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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 184
March 14, 2003

In this issue:


  • UNDP Project to Support the Ombudsman Institution
  • Technical Workshop on Preparatory Assistance for Sub-Regional Initiative on Disaster Reduction in Tehran
  • A Training Seminar for Local Governments


  • The Operation TOPAZ Launched at the UN Initiative
  • A Training Seminar for Drug Law Enforcement Officers Held


  • Site of the UN Volunteers Resource Center


  • UNIFEM Supports Three Projects from Kyrgyzstan on Elimination of Violence Against Women




UNDP project to support the Ombudsman institution was signed on 11 March 2003 in Bishkek. “Kyrgyzstan is advanced in democratization and human rights protection, including policies declared by the President announcing the Kyrgyz Republic the country of human rights. But still there is a lot to be done to protect civil liberties”, said Jerzy Skuratowicz, UNDP Resident Representative at the ceremony.

The main purpose of the project with allocated 140 thousand US dollars budget and designed for nine months is to support the establishment of the background for efficient, independent and accessible system of human rights protection in Kyrgyzstan. Funds to support the project were provided by the UNDP Thematic Trust Fund (Democratic Governance).

Importance of the document signed is obvious taking into consideration that human rights protection is one of the most significant and sharp challenges for the country at the present time. Therefore, citizens, state organizations, mass media and opposition will attentively and critically observe the Ombudsman’s activity. Thus, it is crucially important for the Ombudsman office to work effectively from the very beginning, having clear vision and well-trained staff capable to perform the institution’s functions and solve evolving problems professionally.

That is why apart from the policy advice and training of the Ombudsman’s staff, assistance will also be provided to design the Strategy of donors’ support to Ombudsman institution’s development, establishment and development of the institution’s structure and introduction of its internal procedures.

Meanwhile, more than three hundred complaints were received by the Ombudsman in a very short period of time after his election and opening of the office in Bishkek. Mostly, these complaints represent individual appeals after verdicts from courts. “The Ombudsman institution cannot substitute the prosecutor’s office, or courts. It is much more important to provide citizens with capacities and knowledge to protect themselves”, says Mr. Bakir uulu. Three regional Ombudsman representatives who will work in Osh, Jalal-Abad and Naryn provinces were also officially introduced to journalists.

“The role of the Ombudsman’s institution is not to replace the existing judicial system but raise awareness of the society and build a new interpretation for strengthening judiciary systems and legal frameworks for human rights protection in Kyrgyzstan”, said Mr. Skuratowicz at the briefing for journalists took place in the Ombudsman’s office immediately after the ceremony of the project signing.

“UNDP is one of the first rendering assistance to Ombudsman from the very beginning and I could ensure that every cent of the money provided will be used in the most efficient way”, - reported the first Kyrgyzstani Ombudsman to journalists.

Contact: Dinara Rakhmanova, UNDP Central Governance Programme Manager. Phone: (996 312) 66 46 34, 66 21 08; e-mail:

Technical Workshop on Preparatory Assistance for Sub-Regional Initiative on Disaster Reduction was held in Tehran, the capital of Iran, on 2-4 March. The countries of south-west and central Asia, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are increasingly prone to a range of geological, as well as hydro-meteorological hazards. The recurring losses caused by natural disasters have significant development implications for the region. While there is significant technical capacity in the region on most aspects of disaster risk management, some countries lack adequate national level policies, plans, legislative and administrative arrangements for managing and reducing disaster risks.

A number of UNDP country offices in the region have been supporting national level disaster management capacity building projects over the past several years. A number of new projects are in the pipeline. While national programming will continue to have primacy as the vehicle for strengthening national capacities in the region, given the commonality of risk scenarios (e.g. regional scale drought, high earthquake risk in almost the entire sub-region) a sub-regional approach could add significant value to national programming. Recognizing this, the UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) is supporting a one-year preparatory assistance to strengthen national and regional capacities for disaster risk management in south-west and central Asia through the establishment of a Sub-regional Initiative for Disaster Risk management, coordinated from the UNDP Country Office in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

At the time of initiating the current Preparatory Assistance, Technical Workshops were envisaged to bring together national experts working on risk management issues in the sub-region, to identify the critical disaster risk management problems and issues which should become the thematic focus of the sub-regional initiative. The participants of the first workshop represented each of the ten countries. Each team comprised a representative of disaster risk management agency in each country, UNDP focal point on disaster risk management and two other participants representing as best as possible other stakeholder groups in each country such as the Red Cross and Crescent Societies, NGOs working in the area of disaster risk management, technical institutions and academic institutions.

