations, Mr. Naken Kasiev, the Governor of Osh province and other government officials. The mission visited villages in Uzgen and Alay districts of the Osh province and traveled to Mayluu Suu uranium tailings in northwest of Jalal-Abad to get the picture of natural disaster threat in that particular region of Kyrgyzstan and provide their recommendations on how to cope with possible calamities.

During this period the work carried out by UNDAC team focused on providing support in the assessment of the results of the recent disaster with recommendations for effective response in the immediate and medium term; assessment of potential threats (unless the situation stabilizes, a few other settlements are potentially exposed to similar landslides and floods, including the old post-soviet uranium tailings in Mayluu Suu). Overall, the mission provided recommendations and advice to the Government and UN Country Team on further actions to be taken in disaster preparedness and response for the next year's likely emergency situations.

At the last day of the mission the briefing was organized for the relevant governmental officials, UN Country Team members and mass media on the current disaster preparedness and mitigation and possible risk reduction.

April 18, 2003 UNICEF handed over 150 kg of potassium iodate

On 17 April UNICEF in the Kyrgyz Republic handed over to the just created Kyrgyz Association of Salt Manufacturers 150 kg of potassium iodate to iodize about 3,000 tons of salt to stem the prevalence of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD). It will be distributed to salt manufacturers throughout the republic.

The impact of iodine deficiency extends beyond the burden of people affected by the various clinical syndromes. A series of studies showed a reduction of the entire distribution of cognitive ability in the deficient population by as much as 10-15 Intelligence Quotient (IQ) points. IDD in infancy can cause serious mental and physical disorders.

At present, the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the countries where ID is most prevalent. Its geographic location puts it to the highest risk of iodine deficiency in the biosphere – mountains occupy 90 percent of the territory, the republic is considerably remote from seas and oceans. Though, in the past during the period of 1950-1985, IDD was virtually eliminated due to the universal consumption of iodized salt.

All over the world, it is acknowledged that regularly iodized salt consumption is preventing IDD such as learning disability and mental retardation among children. Iodized salt should be included into everybody’s daily diet. It does not have any special taste or smell; and the iodization technology is cheap and does not cause any considerable increase in cost.

This consignment is a part of the joint programme of the Kyrgyz Government, UNICEF and ADB. Totally, ADB and UNICEF plan to purchase iodine for 15,000 tons of salt – annually required amount. Next year, the salt manufacturers commit to undertake this responsibility and live up to required standards.

April 11, 2003 The World Health Day: The Festival of Health in Kyrgyzstan

This year the WHO’s slogan for the World Health Day is “Healthy Environments for children”, and WHO jointly with other UN organizations celebrated this big event organized on the central square of Bishkek. This action was aimed at raising awareness of the population about healthy environments for children, as according to the WHO report, 5 million children in the world annually die from direct exposure to unhealthy environment.

The WHO local office organized poster contest among children staying in hospitals. Patients of children hospitals took part at this event. Paper and paints were provided in advance, and on 3 April the joint jury comprised of the WHO, UNICEF, Ministry of Health and UNFPA representatives selected the winners. Six winners were selected and awarded, including a boy and a girl who have drawn their paintings staying in hospital beds.

The WHO jointly with the Mayor’s office, the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, UNFPA and “Europa plus” radio conducted the Health Festival under the slogan “Healthy Environments for children” on central square of Bishkek. Events like this have never been organized before. More then 1300 children from several schools of Bishkek took part at this festival.

The Children’s dancing group “Taberik” performed a big concert. Competitions among children on the best chalk drawings were held. The program of the Festival included the sport competitions among teenagers who played street ball, and family competitions, where more than 50 teams were competing with each other. Exhibition of healthy products was also held and free medical consultations were provided to all.

Additionally football Championship among teams of Central Asia countries under the slogan “Healthy environments for children” had been conducted in south part of Kyrgyzstan, Osh city on 7 April 2003. The WHO provided posters from last year events for distribution among children.

On 7 April 2003 by initiative of the UNFPA office the press conference dedicated to the World Health Day was organized and conducted at press center “Kabar”. Mr. Guljigit Aaliev, Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Alexander Iliyn UNFPA Programme Officer, Mr. Oscon Moldokulov, WHO Liaison Officer, Mr. Richard Young, UNICEF Resident Representative, Ms. Gulmira Aitmurzaeva, Director of Republican Center of Health Promotion participated in the press conference.

Mr. Alexander Ilyin noted that children’s health is being threatened by a variety of causes, such as poverty, violence, environmental pollution and inadequate access to health care services. The United Nations Organisations have mobilised effective strategies that are being implemented at various levels and in various settings to improve the environment and the health conditions of the population. He said that the youth in Kyrgyzstan are vulnerable towards the threats of HIV through mother to child transmission, forced sex and drug addiction at young age. Early pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections among adolescents do affect the life of the young generation. Adolescents during the period of growth are most vulnerable to the impact and consequences of iodine, iron and other essential nutrition factor shortages.

March 07, 2003 Visit of the Deputy High Comissioner for Human Rights

The Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Bertrand Ramcharan, visited Kyrgyzstan from 5 to 7 March 2003, as part of his official visit to countries in Central Asia to enhance dialogue and technical cooperation between the governments of the region and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and in follow-up to the Secretary-General’s visit to the region in October 2002.

In Bishkek, the Deputy High Commissioner met with the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Askar Akaev; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Askar Aitmatov; the Ombudsman, Mr. Tursunbai Bakir uulu; the Head of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee Ms. Oxana Malevanaya; the Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court, Ms. Cholpon Baekova; and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Ms. Nelya Beishenalieva. /

Mr. Ramcharan also met with representatives of civil society and local non-governmental organizations, and held fruitful discussions with the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz and heads of UN Agencies; relevant programme officers of the United Nations Country Team; and with representatives of the OSCE, other international organizations, and the diplomatic community in Bishkek.

The President of Kyrgyzstan and other Government leaders developed upon the President's National Human Rights Programme for the period 2002 – 2010 which emphasizes the constitutional values of human freedom, dignity and honour. They underlined the significance of the establishment of the post of Ombudsman and noted the announcement that very week of the establishment of a Council on Democratic Security, which would work on the elaboration of a Kyrgyz code of democratic values.

The Deputy High Commissioner welcomed these initiatives but stressed the importance of actual implementation of human rights. He urged that the Ombudsman be given the resources and support he would need to fulfill his mandate. He recalled that the Human Rights Committee had indicated a number of problems in the functioning of the judiciary; the treatment of arrested persons, detainees and prisoners; freedom of association and freedom of expression; and in relation to violence against women. He urged tangible corrective measures on these continuing problems, and on the issue of registration of refugee children.

The Deputy High Commissioner urged that the recently revised Constitution, as well as relevant laws, be interpreted and applied in the letter and spirit of international human rights norms. He noted the value of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee, which has met until now, and the importance of the practice, until now, whereby the Constitutional Court could hear individual petitions on human rights issues. He expressed the strong hope that individual petitions to the Constitutional Court would continue. He encouraged the development of human rights education, and the dissemination of international human rights norms in local languages. He suggested that international norms on the rights of minorities be applied in practice.

During the discussions, the issue was raised of United Nations support and advice in following-up on treaty obligations, and in helping to place the institution of the Ombudsman on solid foundations. The Deputy High Commissioner undertook to follow-up on this, including through contacts with those who might be in a position to assist.

The Deputy High Commissioner also recalled the regional project for Central Asia of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which focuses on human rights education through a training of trainers approach and supporting the development of materials for teaching human rights in schools, and foresees the establishment of a high level expert in human rights, based in the region, to provide advice and work at the policy level in the field of human rights. He applauded the support that UNDP is providing to the Ombudsman and hoped that the project would be generously supported in the future.

Throughout his visit, the Deputy High Commissioner stressed that the real test of a national human rights policy was the extent to which it promoted genuine respect of human rights.

March 07, 2003 A trade exhibition of handicrafts made by UNDP and UNHCR beneficiaries

A trade exhibition of handicrafts made by UNDP and UNHCR beneficiaries was officially opened today in the UN House by Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, the UN Resident Coordinator. In his opening speech he pointed out that gender equality is recognized as a path to the Better world and is thus acknowledged as critical to attaining all eight Millennium Development Goals. He congratulated all the present women with the International Women’s Day and officially opened the exhibition that was attended by representatives of the international community, President’s administration, women-parliamentarians, journalists, the UN staff, and partners.

Needlewomen, women-artisans from all seven oblasts of Kyrgyzstan and Afghan women – refugees from “Sairon” and “Sukh” NGOs residing in Chuy oblast, presented their handicrafts. The exhibition was a good chance for women beneficiaries from oblasts to sell their goods. Though being good in doing souvenirs, carpets and other handicrafts, they often face the problem of selling them, as they live in remote areas. The exhibition would hopefully help them to promote their skills and craftsmanship. Besides, the exhibition helped to gather the needlewomen from remotest regions of Kyrgyzstan, including Leilek rayon of Batken oblast. This will help them to orient themselves properly at the market and promote their goods at higher professional level.

February 21, 2003

On 13-14 February the UN Country Team held a two-day workshop to orient participants on the preparation process of the Common Country Assessment (CCA) and evolve a consensus on the overall vision of the CCA.

Ms. Kalyani Menon-Sen, an international consultant, facilitated the workshop. The participants were from all UN Agencies headed by Richard Young, UNICEF Resident Representative.

During the meeting the issues of the CCA preparation and the report’s objectives were extensively discussed, as well as the linkages between CCA, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) report and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs).

During the course of the first day the key target groups and five crosscutting themes were identified. The second day challenged the participants on articulating and tracing “chains of causality” for each theme. Overall, the workshop reached its objectives –the participants exchanged their views and vision of the document from the perspective of each respective agency. The initial draft of the document has been prepared.

February 21, 2003 UNFPA annual project review

UNFPA annual project review meeting was held on February 18th, 2003 in the UN House (Bishkek) in the framework of Reproductive Health (RH) Sub-programme. Representatives from the Ministry of Health, State Commission on Religious Affairs, Clerical Department of Muslims and NGOs participated in the event.

Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator and UNFPA Representative, opened the meeting and briefed the meeting participants about achievements in the sphere of reproductive health in 2002.

Participants discussed RH Sub-Programme, which consists of three component projects: (i) Contraceptives Logistics and RH-LMIS; (ii) Establishment of Expertise and National Capacity for RH/FP; (iii) Development and Dissemination of IEC Materials for RH Service.

It was noted that UNFPA has developed a Logistics Management Information System (LMIS) that can facilitate timely delivery of contraceptives to clients, monitor contraceptive distribution, and forecast contraceptive needs. In 2002 UNFPA introduced the LMIS on a pilot basis and expects to expand its use throughout the country during the remaining cycle of the Country Programme.

An important UNFPA initiative that reached people at the grassroots level was a series of activities for religious leaders. During the round table meeting that was conducted in the south of Kyrgyzstan, as well as during the two seminars for religious leaders and government officials among the issues raised was promotion of reproductive health and family planning not only among women of fertile age, but also among men and adolescents. The official presentation of the book by Abdel Rahim Omran, world known authority on population and demographic studies, “Family Planning in the legacy of Islam” took place during the seminars.

Religious leaders emphasised the significance of such undertakings aimed at strengthening of families, and agreed that there are some artefacts in interpretations of Koran’s views on family planning. Religious leaders agreed to participate in related educational activities for the sake of family strengthening, and they agreed that some sections of the Koran have been incorrectly interpreted to the detriment of reproductive health.

In 2002 the National IEC strategy was developed by a group of national experts. It was discussed at the round table meeting with government, non-government and international agencies and organisations and finally the document was approved and signed at the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health representatives noted that UNFPA is the major donor supporting RH services in Kyrgyzstan. This support is provided primarily by expanding the capacity of SPS workers to deliver RH information, education, and basic services to families and individuals, who are at risk in villages and towns. Expanded support from UNFPA and the Government for the role of the SPS in providing reproductive health services is expected to have a substantial positive impact on RH indicators. The Ministry of Health now considers the SPS the primary instrument for reducing infant and maternal mortality. The vulnerable population covered by the SPS has lower IMR than the wealthier population using the regular Family Group Practice.

Special attention should be paid to HIV/AIDS prevention. HIV/AIDS growth is becoming a major social, economical problem for the country due to the intercourse of needle and sexual transmission. HIV/AIDS prevention should remain as the UNFPA priority for the remainder of the programme cycle.

As a conclusion of the meeting it was noted that despite the current funding constraints, the RH Sub-Programme has achieved satisfactory results during the period under review.

February 21, 2003 Central Asian Global Education Workshops on Student Assessment and Evaluation

Central Asian Global Education Workshops on Student Assessment and Evaluation were held in Bishkek 17-21 February The Global Education Initiative – a joint Governments’ and UNICEF Project – addresses the quality of basic education. It is currently undertaken in all the five Central Asian countries.

The Project regularly brings education specialists from the region together to exchange ideas and find ways to adjust experience of other countries to their situations. This time, the participants were exploring various approaches to student assessment and evaluation.

Almanbet Abdiev, a specialist from the Education Academy at the Kyrgyz Ministry of Education and Culture, stressed the timely importance of this workshop for Kyrgyzstan: “We plan to pilot Global Education Initiative this year in 20 schools – first, in grades 1 and 5 which curricula were revised last year. At this stage, it is very important to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation, because results will determine our future steps in schooling improvement. It is not an easy task to evaluate the Global Education Process. It encompasses all the major elements needed to create child friendly school environment and to enrich learning acquisition”.

