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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 257
September 09, 2005

In this issue:


  • External Debt for Sustainable Development Swaps: The Process Continues
  • International Summer Camp Participants and members of the UN Press Club met in Jalal-Abad


External Debt for Sustainable Development Swaps: The Process Continues

From left to the right: Mr. Omor Rustembekov, Director of the Department of Ecology and Nature Management of the Ministry of Emergency Situation and Ecology of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Jerzy Skuratowicz, UNDP Resident Representative and Zharas Takenov, UNDP International Senior Programme OfficerPresentation of the report “External Debt for Sustainable Development Swaps: Approaches and Initiatives of Kyrgyzstan” was held on 7 September 2005, UN House, Bishkek.

“External debt is one of the most important problems disrupting the process of development in Kyrgyzstan. The implementation of debt swaps for sustainable development mechanisms would open new opportunities for solving the problems in the sphere of ecology and other vitally important issues,” said Jerzy Skuratowicz, UNDP Resident Representative introducing the report on “External Debt for Sustainable Development Swaps”.

“The debt swap mechanism is not new and a number of developing countries already successfully working on and implementing practical agreements with countries-creditors that promote poverty reduction and decreasing loan dependence of countries-debtors and also increasing foreign investments in their economies”, he stressed.

Declining budget revenues, the loss of transfers from the central budget after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the high costs of economic transformation in the Kyrgyz Republic caused between 1993 and 2003 an increase of total external debt from US $ 145.9 million to US$ 1.943.3 million, exceeding the GDP of the country.

External Debt for Sustainable Development Swaps is a mechanism to help the country out of the debt trap while mobilizing at the same time resources for projects in sustainable development.

The report is a mid-term review of the joint project “Capacity Building and Environmental Governance for Sustainable Development” of the Kyrgyz Government and UNDP that is using the debt swap mechanism. It summarizes the experiences in the use of external debt conversion and establishing a transparent mechanism between creditors and debtors through different projects in the area of sustainable development. The report summarizes the method and strategy used in the project that can be beneficial also for other countries undergoing a transition period. It shows how this mechanism can work as a financial instrument for sustainable development in countries with limited resources.

The format of UNDP as a trust agency accumulating unprecedented experience in support of poverty reduction and environmental area as well as having access to a world knowledge network helped improving partnerships and search of opportunities to attract supplementary resources into development.

UNDP provided expertise and the platform for dialogue between the key players in and outside the country. A comprehensive analysis of the foreign debt situation in Kyrgyzstan and existing possibilities for their conversion as well as an assessment of the countries financial needs for sustainable development provided the necessary base for the project.

A series of consultations, top level dialogues and search for synergy between UNDP and other donors’ initiatives at the global and national levels enabled to make this innovative mechanism applicable to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and Comprehensive Development Framework of the Kyrgyz Republic till 2010.

Ms. Mira Djangaracheva, UNDP Leading Project Expert presents the Report in the UN HouseBesides, the document pools European and Latin American countries experience in debt for sustainable development swap. An important part of the report is the section, which considers the development of transparent mechanisms of debt relief scheme including fiduciary funds, their advantages and ways of realization in practice.

The Report emphasizes that Kyrgyzstan has to overcome political and institutional barriers, initiate and, successively, conduct multilateral consultations with donors and country-creditors to define priorities for conversion operations, prove their congruity with the set goals specified in the Comprehensive Development Framework and bring forward a country development strategy.

“Only a high level of cooperation between participants of this process will allow achieving success in the implementation of this initiative”, Jerzy Skuratowicz said.

The research was of great interest to the audience of the presentation - heads of a range of ministries and government institutions, members of Kyrgyz parliament, leaders of NGO, representatives of academic structure and mass media and expressed its usefulness in the current and upcoming bilateral negotiations of the government with external creditors.

“Next week Kyrgyz a government delegation headed by President K. Bakiev is flying to the World Summit in New-York and the material provided with the support of UNDP will help the delegation to actively promote interests of the country in the United Nations Organizations”, said Erkin Mamkulov, deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic.

For further information, please contact Mr. Zharas Takenov, UNDP International Senior Programme Officer. Tel.: + 996 (312) 611-213. Fax: + 996 (312) 611-217. Mobile: + 996 (502) 741-587. Email:

International Summer Camp Participants and members of the UN Press Club met in Jalal-Abad

UN Press Club members on the way to the CampHow to preserve tenuous peace in the Ferghana Valley and involve young people from three border adjacent states in the region into initiatives to strengthen cooperation and security was the focus of the recent press trip for the UN press club members to the South of Kyrgyzstan. The journalists met with young people who are members of cross-border communities and participate in partnership development initiatives for good neighborhood and tolerance under support of UNDP and conflict prevention programme.

A group of journalists representing mainly youth programming makers from television and radio, newspapers and informational networks showed great enthusiasm when asked to participate at the closing ceremony of Summer Camp of Friendship in Jalalabat province.

More than sixty senior school students from border adjacent communities in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan “struggled” in their countries for the right to participate in this camp – they took active part in various contests organized by UNDP regional offices and its partners from the Ferghana Valley states. The most active and successful have been awarded and became the participants of the 12 days summer camp, allocated at a unique place in Jalalabat province – the ancient and walnut forests Arslanbob which is the biggest of its kind in the world.

Applauds to the media team“Good will and good neighborhood” – this was the motto of the already second International Summer Camp of Friendship organized at the end of August 2005.

“Team leaders”, trainers and facilitators, had also arrived in the camp together with children, with important mission to teach children ways of conflict prevention, promote children’s friendship, and eliminate the barriers – language, cultural, traditional and psychological.

Three national flags – Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan flied up above the camp at the opening day and three teams according to the number of countries in the Ferghana Valley had been created, but each team was composed of children from all three states.

The fourth team established at the camp turned out to be a group of journalists, happen to “play according to scout’s regulations” fixed at the friendship camp: invent a camp song, devise motto and name of the team. Having marched to the dining hall, loudly repeating the words of the song (in order to have a dinner) the journalists have “drawn” in a storm of applause and plunged into the atmosphere of the camp, out of observers became participants.

Exactly for this reason they stood hand in hand with children from three states around the farewell fire and comforted the sad children glancing at the falling down flags on the occasion of camp closure. And exactly for this reason the journalists had a lot of applause for the performances of the talented children, organizing the presentation in the form of concert. A correspondent from “Lemon” youth newspaper quickly changed the clothing and suddenly mingled on the stage dancing together with the children. And of course for this reason the materials at present being published and broadcasted are full with such repercussions about the challenges of peace, stability and security in the region and the way the young generation is living up to it.

Ms. Elena Voronina, correspondent of youth newspaper “Limon” dancing for the camp participants“Soon you will become adults – said Abdiraim Jorokulov, Manager of the UNDP Preventive Development Programme at the closing ceremony, -someone will become a leader in the respective community, someone will work at the Government in one of three states, and someone will work in NGO or an international organization. Wishing you all loads of success and all of us peace I would like to urge you to remember one thing. Please never loose that knowledge you acquired here and never doubt that these skills will help you in any situation”.

Making news for isolated province of KyrgyzstanBesides the camp, members of UN press club within framework of this trip visited their colleagues from Batken state television, which under support of UNDP broadcasting TV news and actual and locally interesting programmes for the people - in particular youth –that have been practically being isolated from any information provision before. Another group met with communities from border adjacent areas in Osh and Jalalabat provinces, implementing projects on school construction with Uzbek language of instruction and establishment of Youth Informational Center.

For more information, please contact Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Public Affairs Officer. Phone: 996 – 312 – 611-213, mobile 996-502-512-299. Email:

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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