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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 246
February 25, 2005

In this issue:


  • For Peace and Harmony in the Ferghana Valley: Youth Festival “Friends Meeting”
  • A new Programme of UNDP and Kyrgyz Government
  • Interaction to Fulfill Ecological Conventions: Round table meeting in Bishkek
  • UNDP provides Awards to winners of Voter Education Material Competition
  • Back to Genderstan: Proceedings of the International Conference published


  • Building a National Alliance towards Micronutrient Deficiency Elimination


For Peace and Harmony in the Ferghana Valley: Youth Festival “Friends meeting”

Namangan, February 2005. Within the framework of the joint project “Support and Cooperation in the Name of Development” of the UNDP Preventive Development Programme in Kyrgyzstan and Swiss Cooperation and Development Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan a Youth Festival was held here.

It united the youth of bordering areas of Kasansay and Uchkurgan districts (Namangan Province of Uzbekistan) as well as Alabuka and Aksy districts (Jalalabat Province of the Kyrgyz Republic).

The festival primarily intended to strengthen friendship and neighborliness between the youth of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan calling for peace and harmony through introducing to customs, traditions and culture of Uzbek and Kyrgyz people.

The program of the concert included songs, dances and folk games. The guests of the festival admired the performances of students of Humanitarian and Pedagogic Institute, Kyrgyz and Uzbek University, colleges of Kasansay and Uchkurgan districts of Uzbekistan as well as concert numbers by schoolchildren of Alabuka and Aksy districts of the Kyrgyz Republic.

“I will remember this day as a holiday as I’m happy to see joyful faces of the Kyrgyz and Uzbek youth. The traditions and relations of bygone days that had been being originated by our ancestors over the centuries are being reviving. I am happy that the youth initiated the festival as they are the masters of the future!”, says Ernst Nurmanov, the representative of the Youth Committee of Alabuka district.

The organizers rewarded the most active participants by presenting them keepsakes. All participants pointed out the positive effect of such kind of activities on strengthening of friendship and rapport between the youth of the countries.

To crown the festival the poem “Peace starts with us” was recited in the Uzbek, Russian and Kyrgyz languages as an appeal of the participants to their coevals.

“I am for the first time taking part in such a joint holiday. We have made new friends here and exchanged with addresses. I would like to participate once again”, confessed Manzura Yakupova, the student of Kasansay college of Uzbekistan.

For more information, please contact Mr. Abdiraim Jorokulov, UNDP Programme Manager. Tel. in Bishkek: + (996 312) 61-12-13. Cell phone: + (502) 356-788. Also you are welcome to visit official website at

A new programme of UNDP and Kyrgyz Government

A project of UNDP and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic “Capacity Building and Environmental Governance Strengthening for Sustainable Development” signed on February 24, 2005 at the UN House in Bishkek.

“Environment is one of the most significant wealth of Kyrgyzstan”, said Jerzy Skuratowicz, UNDP Resident Representative at the ceremony.

“That’s why we believe the project will promote better coordination efforts aimed at the country’s sustainable development, first and foremost in the area of ecology, fulfill obligations of the Kyrgyz Republic under environmental conventions, and achieve goals, indicated in the Millennium Declaration”, he said.

The Project based on the country's priorities was designed to support the Government in strengthening cooperation between ministries, institutions, scientific circles and civil society, creation of an institutional basis for provision of effectiveness of international organizations’ programme implementation in the field of environment and sustainable development. Within the project it is planned to provide support to the Government of Kyrgyzstan in establishing a National Commission on Sustainable Development and its working body (secretariat) and development of a National Programme on sustainable development.

During the implementation of the project it is also planned to attract representatives of civil society and private sector for consultations on a broad range of environmental issues.

“We think joint coordinated efforts of UNDP and the Ministry of Ecology and Emergencies will indubitably have a positive influence on policy development in the field of nature protection”, said Minister Temirbek Akmataliev at the signing ceremony.

Measures planned during implementation of the project are aimed at improvement of policy development process in the field of environment and development mechanisms for its successful realisation. It envisages measures for improvement of legislation in the field of nature conservation, taking into account principles of international law and introduction of international standards and norms in environment management.

This will allow establishing a stable basis for effective usage of new mechanisms for a debt-for-sustainable-development swap for the Kyrgyz Republic.

On the same day, a project on research and preparation of full-scale programme on conservation of endemic ichthyofauna (fish species) of the Issyk-Kul Lake basin was signed as well.

For additional information, please contact Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Relations Officer Tel: + 996 (312) 61-12-13. Cell phone: + 996 (312) 51-22-99. E-mail:

Interaction to fulfill ecological conventions: Round table meeting in Bishkek

A round table meeting – “Discussion of cross-cutting analysis results on interaction of governmental organizations, regional and local administrations, scientific society, non- governmental and public organizations and private sector for implementation of obligations undertaken by Kyrgyzstan within global ecological conventions” – was held in Bishkek on February 21, 2005

The meeting was held in framework of GEF/UNDP “National capacity self-assessment” project. The forum was aimed at discussion of analysis results: how successful governmental institutions, scientific society interact on central and local levels for implementation of United Nations Ecological Conventions on Biodiversity, to Combat Desertification, on Climate Change.

Besides interaction analysis itself participants of discussion were provided with assessed factors that restrain and contribute the growth of capacity and recommendations on their strengthening and provision of cross-sectoral interaction in the Kyrgyz Republic within the context of three global ecological conventions’ obligations.

In discussion participated the representatives of main executive agencies for implementation of global ecological conventions, ministries and institutions, international organizations and agencies, private sector, regional and local administrations, mass media and NGOs.

Note: GEF/UNDP “National capacity self-assessment” project has been implemented since January 2004 within the Agreement signed between KR Government and GEF/UNDP in September 2003. Executive agency of project from the Government is Ministry of ecology and emergencies of the KR.

The main aim of the project is to study internal capacity and to define priorities and needs for implementation of obligations undertaken by Kyrgyzstan within three UN ecological conventions.

For additional information please contact Aigul Bolotova, Information and PR manager of the “National capacity self-assessment” project. Tel: + 996 (312) 545-073 or 549-273; Fax: 0 996 (312) 549-266

UNDP provides Awards to winners of Voter Education Material Competition

On February 25, 2005 UNDP handed over a total of 4,650 USD as awards to nine participants in the competition on producing voter education materials related to the Parliamentary Elections 2005.

The winners, all are from Kyrgyzstan, received their reward during an official ceremony conducted in the UN House.

“In democracy it is essential that voters have a good understanding of the voting procedures and the importance of participating in the elections”, said Mr. Oskar Lehner, UNDP International Project Management Advisor on Elections, at the occasion of awarding the prizes. “Voter education in this election is more important than ever as many new amendments were included in the law, e.g. the inking of fingers, which should increase the democratic quality of the elections.”

In December and January, UNDP Kyrgyzstan conducted a country-wide competition on producing voter education material, which should increase citizens’ awareness of the elections, familiarize voters with new election procedures and address responsibilities of election process participants during the elections.

Prizes were awarded in three categories: 1. Best television reel (television program), 2. Best radio reel (radio program), 3. Best leaflet, poster, pamphlet.

In the beginning of February, UNDP handed over the voter education materials provided by the winners to the Central Election Commission which uses it as part of its larger efforts to inform the Kyrgyz population on the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The voter education competition was part of UNDP’s ongoing support to the preparation of the Kyrgyz parliamentary elections. UNDP is contributing to the upgrading of the electronic system “Shailoo”, the establishment of a media center, printing of legal texts and brochures used by election commissions, provision of polling booths as well as printing and publication of education material.

