May 21, 2002
In this issue:
UNDP LOCAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
- A Series of Seminars in the South
- International Volleyball Tournament Organized in Batken on UNDP initiative
- Sectoral Programme on HIV/AIDS for the Ministry of Defense
MAJOR POLITICAL EVENTS IN KYRGYZSTAN (RECENT DEVELOPMENTS)
- On the recent riots in the South of Kyrgyzstan
UNDP LOCAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
Last week there were series of seminars in the South: first in Djalal-Abad, then in Osh and Batken oblasts on Organization of Local Governanceactivities according to the adopted laws on Local Self-governance and Communal Property (Decentralization of Power). The seminar hosted 322 participants. They were the heads of all Ayil Okmotus of the mentioned regions, chairpersons of keneshes of different levels, heads of rayon administrations and the governors of each oblast. The group, which provided those seminars, was headed by the Minister of Local Self-Governance and Cluster Technical Advisor of the Local Governance Programme. Representatives of different Ministries also took part in those seminars and made their speeches on local governments functions.
Seminars started with practical part and many questions from participants' side were warned. They visited several villages in each of the oblasts; met with some CBOs, where the latter told about their activities, saw some of the projects, which were implemented by them. And again the participants of the seminars were assured that people are getting well with self-governing. The main thing, that people are not waiting for some kind of instructions from top, but solving things on their own: taking decisions, making savings, doing credits and helping so each other, planning and implementing projects with the purpose of improving their living conditions. Most of the questions coming from participants’ side were the questions of land. USAID Funded Chemonics project did its best in answering them.
For two days in each of the oblasts there were extensive discussions on questions concerning local governments activities. Participants adopted concrete decisions, which will promote local governments (municipalities) activities go ahead. And again much attention was paid to the replication of the programme's activities to other non-pilot Aiyl Okmotus.
Contact: Anara Salamatova, Cluster Task Manager, UNDP Local Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 00 80; e-mail:
International volleyball tournament was organized in Batken on UNDP initiative. 7-8 May in Pulgon village in Kadamjai district of Batken oblast the UNDP Preventive Development Component conducted the International volleyball match for the Ferghana Valley Cup.
Twelve teams including teams from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, participated in the match. Comprised of players representing various nationalities residing in Batken, Osh and Jalal-Abad provinces, the UNDP Kyrgyzstan team was wearing its own uniform with UNDP logo. At the end of the tournament all participants were awarded with good prizes and diplomas.
The sport competition, specially organized to develop and strengthen good-neighbor relations in Ferghana Valley evidently proved that along with official diplomacy between the countries there is people’s diplomacy, which is also efficient. From the neighboring countries came not only players but also a lot of fans and local authorities representatives.
The UNDP Preventive Development Component, initiated International Volleyball match and supported it financially is being successfully implemented in Batken province since 2000. The Programme has several already completed and on-going projects on building schools, supplying the local population with safe drinking and spray water, and other projects, somehow or other related to prevention of possible conflicts between people living in villages close to the border in the most vulnerable, densely-populated and multiethnic Ferghana Valley with high level of unemployment, in particular, among youth. (For detailed information on the project and the communities where it works, go to the Preventive Development Programme’s homepage at http://www.pdsouth.elcat.kg)
Besides the mechanism of social mobilization, which proved to be successful in all three UNDP programmes implemented in Kyrgyzstan – Poverty Alleviation, Decentralization and Preventive Development, there is now a search for new approaches, which can further promote development of cooperation of the Ferghana valley people. That is why in view of these developments, the UNDP office in Bishkek decided to support the match. The local authorities of Sohd (Tadjikistan), Batken (Kyrgyzstan) and Ferghana (Uzbekistan) provinces participated actively in the preparation of the event.
The joint action taken by UNDP Kyrgyzstan, Kadamjai Rayon Administration and the project on Peaceful Initiations of Communities funded by USAID was very much appreciated by the local people of the Ferghana Valley. As it was communicated by Abdraim Jorokulov, the Regional Coordinator of the UNDP Preventive Development Programme in Batken oblast, after the match he was asked to continue such initiatives in the region. The people told that this event had helped them to believe that the borders did not divide the neighboring countries, and that all people of Ferghana valley strive to live peacefully and cooperate with each other in the name of the best future for their children.
Contact: Ruslan Monolbaev, Preventive Development Component Coordinator, UNDP Local Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 00 80; e-mail address:
On May 17, 2002 the Ministry of Defense and UNDP together with the National AIDS Center held a working meeting on discussing the development of sectoral programme on HIV/AIDS for the Ministry. The chief officers of the Ministry of Defense, representatives of National AIDS service, NGOs, and UNDP HIV/AIDS programme staff attended the meeting. In the process of the meeting they discussed main strategies, directions and activities of the Ministry of Defense in HIV/AIDS prevention area.
The meeting was concluded with the presentation of eighty packages of methodical materials on HIV/AIDS prevention which Alexander Kashkarev, UNDP National Programme Officer handed over to Zamir Moldoshev, Head of the Main Operations Department at the Ministry. The materials for the military officers to carry out HIV/AIDS/STI prevention programmes among the personnel were prepared within the framework of the UNDP HIV/AIDS programme for all major military divisions of Kyrgyzstan.
Contact: Larissa Bashmakova, Coordinator for HIV/AIDS Component, UNDP Social Governance Programme, tel./fax: (996 312) 66-36-91, tel.: (996 312) 66 16 17, e-mail:
MAJOR POLITICAL EVENTS IN KYRGYZSTAN (RECENT DEVELOPMENTS)
BISHKEK, May 20 (Reuters) - The president of Kyrgyzstan acknowledged on Monday that authorities were responsible for the deaths of demonstrators in clashes with police in March and urged his Central Asian state to work for reconciliation.
Askar Akayev issued the call in a nation-wide broadcast after a senior government official had presented the findings of a commission, which said the actions of local officials and police had caused the deaths of five protesters.
Five civilians were killed and dozens wounded in the protests in southern Kyrgyzstan staged to demand the release of local parliamentarian Azimbek Beknazarov. He had been arrested for alleged abuses as an investigator in a prosecutor's office and later conditionally released.
Tensions in Aksy district have, however, remained high amid opposition demands for an independent inquiry into the clashes and demands for the government's resignation.
Akayev, in comments posted on the government Web site http://www.gov.kg , said the findings of the commission were "based on decisions concerning officials at different levels found guilty in connection with the deaths of people."
The president, who had led his mountainous republic bordering China and three ex-Soviet states since Soviet times, was initially hailed in the post-communist period as a lone liberal in a region dominated by authoritarian leaders.
But in recent years, human rights groups have complained of unfair elections and treatment of opponents.
The protestors also want authorities to denounce a treaty ceding Kyrgyz territory to China.
Under the pact, ratified by parliament last week, Kyrgyzstan is to give up 1,270 sq. km (510 sq. miles) of land. Neighbouring Tajikistan also agreed on Monday to cede territory to Beijing. Akayev last week said the border pact was a victory for Kyrgyz diplomacy because it had ceded just 30 percent of the original territorial claims made by China since Soviet times.
Kyrgyzstan's heated political situation poses a dilemma for the United States, whose troops form the core of a multinational force of 2,000 servicemen deployed near the capital Bishkek.
Washington expresses concern over human rights in Central Asia but is keen to maintain warm relations with the region's leaders whose support it needs to carry out strikes from local bases on Islamic extremists it sees as terrorists.
Text of report by Russia TV on 19 May on the recent riot in the South of Kyrgyzstan
[Presenter] Now I would like to draw your attention to the Kyrgyz events. Members of the state commission, who have visited the country's south to look into the weeklong protest action, have failed to reach an agreement with the protesters. The Bishkek-Osh highway is still blocked. The protesters are planning to march to the country's capital.
[Correspondent] A meeting between the picket and the members of the state commission, dispatched by the Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev to the south of Kyrgyzstan to tackle the problem on the spot, has failed to produce any results.
The people of the commission will ask the president to dismiss some of the government officials. However, the protesters have not reacted to this message. About 2,000 people are blocking the Bishkek-Osh highway in turns. They are demanding the resignation of the president and the government over the murder of five people during clashes between demonstrators and police in Aksy District in Dzhalal-Abad Region two months ago. Some 100 people were injured during the clashes. However, no one has yet been punished for that. Moreover, the people also demand the removal of criminal charges against some opposition leaders. They are also not happy with their social and economic situation. They want the border agreement with China to be revised in accordance with which 30 per cent of the disputed territory is to be ceded to Beijing.
They have set up an improvised rostrum on the nearest rock to the road. It is being used by speakers who called on the picket to stand their ground and not to give in to the authorities. [Correspondent] Some of the picket leaders are quite determined. They announced their readiness to lead the people to the government building in the country's capital. [Correspondent] The commission is now leaving and the picket is continuing. The road remains blocked. Meanwhile, the leaders of the picket are deciding on how to reach the capital as soon as possible.