June 10, 2005
In this issue:
UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)
- Information Centre of Central Election Commission Launched in Bishkek
- Open parliamentary hearings on the draft Law “on HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan»: there is a chance to halt the epidemic.
UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)
Information Centre of Central Election Commission Launched on June 8th 2005 in Bishkek
“Transparent and fair elections is not only a first step towards democracy, but also the source of stability in the country,” said Jerzy Skuratowicz, UNDP Resident Representative, at the ceremony of the launching. “Free access to information both during and after the elections require political will, - he said.
With financial assistance of UNDP, Information Center is equipped with all necessary elements needed for the collection, analysis and dissemination of operative and trustworthy information in the course of elections. Costs of the installed equipment come to more than 85 thousand US dollars.
Based upon a principle, that in the election process only voting itself should be secret, and all other procedures should be open, public and transparent, the Center has the function to improve information provision. It meets therefore advanced technical standards for information dissemination.
The decision to establish this center has been made jointly by UNDP and the Central Election Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic in the framework of the project on support to democratic elections.
Deputies of the Kyrgyz Parliament, leaders of political parties and nongovernmental organizations, leading political scientists and diplomats, and also representatives of all mass media have been invited for the opening of the Center.
“These elections will show the truth of our revolution,” said acting First Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Felix Kulov. He said: “Ourselves, we have vital interest in a good organization of the forthcoming elections, the course and results of which will undoubtedly have an effect on the economic situation in the country.”
“In the course of the establishment of this Center we tried to consider achievements of modern technology, so that already on the day of the presidential elections public, international and local observers, political parties, and also candidates and first of all - mass media, receive operative and accurate information on the course of voting,” said the Chairman of the Central Election Commission, Tuigunaaly Abdraimov. He said: “Here, we will also conduct press conferences, briefings and other activities.”
"During the election days broadcasting for the general public will be provided from the Center on a twenty-four hour basis by the Chairman and members of the Central Election Commission of the Kyrgyz Republic on preliminary data of number of voters, on the turn out at the election, on the course and results of voting during the elections.
“The new authority has a political will in carrying out fair and transparent elections, and the support of UNDP moves us closer to the democratic standards, which were long ago and substantially defined by the world community,” said Adakhan Madumarov, vice-prime minister. He said: “Moreover, the Center together with other urgent measures, which are currently being undertaken by the government of Kyrgyzstan, will help the authorities to return the lost trust of the people.”
Opening of the CEC Information Center is important but not the only one component of the UNDP “Support to democratic elections in the Kyrgyz Republic” project, aimed at strengthening capacity of CEC in voters’ education, assistance in development of effective and most expedient procedures and rules for maintenance of independence of the election commissions, its interaction with political parties, civil society and mass media in the election process and support in establishment in Kyrgyzstan democratic election procedures.
Earlier this year, within the framework of UNDP project, computer equipment to the sum of approximately 160 thousand US dollars was purchased to provide continuous maintenance of the State Automated Information System "Shailoo,” which is connected to the network of Information Center. This equipment is already installed in all regional and district centers of the Republic; currently, the additional equipment is purchased in order to replace the equipment which was damaged during March events at the local “Shailoo” information points in Kyrgyzstan.
In the course of the implementation of this component of the project, transparent bidding procedures were used on all stages ranging from hiring a national consultant for establishment for the technical basis of the Information Center to the purchases of equipment and furniture as well as installation of this equipment.
Note: The project of UNDP and Government of the Kyrgyz Republic “Support to democratic elections in the Kyrgyz Republic” has been signed on July 14th, 2004.
The basis of project strategy is that the organization of elections is an internal affair of the Kyrgyz Republic and the preparation and implementation of the election has to be financed by means of the state budget.
Therefore, the assistance from donors and multilateral agencies is directed on support of long-term development of the electoral system in the country. Within the framework of this project, UNDP plays a linking role between potential donors and the Central Election Commission with the purpose to mobilize technical and financial resources for establishing a sustainable potential of institutes participating in preparation and carrying out of elections in compliance with the international standards.
To this date UNDP was able to mobilize more than one and a half million US dollars for the implementation of this important and many-sided project. Besides UNDP, countries as Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the Great Britain take part in financing of the project.
Additional information can be obtained by contacting Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Relations Officer by phone 61-12-13. Mobile: 0 (502) 51-22-99. Email address:
Open parliamentary hearings on the draft Law “on HIV/AIDS in Kyrgyzstan»: there is a chance to halt the epidemic.
“Violation of human rights will only weaken our response to the HIV epidemic,” told Nurlan Shonkorov, leader of NGO “Koz Karash”, which represents the interests of people living with HIV/AIDS, at the Parliamentary hearing on AIDS legislation in Kyrgyzstan. “The State should guarantee equal human rights for everyone – and people living with HIV/AIDS should not be an exception”.
The event hearings on June 4, 2005, at Yssyk-Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan, that discussed the issues of HIV/AIDS and human rights was the first of its kind in the Kyrgyz Parliament. More then three fourths of the MPs were present. Headed by the Vice Prime Minister, the Ministers of health, labor and social protection, education and justice informed the Parliament on the needs in legislative framework in the HIV/AIDS area. AIDS-service NGOs, representing the interests of people living with HIV/AIDS, injecting drug users, youth, and others presented the Parliament their activities in HIV/AIDS prevention and care.
«HIV can be on the list of world threats such as global warming or radioactive contamination therefore this law is of importance for the country,”- said in his speech acting minister of health Dr. Mitalip Mamytov.
The threat of HIV/AIDS spread in Kyrgyzstan is not declining, as of May 2005 there are 709 officially registered cases of infections, thus, though specialists say the real figures of HIV contaminated ten fold more as minimum. It was noted on the parliamentary hearings that rapid spread of AIDS is stimulated by a lack of population’s knowledge of transmission ways alongside with the geographical location of the country along the drug trafficking routes.
The draft Law was developed under the Republican Multisectoral Coordinating Committee with the wide participation of state, international and civil society organization. Before it was given to the Parliament hearing, the draft law went through a formulation process involving the expertise of international and non-government organizations including the network of AIDS services NGOs.
During the development of the draft some articles were eliminated, thus the article on state guarantee for free provision of qualified and specialized medical assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS was substituted by provision of equal access to medical help. Besides, as the resume for the parliament hearing states the number of important amendments to the law protecting people living with HIV/AIDS from stigma and discrimination and guaranteeing protection of rights in such a sensitive area were included.
«In order to stop the Epidemic in the country besides political will certain efforts should be made to inform the population,”- commented Nurlan Shonkorov, the leader of Koz Karash NGO.
Kyrgyzstan has gained significant experience in consolidating the epidemic by efforts of the government, international and non-government organizations and possibly thanks to these early activities the HIV cases are the lowest among the CIS countries.
«Starting from the first days of the work in the country I was asked the same question why the UN and UNDP despite the today relatively low numbers of HIV infections in Kyrgyzstan pay so much attention to the HIV problem. The answer is because the rapid spread of the infection is a threat to development of any country and Kyrgyzstan is not an exception,”- said in his speech to the participants of the parliament hearing Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UN Resident Coordinator. Therefore this Law is of high importance for the country and its future. With the political will and broad support of international community and well-coordinated efforts Kyrgyzstan has a chance to halt the spread of the disease,”- he said.
Note: Since 1997 in Kyrgyzstan UNDP HIV/AIDS programme has been continuing successfully its activities.
A number of initiatives of the Programme were of revolutionary significance for Central Asian countries including direct work with vulnerable groups, religious leaders, and establishment of a multisectoral committee with the wide involvement of key ministries.
These initiatives include syringe exchange programme for injecting drug users, as well as methadone substitution therapy, which initially was faced with serious misunderstanding and oppression in Kyrgyz society.
Programmes for penitentiary system; work with uniformed services, creation of a network of AIDS services NGOs is also within those initiatives.
Much attention is paid by the Programme to educational establishment and work with mass media. It took several years that people in the country including journalists and top state officials started openly discussing the problem and trying to find its solution.
For additional information please contact Ekaterina Paniklova, UNDP Programme Officer. Tel. 0 996 (312) 61-12-13. E-mail: