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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 195
June 20, 2003

In this issue:


  • Mission on Water Management Visited Kyrgyzstan


  • The Seminar on the Role of Parliament Groups in Jogorku Kenesh


  • Celebration of the World Refugee Day


  • International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
  • Visit of the official delegation representing the UNODC Headquarters in Vienna


On 9 May 2003, the UN Framework Team meeting was convened in New York to follow up to the UN Secretary General’s mission to Central Asia in October 2002, where the issues of the UN assistance in democratic, economic and social reforms of Central Asian states were discussed. During that meeting, UNDP agreed to fund initial consultations with the Governments of the Central Asian States on water resource management in the region.

In accordance with this decision, the mission, comprised of UNDP consultants, Michael Rathnam and Eric Sievers, was commissioned to Central Asian countries to meet with the Governments to prepare an overall assessment of the regional institutional structures for the current water resource management in Central Asia.

Taking into account the various interventions of the international community, it is expected that the consultants will recommend and prepare the strategy that UN should take in the next two to three years to move ahead in this area. In this context, they are expected to review intentions and possible outcomes of the proposal by the Central Asian states to create a “special UN commission”.

Note: There are a number of key water management issues in Central Asia, the scope and technical complexity of which require a coordinated response from the international community together with the Governments of the Central Asian states. Given that the fundamental issues are governance and political process, the mission will prepare an overall assessment of the regional institutional structures for the current water resource management in Central Asia.

For additional information please contact: Adilet Abdybekov, UNDP Programme Associate. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 13; e-mail:


The seminar on the role of parliament groups was held jointly by UNDP and Jogorku Kenesh (the Kyrgyz Parliament) on 13-15 June at Issyk-Kul Lake. The seminar was organized by UNDP Central Governance Programme together with parliament fractions and groups within UNDP supported project on Strengthening Parliament’s Capacity through support of parliament groups financed by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

The seminar was aimed at working out recommendations for raising professional skills of Parliament groups and fractions through enhancing capacity and raising knowledge of participants about roles and functions of parliamentary fractions and groups of the Parliaments in Western Europe. Among the participants of the seminar were members of the Parliament, the Parliament’s administrative staff, civil servants and journalists.

Mr. Herrit Falk, the experienced consultant in parliamentary issues, the former member of the Parliament and former chairperson of the Committee of defense at the Parliament in Netherlands was specially invited to conduct the training. He made presentations on the roles of Parliament fractions in the Parliament’s activities, the basics of fractions activities and lobbying techniques in political fractions’ activities.

In the course of the seminar the recently published booklet “Fractions and parliament groups in Kyrgyzstan’s Parliament” prepared by some leaders of Parliament groups in cooperation with UNDP staff was presented to the participants.

Among issues discussed at the seminar were the existing problems and perspectives in parliamentary activities and case study of the similar experience of the Parlimants in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. The participants also studied the methods of strategic planning and conducted the SWOT analysis of fractions’ activities: their advantages and shortcomings.

The seminar’s programme was complemented by NGOs’ and mass media representatives that have practice and experience of cooperation with the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan.

For additional information please contact: Dinara Rakhmanova,, UNDP Central Governance Cluster Task Manager. Phone: (996 312) 66 46 34, 66 21 08; e-mail:


On 20 June 2003, the world observed the World Refugee Day for the third time. For this third anniversary, UNHCR has chosen refugee youth as the focus of the celebrations, with the theme: « Refugee Youth – Building the Future».

Among the refugee population, young people are among the most vulnerable. Not only do they face the difficulties all refugees encounter but they are also submitted to particular hardships because of their young age and specific vulnerability. Separation, exploitation, abuse and violence, exposure to HIV/AIDS, military recruitment, access to education are some of the dire challenges they have to meet.

Currently, there are approximately 7,400 refugees and asylum seekers registered in the Kyrgyz Republic. More than 55% of them are youth and children under 18. UNHCR office in Bishkek works hard to identify, understand and effectively address their special problems. Together with our partners, from other UN agencies and the NGO community, we try to find immediate and long term, durable solutions.

To commemorate the World Refugee Day for refugees in Kyrgyzstan, OCM Bishkek conducted a public awareness campaign and held two major events. On 17 June, Art Competition on the theme “My Future” took place in the Youth Cultural Center of Kant town. Approximately 100 refugee and “new citizen” (previous refugees, now naturalized citizens) children from Chuy Valley participated in the contest. UNHCR staff collected all drawings and later on 20 June displayed them in the hall of the National Historical Museum. Three prize kits, containing a schoolbag and drawing materials, were awarded to the artists of best pictures. 1st prize was awarded to a 14 year old boy, ethnic Kyrgyz refugee from Tajikistan, 2nd prize - to a 15 year old Chechen asylum seeker girl, and 3rd prize was awarded to a smallest participant, 4 year old daughter of a new citizen. Every contest participant received a WRD T-shirt, and enjoyed a small WRD celebration which included a concert, performed by Kyrgyz and refugee children; and lots of ice cream eating!

