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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 221
April 28, 2004

In this issue:


  • Investment Promotion – Joint Efforts of the Kyrgyz Government and the UN organizations


  • International seminar on “Raising the Effectiveness of the Parliament”


  • Football coaches learn to communicate issues of HIV/AIDS prevention to young sportsmen


  • Kyrgyz Passports for Tajik Refugees


  • People in the south of the republic are refusing to leave for safer areas despite latest landslide deaths.


Investment Promotion: Joint Efforts of the Kyrgyz Government and the UN organizations.

A round table discussion on the UNIDO/UNDP Investment Promotion programme took place on April 28, 2004 in the “Pinara” Hotel in Bishkek. The meeting was conducted by the government of the Kyrgyz Republic with the support of the UNIDO and the UNDP in Kyrgyzstan. Among the 70 participants were the representatives of the Kyrgyz government and international organizations, the private sector and the mass media.

The conference aimed at discussing the ways of attracting foreign investment and the lessons learned throughout the UNIDO/UNDP Investment Promotion programme. The participants discussed the possibility of a single investment promotion agency establishing, based on the analysis of the current legal and institution setting in the country.

“It is important to keep in mind that the process of foreign investment attraction is closely related to national private sector development”, said Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator.

If we take a look at the amount of the FDI flow in the region, it is clear that the majority goes to Kazakhstan on utilization of the gas and oil sources. Kyrgyzstan has no significant natural resources, so in order to bring effectively FDI into the country, favorable conditions have to be created for the investors, which in the first place, implies establishment of the clear legislative frameworks and regulatory mechanisms”.

In the course of the programme, deep analysis has been done and recommendations have been made on accomplishment of the existing structure of controlling organs responsible for foreign investment attraction. All the findings have been presented to the participants of the meeting.

For additional information, please contact Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Relations Officer. Tel.: (0 996 312) 61-12-13. Fax: (0 996 312) 61-12-17. Email:


International seminar on “Raising the Effectiveness of the Parliament”

International seminar on “Raising the Effectiveness of the Parliament” was held on April 23-24, 2004, in Issykul with the support of the UNDP and the Government of Netherlands.

Along with the deputies from both chambers and the key staff of the parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakh parliamentarians, the representatives of the Russian State Duma and the government of Netherlands as well as the deputies of the National Assembly of Hungary and Netherlands Parliament took an active part in the session.

“I am not sure that the population of our countries has an idea of where is Kyrgyzstan or Netherlands situated”, said Willem Hendrik de Beaufort, Head of the Office of the Netherlands Parliament. “But the small countries have a lot of advantages – and first of all their faith in democracy, which is the basis of the prosperity of the country.”

The main goal of the seminar was to discuss the ways of increasing the effectiveness of the parliament activities, transparency of its work, professional growth of the staff, accomplishment of the work of factions and different political parities and the usage of experiences accumulated in this field by the European parliaments.

“In the moment of gaining independence, the main challenges for the newly established states were the issues of building the national identities of their countries on one hand, and transition from centralized to democratic governance on the other”, said Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UNDP Resident Representative to the participants of the seminar in his greeting speech. In this way parliaments should play significant role in support democracy development, superiority of laws and observance of human rights as well as contribute to smooth transition to effective market economy.”

According to the constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic, there are two chambers in the parliament of the country comprising Legislative (of 60 deputies) and Public Assembly (45 deputies). As a result of the elections of the year of 2000, political parties got 15 chairs in parliament. In the course of the referendum conducted in February 2003, Kyrgyz population voted for changing the structure of the legislative body. Due to this decision, during the next elections in 2005, 75 deputies will be elected on the basis of single member constituency. Political parties will have no chairs in the parliament of new convocation.

Therefore, the Kyrgyz parliament is facing a set of serious problems including the creation of necessary conditions for transition to unicameralism as well as the increase of the controlling functions, accomplishment of the law preparation procedures, the time-limits, transparency and accountability in the face of people.

