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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 194
June 13, 2003

In this issue:


  • Conference on FDI Promotion
  • The UNDAF Prioritization Retreat


  • Joint Workshop of UNDP and the World Bank Country Offices
  • Seminar on Gender Sensitive Media Coverage of Political Processes


  • Conference on Reduction of Vulnerability of Injecting Drug Users in the Kyrgyz Republic


  • Presentation of the Community-based Research on Gender and Sexual Behavioural Factors
  • Orientation Workshop for the Southern Journalists on Gender, HIV and Human Rights


  • Round Table on HIV/AIDS and Young People


The Conference on FDI promotion in Kyrgyzstan, organized by the Secretariat of the President’s Special Representative on FDIs Promotion together with UNDP and UNIDO was held in Bishkek on 12 of June with participation of the donor community, government authorities, leading representatives of the private sector and experts. At the Conference the survey results with analysis of FDIs present developments in Kyrgyzstan conducted by UNIDO experts was presented.

In his opening speech Mr. Joomart Otorbaev, the Vice Prime Minister and the Special Representative of the President on FDIs remarked that Kyrgyzstan, being a land-locked country with poor natural resources, needs to develop effective investment policy with support of multilateral donors and international business community, which is represented by the International Business Council.

He pointed out that four major players are instrumental in the process of investment policy development: executive authorities, legislative bodies, development agencies and investors. “As far as Kyrgyzstan’s experience is not unique, we should use the accumulated experience in developing and formulating investment plans”, said Mr. Otorbaev.

Addressing participants of the Conference, Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UNDP Resident Representative, noted the importance of investment promotion conducive to private sector development, stressing that political commitment is necessary in creating a better investment environment.

Ms. Liang Dan, UNIDO Managing Director welcomed participants of the Conference underlying UNIDO’s role in attracting investments. In view of the increasing capacity for international trade Kyrgyzstan should cease this opportunity to become an investment hub and establish synergies through which to contribute to the promotion of MDGs. “It is of paramount importance to develop regional approach to investment”, she said.

The UNIDO Senior Advisor, Mr. P.J. Daly, comprehensively presented findings of the survey, designed and conducted by UNIDO experts, who studied a number of foreign companies to obtain information of the investment climate, learn the views of the existing FDI population on the success of their current investments, and ascertain investment performance in relation to investors’ expectations.

Experts analyzed expectations and achievements of international investors, discovered basic institutional, regulatory and legal impediments hindering effective development of investment promotion in Kyrgyzstan as well as developed concrete recommendations on improving the current situation with investment opportunities.

The findings of the survey will assist the Government in taking appropriate measures on investment environment together with UNIDO. All worked out conclusions and recommendations are directly interrelated with activities within Investment matrix.

For additional information please contact: Koji Kawabe, UNDP Programme Analyst. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13; e-mail:

The UNDAF Prioritization Retreat, known as the first-held retreat across the world, took place in Issyk-Kul on 8-10 June. The main objectives of the retreat were to select strategic priorities for UN System support to the country’s pursuit of key Millennium Development Goals through the CCA and UNDAF and to work more effectively together. About 30 representatives from 18 organizations including UN Agencies, government counterparts and non-governmental organizations took part in the retreat.

Throughout the retreat, all the participants showed very active participation and cooperation in an attempt to achieve the objectives of the retreat. The retreat succeeded in jointly identifying and prioritizing the key challenge areas to be addressed within the UN Development Assistance Framework. It was also an agreed sentiment among participants that the retreat provided invaluable opportunity to enhance the mutual understanding of common goals and to foster very friendly relations.

“UN member states have increasingly requested UN system to adopt more harmonized and more focused approach toward the MDGs and National Priorities. This retreat significantly contributed to finding common approaches and enhancing the partnership among UN agencies, the government counterparts and civil societies,” said UN Resident Coordinator Jerzy Skuratowicz in his speech at the retreat.

Ms. Ukhtamkon Abdullaeva, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection, also noted, "through the retreat, all the participants have got better understanding of common strategies in achieving MDGs and national priorities."

The participants came up with a concrete work plan, which will lead towards the completion of the UNDAF process and designing next country programmes of individual agencies.

