July 02, 2002
In this issue:
UNDP CENTRAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
- Pressroom for journalists in the Kyrgyz Parliament
UNDP LOCAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
- Distribution of Micro-capital grants in Batken
UNITED NATIONS VOLUNTEERS
- Kyrgyz Government Promotes Volunteerism
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
- Contest among the students and pupils of Kyrgyzstan on the best poster on a theme: "STOP DRUGS!"
- 22 Tajik Refugees Granted Kyrgyz Citizenship
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION
- Training of Trainers Seminar for the ILO Programme “Know About Business”.
UNDP CENTRAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
Pressroom for journalists was opened in the Kyrgyz Parliament with UNDP support on June 28. Journalists, who have accreditation in the Parliament, could have now an access for its database and share information with their respective media outlets from the Parliament through the Internet and fax equipment installed in the pressroom. Fourteen computers, a printer, a fax, a video camera, a digital camera, and a copy machine are now at journalists’ disposal in the pressroom and Press Service Department of the Parliament.
The opening of the pressroom was one of the vital components of the UNDP programme “Improving Access to Information and Communication with the Parliament in the Kyrgyz Republic”. The programme was financed by the UNDP Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund in the amount of 125,000 USD with a duration until the end of the year 2002. It started in mid-May 2002 and is implement in close partnership with the Legislative Assembly of the Jogorku Kenesh, in particular with its Speaker, the Committee on NGO and Mass Media, the Department of Press-service, the ICT department, and the Focal point on Donor Assistance to Parliament.
The project is being implemented within the framework of the UNDP Kyrgyzstan program “Political and administrative governance on the central level”. The main objective of the project is to promote democratic and participatory dialogue between the parliament and the nation through human capacity building in the parliament and improving public access to information in the Kyrgyz Republic to NGOs, mass media, citizens and constituencies in the regions. The project would make parliament more assertive and effective as a “forum of the nation”, by recommending appropriate improvements in procedures and organisation (committee hearings, topical debates, question time, access for lobbies etc.), by providing training, public awareness campaigns and educational projects for the enhancement of human skills and capacity in parliament, NGOs, community-based groups and mass-media, designed to promote more pluralistic and open monitoring of use of state power, and by increased public participation in national decision making.
The project staff has installed a local area network in both Chambers of the Parliament during a month and half. They also created possibilities for e-governance in the parliament, working on-line and distribution of information electronically; established access of the parliament web-site to the state portal; established a basis for creation of web-sites by parliament factions, committees, deputies, established a foundation for downloading useful information on the web-site and communicate with the regions through e-mails and e-forums.
The process of improvement of access to parliamentarian information will be continued in remote regions of the country. For instance, in summer, 2002 it is expected to open a Public Access Points for Internet (PAP) in the remotest province of the country – in Batken oblast’s center and in Leilek district of Batken, being the first experience among donor organizations in opening such centers on a district level. Special trainings on how to use ICT applications will be organized for all participants of the process – MPs, mass media, NGOs, local deputies, press service staff of the parliament, MPs’ consultants and experts.
Contact: Dinara Rakhmanova, Cluster Task Manager, UNDP Central Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 50 55, 66 46 34; e-mail:
UNDP LOCAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
Distribution of Micro-capital grants in Batken. Within the second quarter of 2002, the Community Based Organizations (CBO), established in Batken province in the Ferghana Valley as part of the Preventive Development component activities, have submitted thirteen micro-capital grant project proposals for approval and support from UNDP Kyrgyzstan. The usual procedure for the assessment, approval of the proposed projects and disbursement of funds to CBOs involves a number of steps, which ensure transparency and participation of Government officials in the process as well. The Appraisal committee at the Programme Management Unit consists of representatives from the UNDP CO, Office of the President and the Prime-Minister of Kyrgyz Republic, and from the Ministry of Local self-government and regional development and the PMU.
