July 11, 2002
In this issue:
UNDP CENTRAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
- Saturday Seminars in Public Administration
- Two-day Workshop on HIV/AID Prevention in Bishkek
- Regional Conference on HIV/AIDS in Tashkent
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION
- Situation with Child Labor in Kyrgyzstan as of Research Results
MISSIONS AND REPORTS
- Report on attracting Foreign Direct Investments to Kyrgyzstan
- UN Contest among local journalists on the best Healthy Life Style theme coverage finished
- Trip of Bishkek Municipal Drama Theater to Naryn and Issyk-Kul
UNDP CENTRAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMME
“Saturday Seminars in Public Administration” were successfully completed on 29th June in Bishkek. Seminars were aimed to train Kyrgyz college teachers in different techniques of public administration. The Course was organized by UNDP (Central Governance Programme) and Civic Education Project (Soros Foundation) in close partnership with the American University in Kyrgyzstan (AUK) and the Kyrgyz Academy of Management. Ten young teachers from Bishkek universities during seventeen Saturdays discussed practical problems of the public administration around the world and in Kyrgyzstan, as well as the complexity of administrative processes in public organizations. To make seminars most effective and useful a variety of learning methods were applied: lectures, focus group discussions, reading and cases. Participants were invited to ask questions, share ideas and inspire their quieter colleagues to participate in the discussions.
The introduction of Western style of public administration as an academic discipline is a very important tool for starting to understand the public administration system in contemporary Kyrgyzstan and initiating for search of new concepts of the state administration among local social scholars.
Thus, the main aims of the Seminars were to develop and introduce a real Public Administration course for the undergraduate students in the universities in Bishkek and to create a network between young teachers in order to build a mutual support system for young academics engaged in research and teaching of public administration.
A wide range of themes discussed on seminars included Politico-Administrative Relations, Bureaucracy, Governmental Decentralization and Reorganization, Organizational Design, Change and Development, Group Behavior and Communication, Leadership, Budgeting, Motivation and Ethics, Accountability and Responsiveness and Information Technologies. The best Kyrgyz trainers in the area of Public Administration from Academy of Management, American University in Kyrgyzstan and UNDP (Mr. David Coombes, Professor of European Studies, University of Limerick (Ireland) and Talaibek Koichumanov, former Minister of Finance (Doctor of Science)) moderated the Seminars.
As a result of the Seminars, the participants of the Seminars and the Association of Teachers in Public Administration produced a curriculum on Public Administration for universities in Bishkek
Contact: Dinara Rakhmanova, Cluster Task Manager, UNDP Central Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66-50-55, 66-46-34; email:
Two-day Workshop on Implementation of the State Programme to Prevent HIV/AIDS by ministries and state agencies started 10th of July in Bishkek under the UN support. Seventy-three participants of the Workshop including representatives of ministries, state agencies, non-governmental and international organizations are discuss an urgent measures to prevent spread of HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan. In accordance with latest statistics, in 2001, 149 HIV cases, or ten times more than in 2000, were registered in Kyrgyzstan. This figure is almost three times higher than the whole number of HIV cases registered since 1987. Such a dramatic growth shows an obvious link with drug trafficking from Afghanistan and a sharp growth of drug addicts in Kyrgyzstan. Thus, in the most suffering Osh province in the South of Kyrgyzstan a number of HIV cases increased 44 times in 2001, where 97 percent of HIV infected are drug addicts.
Since 1997, UNDP and other UN Agencies have been intensively working on HIV/AIDS prevention. Today, the UN Agencies and the Government are actively implementing a joint programme on HIV/AIDS prevention, involving different ministries and non-governmental organisations and mass media. One of the main achievements of this UN activity is formulation of the national policy on HIV/AIDS prevention, strengthening of the country potential, preparation of national experts in this area, and mobilisation of public efforts for intervention among vulnerable groups of population. By the request from the Government, the UNDP AIDS project supported implementation of situation assessment and analysis of national response to HIV/AIDS/STI epidemic in the country. Also the country was supported in the development of Strategic Plan of national response to HIV/AIDS epidemic and new State Programme for 2001-2005.