In fact, alongside with revised curricula content, Global Education challenges teachers to review their approaches to teaching and learning. Principles, school administrators and district managers are encouraged to get more involved in what is happening in their classrooms. Parents, civil society institutions, and interested religious and other external groups are invited to share in a process that can help to make what they want schools to do correspond with what schools actually do, even in context where community participation in educational policy development is not encouraged. All these aspects should be properly monitored. Therefore, the workshop participants learn instruments for student, teacher, administrative, family and system data acquisition.

Before closing the workshop, it was planned to organize a training of trainers in June. In August there will be a workshop for teachers, inspectors and principals of pilot schools for orienting them towards the principles of Global Education.

February 21, 2003

On Wednesday, 19 February, the NGO League of Volunteers held a round-table meeting “Making Amendments on Draft for the Law of Volunteerism” at the UN House (Bishkek) in cooperation with the UN Volunteers Program. Eleven representatives from eight local NGOs including League of Volunteers and the lawyer, the director of Legal Problem Foundation who made the draft for the law, participated in the meeting.

In November 2002, with financial support from UNV Program, Kyrgyz Ministry of Labor and Social Protection initiated to hold a round-table meeting on role and meaning of volunteers in realization of national programs. During the meeting the Law of Volunteerism was also discussed and a couple of participants raised some objections in the draft. NGO League of Volunteers then took initiative in organizing a follow-up meeting to discuss the issue.

At the follow-up meeting on 19 February, participants exchanged their opinions and made some amendments to the draft. NGO League of Volunteers continues to initiate this movement and develop an alternative draft for the law in collaboration with two of the NGOs that participated in the meeting and Volunteer Centers in all regions of the country.

NGOs participated at the meeting are Counterpart Consortium, Foundation on Legal Problems, Humanitarian Charity Foundation “Sanitas,” “Mental Health and Society” NGO, National Red Crescent, Youth Human Rights Group, Youth Ecological Movement “Biom” and League of Volunteers.

February 21, 2003 Round Table Meeting of international and non-governmental organizations involved in drug demand redu

Round Table Meeting of international and non-governmental organizations involved in drug demand reduction in Kyrgyzstan was held on 18 February at Silk Road Lodge in Bishkek. The round table was initiated and organized by the UN ODC within the framework of it’s regional project “Training of Central Asian Mass Media Practitioners and Raising of Public Awareness on Drug Related Issues” jointly with the Association of NGOs “Kyrgyzstan without Drugs”.

The main objective of the Round Table Meeting was to improve coordination between donor community and the local NGOs in the field of drug demand reduction. UN ODC came up with initiatives of establishing more effective coordination network between international organizations dealing with drug abuse prevention, and, in particular, offered concerned international organizations to meet regularly within the framework of the Foreign Anti-Narcotics Community (FANC) established by the UN ODC two years ago and comprising Drug Liaison Officers of the international organizations and embassies located in Central Asian countries.

UNODC has also invited NGOs to participate in series of training to be conducted this spring specifically for Central Asian NGOs active in the field of drug abuse prevention.

Representatives of the non-governmental organizations active in the field of drug abuse prevention and donor organizations including UNODC, UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, Joint UN Agencies Programme on Expanded Response to HIV/AIDS, IOM, Swiss Cooperation Office, Counterpart Consortium and Embassy of the Russian Federation took part in the Round Table.

February 19, 2003

Leonid Nechayev, the technical expert of the UNODC’s project “Strengthening Drug Law Enforcement Capacities in Data and Information Collection” visited Bishkek 17-19 February. During the mission, he met with drug law enforcement agencies and introduced to them technical aspects of the project. He also assessed existing databases and networking, and briefed technical staff on requirements of the effective drug intelligence/information system establishment.

February 19, 2003

On 18 February Tofik Murshudlu, the UN ODC Law Enforcement Adviser and Bakhtiar Mambetov, the National Coordinator, met with government officials at the Security Council and the President’s Administration of the State Commission on Drug Control. This visit was a technical consultation on the possible establishment of the Drug Control Agency in the Kyrgyz Republic. The project budget has been discussed and it has been agreed that there is a necessity to speed up the project’s implementation. The Drug Control Agency is to become a full-scale law enforcement body responsible for coordination of all drug control activities and to deal with both illicit drug trafficking and drug related crimes.