Thirteen proposals have been approved and they include six projects on construction of drinking and irrigation water systems, while three projects will construct school buildings, and four projects will help the local CBOs to restore electricity supply in the villages. All in all, the projects initiated at the grass-roots level have the ultimate goal to serve as tools for decreasing conflict-prone situations. Just recently, the local staff of the Preventive Development component completed distribution of funds to the appropriate CBOs.
Contact: Anara Salamatova, Cluster Task Manager, UNDP Local Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 00 80; e-mail:
UNITED NATIONS VOLUNTEERS
Kyrgyz Government Take the Lead in Promoting Volunteerism. A round table conference on ways to promote volunteerism in Kyrgyzstan took place on the 25th June 2002 in Bishkek. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection in collaboration with the UNV Programme in Kyrgyzstan. The Chairperson for the occasion was the Minister of Labour and Social Protection, Ms. Rosa Aknazarova. Other participants in the meeting included: Mr. Jan Kamp, UNDP Officer-in-Charge, representatives from international and national organizations and senior Government officials from various ministries as well as from the regions.
The objective of the meeting was to identify ways by which Government and Volunteer organizations can promote volunteerism in line with resolution A/RES/56/38 adopted by the UN General Assembly on the 20th January 2002. The meeting also served as opportunity for participants to identify ways by which voluntary actions can contribute in the realization of the objectives of the Comprehensive Development Framework (2000-2010).
In her opening remarks Ms. Aknazarova underscored the contribution of volunteers in social development in Kyrgyzstan. She noted that volunteerism constitutes an essential tool for overcoming the many social problems facing the country. She further noted that the challenges facing the country could only be overcome through the active involvement of all age groups through volunteerism.
In his keynote address, Mr Jan Kamp UNDP's Officer-in-Charge also emphasized the contribution of volunteerism in overcoming problems like HIV/AIDS, environmental degradation, and care for disable and vulnerable groups. He made reference to the UN General Assembly session on volunteerism (5th December 2001), in which 123 countries including Kyrgyzstan adopted resolution 56/38, which calls for member states to promote volunteerism. He outlined the role of UNV in promoting volunteerism and how government can support volunteerism as recommended by UN member states. He reminded participants on the need for government to create an enabling environment for voluntary organizations and volunteers to operate smoothly.
NGO leaders echoed the same view and all gave an overview of their activities and how those efforts help compliment government work in areas like caring for the old, support to homeless children etc. They catalogued activities undertaken by their respective organizations and the immense role of volunteers in accomplishing those tasks. All agreed that these activities would have otherwise been funded by state budget, thus posing enormous constraint on the limited resources. Meanwhile, all in their presentation emphasized the need for legislation on volunteerism. All noted that the absence of legislation makes it difficult for the growing number of volunteers especially among the youth to be actively involved in voluntary work. They commended the Ministry of Labour for organizing the roundtable and described it as a first step in strengthening collaboration between the voluntary sector and Government.
The conference ended with a declaration in which both government representatives and NGOs unanimously agreed among other things to work closely in promoting volunteerism and ensure the adoption of legislation on volunteerism in the country. For that, the National Coordinating Council was appointed to oversee the process and to coordinate all activities relating to volunteerism in the country. The council is made up of government representatives, NGOs and representatives from international organizations.
Contact: Idrissa Kargbo, UNV Programme Officer. Phone: + 996 312 (61-12-13). Fax: + 996 312 (61-12-17). Email:
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION (WHO)
Within the framework of the World day against drugs (26 June) State Commission under the government of the Kyrgyz Republic on drugs control, Ministry of Health, State Committee on Tourism Sports and Youth Policy, Ministry of Education and Cultures of Kyrgyz Republic with the support of UN agencies (WHO, UNICEF and UN ODCCP) conducted a Republican contest (20 May - 20 June 2002) among the students and pupils of Kyrgyzstan on the best poster on a theme: "STOP DRUGS!"
The main scope and purpose of the contest were to give the opportunity to the young generation of Kyrgyzstan to express their attitude towards the problem of substance abuse, and consequences of consumption of drugs, to raise awareness among children and youth about danger connected with consumption of drugs.
The problem of substance abuse and drug trafficking had become more and more aggravated in Kyrgyzstan. Recognising importance of the problem of drug abuse and trafficking, the government of the Kyrgyz Republic has approved anti-drugs legislation and several programmes, including the State program of counteraction to distribution drug abuse and illegal drug market for 2001-2003.
However, economical instability in Kyrgyzstan, and limited state budget do not give the Government of Kyrgyzstan the opportunity to allocate sufficient funds for organisation of effective preventive measures. The basic difficulties, which governmental and public structures encounter with include weak logistic support for the development, creation and distribution of printed products - posters, brochures etc., popular and attractive to youth, containing anti-drugs information.
On 26 June 2002 a solemnly ceremony of awarding of the winners of the contest took place in the Youth Aesthetic Centre “Baladjan”. The representatives of UN agencies such as UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF and WHO and representatives of European Union congratulated participants of the contest with their contribution in the drug prevention activity. The exhibition of the best contest posters will be extended in Bishkek up to 10 July 2002.
Contact: Cholpon Asambaeva, WHO National Programme Officer. Phone: (996 312) 29 87 98, 29 87 91; e-mail:
In a move hailed by refugees and UNHCR alike, the Central Asian state of Kyrgyzstan granted citizenship to 22 Tajik refugees in a ceremony held in its capital, Bishkek on 1 July 2002.
"Today is the most memorable day of my life," said Kufledin Badirov, a Tajik refugee from Alamydynskiy rayon (region), upon receiving his new passport. "I am very grateful to people of Kyrgyzstan for their warm asylum to refugees from Tajikistan. I would like also to thank UNHCR and Legal Clinic who helped us obtain citizenship."
In the last year, Kyrgyzstan has granted Kyrgyz nationality and passports to 1,274 refugees from Tajikistan who have spent at least seven years in the country. "Refugees here have done a tremendous job at integrating," said James Lynch, who heads UNHCR's liaison office in Bishkek. He noted that the process has been helped by the fact that a majority of the country's long-time refugees were ethnic Kyrgyz who fled Tajikistan's civil conflict and who share many cultural ties with locals.
"I am ethnic Kyrgyz and for me Kyrgyz citizenship means a lot," said former refugee Badirov, now a naturalised Kyrgyz. "Firstly, Kyrgyz citizenship will strengthen my ties with Kyrgyzstan, my new motherland. Secondly, as a citizen I will enjoy additional rights that I could not enjoy before as a refugee: right to purchase land, right to vote. Now I can buy my own land!"
Monday's ceremony, attended by the deputy chairperson of the Citizenship Commission under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, was the latest in a series of high-profile events to naturalise refugees in Kyrgyzstan. In April, First Lady Mairam Akaeva attended one such ceremony to welcome more than 130 refugee-turned-citizens. She told them, "Your choice to become citizens, to live and bring up your children here, demonstrates the highly humanistic spirit of Kyrgyz people and is an achievement of Kyrgyzstan."
After years of review and amendments, Kyrgyzstan recently produced what many refugee law advocates consider to be a model refugee law. The new refugee legislation, the Law of the Kyrgyz Republic on Refugees, was passed by the country's Jogorku Kenesh (parliament) on February 14 and signed by President Askar Akaev on March 26.
For UNHCR, the signing of the refugee law, together with the rapid action by Kyrgyzstan to naturalise long-time refugees, was the culmination of many years of hard work and co-operation with the government and various sectors of the country's civil society. "It was a long-outstanding issue that finally bore some fruit," said UNHCR's Lynch. "The new law sets up the standard that people get a hearing, and they have the right of appeal."
Beginning as far back as 1998, the UN refugee agency had worked closely with a number of government officials, non-governmental agencies and various parliamentarians on early drafts of the recently-promulgated refugee law. The new legislation improves on the country's previous "Temporary Provision on Refugees" in a number of ways. The most important improvement is that the new law removes references to "safe-country" alternative contained in the earlier provision that caused many asylum seekers to be rejected as they had passed through other states before finally arriving in Kyrgyzstan. The country's new law also gives rejected asylum seekers the right to appeal the initial decision regarding their claim to asylum through judicial review, an option that individuals fleeing their homeland did not have under the country's temporary legislation.
UNHCR believes that the legislation also expands upon definitions as embodied in the 1951 Convention, as it also defines a refugee as anyone fleeing civil strife – a more encompassing standard similar to that included in the refugee convention of the Organisation of African Unity. In order to help increase the public's understanding of why a law was required and enhance the possibility that more refugees might get Kyrgyz nationality, UNHCR staff in Bishkek embarked on a number of ventures to spread the word that refugees were not a threat. The refugee agency also worked to make both government officials and the public aware of the fact that many of the country's more than 7,950 refugees and 400 asylum seekers were already well integrated, many of them successful farmers. But despite the increased level of attention the refugee naturalisation process has received, and the many positive aspects of the new refugee law, UNHCR remains on the lookout regarding the application of the fresh statutes. The agency hopes these will be implemented as quickly as the welcome legislation was accepted by the country's parliament.
Contact: James Lynch, UNHCR Head of Liaison Office. Phone: + (996 312) 61-12-64, 61-12-65, 61-12-66. E-mail:
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION
Training of Trainers Seminar for the ILO Programme “Know About Business”. First practical step in the framework of the Project “Youth and Adult Entrepreneurship Education in Central Asia” was a training of trainers’ seminar for the ILO Programme “Know About Business”, which started its work in June 24 2002 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The opening ceremony was attended by Mr. M. Djunushaliev, First Deputy Minister of Labour of the Kyrgyz Republic, Ms. A. Ryskulova, Director of the State Employment Department, Mr. N. Askarov, Head, Central Directorate of Vocational Education, Mr. A. Urbaev, Head of the TACIS project “On Support to the Training and Retraining of Unemployed and Disadvantaged Groups through the Establishment of a Training Fund“, Mr. I. Baimatov – representative of the National Observatory of the European Training Foundation and others.
The Project is carried out by several departments of the ILO – IFP SEED, IFP SKILLS, ILO Moscow Office and a Regional Office of the Programmes “Start and Improve Your Business” and “Know About Business” in Almaty, Kazakhstan and is funded by the Netherlands Government. The main partner in the implementation of this project in Kyrgyzstan is the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population and its divisions – State Employment Department and Central Directorate of Vocational Education.
The basic aim of the seminar is to train local experts who meet the international educational requirements and standards and who in the future will work on the Programme “Know About Business” in the system of vocational training with the end users – pupils and students. The seminar is also targeted at testing and adaptation of the training materials and the methods of the “Know About Business” Programme to the specific conditions in the CIS countries.
The seminar is conducted by certified ILO trainers – Ms. Svetlana Brutchikova and Mr. Alexander Kuznetsov, who have vast experience in training of trainers of the SIYB Programme in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation.
Participants of the seminar were selected by the Central Directorate of Vocational Education at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population on the basis of the requirements worked out by the Regional Office of the “SIYB”/“KAB” Programmes in Almaty, Kazakhstan specially for the KAB Programme trainers. Six out of fifteen participants of the seminar represent Osh, Jelal-Abad, Naryn, Talas, Chui and Issyk-Kul regions of Kyrgyzstan. Regional principle of participants’ selection allows in the future to achieve institutionalization of this programme on the whole territory of the Kyrgyz Republic.
In conclusion, the strategic aims of the “Know About Business” Programme, such as youth employment promotion, choice of entrepreneurship as a career path, establishment of entrepreneurship culture are in full accordance with the Government’s Complex Programme of Cooperation of the Kyrgyz Republic, which runs up to 2010 and is a basis for the activities of all the state establishments and international organizations working in Kyrgyzstan.
Contact: the ILO Moscow Office; Ms. Severine Deboos, Programme Assistant, Enterprise Development, tel. (095) 933 0823, fax 933 0820, e-mail: or Mr. Sergey Muzyka, Regional Coordinator of the ILO, tel. (3272) 69 6949, e-mail Please visit our website at http://www.ilo.ru