UNDP’s assistance to the 2004/5 election cycle including the presidential election later this year amounts to 1.2 Million USD. Funding is provided by UNDP, UN DPA, the Kyrgyz Government, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

For more information, please contact Ms. Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer, Tel. in Bishkek: +996 (312) 61-12-13. Cell phone: + 996 (312) 51-22-99. Also you are welcomed to visit UNDP official website at

Back to Genderstan: Proceedings of the International Conference published

This publication has come out as a result of the International Conference “Genderstan 2004: Cooperation of Men and Women for Gender Equality”, which was held 1 - 3 November 2004 in Bishkek, Kyrgyz capital within the joint project of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, Swedish International Agency (SIDA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) “Promotion of Gender Equality in Politics in the Kyrgyz Republic”.

The publication includes the collection of articles and presentations by the participants of the Conference: the representatives of governments, political parties, mass media, women-leaders and men involved in promotion of gender equality from eight countries: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Tajikistan, Sweden, Moldova, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

The conference included several workshops like “Law and Gender”, in which the experts in gender equality legislation exchanged the experience in development and implementation of the legislation in different countries. The ways of promotion of women in countries with different electoral systems were discussed in the workshop “The gender strategies in different electoral systems”. The workshops “Modern Fathers” and “Men and Crisis” allowed learning about the experience of Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Lithuania in involvement of men in combating domestic violence and upbringing children. Besides the conference included sections “How Women-Entrepreneurs Can Cooperate for Democracy” and “Gender and Media”.

The agenda of the conference was developed specially to touch upon all the aspects of promotion of women in politics involving the key social and political groups in solving the problems of gender inequality.

In the nearest days the electronic version of this publication will be available at the UNDP website:


Building a National Alliance towards Micronutrient Deficiency Elimination

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) commits to support the efforts underway to eliminate micronutrient deficiency in Kyrgyzstan. To assist developing a five year National plan of action, UNICEF specialist Frits van der Haar, Associate Professor at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University of Atlanta, USA, has arrived to Bishkek this week.

He will work with Kyrgyz specialists from the Government and non-governmental organizations, private businesses, scientific institutions and media during a two-day workshop on 3-4 March 2005. The multisectoral group will study the findings of the Micronutrient Deficiency Damage Assessment Report for Kyrgyzstan, world best experiences and known solutions, and develop the draft national plan of action to be presented to the decision makers and the public a week later.

The Plan would integrate the key micronutrient areas of concern – iodine, vitamin A and folic acid deficiencies as well as iron deficiency anemia.

According to the Micronutrient Deficiency Damage Assessment Report, lack of key vitamins and minerals which has been known to cause anaemia, cretinism, blindness, and goitre that affect many millions of the world’s people is just the tip of the iceberg. “Even slight iodine deficiency can reduce mental capacity, learning and work potential. In pregnancy, it causes babies to be born dead, physically disabled, or with severe brain damage. Vitamin A deficiency damages immune systems so that illness is more common and more severe, increasing under-five death rates by up to a third. Folate deficiency before and during early pregnancy is a major cause of serious birth defects, including infantile paralysis. Lack of folate also causes anaemia and is strongly suspected of increasing the risk of death from heart disease and stroke. Iron deficiency reduces activity levels and productivity in whole populations. In children 6 to 24 months, it disrupts the normal development of the brain. Effects on children include stunting, sickliness, poor school attendance, and lower levels of concentration and memory. Severe anaemia also causes higher death rates during pregnancy and childbirth.” The Kyrgyzstan Damage Report estimates the cost from these combined effects to be as high as 1% of GDP – almost 1 billion soms.

The coming Kyrgyz National Plan of Action is to ensure that all the main players understand and realize their roles towards its implementation. In stead of making huge investments in diagnostics and treatments that in most cases would not solve problems, Kyrgyzstan needs to make changes in the food supply so that people eat more healthy and more nutritious food and by doing so, prevent the micronutrient deficiencies. This problem has effective, inexpensive and simple technological solutions which undeniably help to reduce rates of maternity and child deaths, increase working productivity and learning abilities at schools, and put a foundation for increased economic and social development of the country.

For more information, please contact Ms. Galina Solodunova, UNICEF Communications Officer. Tel.: + 996 (312) 611-211(ex.139); 611 224. Email:

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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