February 14, 2003 United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security: Improvement of Community Health Services in the Northe

On 16 December 2002 an Agreement between the United Nations and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on the project “Improvement of Community Health Services in the Northern Regions of Kyrgyzstan” was signed by Mr. Jean-Pierre Halbwachs, UN Assistant Secretary-General, and Dr. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UNFPA Executive Director. This project is funded by the Government of Japan through the United Nations Trust Fund Human Security. Contribution amount is almost USD 500,000. The project “Improvement of Community Health Services in the Northern Regions of Kyrgyzstan” aims to improve the reproductive health status of women, men, and adolescents in Northern Kyrgyzstan through improved community health care services, which a focus made on vulnerable groups. The project will build the capacity of the national Social Patronage System (SPS) to deliver reproductive health services and to provide information on HIV/AIDS/STI prevention and family planning. As a result, awareness of RH issues and access to RH services are expected to improve for people throughout the northern regions of Kyrgyzstan. Placing premium on human survival, human well-being, and human freedom, the project seeks to enhance people’s physical, social, and mental well-being in line with Human Security initiatives. Support for reproductive health and family planning is the most cost-effective way to mitigate poverty and to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and STIs. Poverty mitigation and comprehensive education (including information on HIV/AIDS/STIs and reproductive rights) are essential tools for preventing social, ethic, and religious tension in the region.

The project will be executed by UNFPA, and implemented partly by UNFPA, by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (represented by the Ministry of Health and the National AIDS Centre), and the selected implementing NGO – agencies with extensive experience in the area of reproductive health and family planning. Using a community based approach; the project will reach the most vulnerable groups of the population, including poor families in remote areas, internally displaced people, drug users, commercial sex workers, and adolescents. The project will be launched in March 2003.

February 12, 2003

In 2002 UNHCR Local Office supported printing of 5,000 copies of “The State and The Law” textbooks in Uzbek language for ninth grade of secondary education schools. On 12 February 2003 presentation of this textbook was conducted in Osh Drama Theatre.

James Lynch and Almaz Burkutov from UNHCR Local Office, Alisher Sabirov, Deputy of the Parliament, deputies of Osh Regional Kenesh, as well as directors of several secondary schools from Osh and Jalal-Abad regions participated at the ceremony. Mr. Lynch noted in his speech that now students of Uzbek schools will be able to study the constitution and basics of the state structure of the Kyrgyz Republic in their own language, which will help them to understand their rights and responsibilities as Kyrgyz citizens in detail.

Mr. Lynch also thanked Mr. Sabirov for his continuous support of UNHCR activities in Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Alisher Sabirov, a member of the Human Rights Committee at the Parliament, is also the co-sponsor of the Kyrgyz Refugee Law, which was adopted on 14 February 2002, and has always demonstrated his support for the fair treatment of minorities.

Then the textbooks were handed over to the school directors present at the ceremony; the rest of the textbooks will be distributed among the schools in the southern region later.

February 10, 2003 The first visit of Ukrainian Expert on People Living with HIV/AIDS to Kyrgyzstan

From the 4th to the 8th of February the Ukrainian expert on People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), Vladimir Zhovtyak visited the cities Bishkek and Osh and made an assessment of the situation for recommendations how to help these people in Kyrgyzstan. He is the first expert in this field to visit Kyrgyzstan, which has after an outbreak of the HIV-epidemic in 2001 now 362 registered HIV cases at the end of 2002 (the real number of infected People is probably 10 to 15 times higher). Most of them do not yet have symptoms of AIDS but experts estimate that in the following years their number will dramatically increase and the question arises how to care for them.

The experiences of Mr. Zhovtyak made in the Ukraine, where the number of HIV infected persons has already crossed the epidemiological benchmark of 1% of the whole population, can teach a lot about how discrimination of People Living with HIV/AIDS boosts the spread of AIDS.

Vladimir Zhovtyak was invited by the UN Joint Program on HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan to bring his expertise into the country’s ongoing and planed projects. He was member of the Ukrainian Delegation in the special UN General Assembly on HIV/AIDS 2001 and is executive director of the All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, which aim it is to give psychosocial support and to form a tolerant attitude in the society. Since three years he works as Chief of the Coordination council of the All Ukrainian network, which consists of 330 members, in 17 regions. Some of them are non-infected members, which just want to help breaking the ice between PLWHA and society. In Kyrgyzstan there is now the chance to take another way, to tear down the wall of silence and prejudices surrounding infected people and to take measures to offer them help instead. First steps have been made by “Koz Karash” (“View”), the first Kyrgyz non governmental organization dealing with PLWHA, which will get advise and exchange experience with Zhovtyak.

February 10, 2003 On 8-10 January 2003 the INS (US Immigration and Naturalization Service) representatives have held s

In 2002 UNHCR Liaison Office in Bishkek had submitted 29 resettlement cases (125 refugees) to the US immigration service for resettlement to the USA, 28 cases had been accepted during interviews, and one is still pending decision. 26 resettlement cases (93 refugees) had been submitted to the Canadian immigration service for resettlement to Canada in 2002, 23 of them had been approved during 1st and 2nd tour of interviews held in Bishkek during 11-13 September and 18-20 January respectfully.

