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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 238
November 05, 2004

In this issue:


  • The Main Event: Ten’s Anniversary of Local Self-Governance Reforms in Kyrgyzstan
  • UNDP through the prism of mass media: Village in Osh province fighting drugs with sport
  • UNDP through the prism of mass media: The Story of “New Manhood” and Special Trainings for Women Deputy Candidates
  • Promotion of gender equality in Kyrgyzstan: a new edition of UNDP “Dialogue” magazine


The Main Event: Ten’s Anniversary of Local Self-Governance Reforms in Kyrgyzstan.

On October 27, 2004 the country celebrated an unusual occasion – the Day of Ten Years of Local Self-government Reforms in Kyrgyzstan.

For this event, the local self government leaders, governors of all Kyrgyz provinces, government officials, representatives of international and non-governmental organizations and the leaders of regional and provincial parliaments as well as village elders and community leaders from all the seven regions – the total of 650 people, met at the ceremonial forum in Bishkek to sum up the work done and identify new objectives for the future.

The forum, which was organized by the Kyrgyz government initiative with the financial support of UNDP and other international organizations, let the participants draw certain conclusions, exchange their work experiences in strengthening the system of local self –governance and promotion of public administration decentralization and discuss present-day problems.

“Time has shown that we have chosen the right way. The model of local self – government built in Kyrgyzstan for these 10 years has become the system that involves the citizens of the republic in the processes of dealing with the issues of not only state but also local importance”, remarked Mr. Askar Akaev, President of Kyrgyzstan, in his speech to the public employees.

“With the active support of international organizations, local self-governments have accumulated significant experiences in establishment of community based organizations and social mobilization of the local community members, as a result of which task-oriented and fruitful work is being carried out”, said the president.

Since 1998, UNDP has supported the process of decentralization and development of local self-governments in Kyrgyzstan.

“Decentralization is a long process”, reads the UNDP Annual Report published recently. It is partly conditioned by the fact that Kyrgyzstan was a country of strong centralized government for a long time. In this context, significant efforts are needed the public administration to delegate its authorities to the local self-governments. People’s psychology has to be changed and the public as well as the country’s economy – transformed.”

The UNDP Self-Government Program aims to support the Kyrgyz government initiative in establishment of strong, professional system of local administration. This is the system, which allows quick reaction to the needs and requests of the population and works in partnership with the community and wide circle of non-governmental organizations in order to improve people‘s quality of life.

The program fulfils its objectives through working in four main directions. The objectives include elaboration of specific policy in the field of local self governance, development of local power institutions and professional growth of the public employees, area development planning and strengthening of the infrastructure of the local self-governance system.

As Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UNDP Resident Representative admitted at the forum, contributions in development of the National Strategy of Public Administration Decentralization up to the year of 2010 and elaboration of certain laws can be considered the most important achievements of the program throughout the 6 years of its existence. Among the above mentioned are the laws “on local self-government and local public administration”, “on municipal property”, “on financial and economic basis of local self-governance” and “on public service”.

There are positive experiences accumulated in the field of establishment of community based organizations and local development funds. In the framework of the project, 40 000 municipal workers, leaders of the community based organizations and local self governments have been trained in for these 6 years. Establishment of two training centers for the municipal workers in the south and in the north of the country will help to create a sustainable vocational training system for the local government staff and will contribute to the professional growth of the municipal workers.

As the journalists wrote after their recent trip to Osh province, where UNDP Program on Local Self-Governance is being implemented - local self-governance is one of the “checkmarks” on the credit side of the present government achievements. However, in this case, a “checkmark” is rather a real event than a profaned declaration. Indeed, compared to many other reforms partly implemented or not implemented at all, development of local self-governance and the process of decentralization are really tangible.

“Much is done in this direction”, said Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz referring to the forum participants. “But even more is to be done, especially in the field of financial and economic decentralization and formation of local budgets.”

The local communities should be given the instrument to form and master local budgets, which will bring to real improvement of the quality of life of the Kyrgyz people in the foreseeable future”, said the UNDP Resident Representative.

Note: You can get acquainted with the UNDP Report on Local Self-governance at the UN library or you can order it at the following address: 44 Orozbekova Street, Bishkek, Office of the UNDP Program on Local Self-Governance, (3 floor). Electronic version of the report both in English and Russian languages will be available on the UNDP website ( in a couple of days

For additional information, please call Alexandr Kashkarev, UNDP Program Coordinator: Tel: + 996 (312) 61-12-13 or E-mail to . You can also call Damira Sulpieva, Program manager Tel: +996 (312) 66-52-93, Mob: 74 06 70 ; E-mail:

UNDP Through the Prism of Mass Media: Village in Osh province fighting drugs with sport

By Laurence Walker, The Times of Central Asia, regional weekly, published on November 4, 2004

Osh. (TCA). In the village of Nariman in southern Kyrgyzstan, the community has joined together to build a sports hall for their school. Both parents and students have been working with community organizations and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to realize their dream of creating a place not only for the youth to train and spend their free time, but as a weapon to fight drug addiction and the region’s rapid increase in HIV/AIDS.

At present, Kara Suu [area] has the highest number of registered HIV/AIDS cases in the Osh region, which itself is home to more than half (311) the total number of Kyrgyz citizens (610) infected with the virus. UNDP’s Michael Unland, who has been working in the area of HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan for the last two years, said that a majority of cases are a result of drug abuse – with users sharing needles. In an attempt to combat drug use – and in turn the rise in HIV/AIDS – the Nariman villagers are hoping that sport will keep the community’s younger members occupied, and steer them away from the negative alternatives which are plaguing Kara Suu.

From the outset, the entire community has been involved. The building work, which began in May this year, is being done by the parents and the older students from the school, and the parent’s organization has put a considerable sum towards the almost 300,000 soms required for the project. The UNDP donated 49,000 soms.

It is also hoped that in this predominantly Uzbek area – which still has rather traditional values in terms of what women should or should not do – girls and young women will be encouraged to take advantage of the new sport facilities as well. This is due to the construction of separate changing rooms for boys and girls. Sport hall will be for everyone.

At the moment the hall, which stands alongside the school, still looks a little like an empty aircraft hanger – surrounded by piles of sand, bricks, and mud. However, the villagers have just finished works on the roof, and by November it should be fully completed.

For more information, please contact Olga Grebennikova, Public Affairs Officer. Tel.: + 996 (312) 61-12-13. Email: You can also get additional information on UNDP activities in Kyrgyzstan if you visit UNDP website at

The Story of “New Manhood” and Special Trainings for Women Deputy Candidates

By Kifiat Askarova, published in the newspaper “Slovo Kyzgyzstana”, issue of November 4, 2004

“What did the achievement of gender balance in politics give to Sweden?” – They asked to Mr. Bengt Westerberg, former Prime Minister of the country mostly advanced in terms of gender equality, at the international conference held in the hotel “Pinara” (Bishkek). Bengt Westerberg answered that children, family and men where the ones who benefited the most, since they got a chance to spend more time with the mother or wife.

Another guest of the conference - Mr. Kent Wannstrom, News-room Editor-in-Chief at the Swedish digital channel, tends to be more emotional. Having used a chance of spending 6 months at home armed with two baby-bottles taking care of his children and getting parental benefit payment granted by the legislation of his native state, he says: “It is hard to describe the intimacy, trust and harmony that we have reached throughout the whole year we have spent together. All the wonderful moments spent with my children will stay with me as the priceless gifts of my life, and if that’s the very “new manhood”, then I can only be happy to be its part.”

The three-day conference was given an unusual name “Genderstan”, which shows once again that the Swedish people helping the Kyrgyz women to gain self-assertion not only as economic but also as political leaders have chosen Kyrgyzstan to be a partner country not in vain. High education level of the women, their readiness to be responsible not only for their families but also for the whole country and the policy of the state which strives for gender equality, may really give us the right to call our country “Genderstan” one day. But for now, we will talk of the burning problems, which brought over 200 politicians, representatives of different parties, government officials and journalists from seven countries of the Ukraine, Tajikistan, Moldova, Georgia, Sweden, Kazakhstan and Lithuania to the fall time Bishkek rich with its soft tints of autumn colors.

At the conference initiated by joint project of the Kyrgyz Government, Swedish agency - Sida and UNDP, Mr. Sulayman Imanbaev, Chairman of Kyrgyz Central Election Committee delivered a speech. He expressed his satisfaction by the fact that in the local government elections held on October 10, 2004, the elected women comprised 19.1% of all the deputies, which is 4 percents more than five years ago. Serious competition is expected for the winter parliament elections, when people will have to select only 75 deputies. According to Mr. Imanbaev more attention should be given to providing the women with specific training/ education. He thinks that despite the women’s higher level of education in comparison with the men, still they lack the knowledge of election technologies, they are less politicized than men and therefore they tend to join political parties only after developing adequate background in the field. Nowadays, in the framework of the project, which organized the conference, the women candidates of the upcoming parliament elections are getting training support. Due to psychological and financial support provided by the parties, they should reach certain results.

Exhibition was also included in the agenda of the conference “Genderstan 2004”. The works of the Kyrgyz artists and different pieces of art and craft from various parts of the country were exhibited in the building of the National Historical Museum.

Promotion of Gender Equality in Kyrgyzstan: a New Edition of UNDP “Dialogue” Magazine

Another issue of the magazine “Dialogue” was published recently. This time, the main topic of the magazine is gender equality and progress of Kyrgyz women in politics. Therefore in this issue you can get acquainted with the points of view of the women politicians, parliament deputies, and leaders of the political parties, businessmen and leading experts. You can also read about the experiences in the field of achievements in gender equality in the society of one of the advanced countries in this respect – Sweden.

The magazine also shows how the issues of gender equality have been reflected in Kyrgyz mass media - it includes a number of articles by Kyrgyz journalists published in the media throughout 2004.

The magazine is published in the framework of the joint project of UNDP, Kyrgyz Government and Swedish International Agency for Development Sida and is meant for the wide circle of readers.

Electronic version of the magazine will soon be available on the UNDP website: Currently, we are distributing the copies throughout the country (magazine circulation is 2 000 copies). Participants of the conference “Genderstan 2004” recently held in Bishkek, have also received this magazine along with the other publications on the gender issues published within the framework of the project. Among them are: independent analytical research “Introduction of Gender Issues in the Policy of the Ministries: Kyrgyz Experience”, “Women at the Level of Decision Taking” and many others.

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

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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