Due to the acute change of the situation with HIV infection spread in Kyrgyzstan, and as per the Declaration of the Special Session of UN General Assembly on AIDS, held in 2001, the UN Agencies developed the Joint UN Agencies Programme on Expanded Response to HIV/AIDS for 2002-2004, targeted at the support of the State programme on AIDS prevention. Implementation of the Joint Programme will support the Government of the country in development of the preventive programme, as well unite and co-ordinate the efforts of all national and international organisations to localise HIV epidemic and to reduce its social and economic consequences.
As Head of UNDP office in Kyrgyzstan Mr. Jan Kamp said in his speech at the Workshop, prevention must be the mainstay of the response. The goal of this direction is to decrease by 25% the number of HIV infected young people by 2005. The achievement of this goal requires development of preventive programs among the public. 90% of young people of the age up to 24 should have access to the information and education, and peer education programmes. The important aspect is to encourage for responsible behavior and expend of access to the methods of protection (clean syringes and condoms). The following programs should be developed: voluntary and confidential counseling and testing; provision of medical procedures, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, prevention of prenatal HIV infection transmission.
The other significant aspects of the activity are care, treatment, and support; realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, and first of all for the representatives of the vulnerable groups will reduce vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and the vulnerable must be given priority in the response. Empowering women is also essential for reducing vulnerability.
As a result of the Workshop each ministry and state agency will develop a special programmes on HIV prevention.
Contact: Larisa Bashmakova, Programme Manager, Joint UN Agencies Programme on Expanded Response to HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic, tel./fax: (996 312) 66 36 91, tel.: (996 312) 66 16 17, e-mail:
Increased drug use in Central Asia is directly linked to the spread of HIV/AIDS in the region, a three-day regional conference said on 28 June 2002. "The (drug) problem affects the society as a whole, particularly young men and women, and results in an increase of deaths, human immunodeficiency virus infections and crime," said the final recommendations of the Regional Conference on Drug Abuse in Central Asia: Situation assessment and responses. The meeting was attended by representatives of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The event was cosponsored by UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, the European Office of the World Health Organization, the Government of Austria, the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
More than 60 percent of Uzbeks infected with HIV are believed to be intravenous drug users. An examination of used syringes in Tashkent revealed 45.5 percent contained HIV positive blood. A U.N. team said last year that drug addicts reused syringes without sterilizing them. The U.N. drug body's 2000 statistics for the region were presented at the conference. It estimated the number of drug addicts in the region to be between 355,000 and 432,000, with Kazakhstan accounting for between 165,000 to 186,000 of those cases. The report said Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan had "very high" rates of drug abuse. The rate per 100,000 people was 1,644 to 2,054 and 1,110 to 1,251 respectively. The comparative figure for Britain is 580 and for in Italy, 569. In Pakistan, the number was 360. All five Central Asian states have been hit by the transit of drugs from neighboring Afghanistan on their way to profitable Russian and Western markets.
"The availability of cheap drugs in Central Asia is leaving behind a trail of drug abuse," the U.N. drug body said in the report's executive summary. At the conference, Rustam Nazarov, the Tajik drug czar, said the amount of drugs coming into the region was expected to increase. "Analysis of the current drug situation in the country (Uzbekistan) shows availability of real threat to national security and population health," the Uzbek National Security Service stated in a news release Thursday. The conference recommended that national laws and policies should be in agreement with international conventions on human rights and should ensure protection of privacy and confidentiality.