Ethnic composition of refugees applied for resettlement is mostly Afghans; except for one Iranian family converted from Islam to Christianity (Protestantism).

When individual refugees are at risk, or when there are other reasons to help them leave the region, UNHCR attempts to resettle them in safe third countries. With voluntary repatriation and local integration, resettlement is one of the three durable solutions UNHCR works for on behalf of refugees. Today, ten traditional resettlement countries have annual resettlement programs or quotas: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and USA.

February 10, 2003 UNICEF together with its partners has developed Working and Financial Plans for 2003

The UNICEF Office in Bishkek has available about 800 000 USD for project implementation in 2003 and is closely working with international donor organization advocating for investments to children.

Among the main objectives that were discussed at the workshop is reduction of the child mortality rate by 25 % of 1999 level by 2005. It was proposed that UNICEF would continue to focus on capacity building of medical workers, anemia and iodine deficiency prevention, and early childhood development. In 2003, UNICEF will present and widely popularize the most important facts that people have a right to know - how to prevent child deaths and diseases and to protect women during pregnancy and childbirth.

In education domain, UNICEF focuses on quality and accessibility for all, stressing the importance of education of girls and children with special needs. UNICEF also draws attention to juvenile justice, HIV/AIDS prevention and opportunities for young people to express themselves and strengthen their voice through media and youth networks.

To ensure that the rights of the child to participate and be heard gain in importance at public and at high government level, UNICEF will continue to support inter-generation dialogues. At such meetings young people and high-ranking officials discuss problems and mutually beneficial inter-generation cooperation.

Mr. Richard Young, UNICEF Resident Representative reiterated that any gains from ongoing UNICEF initiatives would really make changes towards a better future for the children of the Kyrgyz Republic if at the national level there will be recognized the critical importance of investing in children and putting children’s rights, needs and priorities at the center of the development agenda.

January 31, 2003 UNICEF: Towards a better future for the children

On February 4-5 2003, Children’s Fund (UNICEF) together with its partners will develop Working and Financial Plans for 2003

The UNICEF Office in Bishkek has available about 800 000 USD for project implementation in 2003 and is closely working with international donor organization advocating for investments to children.

Among the main objectives to be discussed at this meting is reduction of the child mortality rate by 25 % of 1999 level by 2005. It is proposed that UNICEF would continue to focus on capacity building of medical workers, anemia and iodine deficiency prevention, and early childhood development. In 2003, UNICEF will present and widely popularize the most important facts that people have a right to know, namely, how to prevent child deaths and diseases and to protect women during pregnancy and childbirth.

In education domain, UNICEF focuses on quality and accessibility for all, stressing the importance of education of girls and children with special needs. UNICEF also draws attention to juvenile justice, HIV/AIDS prevention and opportunities for young people to express themselves and strengthen their voice through media and youth networks.

To ensure that the rights of the child to participate and be heard gain in importance at public and at high governance level, UNICEF will continue to support inter-generation dialogues. At such meetings young people and high-ranking adults learn how to discuss problems and mutually benefit from inter-generation cooperation.

Mr. Richard Young, UNICEF Resident Representative reiterates that any gains from ongoing UNICEF initiatives would really make changes towards a better future for the children of the Kyrgyz Republic if at the national level there will be recognized the critical importance of investing in children and putting children’s rights, needs and priorities at the center of the development agenda.

January 27, 2003 UN Resident Coordinator met with the President

The President of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akaev met with Jerzy Skuratowicz, the UN Resident Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan. In the course of the meeting they discussed the issue on rendering assistance to strengthening and improving electoral system in the Kyrgyz Republic, which was offered by the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan during the visit to Kyrgyzstan in 2002.

Mr. Skuratovich informed that the mission of the United Nations is planned to arrive to Bishkek in concordance with this suggestion to study and conduct analysis of electoral system improvement in Kyrgyzstan.

According to the Presidnet's press service, the head of the state expressed assurance that the work of the UN mission would be fruitful and its analysis will serve as basis for preparation of concrete recommendations.

Askar Akaev and Jerzy Skuratowicz exchanged opinions on conditions and perspectives of cooperation of Kyrgyzstan with the United Nations Development Programme. It was noted that the UNDP renders support in the directions of public administration, reducing poverty and creation of workplaces and others.

In the conclusion, the President Akaev emphasized that Kyrgyzstan will remain loyal to the United Nations goals for the future and will contribute to its implementation, developing fruitful bilateral cooperation.

January 25, 2003 UN Resident Coordinator's visit to Osh

On January 24 Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, the UN Resident Coordinator, accompanied by Mr. Makharbek Bulatsev, the UN Field Security Coordination Officer for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, paid his first ever visit to the South of the republic.

The reason for the visit was threefold: to meet with Mr. Naken Kasiev, the governor of Osh oblast to discuss the further successful implementation of UNDP programmes in the South introducing the UN Liaison Officer in the South to Mr. Kasiev; meet with the members of the joint European Commission and UNDP mission arrived to Osh a day before and discuss the UN agencies’ presence in the region with the staff of the Liaison Office.

At the meeting and informal lunch with Mr. Kasiev, Mr. Skuratowicz assured the governor that UNDP intends to intensify its activities in the region in close partnership with local authorities.

The short but busy and rich in events and meetings programme of the UN Resident Coordinator in Osh included also the official meeting with the members of the joint UNDP Brussels and the European Commission mission. The mission, comprised of Mr. Harze, the representative of UNDP Office in Brussels and Mr. Blondiau, the European Commission expert in drug trafficking issues, came to get initial information on the UNDP activities in the South of Kyrgyzstan and to identify areas for future cooperation of the European Commission with UNDP. The main focus was on possibilities for projects management of drug-trafficking and border issues. In the course of the meeting they drew contours of future cooperation in the field of poverty alleviation, drug-trafficking prevention and border management in the region.

The mission members were briefed by Mr. Andrei Khanzhin, UN Liaison Officer in the South and Mr. Abdiraim Jorokulov, the Regional Preventive Development Coordinator for Osh oblast on the UNDP on-going programmes in the South of Kyrgyzstan and the progress achieved so far in cooperation with the UN agencies in the field.

Being aware of recent alarming events along the Kyrgyz/Uzbek and Kyrgyz/Tajik border, members of the delegation came down to field to eyewitness the situation at the border visiting Kara-Suu and Dostuk checkpoints bordering with Uzbekistan to prepare ground for the following visit of the European Commission mission. They were briefed on the last developments in the area of border control and border management in the region.

January 20, 2003 UN Joint Program on Expanded Response to HIV/AIDS

A lesson learned: Increasing support of HIV/AIDS prevention in educational establishments.

Around 150 stakeholders out of all areas connected to education and formation in Kyrgyzstan joined a conference “Prevention of HIV/AIDS in the educational establishments”, on January 16-17, 2003, in Bishkek, to discuss, inform and learn about HIV/AIDS prevention in elementary schools, vocational schools and universities.

Ms. Roza Aknazarova, Minister of Labor and Social Protection, and Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, Head of UNDP and UN Country Office in Bishkek opened the conference, which was organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, the State Committee on Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs under the technical assistance of the Joint UN Agencies Programme on Expanded Response to HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic.

During two days the participants learned about the Kyrgyz experience on HIV/AIDS prevention in the area of educational establishments. Working in different groups they got acquainted with the regional activities, and difficulties to teach and integrate knowledge about HIV/AIDS and how to protect oneself in the curriculum.

In this respect the discussions were lead by the concern that high growth rates of HIV infection in Kyrgyzstan have to be encountered also by the means of and within the educational system. Schools, vocational schools and universities are being paid so much importance, because they reach almost everywhere the most vulnerable group: Young people.

The participants stressed the necessity to strengthen the subject of healthy lifestyle subject, education of both parents and teachers on AIDS prevention and to mainstream HIV/AIDS in the schools.

Until now Healthy Lifestyle subject is adopted by the Ministry of Education and Culture only as an 8-hour programme for high school students, but not taught everywhere. In the vocational schools of Ministry of Labor and Social Protection this subject is taught as 10-hour programme for all vocational schools of the Ministry. The State Committee on Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs works among street children and youth organizations mostly, and is planning to strengthen this activity in the future.

As a result of the conference the participants outlined the programmes on HIV/AIDS prevention for the Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, the State Committee on Sport, Tourism and Youth Affairs. The programmes will be finalized and discussed in the ministries in this quarter 2003.

January 20, 2003 UNFPA: Handing over Medical, Office and Data Processing Equipment

On 17 January 2003 medical, office and data processing equipment from the United Nations Population Fund was handed over to the Ministry of Health, State Commission on Religious Affairs, Clerical Department of Muslims, NGO Mutakalim, National Statistics Committee and Department on Migration under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The United Nations Population Fund has been successfully working with the Ministry of Health within the framework of the UNFPA sub-programme on reproductive health. Therefore the set of medical equipment was supplied for improvement of Family Planning facilities in the amount of USD 19,000.00. The Ministry of Health namely Reproductive Health Service Delivery Points was granted with the set of data processing equipment to operation of Reproductive Health facilities in the country. The National Health Promotion Centre was provided with the office equipment for further conduct of training workshops on producing IEC materials on Reproductive Health and Family Planning issues.

Starting last year UNFPA has successful co-operation with the State Commission on Religious Affairs, Clerical Department of Muslims and NGO Mutakalim on Family Planning in the legacy of Islam. For further co-operation with the clergy of Kyrgyzstan on reproductive health care and family planning issues UNFPA granted data processing equipment.

UNFPA has been helping the National Statistics Committee since 1998 to strengthen the country's capacity in producing and using the basic demographic and social data at the national and regional levels. The UNFPA supported the Committee in preparation and conducting the First National Census. Recognising the Census held in 1999 as one of the best ones, United Nations Statistical Division calls this phenomenon the “Kyrgyz model”. Over the years of collaboration with the National Statistics Committee UNFPA has supplied the Central Office with more than 70 computers. The set of equipment, which UNFPA transferred on 17 January 2003 was intended for the regional departments of statistics.

Another important counterpart of UNFPA is the Department on Migration under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. UNFPA intends to assist in assessment of demographic and social characteristics in the country through making scientific research work on development of population issues. UNFPA granted the Department on Migration with the set of data processing equipment. The total amount of office and data processing equipment supplied by the UNFPA is USD 48,000.00.


“The United Nations will continue the most effective collaboration with Kyrgyzstan. Your country has become one of the first in the region to work with the UN ten years ago becoming an example for neighbours,” – told Kofi Annan at the official ceremony of the UN House inauguration in Bishkek 21 October where he arrived a day earlier as part of his first-ever tour of Central Asia, soon after visiting China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The UN Secretary-General spent twenty very intense hours in the country where the Global Mountain Summit will be held in late October and referred to Kyrgyzstan as “the best place” to host such an event because of the beauty of the mountains in this country. Stressing the importance of the event, he expressed his view of a person who authentically loves the mountains - “mountainous regions do have sensitive ecosystems and way of life and assets, which if properly handled can benefit entire societies”.

On Monday morning, the Secretary-General inaugurated the United Nations House in Bishkek, which will provide common workspace to all United Nations agencies working in Kyrgyzstan. He was joined by the President Askar Akayev, with whom he cut the red ribbon at the entrance. The President praised the United Nations as one of the most important and authoritative agencies in Kyrgyzstan, not only in government circles but also among the population naming all the UN Agencies working in Kyrgyzstan and highlighting their contribution and commitment to development of the country in transition. The President also noted that Kyrgyzstan was one of the first CIS countries to adopt the nationally owned Sustainable Human Development Strategy, which was initiated and launched by the United Nations Development Programme.

It was more than a building, the Secretary-General told at the inauguration ceremony. It was a symbol "of your commitment to work better together, and of the very concept on which the United Nations itself was built - a house of all nations, held together by common bonds. This is our real proving ground. Unless we can make a real difference to the lives of people in developing and transition countries, such as Kyrgyzstan, we will not achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and the United Nations will not justify its continued existence in the twenty-first century."

In his speech at the opening of the UN House he also highlighted the importance of the conflict prevention in the Southern Kyrgyzstan. "You are here to work with the Kyrgyz people", he told the United Nations staff, "in overcoming the tensions revealed by the recent crisis".

The Secretary-General then entered the building, met with heads of the United Nations agencies, and then addressed the staff, comprehensively asking their questions.

On 20 October, Kofi Annan and Askar Akayev met for more than an hour at the State Residence discussing various topics including social and economic development, the fight against terrorism, situation with Iraq, drug trafficking and government reforms, including the UN-Kyrgyz relations, which were “excellent”.

“Economic development and social development is not an issue that we should leave to the Government alone. It is the responsibility of everyone. And we should try and work in partnership with the Government, NGOs, private sector, individuals, universities, let’s all pull together to improve the lives of those who are less fortunate”, - Mr. Annan told the journalists stressing an importance of cooperation in the complex process of making people’s life more dignified, free and fulfilling, - the goal, which the UN puts in the forward of its activities in any country including Kyrgyzstan.

“I am also very pleased with the discussions I had with the President and I am extremely happy to be here visiting Kyrgyzstan for the first time and in the tenth year of your independence, and ten years after you’ve joined the United Nations”.

In Kyrgyzstan the UN Secretary-General was awarded with the order of Manas named after the epic poem of Kyrgyz people for Mr. Annan’s outstanding contribution to the world peace and strengthening the UN–Kyrgyz cooperation. Mr. Annan assured the President of Kyrgyzstan that the award would always inspire him reminding the beautiful country with the legendary and proud history.

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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