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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 233
September 16, 2004

In this issue:


  • MDGs Caravan in Kyrgyzstan: Peer to Peer on Development and Millennium Declaration


  • “Time is a sword, and if we don’t slash it, it will slash us”: Seminar for religious leaders in Bishkek
  • Journalists Awarded for Covering Gender Issues


  • FIFA and UNICEF together for young football players


MDGs Caravan in Kyrgyzstan: Peer to Peer on Development and Millennium Declaration

On 18 September 2004, in Talas, the Students’ Theatre of the American University in Central Asia will give a performance to advocate the Millennium Development Goals.

"Each of us deserves the best, only because we have come to this world", say the boys and girls to their equals in different corners of the country.

There are no bad people and there are no ones unworthy of decent life. Eight the Millennium Goals must reach each inhabitant of the earth, as they reflect the aspiration of humanity for harmony and better future.”

These performances are given within the framework of the UN campaign in Kyrgyzstan on promotion of the MDGs. The theatre has talented singers and dancers, as well as participants and winners of song contests.

Inspired by the task of advancing the ideas of the Millennium Summit, the students wrote the scenario of the play themselves, set up the concert numbers and competitions for the spectators. Thus, the audience became a participant of festivals in Bishkek and elsewhere in Kyrgyzstan.

During the competitions, they propose ways of reducing poverty, protecting children, environment, advancement of gender equality and global partnership.

The performances are not limited to concerts and competitions, but as it was in Bishkek, young people plant eight symbolic trees in each provincial centre, according to the number of goals.

In addition, the spectators are given T-shirts with the MDGs symbolism, booklets and the postcards, where all eight goals are printed.

Earlier this month, the performance was given in the Issyk Kul provincial centre Karakol, which gathered more than two thousand university and school students, and the local residents. On 25 September, the festival will move to Naryn.

Note: In September 2000, the highest representatives of 191 countries, including Kyrgyzstan, adopted the Millennium Declaration. This declaration reflected the view of the world community regarding peace, security, development, environment, human rights, and governance. The Declaration established development goals for all countries, which are now known as Development Millennium Goals. These goals establish concrete, measurable benchmarks of development to be achieved by humanity by 2015. The MDGs are in full conformity to the objectives set by the people of Kyrgyzstan, and which are reflected in the country's strategic programmes of CDF and NPRS.

For additional information, please contact Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Relations Officer. Tel.: 61-12-13. Email: You are welcome to visit UNDP in Kyrgyzstan website at where we placed a lots of information on MDG Promotion campaign in Kyrgyzstan


“Time is a sword, and if we don’t slash it, it will slash us”: Seminar for religious leaders in Bishkek

“Today when many countries lost the battle against AIDS, when poverty and lack of information only promotes the spread of this disease, I am confident that you, most respected leaders of your communities, with your wisdom, compassion and moral values are able to play a decisive role in the fight against the spread of this infection in Kyrgyzstan” – said Jerzy Skuratowicz, UNDP Resident Representative, addressing representatives of the Islam clergy, who gathered at the seminar “Social mobilization of the state bodies and assistance of religious leaders in implementation of the State Programme on HIV/AIDS prevention”. UNDP HIV/AIDS Programme, State Commission on Religious Affairs and Spiritual Management of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan, organized the seminar jointly.

During two days the participants of the seminar, representatives of State Commission on Religious Affairs, Spiritual Management of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan, religious leaders of Bishkek, National AIDS Center, NGOs ”Ranar” and “Koz Karash” and also Mass Media representatives, discussed ways of HIV/AIDS prevention in Kyrgyzstan.

Participants of the seminar were presented the situation on HIV/AIDS spread in Kyrgyzstan and a film about HIV/AIDS, recently created by the UN system in Kyrgyz Republic, was shown.

Participants also discussed issues of positive attitude towards ones own health, education of believers on ethical values, and also stigma and discrimination against people living with the virus.

Besides the question of HIV/AIDS prevention problems and the cooperation between UNDP, State Commission on Religious Affairs and Spiritual Management of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan for social mobilization of religious leaders of the country in fight against HIV/AIDS were raised.

“We need to study the problem in depth and bring the right information to the people – said Usen Aji, representative of Spiritual Management of Muslims and imam of one of the mosques of Bishkek. As the Prophet said time is a sword, and if we don’t slash it, it will slash us.”

Religious leaders enjoy great respect among the population and play an important role in HIV/AIDS prevention. UNDP considers religious leaders as important partners in HIV/AIDS prevention programmes, along with Government and non-governmental organizations.

“Strongly confirming the serious concern with HIV/AIDS situation in the Kyrgyz Republic and hope for solution of this difficult issue, we, the participants of the conference are convinced that uniting efforts of state structures, non governmental and international organizations with such an important and influential power as Islam religious leaders, we can achieve fundamental change of the HIV/AIDS situation for the better” states the declaration of the National Conference “Religious leaders and theologists of Kyrgyzstan against AIDS”, that took place last year in December. This Conference laid the basis for cooperation and joint activities of State Commission on Religious Affairs, UNDP and Spiritual Management of Muslims of Kyrgyzstan.

