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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 235
October 01, 2004

In this issue:


  • UNDP/UNIDO Joint Programme: Dialogue to Improve Investment Climate in Kyrgyzstan


  • With United Forces against a developing Epidemic: Round Table on how HIV/AIDS can be fought in Kyrgyzstan with the Unique Impact of Mass Media
  • UNDP National Governance Programme: Public Hearing in Jalalabat
  • UNDP Preventive Development Programme: New impulse for cooperation
  • Women’s roles and participation in forthcoming elections


  • The Years Influencing our Lives the Most, Receive the Least


UNDP/UNIDO Joint Programme: Dialogue to Improve Investment Climate in Kyrgyzstan.

Under the initiative of the government of Kyrgyzstan and within the framework of UNDP and UNIDO programme on investment promotion, a round table was held in Bishkek at the Hyatt Hotel on 21 September 2004 to discuss the UNIDO’s proposal to support the Kyrgyz Government in establishing an Investment Promotion Agency (IPA) to improve the investment climate in the country.

The participants, who represented government, international organizations, private business and media, discussed practical steps to establish the agency on foreign investment in Kyrgyzstan.

Since at present fifteen government agencies are involved in foreign investment regulation, the agenda included the coordination of this activity.

Beginning from the autumn of 2002, experts from UNIDO have studied the investment climate in the country from the institutional viewpoint, including issues of deregulation of the economy and the need of conducting further institutional reforms for improving the investment climate.

The programme envisaged a research in foreign investment including the investors survey, and trainings for the personnel of the government agencies dealing with the investment promotion. In addition the programme has facilitated dialogue among the government, representatives of private business, national and international experts to jointly identify the best possible scenario to attract foreign and domestic investments.

"One of the primary tasks of the agency, which is about to be established, is to coordinate national and regional initiatives, as well as international donor organizations in the area of attraction foreign investment, and this eventually improves efficiency of these activities", said Takao Otsuka, the UNIDO programme manager.

The round-table discussion resulted in further review of the Memorandum of Understanding to be agreed upon by all the participants later and it was agreed that the programme will accept any suggestion on the Memorandum after the round table.

For additional information, please contact Koji Kawabe, UNDP Programme Analyst. Tel: + 996 (312) 61-12-13. Email:


With United Forces against a developing Epidemic: Round Table on how HIV/AIDS can be fought in Kyrgyzstan with the Unique Impact of Mass Media

Representatives of key regional media from all seven provinces of the country gathered in Bishkek on September 30 – October 1 to discuss their role and contribution to the “Mass Media Strategy on HIV/AIDS Prevention in Kyrgyzstan” invited by the UNDP Joint Programme on expanded response to HIV/AIDS.

Especially in the provinces of Kyrgyzstan there is still a lack of information and there are big misconceptions concerning HIV/AIDS. Predominant is insecurity and fear. Many people refer to the epidemic as the “Plague of the 21st century”. And HIV/AIDS is perceived as a national or political problem to be solved by country leaders. At the same time people tend to forget that they themselves have to take measures to prevent HIV/AIDS as well.

“Considering the fact that most people still treat HIV as a taboo and in many families people still prefer to not discuss the issue, the role of media becomes pivotal in AIDS prevention, - said Sezin Sinanogly, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative at the meeting. “Media can open channels of communication, foster the spread of information and open the door for social changes,” she said.

The main goal of the Round Table was to present the strategy of mass media in HIV/AIDS prevention to stakeholders and decision takers of regional mass media and to discuss their role in joint and coordinated campaigns and media coverage on HIV/AIDS.

“A policy of “double standards” is still existing in the country toward HIV/AIDS,” - said Almaz Ismanov, correspondent for “The Time of Central Asia” in Osh. Everybody is aware that the problem exists but there are only a few who speak out and do something about it. He shared his experience on reporting HIV/AIDS and reactions he received after publishing an article on HIV/AIDS and changed sexual behaviour in the South of Kyrgyzstan. “I found myself in the role of a messenger of bad news and as in ancient Greece people tend to punish them for playing this role”

In 2003 Experts of the Joint UNDP Programme on HIV/AIDS worked out a Mass Media strategy to address this problems on three levels in the communication process.

The first part is proposing to blacksmith a media alliance among the decision takers in Kyrgyz mass media as a base for future cross media campaigns.

The second strategy is offering support through information provision and capacity building for content providers, especially journalists.

The third strategy is proposing a coherent cross media campaign that conveys coherent and recognizable messages and symbols through various mass media channels. They also try to attract and to involve people through feedback channels and entertainment-education approaches. Target groups are young people but also addressing the attitude of the “parents generation” and opinion leaders (as we have big problems here with protest against HIV/AIDS prevention messages, see below)

In the beginning of this year the Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General started the UN Global Media Initiative on HIV/AIDS gathering all major mass media companies. The UNDP Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan wants to connect its Mass Media Strategy on HIV/AIDS to this global and regional efforts and to ensure its national outreach.

The round table resulted in a declaration signed by all participants to support this national effort and make the issue of HIV/AIDS a priority in their companies. They pledged to provide the basis in the provinces of Kyrgyzstan for comprehensive and coordinated action against ignorance and misconception of the people in the provinces.

For more information, please contact: Ekaterina Paniklova, Programme Manager, UNDP HIV/AIDS Prevention programme or Ashir Chikeev, Information/Communication Specialist, tel.: (996 312) 62-04-49, tel/fax: (996 312) 66 36 91, e-mail:

UNDP National Governance Programme: Public Hearing in Jalalabat.

On September 24, 2004 the Assembly of People’s Representatives with the support of UNDP held a Public Hearing on “The ways of strengthening local budgets and their role in the implementation of the National Strategy on Poverty Reduction” in Jalalabat.

More than 60 people, representing Kyrgyz Parliament, Prime-minister’s office, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Local Self-government and Regional Development, heads of province and district administrations, heads of village municipalities, representatives of local communities and media attended the hearing.

The purpose of this hearing was to discuss the budgetary policy of the central government, aimed to strengthen local budgets and raise their role in poverty reduction, as well as the state of interrelations between central and local budgets and the ways of their harmonization.

During the hearings the representatives of local state bodies and local self governments expressed their points of view, comments and suggestions on such vital issues as streamlining of regulatory legal acts, which strengthen the local budgets; balance between receipt and expenditures of the republican and local budgets; introduction of per capita budget distribution during the formulation of expenditures of the budget; terms of payments of land taxes; salary increase for village municipality’s staff; increasing the volume of motivating grants in the republican budget for local communities; demand in training for heads of village municipalities in the area of formulation of local budgets and etc.

Upon results of the public hearing participants adopted a resolution, which includes the opinions and suggestions of participants. All participants agreed that public hearing is an effective and fruitful form of discussion, which allows activating involvement of all stakeholders in the budgetary process and issues delivery to all levels of authorities.

Participants of the public hearing also asked UNDP for assistance in the re-print of the brochure “Mechanisms of distribution of motivating (matching) grants”, prepared by the Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic, in order to increase information distribution to village municipalities and provide access to assets distributed from the republican budget.

UNDP Preventive Development Programme: New impulse for cooperation

Forth-regular working meeting of both UNDP Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan personnel In Dushanbe, Tajikistan on September 23-24, 2004 within the framework of Cross-Border Cooperation Project.

During the meeting personnel of the two programmes discussed the current project activities, analyzed the results of the first phase of the project implementation, and elaborated strategies and plans for the future extension of the project.

Since the first phase of the project was successfully implemented, in 2005 an expanded programme aimed at support political and economic stabilization in border regions of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and assistance to the governments of both states to intensify integration processes in the Ferghana Valley will start with support of UK Global Conflict Prevention Pool and, probably other donors.

Its geographic coverage will now be extended, including all cross-border districts from Sogd (Tajikistan) and Batken (Kyrgyzstan) provinces to Chong-Alay (Kyrgyzstan) and Garm (Tajikistan).

Another focus of the new phase will be the support of collaboration between governments and international agencies as well as coordination of joint activities.

It is also planned to establish partnership relations and build dialogue with Uzbekistan mainly in the Aksy-Alabuka zone, Jalalabad province, Kara-Suu-Aravan zone, Osh province and Kadamjay zone, Batken province.

Note: Since November 2003 UNDP Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan jointly implement a project on Cross-Border Cooperation funded by UN Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR).

Through combining the best experiences gained by both offices in the area of conflict prevention the project enhanced the cross-border community participation and cooperation through a broad range of activities conducive to foster mutual understanding and prevent conflicts.

Women’s roles and participation in forthcoming elections

On September 16, 2004 a focus group dedicated to women roles and participation in forthcoming elections brought together representatives of women and religious organizations, leaders of local communities, potential women candidates as well as representatives of international organizations.

The Focus Group was organized within the framework of the project investigating the roles and participation of all layers of the society in forthcoming elections initiated by International agencies including UNDP.

The agenda of the meeting comprised following issues: women roles and participation in local elections as well as to Parliament, difficulties and obstacles, possible attempts to overcome those obstacles, positive and negative aspects of the elections, and the impact of women candidates to the political situation in the region.

The important issue in this meeting was gender policy in Kyrgyzstan fostering women leadership and activism on forthcoming elections.

Minovar Moydinova, Head of the Public Organization “Minovar” pointed out: “Since 2002 up to 2006 Kyrgyzstan has been implementing gender policy. Before there were no laws regarding women. And even if there existed, they have been cut and shortened. And only thanks to this policy women gained confidence and have been liven up”.

As is well known women constitute 52 per cent of the voters. Under such conditions women have more chances to reach any tops. But women still have low self-confidence, they think they are not competitive, and they are prone to impact of local mentality, stereotypes and roles assigned to them in the community which put off the majority of women from power and decision making.

Another reason for the low representation of women in the government are financial problems and family dependence. Many active women cannot afford the elementary fees to nominate for election.

Sonunbubu Ismailova, the head of the Public Organization “Alay-Ata-Jurt” underlined in her speech that local mentality from ancient times influences women views towards the election. Minovar Moydinova mentioned “in our community, when a woman undertakes any activity she has the obligation to discuses it with her husband. When I informed my husband that I would like to run for local elections he prohibited me even to think about it. I tried to make him change his mind but in vain».

Moreover women participants accentuated election process itself was not very transparent. From the side of the Local Election Committees there is a lack of information and education for rural women, no access to law documents and election codes and a legal illiteracy of women which hamper considerable improvements for women’s participation in the forthcoming elections.

Though there is high need for women representation in government capable to cardinally change the approaches of social problems. “In each electoral constituency representation of male and female candidates should be fifty to fifty. There are problems of social character for example health care, education and alcoholism that men cannot solve in a satisfactory manner. This wide spectrum of social issues oppresses the local population and that’s why women should be involved to address all these issues”, said Jumagul Bolponova, Leader of “Too-Moyum Aiymdary” NGO.


The Years Influencing our Lives the Most, Receive the Least

6-7 October, 2004. The “Silk Road” Lodge: With UNICEF support, a Conference on Early Childhood Development (ECD) convenes high ranking officials of the ministries of health, education, labour and social protection, other decision makers and representatives of international organizations working in the field of ECD to set up priorities and debate on adequate, coherent policies and strategies on ECD in Kyrgyzstan in the coming years.

ECD refers to a comprehensive approach to policies and programmes for children from birth to eight years of age, their parents and caregivers. It includes attention to health, nutrition, education and water and environmental sanitation in homes and communities.

The participants will have an opportunity to discuss findings of the UNICEF-supported Child Rearing Practices Study. The study was designed to find

  • a valid description of family and community characteristics;
  • cultural, educational, and behavioral factors;
  • correlations that determine or influence the value of the child for the family;
  • primary socialization patterns;
  • and child rearing practices.

It also provided information regarding health, nutrition, and developmental status of children and collected data on human, institutional, and financial capacities of communities, which might become a valuable input for planning, designing, and implementation of the ECD projects.

The Conference will allow different organizations to exchange best practices. The agenda includes issues of early learning and stimulation, care for development, integrated management of childhood illnesses, micronutrient programmes and early screening for children with disabilities.

The Conference will also host a launch of a series of books in the Kyrgyz Language for children under the age of six and their parents. The objective of the books is to help the caregivers to learn more about how to better nurture, feed and care for children. The information is presented in a form of children’s poems, puzzles and short messages for the parents. The books have been developed by a group of well-known Kyrgyz writers, artists, parents and children under the age of six.

UNICEF hopes that the Conference will help synergize efforts of various organisations working in the field of ECD area and promote increased public expenditures for children

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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