Since 1998, the UNDP has assisted the parliament of Kyrgyzstan in the key trends of its activities including the accomplishment of its controlling functions, the increase of transparency and accountability in the field of budget planning, improvement of the access of the population to the information about the parliament activities and increase of the role of its faction as well as perfection of its structure.

Within the framework of the project, training workshops and tours have been organized, during which the Kyrgyz deputies have had a chance to learn about the international experience in the field. The practice of open budget hearings has gradually been established not only in the capital, but also in the regions. Besides, a number of publications have been prepared, including a budget guide for the citizens of Kyrgyzstan and the first publication concerning the status of the factions and political groups in the Kyrgyz Republic; also, the press-center has been equipped and a library reading-room established.

“We’ll continue to further work with the parliament”, - said Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, “since effectiveness of this major institution will affect the future development of the country.”

For additional information, please contact Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Relations Officer, Tel.: (0 996 312) 61-12-13; or Dinara Rakhmanova, Manager of the Program on National Govenance, Tel.: (0 996 312) 66-48-31

You are welcome to visit UNDP website at where you can find a detailed information on UNDP programme activities in Kyrgyzstan.


Football coaches learn to communicate issues of HIV/AIDS prevention to young sportsmen

Fifty coaches of the Kyrgyz Football Federation from all over the Republic have participated in two day workshops on HIV/AIDS prevention among adolescents. The training was conducted by the Alliance for Reproductive Health with support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Kyrgyz Republic as part of the Young Football Players against Drugs and HIV/AIDS Campaign.

According to a baseline assessment, young football players consider their coaches to be a reliable source of information and a role model. The boys often seek from their coaches answers to difficult questions such as reproductive health and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, especially in remote areas and small communities where there is an intimidating lack of information.

The workshops included special sessions on communication techniques on sensitive issues, basic tools on drug addiction detection, community mobilization methods.

The trainers have managed to draw attention of the coaches to issues that were underestimated by them before.

At the closing, Mr. A. Ageev, Deputy General Secretary of the Kyrgyz Football Federation pointed out “We hail cooperation of this kind, as it contributes to harmonious development of coaches who directly work with children. It is of primary importance for coaches to be able to communicate to the young citizens of Kyrgyzstan the policy of the Republic on healthy life style in a simple and appropriate manner, and help children to realize their right on receiving information necessary for their healthy development.”

After these workshops, the coaches with assistance of young volunteers from the Red Crescent Society of Kyrgyzstan and the Alliance for Reproductive Health plan to discuss HIV/AIDS issues and risky behaviors with young football players.

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


Kyrgyz Passports for Tajik Refugees

In accordance with the Presidential Decree of the Kyrgyz Republic of 1 March 2004, 57 families of Tajik refugees, total of 126 persons were granted Kyrgyz citizenship. On 14 April, at the solemn ceremony that took place in the Kyrgyz National Historical museum, the new citizens received their long awaited passports from the hands of Mr. Turdakun Usubaliev, Chairman of the Citizenship Commission under President’s Office, Mr. Bolot Januzakov, Deputy Head of President’s Administration, Mr. Ularbek Mateev, Vice Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic and other Government officials.

Since 2001, when the Presidential Decree on Measures for Assisting Ethnic Kyrgyz Returning to their Historical Motherland was signed, over 4300 refugees became full fledged citizens of Kyrgyzstan. However, it should be noted that for the big number of refugees who arrived from Tajikistan after adoption of the Tajik Constitution in 1994 and thus are citizens of the Tajik Republic, the procedure for acquisition of the Kyrgyz citizenship is more complicated as they first have to renounce their Tajik citizenship, and only after that apply for Kyrgyz citizenship.

In order to simplify this procedure, the governments of the two countries signed an agreement providing for simultaneous renunciation of Tajik citizenship and acquisition of Kyrgyz citizenship. This agreement was signed in July 2002 and entered into force after it was ratified by the parliaments of both countries late August 2003.