Note: Seminar “Social mobilization of the state bodies and assistance of religious leaders in the implementation of the state programme on HIV/AIDS prevention” – is one of a series of joint seminars of UNDP, State Commission on Religious Affairs and Spiritual Management of the Muslims of Kyrgyzstan in the framework of the multisectoral approach on HIV/AIDS prevention in Kyrgyzstan. Similar seminars were already held for imams of Bakten, Osh, Jalalabat, Naryn and Issyk-kul provinces.

For more information contact: Ekaterina Paniklova, Programme Manager, UNDP Joint Programme on Expanded Response to HIV/AIDS in the Kyrgyz Republic, or Ashir Chikeev, Information/Communication Specialist, tel.: (996 312) 62-04-49, tel/fax: (996 312) 66 36 91, e-mail:

Journalists Awarded for Covering Gender Issues

On 13 September, the UN House hosted an award ceremony for the winners of the media contest "Gender Equality in Politics" held by UNDP and the Swedish on International Development Agency.

"Women's participation in political life is an essential part of democracy", said UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan Sezin Sinanoglu opening the ceremony.

The contest among media outlets and journalists for the best series of articles, TV and radio programmes, held from April through August this year, was held within the framework of the joint project of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and UNDP "Advancement of gender equality in the politics of the Kyrgyz Republic".

More than 160 submissions were received from journalists of all regions of Kyrgyzstan, reflecting the themes of gender equality in politics and decision-making, gender stereotypes on men and women in politics, and also gender and men.

The jury, composed of representatives of international organizations, NGOs, media professionals and government, awarded cash prizes to thirteen journalists and editorial staff of the provincial newspapers "Talas Turmushu" (Talas) and "Osh Shamy" (Osh).

"We, the members of the jury were gratified to see so many journalists taking an active part in the competition. The entries became more profound and more interesting", said Raisa Kulatova, Head of the Central-Asian Information Center and a jury member. We hope that the journalists will continue to write on this subject, covering the successes in the advancement of women in politics, and what prevents them from reaching successes.”

For more information, please contact Ms. Anastasia Toropova, UNDP Programmes Gender Coordinator. Tel. (996 312) 66-38-85. Email:


FIFA and UNICEF together for young football players

Mr. Joseph Blatter, the President of FIFA, arrived in Bishkek on a sunny September day.

His visit excited young footballers in this small capital of less than a million inhabitants. A newly built stadium was packed with government officials, Kyrgyz footballers, boys and girls in bright football gear, and their fans.

It was a special event for the young footballers and it was especially pleasing to see the girls participating in the sport as well. All the speech makers said that these boys and girls are the source of great hope for the future development of football in the country, as well as being key players in helping to solve problems of young people, such as drug abuse, HIV/AIDS infection and violence.

UNICEF and the Kyrgyz Football Federation kicked off their cooperation in January this year and dedicated the biggest youth championship in Kyrgyzstan to the need to create healthier lifestyles among young people. The Kyrgyz President’s Cup – 2004 was held under the slogan “Kyrgyz Young Football Players against Drugs and HIV/AIDS”.

That day – September 16 - was also a day when the organizers of the campaign could see the results of their efforts. Richard Young, UNICEF Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic could not pass by the smiling faces of boys, 12-14 years old, who were jostling each other to share with him their thoughts on the trainings that they had during oblast and finals tournaments. Volunteers of the National Red Crescent Society and the NGO “Alliance for Reproductive Health”, using peer-to-peer methods, helped them to learn about the risks of unhealthy behaviors and how to protect themselves, where to get information and how to communicate sensitive issues to their peers.

Richard Young sat down on the grass of the new stadium to listen to their stories and answer their questions. Born in Manchester, he was surprised to learn that the young boys knew all the members of Manchester United Football Club. With great interest, they listened to him explain why Manchester United was invited to be a Goodwill Ambassador of UNICEF and how famous football players help children in developing countries.

During the official speeches, Mr. Blatter specially mentioned the collaboration of FIFA and UNICEF at the global and national level pointing out that football is more than a game, it is a culture. “Together sport and development organizations can do many good things for youth” he said. Mr. Muraliev, the President of the National Football Federation expressed thanks to UNICEF for organizing trainings for coaches. And Mr. Young, to conclude his speech, said: “We believe in the power of football, we believe that sport helps children – both boys and girls - not only to grow physically strong; it also helps to build the confidence and self-esteem that will serve them throughout their lives”.

For additional information, please contact: Galina Solodunova, UNICEF Communications Officer. Phone: (996 312) 611 211 (ext.139); 611 224...7, e-mail:

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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