December 31, 2006
In this issue:
UNITED NATIONS IN THE KYRGYZ REPUBLIC
- Mr. Neal Walker assumed his duties of UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic
- Meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic
- UN Resident Coordinator hands over the credential letters to the President of Kyrgyzstan
- Kyrgyz Prime Minister meets the new UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan
UNITED NATIONS PROGRAMME on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
- On World AIDS Day the Country says Stop AIDS! Keep the promise!
- Kyrgyzstan’s mass media are against AIDS!
- The Jonathan Mann Award has been presented to Muslim women for the first time!
UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)
- Resolving cross border trade between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
- Do you want electricity and heating 24/7/365 and earn money at the same time?
- Problems of the Shadow Economy in the Kyrgyz Republic
UNITED NATIONS IN THE KYRGYZ REPUBLIC
Mr. Neal Walker assumed his duties of UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic
Bishkek 4 December 2006. - Mr. Walker, newly appointed UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic arrived in the Kyrgyz Republic December 3, 2006 and immediately assumed his duties.
Meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic
Bishkek, December 11, 2006 - Today Mr. Neal Walker, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic held the first meeting with Mr. Alikbek Djekshenkulov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic.
During the meeting both sides discussed the issues of further development of cooperation between UN and the Kyrgyz Republic. The meeting was held in a friendly and warm atmosphere corresponding to the traditionally high level of cooperation and partnership between UN and the Kyrgyz Republic.
UN Resident Coordinator hands over the credential letters to the President of Kyrgyzstan
12 December 2006 – Today the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative of the Neal Walker hand over the Credential Letters to the President of the KR, Kurmanbek Bakiev by the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervish.
The United Nations System and UNDP in the Kyrgyzstan will continue their support to the democratic, social and economic reforms that you are undertaking, with the clear objective of fostering further development of the country and the Kyrgyz people at this new stage in its history”, addressed Neal Walker to the head of the state.
In his turn, Kurmanbek Baliev noted that the Kyrgyz Republic is interested in cooperation with UN and with its further strengthening and development. The President expressed his wish to give consideration to the on going projects that render assistance to the economic potential of the republic.
Kyrgyz Prime Minister meets the new UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kyrgyzstan
Bishkek, 14th December 2006 - Today, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Felix Kulov met the new UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan, Neal Walker.
Mr. Kulov congratulated Neal Walker on his appointment and expressed his interest in further cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and the UNDP. “Organisations such as yours have made a significant contribution to promoting democratic reforms in Kyrgyzstan. Our government is very interested in deepening our relations,” he said.
In reply, Neal Walker said that he is glad he has been appointed to this position. “I am sure that with your interest in continuing cooperation we can implement all our current projects and propose new ones,” he said.
UNITED NATIONS PROGRAMME on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
On World AIDS Day the Country says Stop AIDS! Keep the promise!
On December 1st 2006 the official number of people living with HIV/AIDS in our country had reached 1054, however, according to expert assessments, this figure does not reflect the real picture. In Kyrgyzstan the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS is about 4000 and this year alone over 200 people have been officially diagnosed as HIV positive.
01 December 2006 - On World AIDS Day – December 1st, various organizations of the Kyrgyz Republic, working in the HIV/AIDS area, united to express their common national response, Stop AIDS! Keep the promise.
This joint action, held in Bishkek, included the Jonathan Mann Award presentation ceremony; the prize giving ceremony for the mass media HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment and Care competition and a charity concert that included Kyrgyz pop stars – the Good Will Ambassadors.
M. T. Abdieva, Deputy Head of the Department for Social and Cultural Development in the Prime Minister's office of the Kyrgyz Republic opened the official part of the event. In her welcoming speech Ms. Abdieva said: “The current image of the Kyrgyz Republic as the leading democratic country in Central Asia in the area of HIV/AIDS response has been mainly defined due to the development and implementation of an overall policy with the participation of all institutions. A great job has been done in the country on combating the epidemic, but there is a lot to be done yet. I would also like to emphasize the special role of international donor organizations in strengthening national partners’ capacity and express our gratitude for the significant support to the country’s effort in combating HIV/AIDS in this period of social and economic changes”.
Chairman of the UN Theme group on HIV/AIDS – Timothy Shaffter, who spoke on behalf of the UN agencies, said: “Kyrgyzstan should use all its resources to create a sustainable system for HIV/AIDS prevention. Measures on epidemic prevention should continue to build on human rights priorities, the elimination of stigma and discrimination, and effective partnership development”.
A charity concert featuring Kyrgyz pop stars – Good Will Ambassadors - helped spread the message about young people revising and reassessing their attitude towards HIV/AIDS and their health. Delivering the message to the young people that HIV concerns their generation – people just like them, the singers tried to encourage them to respond to the HIV challenge and be part of the problem's solution. The visual and informational content of the event aimed at increasing HIV awareness and their tolerance to HIV positive people.