Regrettably, not even one citizenship case falling under this agreement was considered up to date, as the mechanism for its implementation had yet to be elaborated. Currently, the Regulations on Implementation of this bilateral agreement are at the stage of approval by the Kyrgyz Government. If the agreement finally starts working, over 5,000 long standing refugees would be able to obtain Kyrgyz citizenship in foreseeable future.

For more information please contact: James Lynch, UNHCR Head of Office; or Gulzat Aitimbetova, PI Assistant. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 24, 61 12 25; e-mail: or


People in the South of the country are refusing to leave for safer areas despite latest landslide deaths.

By Alla Pyatibratova in Osh and Aida Kasimaliyeva in Bishkek (Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Central Asia)

Villagers in the landslide-prone south of Kyrgyzstan are still ignoring government pleas and financial incentives to move to a safer area, in spite of this week's tragedy, which killed 33 people and injured 11 others.

The village of Budalyk, which was devastated by a landslide on April 26, had previously been surveyed by the ecology and emergencies ministry. Official Sheimanali Uspaev told IWPR, "The local government should have reacted to our warnings and done something about it."

The Budalyk tragedy was the latest in more than 30 such landslides to affect the region since the beginning of 2004. Several lives have been lost, including five school children killed earlier this month in Karasogot, Osh region.

At the end of March, a huge avalanche in Saribulak blocked a road, cutting off five settlements and destroying half a kilometre of power lines. A similar incident in 2003 led to the evacuation of 50 families from the same area.

However, many local people continue to live in dangerous areas despite government warnings and offers of financial assistance to move somewhere safer.

Baktigul Mirzaeva has spent the past six years trying to convince her elderly parents to move. "They don't want to leave their village because it is close to their pastures, and they say they can't live somewhere else, among strangers who have different customs."

Instead, when spring arrives - and with it the threat of landslides- Mirzaeva's parents utter the same mantra over and over again, "Let it pass us by".

But many villagers who took their chances, have paid a high price. In 1999, residents of Kara-Tarik took out a loan to allow them to move, but delayed in doing so. A landslide in April 2003 destroyed 13 houses, killing 38 people.

Financial help is available to those who agree to be evacuated. Loans of around 4,650 US dollars can be applied for, but there are often delays in payment.

Jirgalbek Ukashev, head of the civil defence force in the Osh region, said, "Last year 653 families signed up for a loan, but only 373 received them and the rest are still waiting. People are worried they are going to be left penniless.

"It is easy to sympathise with these people [who do not want to move]. Some of them have recently built new homes which they do not want to take down."

Ecology and emergencies ministry official Emil Akmatov told IWPR that his department found working with the villagers "very difficult", as many secretly returned to their homes or point blank refused to move.

To counter this possibility, Ukashev said that three detachments of the civil defence force are currently working in the Uzgen, Alai and Karakulja districts. They are forcibly evacuating anyone they meet, then destroying the villagers' empty houses to prevent them returning.

"There are some people who build news homes at the government's expense but continue to live in their old ones despite our warnings to leave the danger area," said Ukashev.

Mirza Kalabaev, who lives in the village of Kiloojun, is one of those who refuse to leave. "My home is not in danger although spring landslides are quite common in our area," he said.

"They advised us to leave ages ago, but I'm not moving my life to a new place. Our ancestors lived here, and I intend to spend the rest of my life on my home ground. What's more, my family has just finished building a new house."

His brother, Akmat, who also built a new house in the village last year, agrees. "Many people from our village are moving closer to Osh and the Chuy valley where it is safer. Now only the elderly remain in the village – the young ones have either gone to the city or to Russia to find work.

"But I will remain here. For me, leaving Kiloojhun would be like leaving Kyrgyzstan."

Alla Pyatibratova is an independent journalist in Osh. Aida Kasimalieva is a trainee with IWPR in Bishkek.

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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