On 20 June, Multicultural Celebration was held in Bishkek in the premises of the Kyrgyz National Historical Museum. After opening of the celebration by Mr. J. Skuratowicz, UN Resident Representative, and Mrs. Tentieva, Vice-Chairman of the “Meerim” charitable foundation, UNHCR partners handed over certificates of completion of vocational training courses to young Afghan refugees and Chechen asylum seekers. The courses are funded under UNHCR programmes.

After the official part, there was a concert performed by young Kyrgyz dancers and talented refugees from Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Chechnya (the last ones were the most exciting to watch!).

Invited guests were able to peruse children’s drawings, as well as to study the information on UNHCR activities in Kyrgyzstan, including info about DAFI educational programme for young refugees, and Reproductive Health programme for refugee youth with special emphasis on HIV/AIDS prevention. National food cooked by refugee women of different ethnic groups was offered to the invited guests, journalists and refugees.

For additional information please contact: Gulzat Aitimbetova, UNHCR Focal Point for Public Affairs. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 64, 61 12 65; e-mail:


Since June 26, 1987, when Declaration was adopted at the International Conference against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, June 26 has been declared as an International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Every year a theme is established and thousands of people around the world are mobilized through UNODC's field office network, which also collaborates with civil societies, to celebrate 26 June and to promote drug awareness.

The theme for this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, “Let’s talk about drugs”, sums up the best starting point for tackling any problem: recognizing that it exists and speaking openly about it. An estimated 200 million people worldwide use illicit drugs. That translates into 4.7 per cent of the global population aged over 14. Those figures are alarming enough in themselves. But the effects of drug abuse go far beyond the individuals concerned and cause incalculable harm to society in health, social and economic terms - including the spread of HIV.

"'Let's talk about drugs...' underlines the need for children, families, peers, teachers and communities to talk about drug abuse, admit that it is a problem, and take responsibility for doing something about it," states UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his message for 26 June, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. "The support of caring and listening parents has proven to be one of the most important protective factors against drug abuse. But for the many young people around the world who do not have the advantage of a supportive home environment, we all have a special responsibility."

On the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking the State Commission on Drug Control with support of the UNODC, EU, UNDP and private companies (Beta Stores, JSC “Reemtsma Kyrgyztsan”) has launched series of promotional activities in Kyrgyzstan. Some sport events such as soccer matches, swimming contest and street ball games will be organized for youth. Activities also envisage an entertainment to be staged at Ala-Too square of Bishkek on June 26, 2003. Popular singers, showmen, representatives of state authorities and NGOs active in the field of drug abuse prevention and treatment will take part in the event. Moreover, a special fair of youth vacancies, various contests, distribution of prizes for winners of the contests, and dissemination of posters ands leaflets raising youth awareness on negative impact of drug abuse will be arranged during the show.

To read full message of the UN Secretary General, please go to

An official delegation representing the UNODC Headquarters in Vienna paid working visit to countries of Central Asia from 16 to 23 June 2003. Within the framework of this mission, the UNODC Deputy Executive Director Ms. Sumru Noyan and the Head of the UNODC Law Enforcement and Drug Supply Reduction Department Mr. Brian Taylor visited Kyrgyzstan from 18 to 20 June 2003.

The aim of the visit was to brief the Kyrgyz Government and counterparts on ongoing and expected UNODC drug control activities, familiarize with current drug and crime situation in Kyrgyzstan and measures undertaken by Government in the field of combating illicit drug trafficking and drug abuse, as well as to discuss prospects of further cooperation in this field.

During the visit Ms. Noyan met with H.E. Mr. Askar Akaev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Askar Aitmatov, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Jersy Skuratowicz, the UN Resident Coordinator, Heads of UN agencies, and the US Ambassador.

On June 19, 2003 a project document on establishment of the Drug Control Agency in Kyrgyzstan was signed by the Kyrgyz Government and the UNODC. The ceremony was held in the Government House. Prime Minister Mr. Tanaev signed the project on behalf of the Kyrgyz Republic and Ms. Noyan was authorized to sign the project on behalf of the UNODC.

For additional information please contact: Mr. Bakhtiar Mambetov, National Coordinator, UN ODC’s Sub-Office for the Kyrgyz Republic. Tel. +996 (312) 66 56 82, 66 05 22, e-mail:

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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