March 14, 2002
In this issue:
UNITED NATIONS IN KYRGYZSTAN
- Kyrgyzstan marked the ten years’ anniversary of its membership in the United Nations
- Press conference devoted to the International Women’s Day
UNDP CENTRAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
- Seminar on Local Budgets
- Press briefing on Public Access Points to Internet
- Regional CTA’s Visit
UNDP SOCIAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
- The Government representative on gender participated in the 46th session of the United Nations Committee on Status of Women
- The Ninth Donor's Gender Coordination Meeting
- Round Table on Academic Linkage
- "Women's Rights to Property" Seminar
- Elections of a Chief of the Youth Committee held in Talas region
UNITED NATIONS IN KYRGYZSTAN
Last week Kyrgyzstan marked the ten years’ anniversary of its membership in the United Nations. To commemorate the event, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the UN Agencies working in Kyrgyzstan organized the briefing for journalists on 6 March 2002.
Ten years is a small period, but as a full-fledged member of the United Nations, Kyrgyzstan has accomplished very much and became a very respected and trusted partner of many United Nations agencies.
The press conference was opened by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs A. Osmonaliev. He highlighted that the membership in the highest international alliance has become an authentic form of Kyrgyzstan’s integration into the world community through which the country defends its national interests in political, economical and cultural spheres.
The Kyrgyz diplomat marked also that several important initiatives were supported by the world community thanks to the United Nations and its agencies. Kyrgyzstan actively cooperates with the UN international agencies and implements important projects. The main programmes and projects implemented in cooperation with the UN, include the National Strategy of the State Reform, peace keeping activities, environment, gender issues and support to entrepreneurship.
From day one of its UN membership, Kyrgyzstan has become a very active player in the international arena. The country has come up with a number of very significant initiatives, which were recognized worldwide.
In 1994, the Economic and Social Council recommended to the General Assembly the resolution on proclaiming 1995 as the year of the millennium of the Kyrgyz national epic, Manas. Another Kyrgyzstan's initiative has led to the marking of the Year of Mountains in 2002.
As recognition of the country's role, Kyrgyz ambassador to the UN Kamil Bayalinov has been serving as the chairman of the 56th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Kyrgyzstan has become party to the main UN Conventions. Moreover, the country is very disciplined to submit reports on the progress. A notable example is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. Kyrgyzstan was among the first countries to submit its report in January 1999. Similar reports have been provided to the Committees for Human Rights, Children's Rights and Social, Economic and Cultural Rights. For the hearing in the Human Rights Committee in 2000, Kyrgyzstan sent a top-level delegation including the Chief Justice of the Constitution Court and the Prosecutor General. That was another evidence of how serious Kyrgyzstan is about its international commitments.
Kyrgyzstan has always been keen to use every opportunity to address major forums. What is also important, the country has taken very seriously the recommendations of the UN Global Conferences on Environment, Women, AIDS and some others. The Millennium Summit stands out as a meeting where almost all UN Members have committed themselves to landmark goals. Each conference has been followed by a detailed national action plan implementation of which in Kyrgyzstan will lead to a progress in meeting such international goals, as halving poverty and primary education for all.
Within the UN programmes, Kyrgyzstan is playing a very active role as a regional confidence builder. The most recent session of the United Nations Special Programme for Economies in Central Asia in Bishkek has become another excellent example of Kyrgyzstan's devotion to international and regional cooperation and partnership.
Contact: Arkady Divinsky, Assistant to UN Resident Coordinator. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13; e-mail:
On the same day the press conference devoted to the International Women’s Day was held in the UN House. Ercan Murat, the UN Resident Coordinator and the UNDP Resident Representative with his colleagues from the UN “sisters – agencies” provided a brief outlook of what the agencies are doing vis-a-vis assistance to women's empowerment in Kyrgyzstan, highlighting the role of women in their programmes’ successful implementation. “UNDP and other UN Agencies are very active in promoting women's issues. They are the backbone of all our programmes. We realize perfectly well – and want to get this message through – the development of any country cannot be efficient without addressing the needs of half of its people. I would even say, the better half”, Ercan Murat told the journalists.
Kyrgyzstan has made commitments to the advancement of women and gender equality goals in accordance with the recommendations of the Beijing Women's Conference held in 1995. UNDP endorses this approach, and includes the advancement of women as a core thematic area within all its programme activities. Within UNDP Support to Women in Leadership project, almost 300 Women Leaders and 145 women candidates were trained to hold successful election campaigns. As a result, local assemblies have been replenished by a bigger number of women.
UNDP experience in the field of poverty alleviation shows that the best results in micro crediting programs are achieved by groups led by women. Through the efforts of UNVs (23 women UNVs out of 42) and Self-Help Groups Associations, the number of women in the Poverty Alleviation program has increased from 42 per cent in 1999 to about 60 per cent today. The women are instrumental in uniting people at village and community level. Best credit repayment rates are demonstrated in women groups.
James Lynch, the UNHCR Head of Office, told about UNHCR’s activities in protecting women-refugees’ rights, Richard Young, the UNICEF Assistant Resident Representative – about their programmes on enhancement of women’s health. The crucial role of the mass media in any democratic society was highlighted by Ms. Kakoli Ray, IOM chief of Mission, who said that variety of the mass media proves the capacity of the democracy in Kyrgyzstan, and women-journalists contribute much into the democratic processes going on in the country.
After the briefing the heads of Agencies presented flowers to women–journalists and congratulated them with the International Women’s Day, which is celebrated by tradition on 8 of March.
Contact: Arkady Divinsky, Assistant to UN Resident Coordinator. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13; e-mail:
UNDP CENTRAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
“Problems with formulation and execution of local budgets” seminar was held in Sokuluk 13 March. This seminar was conducted by the Budget and Finance Committee of the Legislative Assembly of the Jogorku Kenesh and UNDP Central Governance Programme. The seminar became another stage in fruitful cooperation of the UNDP and the Budget and Finance Committee of the Legislative Assembly of Parliament.
The main purpose of the seminar was to identify main problems of local budgets and of inter-budgetary relations and develop recommendations how to both improve the process of formation of local budgets and establish clear legal regulation of this process.
A continuous openness of questions related to the formulation of local budgets has become an impediment in promoting reforms of local self-governance and budget as a whole. Fast political reforms of local self-governance such as development of overall legislation, elections of ayil governors, and delegation of responsibility was not regrettably accompanied by the same fast and effective measures on delegating municipal property and finance to lower levels. There were no effective tools for execution of local budgets provided and there were no clear legal procedures for the formation of local budgets identified. As noted by seminar participants (representatives of aiyl okmotu of Sokuluk Rayon, representatives of rayon keneshes and financial specialists) a lack of clear regulations and procedures in such an important area can often lead to subjectivism and violations.
The second part of the seminar was marked by hot discussions between representative of local self-governance and NGOs and heads of oblast and rayon state administrations. The participants had the chance to learn about the vision of the Ministry of Finance voiced by Minister Abildaev and that of the oblast top officials (speeches of Mr. Kasymov, Chuy Oblast Governor, and Rayon akims of Chuy Oblast). Due to this different opinions and standpoints of participants were presented.
In general the outcomes of the seminar were useful for the participating parties. There is a big hope that the findings of the seminar will be taken into account in developing a draft Budget Code of the country, which is now a task for the Budget and Finance Committee of the Legislative Assembly. Amongst the assets of the seminar there is a short-term measure that will be adopted by the Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic. In the light of comments voiced during the seminar the Minister of Finance promised to develop instructions on simplifying interactions of local self-governance bodies with treasury agencies.
Contact: Gulmira Mamatkerimova, Coordinator on Transparency and Openness, UNDP Central Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 50 55, 66 46 34, 66 21 08; e-mail:
The press briefing on cooperation between UNDP, IREX and SOROS Foundation in the area of Information Technologies was held at the UN House 12 March. The briefing was organized following the approval of the National ICT Strategy by the President. At the briefing, the representatives of UNDP, IREX and the Presidential Administration told the journalists about tendencies in the development of Internet technologies in Kyrgyzstan and the opening of seven public access points to Internet services in Bishkek, Osh, Talas, Naryn, Karakol and Kara-Balta. These information centers were set up with the purpose of providing local population with access to Internet to surf the net for the latest news and improve their educational level in ICT sphere. The centers are being financed by the US State Department, UNDP and Soros Foundation. The cooperation between UNDP, IREX and Soros Foundation has proved to be fruitful and efficient, and the Memorandum on further cooperation in the sphere of Information Technologies and opening of more information centers in the country was signed between partners.
Contact: Koji Kawabe, UNDP Programme Analyst. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13; e-mail:
Mr. Tony Verheijen, Regional CTA, based in Bratislava, visited Bishkek recently to discuss issues related to programme implementation process. The first reason of his visit was to discuss the fight against corruption in the Kyrgyz Republic with the key players (the Ministry of Interior, the Presidential Administration, parliamentarians, the Public Opinion Survey Center) and their participation in the forthcoming seminar on the anti-corruption measures in Central Asia to be held in Almaty in June 2002. Based on the previous successful work done in the area of surveying corruption in Kyrgyzstan in 2000, the Public Opinion Survey Center was specially approached for a possible regional survey of corruption in four countries to serve as a basis for the seminar. The Center provided all necessary materials and information about the partner – countries and the feasibility of such a research is now being clarified.
Mr. Tony Verheijen also met with Mr. Kumarov, the newly appointed Head of Civil Service Unit of the Prime Minister’s Office to ensure continuity of work and to follow up on the issue of the Resource Agreement, in particular, the adoption of the Resolution to set up a working group for developing the Agreement between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Finance. Regional CTA also met with the international consultant of USAID to discuss the matter of the Resource Agreement.
One more aspect of the regional CTA’s visit was to meet with the national experts and the Minister of Education and Culture to discuss further restructuring plans of the Ministry as a follow up for the functional review. During the meeting with Ms. Sharshekeeva it was decided that during two weeks the national experts will take part in daily meetings organized by the Minister on developing new regulations for the Ministry and its units, identification of functions and a new structure to ensure successful restructuring.
Also, the meeting with the Academy of Management to discuss a symposium on public administration to be held end of June or beginning of July at the Academy was held. It was advised to tailor the program for such symposium around 5 main topics: i) civil service reform; ii) interaction between the state and NGO sector in making the state policy; iii) restructuring of government; iv) decentralization; v) role of Public Administration Schools in the process. Follow-up actions have been agreed between the Program and the Academy. Link-up of the Academy, namely representatives of the Institute of Public Administration, to the Regional Center for Civil Service Training located in Astana and funded by TACIS was also discussed.
Contact: David Coombes, Chief Technical Advisor, UNDP Central Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 50 55, 66 46 34, 66 21 08; e-mail: or Ms. Gulmira Mamatkerimova, Coordinator on Transparency and Openness, UNDP Central Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 50 55, 66 46 34, 66 21 08; e-mail:
UNDP SOCIAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
Ms. Anara Nasyrova, Executive Secretary of Secretariat National Council on Women, Family and Gender Development under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic participated as an official Government representative in the 46th session of the United Nations Committee on Status of Women held in New York. During the session Ms. Nasyrova reported on the current development of state policy on gender and women in the Kyrgyz Republic to the audience of official representatives of all member-countries of the United Nations. The business trip of Ms. Nasyrova is supported by the Gender component of the UNDP Social Governance Programme. Presently, there are two major events to be organised end of March:
9th Donor's Gender Coordination Meeting that will be hosted by the OSCE and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The UNDP Social Governance Programme is facilitating the preparation of the meeting’s agenda, which tentatively will include official presentation of the Second National Action Plan for the Gender Equality (signed by the President on 2 March 2002), discussions on donors’ contribution and participation in the implementation of the NAP, which contains main priorities of our country in the sphere of gender development. All the ministries participated in the NAP development with the assistance of all ministries, government agencies and independent experts with facilitation from UNDP and other donors.
A Round Table on Academic Linkage is being planned by the Social Governance Programme to make effective intervention into development of academic gender in higher education institutions, by assembling all current lecturers of gender courses and representatives of the Ministry of Education to discuss the present situation. This activity is being conducted in close collaboration between UNDP Social Governance Programme and UNFPA.
Contact: Sanjar Tursaliev, Cluster Task Manager, UNDP Social Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 38 85, 66 04 18; e-mail:
The seminar "Women's Rights to Property" was held at the Pinara Hotel on the 5th of March. There is a developing worldwide appreciation to ensure that women’s rights to property are officially recognized and legally registered. The World Bank and other international donor organizations are involved in a number of land administration projects around the world to register rights associated with land and real estate properties. It is the registration of the rights associated with immovable property that is the fundamental building block for the development of a nation. It is particularly important to include women’s rights so as not to exclude 50% of the nation’s population.
Swedesurvey and Sida expressed an interest to address the issue of the registration of women’s rights to immovable property in the Kyrgyz Republic. GosRegister has established comprehensive processes to sporadically or to systematically register rights associated with immovable property with strict adherence to the legal framework of the Kyrgyz Republic. The seminar was organized to highlight the recognition of the registration of property rights particularly women’s rights to property. The organizers included Swedesurvey AB, the Swedish International Development Agency, United Nations Development Programme, the Women’s Congress of the Kyrgyz Republic, Urban Institute and others.
The seminar was a full day with 2 Ministers of National Government delivering addresses and 12 other speakers. The audience exceeded 170 people. The whole seminar was conducted in Russian and all of the speakers were Kyrgyz nationals who work in the general areas of registration of property rights in the Kyrgyz Republic. The audience was representative of all over the Kyrgyz Republic.
The seminar was opened by the Minister for Education, who expressed her appreciation for the opportunity to promote women’s rights.
The Land and Real Estate Registration Project Director and Minister for Local Government provided an excellent keynote address, highlighting the need for legally correct registration of all rights associated with immovable property.
The papers presented at the seminar were collected digitally and will be distributed to local organizations (government and non-government) to facilitate further publicizing of rights associated with immovable properties. This distribution will be undertaken by all the supporters of the seminar and non-government agencies.
Contact: Elisabeth Lundgren, Technical Advisor, Swedesurvey AB, Land and Real Estate Registration Project. Phone: (312) 222 927, mobile phone: 588 332, e-mail:
Update on Counterpart Consortium/USAID/UNHCR/EU/SOROS Foundation - Supported NGO Activities
A chief of the youth committee is usually appointed in all village councils, but the community “Kairat” of the village named after Atai Ogombaev in Talas region initiated elections based on democratic principles and decided to conduct a youth Kurultai (festival).
The youth of the community based organization “Kairat” lobbied this issue in the Kalbinski village administration and invited 94 young people from each village (there are four villages referring to this village administration) to take part in elections. The elections were held in the office of “Kairat”, a secondary school after M. Kozubekova on March 7, 2002.
As a result B. Kamaldinov, a member of the community “Kairat” was elected as leader of the Committee of Youth with 52 votes from three candidates.
The community based organizations initiated creation of a Coordination Council for youth for promoting interests and involvement of youth in elections. It is important for a community that the leader should not be appointed but should be chosen by people.
It is one more step in mobilization and involving of the local population in making decisions, and solving youth problems. The CSSC based in Talas and funded by European Union and Soros Foundation provided technical and consultative support.
Contact: Counterpart Consortium, Lilia Kuchenova, IU/AUK Program Coordinator, NGO Information Coordinator, 107 Kievskaya str., 5th floor, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Phone: (996 312) 61 01 35, 61 00 22, 66 46 36; fax: (996 312) 61 00 21; e-mail: Internet: http://www.cango.net.kg