The conference has helped cooperation at the regional level, Uzbekistan's First Deputy Foreign Minister Sadyk Safayev said. By Marina Kozlova (UPI) Tashkent, Uzbekistan, June 28
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION
Situation with Child Labor in Kyrgyzstan as of Research Results. Ten-year-old Maksat waves his polish-stained hands in the air as he solicits business on one of the busy streets in the Kyrgyzstan capital, Bishkek. "Baike [which means older brother in Kyrgyz]," he croons at passers-by, "let's clean your shoes, it is really cheap." Maksat, in his dirty, ragged clothes, told IRIN he earned 50 soms (US $1) a day polishing and shining shoes. He uses the money to buy bread for his family and to buy pencils and notebooks for the two days he attends school every week.
Child labour is illegal in Kyrgyzstan, but Maksat is just one of thousands of children forced to work to provide family support. According to the United Nations, more than 55 percent of families live below the poverty line in this Central Asian country. Amina Kurbanova, the social projects manager of SIAR-Bishkek Marketing Research, which has undertaken research for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on the issue, said there were up to 7,000 children in Bishkek alone working on the streets and in bazaars. There were no government programmes to deal with the problem, she said, and in the capital, there was only one organisation working with street children – The Centre for Children Protection.
"When we were doing our research, children were so embittered that they did not want to speak with us. There are no official statistics on how many children work or why they do it. The last official statistics were published in 1999 and stated that only 575 children work. Kurbanova added while the children converged on the capital from various small towns across the country, her research indicated that 70 to 80 percent of them came from towns surrounding the capital. Many of them arrive in the city with their mothers.
Aigul Eje, who left Batken with her children to look for work, told IRIN: "My husband has gone to Russia to earn money, I still do not have any news from him. My elder daughter is 14 and she does not study at all. We have to work in order to live. I am selling cigarettes and earning approximately 60-70 soms (US $1.5) per day, but I have to pay for the place where we live. It costs 700 soms (US $14-15). It is not enough, therefore my children work too."
One six-year-old boy, Sasha, who told IRIN he did odd jobs, said his mother drinks a lot and has asked him beg if he cannot find work. Another, Ilias, told IRIN he had spent seven years in schools in Talas, east of Bishkek, before coming to the capital with his mother. "Now I have to work to help my mum because I do not have a dad," said the youngster who sells cigarettes, bubblegum and newspapers on the street.
According to UNICEF, while children in the cities do odd jobs, those in rural areas too are removed from school at a young age and put to work on farms.
The Kyrgyz Children's Fund (KCF) said in a recent report that it was concerned about the growing number of street children in the country, "many of whom have left home because of abusive or alcoholic parents". It said that the living conditions of children, particularly in rural Kyrgyzstan, were deteriorating since the fall of the Soviet Union. In addition, an increasing number of families in the cities were abandoning their children because they were unable to provide for them.
"The socioeconomic situation does not effectively ensure decent living conditions for all children. Basic needs for shelter, food, and clothing seldom are met. After independence, vaccine-preventable diseases such as diphtheria, polio and measles re-emerged. A range of serious nutrition-related problems affects a large number of children, especially in rural areas," the report said. BISHKEK, 8 July (IRIN)
MISSIONS AND REPORTS
Report on Attracting Foreign Direct Investments to Kyrgyzstan prepared recently. Mr. Szabolcs Szekeres, an international expert in the area of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) visited Kyrgyzstan in May-June 2002 under the request of the Kyrgyz Government and support of UNDP. The agenda of his visit included participation in the International Conference on FDI held in Cholpon-Ata (Issyk-Kul), meetings and consultations with representatives of the offices of President and Prime-minister, as well as ministries, state agencies, private sector, non-governmental and international organisations. The research on obstacles in the area of attracting FDI and measures which should be taken in order to positively change the situation was developed as a result of Mr. Szekeres's mission. The UNDP role in this process was also reviewed in the Report.
The obstacles to the inflow of foreign direct investments, the Report says, could be summarised by six major problems which include high level of bureaucracy, corruption, large-scale smuggling, lack of legal stability, lack of regional co-operation and security.
All these problems were clearly formulated by the Kyrgyz officials themselves starting with President Akaev, who stated in his opening remarks at the International Conference on “Promotion of New National Investment Policy: the Roles of the Government and the Private Sector”, that the country is seeing capital flight because of changes and departures from the liberal regime adopted 10 years ago.
