June 03, 2005
In this issue:
UNITED NATIONS IN KYRGYZSTAN
- UN Press Club meeting: Looking with optimism into the future of Kyrgyzstan
UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)
- Peace-building in the Ferghana Valley: Enhancing dialogue and tolerance among children
- World International Environment Day in Kyrgyzstan: Call for consolidation on the way of sustainable development
UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFPA)
- UNFPA concerned about reproductive health situation in the southern provinces
UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF)
- A Book for Me, Mummy and Daddy
- Two Generations to the Mountains for a Dialogue
UNITED NATIONS IN KYRGYZSTAN
UN Press Club meeting: Looking with optimism into the future of Kyrgyzstan
“The occasion of the Mr. Kalman Mizsei, UN Assistant Secretary General and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Director for Europe and the CIS mission to Kyrgyzstan gave us great opportunity to meet at this forum which is already a tradition, - said UN Resident Coordinator Jerzy Skuratowicz opening the UN Press Club meeting on 26th May in Bishkek.
UNHCR Chief of the Mission Carlos Zaccagnini, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Sezin Sinanoglu, UNICEF Programme Coordinator Smaranda Popa, and prominent national experts, leaders of civil society, political parties and government officials gathered around the table with journalists’ members of the UN Press Club.
Skillfully moderated by the UN Resident Coordinator, the meeting turned into an arena of intensive discussion of current political and economic situation in the country and vision of its future development.
Bearing in mind the short period of time passed after the March’s revolution in Kyrgyzstan and complex social situation in the country in-between the parliamentary and presidential elections two main issues were put into the Press Club meeting’s agenda. The first was how the UN can assist Kyrgyzstan following the March events and the changes that have to be implemented in many areas, and the second was possible effects of instability in Uzbekistan on situation in Kyrgyzstan.
“They say it’s difficult to live in the times of change, but only in this particular time we are getting a chance to better understand, analyze and adopt our activities in order to cope with the situation, - said Kalman Mizsei in his welcoming address.
The revolution taken place in the country on 24th March is still a cause for debate in the country. Civil society, political parties, media, business, academia and ordinary citizens of the country continue to discuss the events happened, its far-reaching implications and the issues of future country’s development.
“The old bureaucracy is very strong in Kyrgyzstan and tries to hamper any changes in social, economic and political areas, - said Edil Baisalov, leader of the NGOs Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society, “but I’m optimist and believe that changes happened and will continue to happen in the country that will allow us to create a solid democracy, to cope with corruption, to put in place issues of human rights and secure civil society’s activity, - he said.
“The main problem of the country is that we changed our elite but economic and political systems are the same, - said Marat Tazabekov, Director of the Economic Policy Institute. “That is why we hope the UN will support us in dismantling the old system, which will make possible changes in the political configuration of the authorities, including distribution of power.
In Kyrgyzstan, civil society played a significant role during the revolution. Many prominent NGOs leaders demanded successfully a Constitutional Council to take on the revision of the Kyrgyz Constitution and put guarantees into this fundamental law against a relapse into an authoritarian regime.
“Now it is a very important time for us where we have the chance to modernize our country, - said at the UN press Club meeting Zainidin Kurmanov, member of the Constitutional Council who represents the political party “My Country”. “We have a unique historical chance now to create not an ‘island of democracy’ but democratic state in reality, - he said. The UN system is supporting these efforts particularly, by the provision of qualitative international expertise of the draft Constitution worked out by the Council.
After a discussion on recent events in Andijan (Uzbekistan) that resulted in an influx of asylum seekers into Kyrgyzstan and on future threats to stability in Ferghana Valley, the participants of the press club meeting held the opinion that Kyrgyzstan should follow the International Conventions it has ratified and fulfill the obligations towards the asylum seekers as stated there.
For additional information please contact Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer: Tel. 0 996 (312) 61-12-13. Cell phone: 0 996 (502) 51-22-99. E-mail:
UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)
Ferghana Valley: Peace-building from childhood on
«Enhancing dialogue and tolerance » - was the message of a Forum among schoolchildren in Osh on June 1st dedicated to Child Protection Day.
The growing dangers of conflicts, especially in such vulnerable area as the Ferghana Valley, are according to experts affecting women and children most of all. These facts have been the reason to conduct the Forum, initiated by Osh state administration and supported by UNDP.
More than forty children, representing different ethnic groups arrived to Osh from seven districts of the province to participate to learn to interact with other cultures and peace building.
The Forums programme included also a charity concert “Adults for happy childhood” taking place in central stadium with participation of folklore and dancing groups of Osh city, puppet theatre performance, the handicrafts contest “Skilful hands”, a contest for the best picture on asphalt as well as song and dancing competitions.
The Forum was to guide children in their stage of their identity formation towards such imperishable values as peace, stability and respect for rights and traditions of others and live together in the Ferghana Valley.
Children represent the next generation, on which depends future stability in the region. For this reason the UNDP Preventive Development Programme constantly implements initiatives targeted on growing-ups.
During the year 2004 the Programme carried out within its youth addressed initiatives, the festivals “Friendship makes us stronger” and “Young talents”, the joined celebration of Nooruz holiday in border adjacent communities of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and discussions for schoolchildren and students from three states on the most actual issues of peace maintenance and stability in the region.
Having become a tradition the volleyball tournaments for the Ferghana Valley Cup attract more and more young participants and fans from all three states. Two new initiatives like the support to the printing of schoolbooks in Uzbek language in Uzgen, as well as a summer camps entitled “Good will and good fellowships” for schoolchildren from border adjacent districts in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The basic objectives of these initiatives are to involve youth in dialogue, to involve them in the development process and to give them the skills to deal with different conflict situations.
Note: During almost four years the UNDP supports the initiatives on conflict prevention in Kyrgyz part of the Ferghana Valley.
The multinational population of three southern provinces in Kyrgyzstan – Osh, Batken and Jalalabat is subject to many economic, political and social challenges. Amongst them are problems of border crossing with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, tensions around the Uzbek enclave Sokh, located on the territory of Batken province in Kyrgyzstan, disputes over resources, lack of irrigation and drinking water, and the break up of the former system of social welfare and employment. The majority of the problems meet with problems of ethnic belongingness, people start to feel hostility towards neighboring communities of another ethnicity.
The UNDP Preventive Development Programme has a tight partnerships with UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery,the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Government of Norway. In the light of the March events in Kyrgyzstan and the recent crisis in Andijan, causing many to seek asylum in neighboring Jalalabat province, the Preventive Development Programme at present undergoes changes to adjust to the new challenges and support the new Government of Kyrgyzstan in maintaining peace and stability in the country.
For more information, please contact Abdiraim Jorokulov, Programme Manager at (3222) 55713 or 57837 or checkout our official website www.pdp.undp.kg
World International Environment Day in Kyrgyzstan: Call for consolidation on the way to sustainable development
“In 1950 less than one person in three lived in a town or city. Today it is nearly half of the world’s population. By 2030 more than 60 per cent will be living in urban areas,- told Zharas Takenov, UNDP Programm Officer for Environment in Kyrgyzstan, summarizing a dramatic development of urbanization.
On the eve of the World International Environment Day a press-conference in Bishkek was dedicated to this years focus on environmental aspects of urbanization. Recent land taking at the margins of the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek after the events on 24 March showed that Kyrgyzstan is no exception in this trend to move into urban areas in the hope of more job opportunities and a better life. “As a rule in many developing countries the nearby industries, infrastructure and ecology of the cities do not fully sustain the rising influx of people and a coordinated effort and planning is needed to mitigate the consequences for people’s health and take action against the rise of poverty in conurbations, added Takenov.
“It is important to teach environmental questions in schools, to rise the awareness of this issues,” said the Deputy Minister for Ecology and Emergency Situations, Bakir Zholichiev.
Representatives of Kyrgyzstan’s nature protection organizations and the UNDP “Capacity Building and Environmental Governance Strengthening for Sustainable Development” gave an overview on their measures in environmental protection.
It was highlighted that successful solution in the country could be found through cross- governmental co-operation, broad involvement of civil society to the environmental administration and taking decisions processes.
The UNDP project that contributes to capacity building of the KR state institutions in the field of nature protection and sustainable development is aimed at the same goals.
The project activities are implemented according to principles of broad co-operation and joint efforts of all society sectors with the aim of developing resource mobilization mechanisms in the field of environment and integration of ecological principles to main programmes and projects, particularly poverty reduction, to achieve the sustainable development of the country.
An important aspect of the project activity is supporting and promotion of initiative on the External Debt for Sustainable Development Swap
The project supposes to provide a support to the KR Government in development of the National strategy on sustainable development within the Complex Development Framework (CDF).
Note: World Environment Day, commemorated each year on 5 June, is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is responsible - on behalf of the UN system - for providing the organizational framework for World Environment Day.
The World Environment Day theme selected for 2005 is Green Cities and the slogan is Plan for the Planet! The main international celebrations of the World Environment Day 2005 will be held in San Francisco, California, USA http://www.wed2005.org/ , and the City of San Francisco will be hosting this important United Nations Day this year.
More detailed information can be received from the National Expert of the UNDP “Capacity Building and Environmental Governance Strengthening for Sustainable Development” project Svetlana Bortsova ( Tel: 54 92 63, 54 92 73; e-mail: )
More detailed information on the project and the UNDP environmental programmes can be found from websites: www.caresd.net and www.undp.kg
UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFPA)
UNFPA concerned about reproductive health situation in the southern provinces
Following the events of last March in the country as well as the recent developments on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, UNFPA is concerned about the rising vulnerability in the South and prepares an in-depth assessment of contingency-preparedness in reproductive healthcare.
The UN Inter-Agency mission, which visited the country last month, underlined the risks and vulnerabilities, notably in the area of healthcare. The report pointed out the limited capacity of healthcare structures and the weakness to respond to more severe service demands. “The core functions of the health system need to be addressed strategically using strategic dialogue”, the report stated.
“Based on the conclusions of the mission, we reaffirm our assistance within the scope of our mandate”, said Gulnara Kadyrkulova, Acting Assistant Representative.
UNFPA sent a representative to the provinces of Osh and Jalalabad last week to conduct preliminary assessments. The representative monitored reproductive healthcare facilities, met with medical personnel, government officials and visited the Barrash camp of asylum-seekers in Jalalabad province. “The reproductive healthcare situation is under control but remains precarious in many ways and vulnerable to any major disruption”, she said.
Emergency health kits from UNFPA stock, consisting of infant blankets, washing powder, vitamins, medicines, gynaecological pads and contraceptives, were distributed to the asylum-seekers, in cooperation with the UNHCR team.
The representative also prepared the ground for the arrival of technical assistance from UNFPA Headquarters next week. The technical consultant from UNFPA emergency unit will conduct an in-depth assessment in the area of reproductive healthcare and provide UNFPA local staff with the tools to react effectively to changing reproductive healthcare needs.
For additional information, please contact: Julien Pellaux, Communication and Advocacy Officer (UNV), UNFPA. Ph: +996 312 61 1213 - ext.158 Fax: +996 312 61 1204 E-mail: You are welcome to visit our website at: www.unfpa.org.kg
UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF)
A Book for Me, Mummy and Daddy
31 May 2005, on the eve of Child Protection Day, the kindergarten and local community of Ak-Orgo district organized a Child’s Book Event.
Well known Kyrgyz poetess Subaiylda Abdykadyrova, young writer Jyldyz Bek, and talented artist Kulnar-Rymbek presented new 5 books for children and their parents prepared and published with UNICEF’s support.
The books represent a new generation of children’s books – in a form of easy-to-remember, entertaining children’s songs, colorful drawings and concise advice for parents, they contain life saving facts that every care giver has a right to know. They tell about vitamins, hygiene, games and care for development and alert adults that even minor violence may negatively affect the child’s psychological or physical health. At the presentation, children from the kindergarten together with their care givers made a small performance bringing to life the heroes of the books. The authors and children’s psychologists shared important tips how to most effectively use the books. The event was crowned by cognitive competitions among families “My mummy, daddy and I are a happy family”.
Within the coming month, 4000 copies of the 5 books will be presented to all families with children at age of 3-8 in UNICEF’s pilot areas – Ak-Orgo, Archa-Beshik and Kelechek districts of Bishkek and 3 communities in Batken Rayon.
This initiative is a part of UNICEF Early Child Development Programme that aims to help parents and other care givers improve their parental skills and ensure that all children have the best start in life.
Two Generations to the Mountains for a Dialogue
On May 30 2005, upon the initiative of the Prime-Minister’s Office with UNICEF’s support, an inter-generation dialogue dedicated to the Child Protection Day – 1 June was conducted. Ninety six children from twelve children’s institutions and shelters of Bishkek and Chui Oblast met with members of the Government. Like last year it took place in Chon Tash Tract – a place where children would feel natural and more confident when expressing their views.
The dialogue was preceded by three day tourist competitions organized by Republican Centre for Tourism and Ecology. Also, during the event, the participants discussed how the coming dialogue would help them to solve main difficulties that they account in their daily life. Violation of children’s rights and what children and decision makers can really do together in the present situation was the main subject of the dialogue.
The dialogue wasn’t limited to questions and answers: after identifying main problems, children and adults worked in small discussion groups and then presented practical steps for resolution of those problems.
Inter-generation dialogues were first organized in Kyrgyzstan in preparation for the UN Special Session in 2002. Since then children have proved that they can, clearly, without accusations, lead dialogues and provide constructive solutions. Of late, decision makers also express an increasing interest to listen to children and together solve issues that effect children’s lives.
Contact: Richard Young, UNICEF Representative. Phone: (996 312) 61 12 24, 61 12 25; e-mail: