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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 223
May 28, 2004

In this issue:


  • Round Table Meeting - “War Veterans for Peace and Harmony”
  • Second Annual Ferghana Valley Debate Forum Gathers the Friends Once Again
  • International Volleyball Tournament for Ferghana Valley Cup


  • Recently Appointed UNICEF Regional Director for CEE/CIS/Baltic, Ms. Maria Calivis Visits Kyrgyzstan


  • World Bank Small Grants Program Winners for the Year of 2004


  • UNFPA Funds World Health Assembly


Round Table Meeting - “War Veterans for Peace and Harmony”

Alabuka, May 6, 2004 – with the support of a UNDP program on Preventive Development, a round table meeting dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War victory (1941-1945) was held at the premises of Kyrgyz-Uzbek University. Veterans from the districts of Alabuka in Kyrgyzstan and Kasansay in Uzbekistan placed a wreath on the monument of an Unknown Soldier situated in a Park of Recreation.

Later on, 15 veterans from Alabuka and 13 – from Kasansay, met at the Round Table Meeting focusing the topic of “War Veterans for Peace and Harmony”. The meeting aimed at enlightening the youth on the issues of war and its consequences as well as the important value of peace and harmony worldwide. Students of Alabuka branch of Kyrgyz-Uzbek University met the veterans with flowers and organized a concert for them. Popular wartime songs – “Katyusha”, “Den Pobedy” (Victory Day), “Tyomnaya Noch” (Dark Night) and others were performed in Kyrgyz and Uzbek Languages.

During the Round Table meeting, the veterans recalled the war hardships and the spirit of patriotism and friendship, which helped them, defeat the Fascists. They told the students the stories of the fights with the German soldiers.

Current problematic issues concerning the interrelations of the two nations, which have emerged after the establishment of the customs and frontier points between the countries, were also discussed at the meeting. The veterans talked of the bonds of brotherhood between the Kyrgyz and Uzbek people that have existed since time immemorial. They emphasized that current problems are provoked not by the nations, but – the individuals.

The veterans answered the students’ questions and admonished them to live in friendship and harmony with the neighboring states; to feel the true value of peace in the world.

After the Round Table Meeting, the veterans made a tour to a historical place of Safed-Bulon, where in X-XIII centuries the blood of 2700 people was shed in the fight against the conquerors.

The excursion finished with a dinner party organized for the veterans. Traditional wartime rations of a piece of black bred with butter, 100 grams of vodka and a piece of sugar were served per person. This sight stirred up the wartime memories. Some veterans seemed to be taken back to the times of Great Patriotic War.

To honor the friendship between the two nations, the guests from Uzbekistan were presented with the Kyrgyz traditional head garments called “Kalpak”. The veterans thanked the local government as well as UNDP for their attention and the celebration held in their honor.

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:

Second Annual Ferghana Valley Debate Forum Gathers the Friends Once Again

Osh, 13-16 May, 2004 – As a follow up of the Ferghana Valley Debate Forum successfully conducted last May in Osh, within the Civic Education Project framework, the 2nd Annual Ferghana Valley Debate Forum was successfully held thanks to financial assistance of UNDP Preventive Development Programme, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, SOROS Foundation, and the Center for Democratic Education. This time more participants took part in the forum from all over the Ferghana Valley. The forum aimed at bringing the students of Ferghana Valley together, letting them talk and discuss the actual problems, which play the central role in their everyday life.

All the issues raised at the forum reflected the present-day problems of the Frghana Valley and Central Asia as a whole. Another important aspect in choosing sensitive topics for the forum was showing the students the capabilities of each of them to openly and critically discuss such issues in the company of regional representatives. Declaring independence, each of the Central Asian countries has chosen different way of reconstruction and revival of the national identity. One of the most frustrating, yet challenging aspects of working in the area of education, is teaching and interacting with students and colleagues who are unable or unwilling to be critical to their own governmental and social institutions.

Forty-eight university and high-school students from 10 different cities of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan participated in the debate forum. The organizers created 16 debate teams including six students each (three students expressing pros and others expressing cons about this issue or that). NGO leaders, Peace Corps Volunteers and international researchers working in the Ferghana Valley agreed to be the coaches and moderators of the debate teams.

The debate topics were as follows:

  1. Protracted process of definition of state borders by the governments of the Central Asian Counties provoked the ethnic conflicts among the inhabitants of the Ferghana Valley.
  2. Which are the most important problems in the valley: security issues or socio-economic ones?
  3. To ensure democratic development of the country, citizens criticize the policies carried our by their governments (or "Political competition is essential for the survival of democracy")
  4. Citizens of Central Asian Countries need the international passports in order to be able to work throughout the CIS countries.
  5. Do the international organizations play a positive role in the Ferghana Valley?
  6. Independent media is a threat to stability in the Ferghana Valley.
  7. Could the Human Rights be protected with the use of force?
  8. The Central Asian countries will be better protected against terrorism and interstate conflicts, if they become the members of NATO.

At the opening ceremony, the sponsoring agencies, including UNDP Preventive Development Program, presented their activities in the region directed to mitigation and prevention of conflict situations. Afterwards, students were divided into groups in order to let them develop the strategies of their presentations and debates together with their coaches. The forum resulted in teaching the students to use debating techniques not only for wining in disputes, but also for an in-depth understanding of and appraisal of rational ideas and theories.

For additional information, please, contact Abdiraim Jorokulov, Programme Manager at: (3222) 55713 or 57837 or check out our official website:

International Volleyball Tournament for Ferghana Valley Cup

Osh, 13-14 May 2004 – UNDP Preventive Development Programme, Volleyball Federation and Committee of Tourism, Sport and Youth Policy teamed up again to bring forth the big-time international volleyball and show the volley-ball fans throughout the Ferghana Valley a breathtaking fight for Ferghana Valley Cup.

As Abdiraim Jorokulov, Programme Manager mentioned in his speech “this international tournament among youth of local communities has become traditional, since the first three tournaments took place in Kadamjay, Batken Province and Osh. These volleyball tournaments are aimed to enhance peace and social harmony in the region, develop peoples’ diplomacy and traditions and to strengthen friendly relationships between cross-border communities of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan”

Fifteen teams representing Osh, Jalalabad, Batken and Issyk-Kul provinces of the Kyrgyz Republic, Andijan and Namangan provinces of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Sogd province, Tajikistan, had an opportunity to acquire new skills and establish close links with the players and coaches of different teams.

Both men as well as women teams participated in the tournament on the basis of equal opportunities in order to promote gender equality principles. Women’s team from Namangan province, Uzbekistan and men’s team from the city of Osh got the first prizes and won Ferghana Valley Cups. Due to jury’s decision, teams from Sogd, Andijan and Issyk-Kul provinces, got money awards and accordingly – the second and the third places.

For additional information, please, contact Abdiraim Jorokulov, Programme Manager at: 5-57-13 or 5-78-37 or check out the official website:


Recently Appointed UNICEF Regional Director for CEE/CIS/Baltic, Ms. Maria Calivis Visits Kyrgyzstan

The purpose of Ms. Maria Calivis’ visit was to learn as much as possible about the problems that the Kyrgyz children happen to face and consider the UNICEF role in the framework of the upcoming six year (2005-1010) program. During her visit, Ms Calivis had extensive discussions on the issues of strengthening maternal and child health, increasing access to quality education and better protection of children from exploitation and violence. She gave her high appraisal to the structure of the initiative of “New Generation”, which is in charge of monitoring children’s rights throughout the country. “The fact of “New Generation” being supervised by the Office of Prime Minister shows that the issues of children welfare are resolved at the top governmental level” – she said. It was also mentioned, that there still are some unsolved problems related to protection of children’s rights, health and education of the young generation.

One of the main issues of discussion was the importance of increasing financial investments in the projects dealing with the problems of children. “Budgets for education and health have been considerably reduced for the last couple of years” – remarked Maria Calivis. “The issue of correct distribution of funds is very important for ensuring the country’s human resource development and economic growth as well as poverty reduction”.

Ms. Maria Calivis visited the area of new settlement situated nearby the Dordoy Market and met with the street children and adolescents working for UNICEF. Within the framework of the UNICEF project implemented by the Center of Child Protection all the efforts are made to expand the practical skills of the street children and improve their health protection using “peer to peer” method. Ms. Maria Calivis was impressed by the enthusiasm and skills of the children. They were sharing with her their experiences of working with the peers, telling her how much the lives of the street children and even their parents are changed due to the acquired skills.

Ms. Calivis noticed the children’s huge desire to learn and improve their present situation. She listened to their stories and dreams with great interest. In turn, the children piled their foreign guest with questions. They wanted to know how different are their peers living abroad and were happy to find out that children all over the world have a lot of things in common: they all love to play and dream, they all want more attention from the side of parents, they want to go to school and indulge in sport.

Majority of these children do not go to school – as is it far away, they need to travel by bus. But not all the families can afford it. Ms Calivis raised this issue at the meeting with the high officials of the country. As she said, the state is responsible for providing these children with learning opportunities.

During his meeting with Ms Calivis, President Akaev mentioned about the UNICEF activities and its role in solving the problems related to children. He expressed his approval concerning the strategy of a new UNICEF program targeting the most vulnerable children and stated his desire to continue beneficial cooperation established during the 10 years of UNICEF presence in the country.

Contact: Galina Solodunova, UNICEF Communications Offier. Phone: (996 312) 611 211 (ext.139); 611 224...7, e-mail:


World Bank Small Grants Program Winners for the Year of 2004

April 29, 2004 – Today, World Bank Country Office in the Kyrgyz Republic announced the 10 winners of the Small Grants Program 2004.

  1. Democratic Union of Youth "Jiger", Batken Oblast
  2. "Informational Future", Bishkek
  3. "Talykbas-Ata", Bishkek
  4. "Institute of Health", Bishkek
  5. "Ulut Kenchi", Issyk-Kul District
  6. "Ayil Sham", Naryn Oblast
  7. "Bayastan", Naryn
  8. "Alga-Adis", Osh
  9. Talas Association for Employment Promotion, Talas
  10. "El Meerim", Suusamyr, Chui District

World Bank Small Grant Program (SGP) supports nongovernmental organizations. SGP funds the projects, which aim at expanding the dialogue on socio-economic issues, developing partner relations within the society, enhancing civic participation of the vulnerable groups of population in the processes of social mobilization.

World Bank Country Office received 180 applications for SGP from all the regions of the Kyrgyz Republic this year. Total SGP budget amounted to 20’000 USD.

Annual Small Grant Program has been implemented since 1996 in the Kyrgyz Republic. Within the period of 1996-2004, World Bank has supported 66 projects with the total funds of 177’000 USD.

For additional information please contact Jyldyz Djakypova, External Affairs, WB Country Office in Bishkek, Phone: (996 312) 61 06 50; e-mail:


UNFPA Funds World Health Assembly

Mr. Mitalip Mamytov, Minister of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic, took part in the World Health Assembly held in Geneva on May 17-22, 2004. United Nations Population Fund in Kyrgyzstan provided financial support for his participation in the Assembly.

The issues of Reproductive Health resolution as well as a draft strategy on “Progress Acceleration in Reaching International Development Goals and Objectives” were discussed at the World Health Assembly.

Reproductive and sexual health is fundamental to individuals, couples and families as well as socio-economic development of the communities and nations. Being concerned with the slow progress in improving reproductive and sexual health over the past decade, and knowing that the international development goals cannot not be achieved without a renewed commitment from the side of the international community, the 55th World Health Assembly adopted a resolution requesting WHO to design a strategy for acceleration of the progress in reaching the international development goals and objectives related to reproductive health. The resolution reaffirms the programs and action plans agreed by governments at the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994).

The strategy aims at accelerating progress towards meeting internationally agreed reproductive health goals and, in the long run, reaching the highest standard of reproductive and sexual health for all.

Recognizing the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development as well as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals in the field of reproductive and sexual health, the World Health Assembly urges the Member-States to strengthen the capacities of the healthcare systems for the purpose of ensuring universal access to medical assistance essential for protection and strengthening of sexual and reproductive health, drawing particular attention to the health of mothers and new-born infants; also to integrate reproductive and sexual health into overall national planning.

For additional information, please contact: Mr. Alexander Ilyin, UNFPA National Programme Officer. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 02. Email:

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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