On this day, thousands of people throughout Kyrgyzstan participated in various events and actions. More than 3000 people in the capital city of our republic wore red ribbons – a symbol of understanding AIDS. Thousands of schoolchildren and students of Kyrgyzstan participated in the training courses and seminars on HIV/AIDS prevention, which were conducted with the financial and methodological assistance of international and non-governmental organizations. Staff members of many organizations helped disseminate information and educational material on the streets and information campaigns in different mass media outlets, including outside advertising (billboards, electronic monitors, trolleybuses etc); SMS-action with the assistance of Fonex mobile telephone company. It’s a pleasure to mention the activities of commercial organizations.
It should be mentioned that government bodies have demonstrated a high degree of commitment and willingness to support all these efforts. Many of the above-mentioned events and actions were conducted with the support of the Bishkek city administration, a number of ministries and the State TV Channel (GKTRK). On December 1st all Oblast Multi-sectoral Coordination Committees to Combat AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (OMCC) organized educational and informational events, round tables showed video films, social clips etc. All activities and actions devoted to World AIDS Day were coordinated by the Unit for HIV/AIDS Coordination and Monitoring of the Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic.
But December 1st passes and the next day comes, and the number of new cases of HIV infection will continue to rise… Unless all of us realize our personal responsibility for the fight against AIDS, to which the UN Secretary General referred in his message on World AIDS Day. Responsibility that requires shaking off apathy and a willingness to respond to the epidemic and not restricting ourselves just to meaningless words.
Kyrgyzstan’s mass media are against AIDS!
Journalists of the Kyrgyz Republic demonstrated their solidarity by participating in the HIV/AIDS – Prevention, Treatment and Care competition announced by the Republican AIDS Centre under the Global Fund’s Project to Combat AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in cooperation with the Central Asia AIDS Control Project.
1st December 2006 - During the year journalists have been working closely with many organizations on preventing an epidemic and covering the delicate and sensitive topic of HIV/AIDS. The journalists of Kyrgyzstan are fully agreed that until a vaccine or effective medicine for AIDS is discovered, the only way to prevent the spread of HIV infection is through disseminating true information and providing knowledge about the problem by covering HIV/AIDS issues. “Journalists covering this area are very responsible and committed to HIV/AIDS prevention”, said the General Director of the Republican AIDS Centre, Mr. Sagynali Mamatov.
At the prize giving ceremony for the winners of the mass media competition, held on December 1st at the Opera and Ballet Theatre, the results of the competition, judged by a panel of experts, were announced. First prize for a printed media journalist went to M. Klimenko of the Vest newspaper; the head of KTR channel's Bagyt programme, E. Kiyazov won first prize for TV journalism; a journalist of the Azattyk information portal was awarded the prize for the best series of electronic media articles and journalists of Mir Radio won first prize in the radio programme category. Besides this, a number of representatives of the mass media, who took part in the competition received grants: the studio of the state Zamana channel and editorial staff of the regional newspapers, Batken tany, Alay tany and Talas turmushu.
“The staff of the Programme Implementation Unit of the Global Fund to Combat AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is pleased to announce the results of the contest. This year, there was strong competition among printed mass media representatives but, unfortunately, not many electronic mass media journalists participated. A lot of radio and video reports have been produced. As last year, regional journalists were very active in this area. During the year the HIV/AIDS theme was covered in Kyrgyz more often than in Russian, by approximately 65% to 35%. However, the contest was not entirely free and fair, as we received reports from sub-recipients of the Global Fund’s recipients, who were ineligible for the competition. These reports were not considered” – said Elden Kalchakeev, Communications Manager of GFATM.
At a press conference devoted to World AIDS Day, General Director of the Republican AIDS Centre, Mr. Mamatov and the Executive Director of Central Asia AIDS Control Project Mr. T.S. Meimanaliev expressed their thanks to representatives of the mass media for their HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. They noted that the level of coverage of the topic by journalists had increased noticeably; competitors had used creative approaches and presented the information in a comprehensible way. Mr. Mamatov emphasized, that this competition on AIDS problems among the mass media is the only one in the Kyrgyz Republic and expressed his hope that similar competitions would be held in future, because providing true and timely information is the key aspect of HIV/AIDS prevention worldwide.
The Jonathan Mann Award has been presented to Muslim women for the first time!
A 1000 USD prize was awarded on World Aids Day on December 1st. The award is given to individuals or institutions for significant contributions to HIV/AIDS prevention in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and is meant to further HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. Sponsors of the award are the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
For the first time since it was first established in 1999, the Mutakalim Progressive Public Association of Muslim Women in Kyrgyzstan received the award this year. The main purpose of the association is to popularize and develop a healthy lifestyle, based on the spiritual values of Islam. The organization works on HIV/AIDS/STI prevention, reproductive-sexual health and gender equality among Muslim women, women in prisons, religious leaders and communities, young people, refugees, internal immigrants, low income groups, orphans and physically handicapped people.
One of the greatest achievements of Mutakalim is that it was the first organization in Islamic culture to put the issue of reproductive health and family planning on the table. This attracted the attention of public and religious leaders to these important issues in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals – to combat HIV/AIDS, improve women’s health and lower the infant mortality rate.
“Implementing women’s rights, first and foremost, the right to receive information that can reduce women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and increase the active participation of religious women in implementing prevention programmes, are decisive factors in improving women’s position in general” – said Kanybek Mamytaliev, senior specialist of the Agency for Religious Affairs.
“The theme of reproductive health and family planning cannot be discussed and moreover, this subject is taboo in Muslim society!” said Jamal Frontbek kyzy, the head of Mutakalim. “When we started our activities, we often faced silence, barriers and lack of understanding. However, thanks to the support of various organizations and Muslim leaders, we have been able to speak about sexual and reproductive health in Islamic heritage. We are very honoured by the award, which will give us a powerful impetus to achieving our common goal – to save human life!”
When presenting the award Mr. Shaffter said: “By actively participating in HIV/AIDS prevention activities, religious organizations can change public attitudes to HIV/AIDS problems based on the spiritual, ethical and moral values, common to all religions”.
UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)
Resolving cross border trade between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan
As a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 five new states with a total population of 57 million people were created in Central Asia. The region was dissected by new twisting borders, which created barriers to trade and communications and undermined the integrated, but vulnerable, water and energy systems. The breaking of the chain of industrial and agricultural supplies and the demolition of the administrative apparatus of the Soviet Union have led to economic crises, especially in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
December 8th 2006 - A roundtable involving the rayon administrations of Batken (Kyrgyzstan) and Isfara (Tajikistan), Customs and tax inspections, police authorities and heads of cross border aiyl okmotu (Batken rayon) and joomats (Isfara rayon), was organized in the town of Batken to address cross border trade issues.
The round table attended by 25 people was initiated by the local authorities and supported by the UNDP Preventive Development Programme of the Kyrgyz Republic and the UNDP Community Development Programme of Tajikistan.
“I believe that at present it is necessary to continue developing cross border trade and create and develop sustainable mechanisms and a local level structure to address the problems in this sphere”, said Ms S. Khamrabaeva, Head of the Economy and Finance Unit of Batken oblast state administration in her opening speech.
Mr. O. Kholokov, Representative of the Isfara Committee on the Economy and international economic relations (Tajikistan) pointed out that the Tajik party is also ready to cooperate in strengthening relations between the two rayons.
The main problems impeding trade between the neighbouring states are; lack of information about the prices of goods and services on both sides of the border; no knowledge about the rules for transporting goods across the Kyrgyz-Tajik border; no joint (Kyrgyz-Tajik) structures for developing trade at municipal level; poor state of cross border markets and quite serious issues of tax and Customs legislation.
The Heads of cross border municipalities and representatives of cross border markets noted that one of the main obstacles to effectively addressing cross border problems are the laws and regulations adopted by the central governments of the two republics, which do not consider local conditions.
Local authorities cannot see any mechanisms for introducing changes or amendments in such legal statements and it was pointed out that non-governmental and international institutions should be actively involved in establishing such capacity.
Based on the results of a joint analysis made by the participants of the roundtable, constructive measures to improve cooperation between cross border rayons were proposed. It was recommended to support the existing information-advisory centres in local markets or municipalities, set up joint public structures on trade development in cross border aiyl okmotu and joomats and, most importantly, improve cooperation between the tax authorities of Batken and Isfara rayons.
The representatives of the local authorities and tax bodies of the two rayons proposed establishing a Joint Working Group at the level of the two rayons to develop cross border trade.
Although it is too early to speak about the results of the roundtable, as a result of the dialogue, which was supported by the UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, cooperation on addressing cross border trade issues between local authority bodies and representatives of local businesses and tax authorities has already improved.
For your information: The Cross Border Cooperation Project in Kyrgyzstan/Tajikistan/Uzbekistan of the UNDP Preventive Development Programme is working in the south of the country in the area of conflict prevention to support peace and social harmony in the region. This project includes such components as: consolidation of friendship between various ethnic groups, development of national diplomacy, capacity building of local self- governance bodies, organising cross-cultural and sports events, and improving good-neighbourly relations in cross-border communities of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
For additional information please contact:Ms. Vasilina Brazhko, Communications Officer, UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic Tel: +996 312 61-12-13 (ext. 222) or or Cross Border Cooperation Project between Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, Osh office +996 3222 57837; 55713; Batken office +996 3622 36029; 36144.
Do you want electricity and heating 24/7/365 and earn money at the same time?
How to provide villages with regular heating and electricity without huge financial costs - this and many other topics are discussed in the Biogas technologies in the Kyrgyz Republic Reference Guidelines.
Bishkek, December 8th 2006 – Agriculture in Kyrgyzstan is experiencing great difficulties due to poor fertility of land, increasing prices for fuel and fertilizers, deterioration of the environment and general poverty of the population. A possible way out of this vicious circle could be the introduction of biogas technologies.
Processing agricultural waste, manure, heads of plants, weeds and food waste in biogas stations could provide farms/homes with biogas, which could be used for different household gas appliances, and be high-performance organic bio-fertilizer, the use of which would increase yields by 10-30%.
A lot of theoretical and practical knowledge has been accumulated in the world about introducing biogas stations and using the biogas and fertilizers resulting from processing agricultural waste.
The Biogas technologies in the Kyrgyz Republic Reference Guidelines have been developed and published by experts of the Fluid Public Association, under the UNDP Institutional strengthening and capacity building for sustainable development and the Small Grant Programme of the UNDP Global Environmental Facilities projects.
These Guidelines have been designed to help assess and disseminate best practice available in the operation and construction of biogas stations in our country.
People interested in constructing biogas stations on their farms are offered various types of constructions and lists of component parts of the biogas stations, selection criteria for household needs, recommendations on how to select the most suitable stations in local conditions and the norms for operating and maintenance required for their successful operation.
There is information on the main characteristics of the technology used to obtain products from the anaerobic processing of organic waste – biogas and bio-fertilizers, methods, economic and environmental benefits of their use and cost and payback time for biogas stations at farm and state levels.
The target group for the Guidelines is broadly based: farm managers, scientists and state officials, students, agricultural teachers, and farmers.
For further information, please contact: Vasilina Brazhko, Communication Officer, UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic at: +996 312 61-12-13 Ext. 222 or or Ms. Aigul Bolotova, Communications Officer, UNDP Project Institutional strengthening and capacity building for sustainable development Tel: +996 312 62-36-85,
Information on the activity of environmental programmes and projects of the UNDP may be obtained from the following websites: www.caresd.net and www.undp.kg
Problems of the Shadow Economy in the Kyrgyz Republic
Bishkek, December 15th 2006 - Today at 2.00 p.m. in the Ministry of the Economy and Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic there will be a presentation of the reports entitled An Analysis of the nature and scale of the shadow economy in the Kyrgyz Republic and The Shadow economy in the Kyrgyz Republic: tendencies, assessments, and policy options.
The UNDP initiated research into the shadow economy in the Kyrgyz Republic in cooperation with the Ministry of the Economy and Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the size of the shadow economy and develop recommendations for the Government in the areas of tax and customs policies, optimization of the business environment and other spheres. The Investment Round Table Public Association together with international consultants, made a detailed analysis of the volume and nature of the shadow economy in the Kyrgyz Republic, defined the factors contributing to its growth and developed some recommendations to assist the Government in reducing the shadow sector.
This research used various methods to obtain reliable results on the scale of the shadow economy in the Kyrgyz Republic (by sector and region). The estimates presented in this report show that the level of the shadow economy in Kyrgyzstan is comparable to other countries with transition economies in the Central Asia region, at approximately 53% of GDP.
The research shows that the rate of economic growth in Kyrgyzstan is not providing sufficient employment and income levels and the size of the shadow sector is not shrinking and companies and other economic entities in the shadow economy are constantly looking for ways of hiding their activities from registration, taxation, and other social payments due.
The main reasons for the shadow economy are lack of trust in official institutions, high levels of taxation and social payments, and inefficient tax administration, combined with excessive administrative regulation, nontransparent legislation and corruption.
The high level of the shadow economy in the Kyrgyz Republic has a negative influence on all areas of state activity and leads to inefficient macroeconomic management and also has negative consequences at microeconomic level, but at the same time offers jobs and the opportunity to make a profit. The main part of the report therefore contains some recommendations to the Government on the balanced use of incentives and restrictions in tax and customs policies, optimizing the business environment etc., the emphasis of which is to use the capacity of the shadow economy, but meanwhile not destroy its potential. These recommendations were based on the summarized opinions of entrepreneurs obtained during a survey, which is a distinguishing feature of this research.
The measures proposed in the research could form a basis for drafting a programme for formalizing the shadow economy.
The recommendations to formalize the shadow economy include priority directions of Government policy aimed at both reducing the costs of formal business and establishing incentives for shadow businesses to transfer to the formal business sector.
For additional information please contact: Ms. Vasilina Brazhko, Communications Officer, UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic Tel: +996 312 61-12-13 (ext. 222) or