For additional information please contact: Arkady Divinsky, UN Coordination Associate at ; or Jae Hee Park, UN Coordination Assistant at . Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13.


Joint Workshop of UNDP and the World Bank Country Offices

The workshop that took place on 4th June 2003 in the mountainous resort of Kashka-Suu outside of Bishkek gathered UNDP and the World Bank senior management and program staff of these two development agencies together to identify potential areas of cooperation and discuss specific issues of collaboration, as well as bottlenecks and shortcomings in coordination of joint activities. The workshop, first in the history of the WB and UNDP presence in Kyrgyzstan was aimed at working out practical recommendations and mechanisms to ensure better coordination and cooperation between the two offices.

“Both UNDP and the World Bank have a very similar mission, approach and commitment to development. Both our organizations play a leading role in donors’ coordination in Kyrgyzstan, so we can build a good platform for cooperation and create a common understanding in addressing the country’s challenges,” – said Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in his opening statement. “We can’t tell others how to spend money, he added. But the entire development community studies carefully the WB and UNDP policy documents, which have an impact on external assistance”.

The event brought a lot of findings and recommendations. Chris Lovelace, the WB Country Manager said that it is possible to find a lot of areas for cooperation between the WB and UNDP. For example, UNDP has an excellent practice in the area of grant distribution and a very good partnership network in all regions of Kyrgyzstan, including established links with local administrations. Also, UNDP is undertaking a new approach to programme implementation and establishes its joint field offices in provinces. This will not only lead to improved UNDP programme management on a grass-roots level but also could serve as a network for cooperation with the entire development community working in the field. During the presentations made at the meeting, it was outlined that common areas of collaboration could include joint activities in public administration reform, poverty alleviation and local governance. All these efforts of both UNDP and the World Bank should be well coordinated and enhanced within joint cooperation activities.

In order to find similarities in approaches and create a good start for the discussion, the World Bank and UNDP portfolios were presented to the workshop participants. “The meeting has just started but we have heard already a lot of times the words “partnerships” and “harmonization”. Basically that is why we are here – to build our partnerships and to harmonize our activity in the country”, said David Akopyan, UNDP Deputy Representative during his presentation.

Finally it was found out that a list of obstacles and constraints for potential joint collaboration is much shorter than the list of areas for cooperation. The workshop participants underlined that it is good for both organizations, and, what is more important – good for the country. “I am sure, said Dinara Djoldosheva, the WB Country Officer, that people of Kyrgyzstan could feel the results of this particular event in the foreseeable future”.

This event will obviously lead to a broader dialogue with other international organizations as well. “Though we have a broad information network – at global, regional and national levels, such “face-to-face” meetings enrich our common understanding,” - said Jerzy Skuratowicz. “We’ll make our best to make the biggest donors of the country be ‘inside the tent’ rather than outside”, said Chris Lovelace, the World Bank Country Manager at the workshop.

The recently published Millennium Development Goals Report was presented to the workshop participants as well, showing the strong link and interconnections of NPRS, CDF and MDGs implementation process. The World Bank, together with the UN agencies, the National CDF Secretariat, a group of national experts and specialists have been actively involved into the process of the first MDG Progress Report preparation, setting a good background for collaboration in MDG monitoring in Kyrgyzstan.

For additional information please contact: Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13, 61 12 11 (180); e-mail:

Seminar on the Gender Sensitive Media Coverage of the Political Processes

Considering the media’s obvious contribution to promotion of gender balance in politics, UNDP Social Governance Programme organized a three days seminar on Gender Sensitive Media Coverage of Political Processes. The seminar attracted more than 40 TV, radio and print press journalists from seven provinces of Kyrgyzstan.

The seminar’s lectures were professionally delivered by a Swedish free-lance journalist, trainer and consultant, Ms. Anne Jalakas, on media and gender around the globe, sexism in media, the golden rules and taboos of gender sensitive media coverage of social and political spheres of life, and mastering of suppression techniques. The lectures alternated with the praxis on writing the gender sensitive articles about the election campaigns, producing TV and radio programmes about participation of men and women in politics.

During the seminar the role of media in instilling the idea that women's participation in political life is an essential part of democracy was stressed. The participant also discussed the reasons for which media should avoid giving negative or minimizing images of women and their determination and capacity to participate in politics, stressing the importance of women's role in economic and social life and in the development process in general.

During the last day of the seminar the journalists together with the consultant and UNDP representatives developed the gender media campaign strategy forestalling elections and the topics for the media blitz competition on participation of men and women in politics.

The programme of the seminar was successfully supplemented with the presentations of the representatives of some international and foreign organizations working with media in Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Nicolas Ebnother, Internews Country Director, told about the Internews activities in Kyrgyzstan and showed some stories produced by women journalists for the TV programme “DOOR”.

The director of Soros –Kyrgyzstan programmes told about women support programmes in Kyrgyzstan and demonstrated TV films on the status of women in CIS countries. Also the seminar was contributed by a representative of the public relations department of the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan, who made a presentation about the projects and programmes of support of the Kyrgyz media; and by the consultant of the Central Asian Media Resource Center who told about the first media network in Kyrgyzstan.

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


On May 29-30 Osh city hosted the Conference “Reduction of vulnerability of injecting drug users in the Kyrgyz Republic”” dedicated to the 1-year anniversary of the methadone substitution programme. The Kyrgyz Republic is the first country in CIS that launched the methadone programme for injecting drug users as one of the HIV vulnerable groups.

In his opening speech Mr. Naken Kasiev, Osh Governor expressed gratitude to the UNDP for its constant support in fight with HIV epidemic. He also noted that recent rapid spread of HIV epidemic in the Kyrgyz Republic, and in Osh oblast in particular, threatens the stability of the country. Urgent prevention measures should be taken; especially among vulnerable groups such as injecting drug users, which make 82% of all HIV recorded cases. The methadone substitution programme is one of these measures as drug users have an opportunity to give up drugs and with this stop the further HIV spread.

The conference was attended by the representatives of the Ministries of Health, Labor and Social Protection, Justice, and Interior, State Committee on Drug Control under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, UNDP, UNODC (Tashkent), WHO, Soros Foundation in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Due to the UNODC (Tashkent) support the representatives of Narcology Departments and AIDS Centers came from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Overall more than 100 participants had an opportunity to learn about first results of the methadone substitution therapy programme.

The programme was launched in April 2002 having one site in Bishkek (under Soros Foundation support) and one in Osh cities (under UNDP support) implemented by National Narcology Center and Osh Narcology Center respectively. During the first year of the implementation both sites had 50 clients (injecting drug users) each. In the Osh programme 40% of all clients are people living with HIV. Three clients have “graduated” the Osh programme and gave up drugs as well as methadone. Half of the Osh clients have found permanent job and one third restored their marriage and came back to the families. In 2003 the number of clients is increasing. At present it makes 80 drug users and by the end of the year there will be 100 at each site.

For additional information please contact: Ekaterina Paniklova, Programme Coordinator, 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:


Presentation of the Community based research on gender and sexual behavioural issues, which contribute to women vulnerability to HIV/AIDS was held on 22 May at the UN House. The research was conducted within the UNIFEM project “Gender dimension of HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyz Republic” by the Republican Women support center NGO. The main goal of the research was to identify socio-cultural factors related to sexuality and sexual practices, gender and behavioral stereotypes, including issues of women discrimination that contributes women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Research investigated levels of knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS among rural women and youth, and overall was meant to increase awareness of the Government and the civil society that gender inequality and discrimination of women are the main reasons of exposure to HIV/AIDS.

The results of the research together with recommendations were presented to representatives of government structures and NGOs, Legislative Assembly of Jogorku Kenesh (the Parliament), UN agencies, international organizations and media.

The quality research on community level was conducted in March-April 2003 in three pilot oblasts (Osh, Issyk-Kul and Talas). During the presentation the research group provided in detail the influence of gender stereotypes formed under the influence of socio-cultural factors, in particular with regard to the sexual sphere, factors of women and girls vulnerability in the sexual sphere, in particular to HIV/AIDS, factors of discrimination of women and girls and violence against women at the family and community level. Special attention during the presentation was focused on the lack of knowledge of rural women and youth of legal aspect of sexual and reproductive health, and the women’s economic autonomy.

The issues of early sexual education in rural community were extensively discussed during the presentation due to actual polemics regarding the appropriateness of introduction of the subject on healthy lifestyle as a compulsory course in secondary school, and as a result, it was strong recommended to introduce in all rural schools of Kyrgyzstan a subject on healthy lifestyle.

The research group hopes that the results of the research would facilitate promotion of gender equality and women rights for reproductive and sexual health, enhancement of sexual culture and education in rural community, elimination of discrimination against women and girls on community and family levels and reducing women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS/STI through behavioral changes.

For any additional information, please contact Cholpon Asambaeva, UNIFEM Manager of Gender dimension of HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic project, tel: (996 312) 62 04 41, 62 04 45, e-mail:

The orientation workshop for the southern journalists on Gender, HIV and Human Rights within the UNIFEM Media Fellowship Programme was held on 26-27 May in Osh city.

During the workshop, organized by UNIFEM together with the Joint UN Agencies Programme on Expanded Response to HIV/AIDS and Osh Media Resource Centre, the specialists on gender issues and human rights, HIV/AIDS prevention jointly with the journalists developed specific media approaches in covering gender dimensions of HIV/AIDS and promoting human rights. The organizers designed the workshop in such a way so that to raise media awareness and knowledge on the issues of human rights and HIV impact on women and youth, to enhance understanding and tolerance of the rural society to HIV/AIDS and to People Living With HIV/AIDS.

Both print and TV/radio journalists, active in covering gender, human rights and HIV prevention issues participated in the workshop. It is planned that they would participate in the media competition launched recently within the UNIFEM project. For the workshop the journalists submitted their earlier print and TV/radio messages on gender, HIV/AIDS and human rights issues, which were used as background materials at the workshop.

In rural community there is a strong stigma and discrimination regarding the HIV and People Living With HIV/AIDS. The role of the media is to break barriers and change the society attitude to this issue, increasing tolerance and understanding.

Participants actively expressed their positions and attitudes regarding the gender dimension of the HIV/AIDS, discussed and provided their appraisal on the results of the UNIFEM community based research on gender stereotypes that contributes to rural women’s vulnerability to HIV. Journalists decided to consolidate their efforts and media knowledge in joint media fellowship programme and asked UN agencies to pay more attention to the regional media and consider the traditional mentality and culture of the southern regions of the country.

For the additional information, please contact Cholpon Asambaeva, UNIFEM Project manager “Gender dimension of HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic”, tel: (996 312) 62 04 41, 62 04 45, e-mail:


UNFPA/ECO Round Table on HIV/AIDS and Young People

“Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Target: By 2015, to have halted and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS”
(Millennium Declaration)

A Roundtable on HIV/AIDS and Young People, organized jointly by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), was held from 5 to 7 June 2003. To develop strategy on raising awareness on HIV/AIDS epidemic concentrating on youth and promoting policy dialogue and better understanding on national levels of issues regarding young people and HIV/AIDS, 61 representatives from eight ECO member countries, namely Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan as well as UNFPA Headquarters and regional staff and members of ECO Secretariat participated in the event.

The roundtable objective was an organization of the meeting of parliamentarians, young people and NGO representatives from the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member countries (Islamic State of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan Republic, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Turkey, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan).

Note: Within 20 years, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has caused untold suffering and death worldwide, destroying entire communities, undoing development gains, and posing a serious threat to whole continents. The disease spreads through infected blood products and drug abuse, but overwhelmingly by sexual contacts. Young people are more vulnerable to infection. Half of new HIV infections are among young people aged 15 – 24, many of whom have no access to information or prevention services.

UNFPA’s strategic framework focuses on prevention among young people. These parents of the next generation are just entering their most productive years, their strength and skills desperately needed by their families, communities and countries. UNFPA supports programmes that promote healthy adolescent development and, among sexually active youth, safer and responsible sexual behavior. Access to youth-friendly reproductive health information and services is a priority for protection against STIs, including HIV.

For additional information please contact: Alexander Ilyin, UNFPA National Programme Officer. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 02, 61 12 13; e-mail:

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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