During the first part of the workshop the participants overviewed the current state of disaster risk management in the sub-region and representatives of participating countries made presentations on the current state of disaster risk management in their countries.

The second part included brief presentations on some of the emerging thematic areas followed by group discussions on priority thematic areas:

„h Policy, legal and institutional arrangements for disaster risk management

„h Early Warning Systems

„h Community-based disaster risk management

„h Information and Networking

„h Hazard Specific discussions on disaster risk management issues in the sub-region

Drought management Earthquake risk reduction Floods risk reduction

The final part of the workshop was build on the discussions of the previous sessions and focused on prioritizing some of the key thematic areas and envisaging tangible regional activities that could be initiated in the near future under the sub-regional initiative. The discussions in this part of the workshop explored the possibilities of building partnerships with other ongoing or upcoming initiatives in the sub-region.

Contact: Aynura Alymbekova, UNDP Programme Associate. Tel.: +996 (312) 61 12 13; e-mail:

On 28th February a training programme was held in Suzak (Jalal-Abad province) for the heads of local self-governments and staff of Suzak and Bazar-Kurgan districts as well as of Jalal-Abad municipal administration. The participants discussed implementation modality of the Local Self-Governance Programme, systematic bookkeeping exercises of the local government offices and personnel management techniques.

The first part of the training was conducted by UNVs and CBOs (Community Based Organizations) leaders. The second part of the training was carried out by the responsible secretaries of the regional state administration. The participants of the training programme valued the usefulness of the training and expressed their wish to have such training on a regular basis. It is planned that in the near future a similar training programme will be conducted in the Nooken District and Mailuu-Suu and Tash-Komur towns.

Contact: Anara Salamatova, UNDP Local Governance Programme Manager. Tel.: 996 (312) 66 11 76, 66 48 64; e-mail:


According to the 2002 International Narcotics Control Board’s (INCB) report, approximately 3,400 tons of opium have been harvested in Afghanistan during 2002. To process opium into morphine and heroin a sufficient volume of certain chemicals, named “precurors,” is needed. The attempts to smuggle precursors into Afghanistan as well as en route Central Asian countries have become more frequent.

The Operation TOPAZ launched at the UN initiative is aimed at monitoring international trade in acetic anhydride, which is a main element in heroin production. The monitoring is exercised throughout all stages of the shipment, i.e. from detachment till receipt by authorized body, assisted by advance notifications between countries. Taking into account that out of all Central Asian countries only Uzbekistan is currently participating in the operation, the INCB “urges all Governments not participating in Operation TOPAZ to become more involved in coordinated measures to prevent chemicals from being used in illicit drug manufacture, mainly in Afghanistan.”1 Since commencement of the operation the volume of seizures has increased; hundreds of tons of precursors were seized in 2002, destined for use in clandestine drug manufacture laboratories located in the countries of Golden Triangle, Golden Crescent and South America.

Therefore, one of the strategic priorities of the UNODC’s activities in the Central Asian region is to strengthen precursors control in order to prevent smuggling and diversion of these chemical substances from licit into illicit circulation, i.e. for use in manufacture of narcotics. The UNODC’s project “Precursors control” is currently assisting Central Asian countries in improvement of the legislation and regulations concerning import and export of chemicals, strengthening chemicals import/export control, supplying equipment, consultancy, expertise and training.

Within the framework of the project series of trainings on a ‘’train the trainers’ basis for drug law enforcement officers has been launched. At the beginning of the year, two Kyrgyz forensic analysts have successfully completed five-week training programme at Forensic Institute of the Police Corps, in Bratislava, Slovakia, and obtained certificates “Identification and analysis of controlled substances: Precusors”.

On March 6th, a training seminar for drug law enforcement officers was held in the premises of the State Commission on Drug Control. Ms. Larisa Rodnikova, one of the training programme’s participants, and Head of the Judicial Forensic Center under the Ministry of Justice, trained 14 law enforcement officers in methods of express-analysis of precursors on mobile test kits provided by UNODC.

The officers of the Customs Department under the Committee of Revenues, National Security Service, Drugs Countering Office and Forensic Center of the Ministry of Interior, State Judicial Forensic Center under the Ministry of Justice and State Commission on Drug Control took part in the training seminar.

UNODC is also providing some forensic equipment and scientific materials for the Judicial Forensic Center. The previous assistance to the Center by UNODC was in 1996. This assistance gets really important in the light of the current situation of the Center. Center has got a stock of auxiliary materials and expendables, which will allow it to work only few more weeks. That is why UNODC decided to provide additional forensic equipment and scientific materials worth US$ 8 thousand to the Center in coming days.

Contact: Mr. Baktiar Mambetov, National Coordinator, UN ODC’s Sub-Office for the Kyrgyz Republic. Tel. +996 (312) 66 56 82, 66 05 22, e-mail:


The UN Volunteers Resource Center in Kyrgyzstan located on the ground floor of the UN House in Bishkek is pleased to announce the inauguration of its web site at

The site was put together through the efforts of local volunteers working with the center and supported by Tomoko Matsui, UNV Specialist and Coordinator of the Center together with UNV Programme Officer, Idrissa Kargbo. It is a contribution by the UNV Country Office Team in strengthening UNV's partnership with the UN system and in particular UNDP. It is the first volunteer center physically located within a UN House and is one of the best practices of linking volunteers to development partners and resources.

The site contains basic information on UN Volunteers Resource Center and will be stuffed with more information upon its further development. Feedback is always welcome.

Contact: Tomoko Matsui, Coordinator, UN Volunteers Resource Center – Kyrgyzstan. UN House, 160 Chuy Avenue, Bishkek, 720040, Kyrgyzstan Phone: (996-312) 61 12 11 + ext. 202. E-mail:


UNIFEM supports 3 projects from Kyrgyzstan on Elimination of Violence Against Women. In the end of January 2003 15 projects from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have been approved for funding under the UNIFEM Regional project ˇ§Elimination of Violence Against Women in Central Asiaˇ¨ supported by the German government. The total amount of funding will be about USD 450,000.

Among recipients from Kyrgyzstan are:

„h Secretariat of the National Council for Women, Family and Gender Development Issues under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic;

„h Osh oblast Commission on family and women issues; and

„h Project ˇ§Partnership of governmental organizations and NGOˇ¦s in elimination of violence against women in Central Asiaˇ¨ of the International Association ˇ§Assembly of women NGOˇ¦s in CISˇ¨.

These projects were chosen out of 13 submitted from Kyrgyzstan in the result of the contest announced in October 2002 by UNIFEM among the governmental organizations and NGOs in Central Asia. Ms. Damira Sartbaeva, UNIFEM CIS Regional Programme Director says: ˇ§During the selection of the project proposals the Project Appraisal Committee (PAC) paid a special attention on the ability to achieve strategic goals and develop the potential for replication and its projects implementation in close partnership with other organizationsˇ¨.

Note: UNIFEM promotes womenˇ¦s human rights, political participation, economic and social security, elimination of all forms of discriminations against women. UNIFEM Regional project ˇ§Elimination of Violence Against Women in Central Asiaˇ¨ launched in October 2002 aims to support the efforts of Governments, NGOˇ¦s, mass media and other potential partners in eliminating violence and discrimination against women.

For additional information please contact Ms. Alma Esserkegenova, Project manager, at [email protected] and Mr. Shamil Tyncherov, Coordinator on Public Relations of the UNIFEM CIS Regional Office , tel: +7-3272-62 74 44, 58 26 46, 58 26 43.


Bishkek. (Interfax) - Kyrgyzstan's gross domestic product will increase by at least 6% and inflation will not exceed 4% in 2003 according to Askar Akayev, the country's President.

Personal incomes will grow 8%-10% and budget expenditures on social needs could reach 12% of GDP, Akayev said in his state of the nation speech. The President asked the government to approve in the near future a schedule for drafting the 2004 budget. He gave the government until the end of March to agree on the mid-term macroeconomic development projections for 2004-2006.

He highlighted the need this year to "fulfil decisions made within the framework of the Paris Club of creditors, as the further rescheduling and cancellation of the foreign debt in 2004 depends on this." The funds made available must be used to "fight poverty and stimulate economic growth," Akayev said.

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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