Recommendations of the international expert were listed in the report and include:
- Review the organisational structure of the government’s effort to attract foreign investment;
- Review the tasks involved in the matrix;
- Speed up and strengthen the process of privatisation;
- Promote large green field projects;
- Implementation of the “one-stop-shop” office;
- Commission a number of marketing studies and
- Start a programme whereby foreign trade representatives join selected diplomatic missions.
The report is available at the UNDP country office in Kyrgyzstan and could be find also on UNDP Kyrgyzstan website: http://www.undp.kg/publications
UN Agencies Media Contest. Within its efforts to support mass media in Kyrgyzstan, the UN System has announced the winners of the contest held in print and electronic journalism. The theme of this year's competition was "Healthy Life Style". Each sponsoring Agency (UNFPA, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNV and UNHCR) came up with its own nomination.
The contest, which lasted three months, has attracted 57 entrants not only from the country's leading media based in Bishkek, but also from Osh, Issyk Kul and Chui provinces.
Acting UN Resident Coordinator James Lynch and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative David Akopyan presented the awards on 10 July at the Central Asia Media Center.
In print journalism the winner – for the second year in a row – was Kifayat Askerova from the Chui province weekly Chuiskiye Izvestiya (Chui News). The second and the third prizes went to Nurgul Askerova of Zaman Kyrgyzstan and Mikhail Nebera of Komsomolskaya Pravda in Kyrgyzstan, respectively. There were no first-prize winners in television and radio categories, but the works of TV channels Piramida and KTR, radio stations Retro and LW were among laureates.
James Lynch thanked all participants and congratulated all the winners for their contribution in a higher awareness of the Kyrgyz public in the activities of UN Agencies. He also noted that the theme of the contest resonates with the objectives of what the UN system is taking efforts to accomplish in Kyrgyzstan.
Contact: Arkady Divinsky, Assistant to the UN Resident Coordinator. Phone +(996 312) 61-12-13. Fax: +(996 312) 66-12-17. Email:
Tour of the Bishkek Municipal Drama Theater to Naryn and Issyk-Kul provinces took place between 11 May and 8 June 2002. The project was initiated by the Public Fund of Arsen Umuraliev and aimed to bring ancient and modern musical culture to poor people in remote areas of Kyrgyzstan. With the support of the UN Family, Joint Swiss-Kyrgyz musician duet "Duo-Intercontinental" of Martin Shumaher (Swiss Jazz) and Jusup Aisaev (Kyrgyz Folk) gave 9 concerts for more than 6,000 people including disabled, poor and tuberculoses-infected children. Mr. Umuraliev, who is a renowned actor and very famous person in Kyrgyzstan continuing to play a role of UN Goodwill Ambassador, opened each concert with UN messages - "Peace and harmony and equal rights for all people", "Care of your life from HIV/AIDS", "Protect Environment", "You could run from poverty if you really wish and will work a lot". In parallel with concerts famous Swiss musician Martin Shumaher gave master-classes and improvisation lessons for students of musician schools and professional musician in Naryn, Karakol and Cholpon-Ata cities.
Note: The Bishkek Municipal Drama Theater has been working in Kyrgyz capital since 1991 and was launched in 1993 by the performance of the ancient Japanese legend The Crane's Feathers by Kino Sito. From that time more than 20 performances were prepared and presented to Kyrgyz public by the young and talented artists consist of three groups of the Theater - drama, folk and jazz. One of the main features of the BMDT is that it promotes a new generation of spectators and accustoms the young to the theater and culture as a whole.
The Theater is a permanent and committed partner of the UN Family in Kyrgyzstan. Actors of the Theater are participating in almost all public events, being organized by the UN. UNDP project "Support to the Bishkek Municipal Drama Theater" funded by UNOPS and implemented in 1999-2000 was aimed: