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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 191
May 09, 2003

In this issue:

The Second Business Forum for Central Asian Cooperation

  • The Second Business Forum for Central Asian Cooperation


  • OCHA/UNDAC Mission to Kyrgyzstan


  • Social Mobilization: Agreement of Cooperation signed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, UNDP and the Association of Local Self Governance Institutions of Villages and Settlements
  • The Oblast Level Forum on Poverty Alleviation Held in Jalal-Abad


  • Workshop on Management and Planning for Representatives of Local Communities from Naryn Oblast


  • Support to the Kyrgyz Statehood Center

The Second Business Forum for Central Asian Cooperation

On May 6-7 the second Business Forum of the Central Asian Cooperation member countries took place in the Southern Kyrgyz City of Osh. The Forum gathered more than 2,000 representatives of almost all of the Central Asian countries, representatives of the small and medium businesses from Central Asian countries, the United States and Europe, Russia, Europe, Turkey, India, and Malaysia.

The Kyrgyz President Mr. Askar Akaev and Prime Minister Mr. Nikolay Tanaev attended the Forum. Addressing the Forum, the President noted the importance of cooperation for enhancing the opportunities of all Central Asian countries in the long-term period of the region’s economic development. The US Treasury Under-Secretary for International Affairs, Mr. John Taylor and Britain’s Minister for International Development, Ms. Claire Short, were among the first guests arrived to Osh. The Forum started with the opening of the exhibition of Kyrgyzstan’s leading industrial companies. During the Forum, the participants discussed extensively cross border issues, possible ways of joint cooperation and developed principles of integration cooperation and measures to solve the customs and transport problems.

The importance of this Forum cannot be underestimated. 12 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the countries of Central Asia are still in search of the most effective ways of cooperation, which will define their place in the global economy.

As a unified economic space, Central Asia with its Ferghana Valley, has a highly skilled human capital and a tremendous potential for private sector development, for attracting foreign direct investment and expanding trade with the world. This challenge for the future development can only be met through cooperation within the region, trade and transit liberalization and an effective border management beneficial to all the countries concerned.

UNDP believes that this is the only way to ensure economic prosperity, human development and effective poverty reduction. As Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, the UNDP Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan, noted, through its network and presence in all the countries of the region, UNDP is committed to support national approaches to regional cooperation.

Among the many challenges supporting these objectives, the following can be mentioned: development of marketing services, particularly related to the agricultural sector; institutional strengthening of informal farmers’ organizations as a tool for SME development; and cross border income/employment generation activities which have already started across Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with the two UNDP country offices in Dushanbe and Bishkek working closely together.

Cooperation between governments, business and the society is a precondition for development and prosperity. In Mr. Skuratowicz’s words, UNDP is open for partnerships which will promote cooperation and good neighborhood relations between the countries of the region and which are ready to move from agreements to implementation.


Following the recent landslide in the Uzgen district in the Osh province of Kyrgyzstan and considering the expectation of repeated emergencies on a yearly basis, a professional advice both to the Government and the UN system on an effective and coordinated response to disasters would be very useful and timely. The interest in such a mission was voiced also by an official of the Ministry of Ecology and Emergencies.

In view of the above, the Government of Kyrgyzstan and UNDP office in Kyrgyzstan approached OCHA (the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) with the request to provide assistance to the victims of the disaster in the south of the republic and also place a mission to assess the situation and provide advisory services to the Government and UN Country Team.

The OCHA/UNDAC mission worked in Kyrgyzstan within 7 – 10 of May under the authority of the Resident Coordinator and in close consultation and coordination with the UN operational agencies. The mission comprised of three members, Mr. Toby Lanzer, Mr. Mati Raidma and Mr. Hubert Vetter, spent four days in the country with the field visits to Osh and Jalal-Abad provinces.

The meetings they had included those with Mr. Joomart Otorbaev, Kyrgyz First Vice Prime Minister and the Head of the General Co-ordination Committee on Emergencies, Mr. Satyvaldy Chyrmashev, the Minister of Ecology and Emergency Situations, Mr. Naken Kasiev, the Governor of Osh province and other government officials. The mission visited villages in Uzgen and Alay districts of the Osh province and traveled to Mayluu Suu uranium tailings in northwest of Jalal-Abad to get the picture of natural disaster threat in that particular region of Kyrgyzstan and provide their recommendations on how to cope with possible calamities.

During this period the work carried out by UNDAC team focused on providing support in the assessment of the results of the recent disaster with recommendations for effective response in the immediate and medium term; assessment of potential threats (unless the situation stabilizes, a few other settlements are potentially exposed to similar landslides and floods, including the old post-soviet uranium tailings in Mayluu Suu). Overall, the mission provided recommendations and advice to the Government and UN Country Team on further actions to be taken in disaster preparedness and response for the next year's likely emergency situations.

At the last day of the mission the briefing was organized for the relevant governmental officials, UN Country Team members and mass media on the current disaster preparedness and mitigation and possible risk reduction.

Note: The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team is a stand-by team of disaster management professionals who are nominated and funded by member governments, OCHA, UNDP and operational humanitarian United Nations Agencies such as WFP, UNICEF and WHO.

Upon request of a disaster-stricken country, the UNDAC team can be deployed within hours to carry out rapid assessment of priority needs and to support national Authorities and the United Nations Resident Coordinator to coordinate international relief on-site.

Members of the UNDAC team are permanently on stand-by to deploy to relief missions following disasters and humanitarian emergencies anywhere in the world.

Contact: Alexander Kashkarev, UNDP National Programme Analyst. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13. Fax: (996 312) 61 12 17. Email:


“The Social Mobilization model is field-proven and well applied by UNDP during the four years practice, giving people hope and new knowledge to help them to solve their daily problems, – said Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UNDP Resident Representative at the ceremony of signing the Agreement of Cooperation between the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, UNDP and the Association of Local Self Governance Institutions of Villages and Settlements.

The Agreement implies training of the Ministry’s staff at all levels as well as training of local self-governance bodies’ employees, in methods and approaches to social mobilization. A full set of study materials and practical manuals will be provided to each ayil okmotu as well as all rayon and oblast administrations.

Besides, the Agreement sets forth that the parties will conduct joint work on the establishment of self-help groups, their training and support, whereby a full set of services, rendered today to UNDP’s target groups, will be provided, including assistance in the organization of income generating activities, training in obtaining credits, assistance in the development and implementation of rural infrastructure rehabilitation projects etc. Hence practical, everyday involvement of UNDP in the social mobilization schemes will enable social workers of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and members of the Self-Governance Association to conduct this work independently in the future.

On April 18 2003 President of the Kyrgyz Republic signed a Decree on “Measures on further development of social mobilization in the interests of poverty reduction in the Kyrgyz Republic”. The Decree is aimed at securing large-scale and active usage of positive social mobilization experience, accumulated in the country, for the purposes of poverty reduction, successful implementation of tasks and objectives, set forth in the Comprehensive Development Framework of the Kyrgyz Republic 2010 and National Poverty Reduction Strategy for the period of 2003-2005.

In accordance with the Decree, social mobilization efforts on the national scale must turn into one of the main objectives of all branches of government, local state administrations, local communities, non-governmental organizations and the civil society in general.

“After the first training on Social Mobilization field staff of the Ministry got in March social service personnel have now an understanding on how to work with villagers on the grass root level,” – said Ms. Roza Aknazarova, Minister of Labor and Social Protection on the ceremony.

For the purposes of effective implementation of this objective, UNDP Kyrgyzstan deems it possible to disseminate the accumulated social mobilization experience by means of rendering practical assistance to a number of state and non-governmental organizations with the aim being to employ a uniform social mobilization model, tested and proven by practice.

Practical activities on dissemination of social mobilization experience have already been started. UNDP Social Governance Programme conducted a series of five-day practical seminars in February – March 2003 in all oblasts of the Republic for social workers of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, staff of oblast and rayon administrations and ail okmotu. 96 social workers of ail okmotu, 32 representatives of the rayon social protection departments and 8 representatives of the oblast social protection departments took part in the seminars.

Training was mostly aimed at sharing the knowledge on the concept, methods, mechanisms and peculiarities of social mobilization and work with the poor population in the rural areas. – “One of the main achievements of Social Mobilization is that people started to believe in their own strengths, getting self-reliance. Through participation in social mobilization people find new possibilities to build their future, - Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz reiterated.

“Social Mobilization model worked out by UNDP is being adopted by many international organizations working on the grass roots level in Kyrgyzstan now”, – said Kurmanbek Dyikanbaev, Chairman of the Association of Local Self-Governance Institutions of Villages and Settlements. And the most valuable achievement in this model is support provided to people’s initiative and participation in decision-making processes.

The signed agreement will be in force during the entire year 2003; further, the conditions of the Agreement may be amended or altered to reflect the changes to come. The Agreement is open for any other organizations, involved in the social mobilization schemes, to join as well.

Note: At present UNDP is active on the local level in all seven oblasts of Kyrgyzstan. 362 villages of the Republic have already been embraced by social mobilization. With the support from the staff of two UNDP programmes – social and local level, more than 3 000 community organizations with more than 40 000 participants have been established in villages. Besides, this experience is widely expanded to cover villages, not included in the number of the pilot ones, but the population of which participates in training programmes.

Having begun with 1998, a large amount of trainings took place with UNDP support, aimed at training members of the established community organizations in methods of agricultural management, organization of income generating activities, methods of obtaining and using credit funds, accounting, marketing, joint planning etc. Villagers that have undergone trainings gained access to financial resources, both for the purposes of economic activities, and for village infrastructure rehabilitation. Over the five years of their participation in UNDP programmes, citizens, involved in social mobilization schemes, obtained microcredits for a total amount of 160 mln. soms from the Kyrgyz Agricultural Corporation, and 7,5 mln. soms – from the recently established 17 Local Development Funds, also created with UNDP support. The social collateral and mutual responsibility scheme, adapted within the framework of social mobilization, allows to secure a high (98%) return rate for the obtained credits.

As of today, the villagers also implemented 345 social infrastructure rehabilitation projects with a total cost of 63 million soms. What is remarkable is that contributions of the community organizations and local authorities made up for 60 percent of the infrastructure restoration projects’ costs.

Contact: Ainura Kypchakbaeva, Cluster Task Manager; UNDP Social Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 38 85, 66 04 18; e-mail:

The oblast level forum on poverty alleviation was held recently in Jalal-Abad town in the South of Kyrgyzstan with the participation of the Oblast Governor Mr. Sharipov and representatives of local administrations and international organizations.

During the forum all the speakers marked the UNDP programmes’ success achieved and the existing problems in the process of poverty alleviation, and contributions to this process made by international organizations working in the oblast.

Then the Governor awarded with the Honor Awards of Jalal - Abad oblast the UNVs working in UNDP Programmes for the involvement in the solution of the social and economic problems in the region - Ms. Janna Saralaeva, the coordinator of UNDP Preventive Development Programme, Ms. Davliat Orozalieva and Mr. Alai Ergeshev, the National UNVs of UNDP Local Governance Programme in Suzak and Aksy rayons, and Ms. Himiya Suerkulova, the National UNV of UNDP Social Governance in Jalal - Abad oblast.

Contact: Ainura Kypchakbaeva, Cluster Task Manager; UNDP Social Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 38 85, 66 04 18; e-mail: or or Anara Salamatova, Cluster Task Manager; UNDP Local Governance Programme. Phone: (996 312) 66 11 76, 66 48 64; e-mail:


Representatives of local communities from Jumgal and Ak-Tal rayons of Naryn Oblast arrived to Bishkek to participate in a workshop on Management and Planning that was held from 3 till 8 May. It was organized by the UNICEF Project on Community Based Education Information System aimed at establishing child friendly environment and implemented as part of the National Plan of Action “Education for All” and the State Programme on Realization of the Rights of the Children in Kyrgyzstan “New Generation”.

The participants discussed programme planning, monitoring and evaluation tools. Their task was not only to improve their activities but also to prepare documentation for expansion of the project to other regions of Kyrgyzstan.

The Project was initiated at the beginning of 2002 by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Education and Culture, the Kyrgyz Academy for Education and local authorities with support of UNICEF. The purposes of the System established significantly differ from the traditional information education system. The latter supposes collection of data from bottom up. It is often the case that those who develop a data collection form and those who use it are not involved in a collection process, while those who collect data cannot use it.

In its turn, the Community Based Education Information System focus on children, their education process and needs rather than on school or education system. It is designed to collect information about children and answer the questions: who of them attend school, in which form; who of them do not attend school, where they live, what they do and what the reasons for non-attendance are; what programmes would be developed to ensure that all the children can receive basic education.

The Community Based Education Information System is believed to be an effective tool for fulfillment of the one of the fundamental rights of the child, a right to education that is guaranteed by the Kyrgyz Constitution and the Convention of the Rights of the Child.

Community involvement helps to enhance the potential of parents, society and children. They start sharing ownership and responsibility over education process. Therefore, this System allows to make communities less dependant and to mobilize their won resources to increase an access and quality of education.

During the First Central Asian Education Forum held in Almaty in January 2002, a working group on Information Education Systems was formed. In June 5-6 2003, in Bishkek at the Second Forum, the delegates will be exposed to the report and will discuss future directions for developing such systems.

Similar pilot projects were initiated in a number of countries of the world after acceptance of 1990 World Declaration on “Education for All”. It asserted that while governments should remain the principal agents in education, governments should also forge stronger partnerships with other actors. Communities are among those actors.

Contact: Richard Young, Resident Representative. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 24, 61 12 25; e-mail:


Support to Kyrgyz Statehood Center under the Kyrgyz National State University, Bishkek, and its branch in Osh (capital of the Southern Osh Province)

Having in mind UNESCO’s expertise in Culture of Peace and Intercultural Dialogue Programmes, and UNDP’s experience in conflict prevention Programme in the southern Kyrgyzstan and its existing network across the region at the grass-root level, the joint UNDP/UNESCO efforts to support Kyrgyz Statehood Center will be aimed at establishing a think tank to promote Culture of Peace concept and continuing Inter-Cultural dialogue in the country and Central Asia region through the following areas of its activities: (i) Facilitating dialogue of the network of national institutions, academicians, NGOs, and international organizations from the region to share best experiences and generating ideas for developing new methods of non-violent conflict resolution that include traditional peaceful approaches, different multi-ethnic and cross-border initiatives in the Ferghana Valley (via Internet, academic press, thematic conferences) (ii) Promoting linguistic pluralism and encouragement of multilinguism through organization of thematic competitions, conferences and round tables among academicians, journalists, national institutions and NGOs to stimulate inter-cultural dialogue and generate innovative approaches in this area that would be applicable to the context of realities of Ferghana Valley and Central Asian region in general. (iii) Revising curriculum materials, particularly history textbooks, to promote mutual understanding and remove bias and stereotypes, creating new curriculum materials addressing peace, non-violence and human rights (iv) In view of the forthcoming UNESCO/Japanese FIT Project “Preservation of the Silk Road sites in the upper Chuy Valley in Kyrgyzstan: Navekat, Suyab and Balasagyn”, UNESCO on-going regional project on Silk Road and possible continuation of the regional UNDP Silk Road Area development Programme (aimed at fostering economic cooperation between the Central Asian countries and China) a range of events might be initiated and coordinated in cooperation with its national counterparts, relative academicians and media to give visibility to these projects, and activating inter-cultural dialogue and initiating new researches in this area.

There would be very close links ensured between the Kyrgyz Statehood Center project, UNDP Kyrgyzstan, in particular with its Preventive Development Programme, and with UNESCO Regional Office in Almaty. The project would be also backstopped and supported by relevant UNDP Country Office staff located in Bishkek and Osh. The project office would be located in the building of the Kyrgyz National State University, and backstopped and supported by the staff of the University.

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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