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   The UN Link / The United Nations System in Kyrgyzstan
# 275
April 30, 2007

In this issue:


  • Religious leaders of Central Asia stand up to prevent HIV/AIDS
  • A Refurbished Training Center in Osh Hand over to the Border Service
  • Kyrgyzstan can benefit from a dangerous greenhouse gas
  • Reporting on Compliance with the Human Rights Conventions held in Bishkek
  • Government, Jogorku Kenesh and UNDP Set Joint Pans on Implementing of CDM in Kyrgyzstan


  • UNHCR structural changes and visit of the Regional Director


  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visits Kyrgyzstan as part of the Central Asian tour


Religious leaders of Central Asia stand up to prevent HIV/AIDS

The Central Asian inter-confessional conference on HIV/AIDS was held on April 19-20, 2007, in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Its purpose was to strengthen relations with Governments and Civil Society in combating HIV/AIDS in the Central Asian Region.

The conference was held under the initiative of Religious Affairs State Agency under the Government of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan and Kyrgyz Muslims Religious Board by the assistance of Central Asia AIDS Project (CAAP), financed by the World Bank and DFID and the United Nations Development Program in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The slogan of the forum – “Adherence, action, compassion and mercy” was directed to exchange experience and knowledge, and work out cooperation strategies with religious colleagues represented from Central Asia countries to combat and prevent the HIV/AIDS spread.

The need in such dialogue is mostly obvious. Citizens of CA countries that face higher risk of being HIV positive should obtain reliable information and knowledge on risks and consequences of drug use and unprotected sex. Religious leaders and representatives of religious associations of Central Asia, representatives of government, NGOs, international organizations, in total 80 participants, discussed issues of joint cooperation and exchanged opinions on the possible implementation of joint programmes.

«We have to unite our efforts and fight the epidemic with the support of the Central Asia countries National policies, public adherence and civil society», - said Mr. Nur uulu Dosbol, the Vice Prime-minister of the Kyrgyz Republic at the opening of the conference.

He also stressed out the importance of religious institutions, international organizations and other interested parties to work together and involve religious leaders in advocating prevention the spread of HIV/AIDS and reduce its impact.

«Religious institutions can contribute significantly to HIV/AIDS prevention advocacy as the commitment of religion is to educate and inform, - said the Chairman of UN Theme Group on HIV/AIDS Timothy Shaffter. - The UN experience shows that young people must obtain full information in order to be aware of how to be protected, - underlined Mr. Shaffter. - We can’t say some things openly in the Central Asian region due to the local mentality, but we are here to solve this problem and do our best to resist HIV/AIDS.”

The Director of the State Agency for Religious Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Kalmatov Toygonbek said that the support of the United Nations Development Program is vital in prevention of the epidemic and underlined the need to work as a team and contribute to HIV/AIDS prevention.

Participants have ratified the resolution that declares the need of increase public awareness to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with people living with HIV/AIDS and promote tolerance and mercy. Besides, it was suggested to introduce education programs and produce manuals about AIDS for religious educational entities and establish an Informative-Methodic Center to work with interested religious institutions.

Participants believe that resolution will be an active tool for the Central Asian cooperation development amongst state agencies, religious communities and NGOs in prevention of HIV/AIDS spread.

For more information, please contact: Ms. Tursunai Chodurova, at +996 (312) 620445 or by e-mail:

A Refurbished Training Center in Osh Hand over to the Border Service

Osh, Kyrgyzstan, April 25, 2007 – Today EC-UNDP Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA) handed over a renovated building of a Training Centre to the Border Service of Kyrgyzstan. The Centre has also been equipped with furniture and office supplies.

The BOMCA Programme has especially been active in the south of Kyrgyzstan. Over the past three years, BOMCA has made considerable efforts in upgrading training facilities in the Ferghana region and providing equipment and training for law enforcement agencies.

In 2005 BOMCA supplied much-needed equipment to ten border posts on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border; last year BOMCA has completed the first phase of a national Dog Training Unit in Osh, and today a renovated regional training facility in Osh was handed over to the Kyrgyz border guards.

To counter drug trafficking, money laundering and related cross-border criminal activity, EC and UNDP will continue further its efforts to improve the effectiveness of the law enforcement agencies at the border to enhance border agencies’ capacities in developing and implementing self-sustaining training programs.

In perspective this Training Centre will serve as a base for introducing high-quality computer-based law enforcement training programs.

In total, $243,500 was spent for reconstruction works and procurement of equipment and furniture for the Centre.

Representatives of the Border Guard Service, EC and UNDP attended the inauguration.

They also visited a border crossing point in Karasuu at the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border.

Last year, the BOMCA Programme proposed to the Governments of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan to open a new border crossing point at Karasuu, the largest cross-border market in Central Asia. A formal protocol amendment to the Bilateral Agreement was signed in September 2006, and now construction works at the post on the Kyrgyz side are on-going.

This border post will be playing an important role along an east-west trade and transit corridor connecting Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

The overall objectives of the Border Management Programme in Central Asia (BOMCA) are to enhance security in Central Asia; to reduce the flow of illicit traffic through the countries of the region; and to help facilitate the flow of persons and legal goods across Central Asian borders.

The currently on-going phase of the BOMCA Programme started in January 2004. The Programme’s interventions include reinforcement of border crossing points in pilot regions, construction and rehabilitation of training infrastructure, training for border staff, airport control, creation of mobile units in pilot regions and other projects.

The BOMCA Programme’s regional budget until 2012 is approximately 27 million Euro.

The Programme is funded by the European Commission and implemented by UNDP.

For more information, please contact Ms. Asel Sekimova, BOMCA/CADAP Media and Events Specialist, at +996 (312) 61 20 18/19 or by e-mail:

Kyrgyzstan can benefit from a dangerous greenhouse gas

Bishkek, 5 April 2007 – Today, GEF/UNDP project “Enabling Activities for the Preparation of Kyrgyzstan’s Second National Communication to the UNFCCC” hold a seminar in Dostuk Hotel to train representatives of industrial companies and business sector how to select potential Clean development Mechanism (CDM) projects on methane capture and utilization, how to develop and further implement them in compliance with the international standards.

CDM gives opportunity to our country not only to gain access to innovative environmentally friendly technologies but to attract additional investments to the country’s economy and increase living standards in remote areas.

“Such trainings are really important for technical and expert basis to implement CDM projects. They help to train specialists, who can define where potential in the CDM sphere is, which documents they should prepare, and how to design a project that would meet all CDM requirements. So the work will be continued in this direction”, Marina Olshanskaya, Regional Energy/Kyoto Protocol Specialist, UNDP Regional Support Center for Europe and CIS, said.

It is no coincidence that this seminar-training was devoted to designing CDM projects on methane capture and utilization. Methane (CH4) is the main cause of the so-called “greenhouse effect” as it really influences temperature and climate of the Earth. It is a relatively potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential. When averaged over 100 years each kg of CH4 warms the Earth 23 times as much as the same mass of CO2, however there is approximately 220 times as much CO2 in the Earth's atmosphere as methane. Over the last two centuries, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled.

Reducing methane emissions brings many positive effects in environmental, economic and safety spheres. Firstly, methane is a gas causing strong greenhouse effect; due to its relatively short life time in the atmosphere (9-15 years) reducing methane emissions should be an effective means to reduce climate warming on a relatively short timescale.

Secondly, methane is the primary component of natural gas that is why its capture and utilization gives one more valuable, clean (in combustion process) energy carrier, promoting increase of quality of life. Methane use brings income and promotes increase of living standards. Producing energy from regenerated methane is a good way to stop using other energy carriers such as wood, coal or oil that can pollute the atmosphere.

The UNDP goal in such important area is to strengthen technical capacity of representatives of industrial companies and businessmen on practical designing of project proposals in compliance with international standards and implementation of projects on methane capture and utilization.

Thus, representatives of Mayor's Office of Bishkek and Tokmak, JSC “Kyrgyzgaz”, LLC “KyrKazGaz”, LLC “Demonstration Area of Energy and Water Efficiency”, environmental center “EcoService”, utility company “Meyenet-Service” and other companies got practical knowledge and skills for further work to promote alternative sources of energy and reduction of methane emissions in the republic.

“This training is just a “push” for further work. We tried to show the logic of these CDM projects, how to prepare them, how to interest people, so they can develop such projects; I see that people are interested, previous seminar on renewable sources of energy and this seminar proved it. I consider it a great success if 30-40% of participants will begin developing such projects after the seminar. Undoubtedly, carbon financing has a future in Kyrgyzstan. However, it’s important that business sector, government and international organizations would work together to promote CDM so this mechanism would work for the benefit of the country”, Lilya Zavyalova, UNDP international expert, said.

For more information, please contact: Ms. Olesya Chernogubova, PR specialist of the GEF/UNDP project ““Enabling the Kyrgyz Republic to prepare its 2nd National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”Asel Sekimova, BOMCA/CADAP Media and Events Specialist, by phone: 62 37 32 or by e-mail: or Vasilina Brazhko, UNDP Country Office Communications Officer at +996 (312) 61-12-13 or by e-mail:

Reporting on Compliance with the Human Rights Conventions held in Bishkek

BISHKEK , April 4, 2007 – Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan in cooperation with the UNDP programme on Democratic Governance and the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights held the roundtable on the issues of reporting concerning compliance of the human rights conventions on April 3-4, 2007. The participants were the representatives of the ministries and institutions of Kyrgyzstan, international experts.

During the roundtable, the participants have discussed a monitoring system of the conventions, role of the national institutions and NGOs in reporting procedure including a process of draft reporting with involvement of the representatives of the government, parliament, courts, justice and other state bodies and institutions having direct relation to this question.

At the roundtable, recommendations have being developed regarding reporting on compliance with commitments of Kyrgyzstan within the Convention on Human Rights.

According to the Secretary in Charge of the Secretariat of the National Council on Women, Family and Gender Development Mrs. Toktokan Borombaeva, this roundtable was useful, the participants obtained required knowledge and skills in preparing the national reports on basic legal documents.

”It is necessary to organize such type of roundtables where the participants could be trained with regard to writing the state reports on the international conventions. Kyrgyzstan has ratified the international conventions and is obliged to provide annual reports on tem in time. It also plays role in the country’s image,” – T. Borombaeva said.

For more information, please contact: Vasilina Brazhko, UNDP Country Office Communications Officer at +996 (312) 61-12-13 or by e-mail:

Government, Jogorku Kenesh and UNDP Set Joint Plans on Implementing of CDM in Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, April 4, 2007 – The roundtable for decision-makers and Designated National Authority (DNA) for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in Kyrgyzstan “New Sources of Financing: Possibilities of CDM Advancement in Kyrgyzstan” took place today in the state residence of the President of Kyrgyz Republic.

Clean Development Mechanism is an international instrument designed under the Kyoto protocol. It is purposefully developed to assist such countries like Kyrgyzstan in introduction of modern, resource saving technologies in various economic sectors and striking the balance between economic development and rational Talaibek Sarpashev, Vice speaker of the Kyrgyz Parliament and Sezin Sinanoglu, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative use of natural resources. The Kyoto Protocol tackles emissions of six greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O),hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

The key people in government, deputies, representatives of ministries and departments, and business sector participated in this meeting. Ms. Sezin Sinanoglu, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, marked in her greeting speech that the weather was very strange this winter, many natural calamities occurred, all of them affecting our lives and causing serious concerns, they are effects of climate change. While there is evidence that there are cyclical changes in the world’s climate over the years, there is also serious evidence that the current change is induced by men. CMD gives real opportunities to attract much-needed investments to Kyrgyzstan as well as new technologies to achieve sustainable development goals. And political will at the highest level is one of the main criteria to advance CDM in Kyrgyzstan. “Today’s meeting invites you to look at these issues anew to see what we –all of us, but especially you as decision-makers can do to prevent further change and further warming”, she said.

The round table allowed participants to raise their awareness on new sources of financing and possibilities of advancement of DM projects in Kyrgyzstan, as well as to reveal problems in the given area and elaborate plans to solve these problems. Osmonbek Artykbaev, Jogorku Kenesh deputy said: “Why decision-makers are not aware of these mechanisms that can help improve the economy of Kyrgyzstan? Why a Designated National Authority (DNA) is not working? In fact, DNA should advance issues on alternative energy, CDM and control implementation of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol”.

Mechanisms of alternative energy advancement

The National Climate Change Committee was established by the President’s Decree (#281) in July 2005. The DNA functions were also assigned to this Committee. Heads of all ministries are members of the DNA, and the State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry under the KR Government is a DNA permanent working agency.

Establishment of DNA offered our country a real opportunity to register CDM projects and then implement them in Kyrgyzstan. However, sustainable and lasting functioning of DNA is really important as it decides such issues as consideration, approval and registration of CDM projects, submission reports on CDM activities to the CDM Executive Board and at last, attraction of CDM investors to our country.

Therefore, the sole enthusiasm of business sector is not enough; it is the state support that plays a great role in CDM advancement. The whole system will be able to work if the state is interested in supporting CDM projects and is able to organize effective DNA work. The government should be more active to be more attractive for CDM investors and to attract more money resources to the country’s economy.

How to change the situation?

It was revealed in the course of the roundtable that DNA is practically inactive in our republic. One of the reasons for such inactivity, according to Tayirbek Sarpashev, JK vice-speaker, is that there’s no state approach to this problem from the government and our DNA is not sustainable as our government changes very often. It is decided now how to turn it to the sustainable agency, so it can be elected for the fixed period of time, and would work in a sustainable and continuous manner for the benefit of all people living in Kyrgyzstan.

“This meeting is the first step to solve this problem. I hope that you inform your colleagues and senior officials about results of the roundtable and that National Committee should meet in the nearest future. We anticipated this coming meeting of National Committee by this event in order to stress the significance of this problem, to emphasize that it’s not the sole initiative of the State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry under the KR Government and their departmental interests, those are country’s interests, commitments of our country and all of us together”, Zuhra Abaihanova, manager of UNDP/GEF “Enabling Activities for Preparation of the Kyrgyz Republic’s Second National Communication to the UNFCCC” Project, said.

The round table attracted attention of decision makers to CDM and benefits it can bring to the country. As a result of this meeting, participants got an idea of how the carbon financing mechanism is working and opportunities it opens for Kyrgyzstan. It is also important that some specific measures to change situation in the country so this mechanism could work are planned to be implemented. And work in this direction will begin in the nearest future. KR government and UN Development Program are ready to support this process.

The one more important outcome of this meeting is that Tairbek Sarpashev supported a proposal to hold parliamentary hearings on fulfilling of Kyrgyzstan’s obligations under the environmental agreements, conducting inventory of legislation concerning this issue to reveal the weak spots and elaborate more effective implementation mechanisms.

Concluding the meeting Tairbek Sarpashev said: “I am very satisfied with the outcomes of this meeting. The round table was very useful for me personally and for all the Apparatus of Jogorku Kenesh. Economy, of course, is the priority direction for us now but anyway we should follow global processes. Today we elaborated joint future actions in this area with UNDP, government and DNA. We were able not only to reveal problems in the course of work of this roundtable but to plan how to solve them. In addition, there is a need to improve legislation and develop the environmental code”.

Many developing countries in the world benefit from CDM, now it’s Kyrgyzstan’s turn to obtain benefits. However, inactivity of our country can result in loosing all possible benefits. Furthermore, Kyrgyzstan will suffer losses due to lowering of political prestige, negative reaction of potential investors, economic strengthening of competitors, who will use investments that our country lost. That is why it is so important that decision makers would be informed concerning CDM opportunities and begin acting. This event was organized by UNDP projects “Enabling the Kyrgyz Republic to prepare its 2nd National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change” and “Capacity Building and Environmental Governance Strengthening for Sustainable Development” and financially supported by the UNDP Regional Center for Eastern Europe.

For more information, please contact: Ms. Olesya Chernogubova, PR specialist of the GEF/UNDP project ““Enabling the Kyrgyz Republic to prepare its 2nd National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”Asel Sekimova, BOMCA/CADAP Media and Events Specialist, by phone: 62 37 32 or by e-mail: or Vasilina Brazhko, UNDP Country Office Communications Officer at +996 (312) 61-12-13 or by e-mail:


UNHCR structural changes and visit of the Regional Director

In late December 2006 the High Commissioner decided to reconfigure the CASWANAME Bureau. CASWANAME stood for Central Asia, South-West Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, which means that the Bureau was including two of UNHCR’s biggest operations: Afghanistan and Iraq. The reconfiguration resulted in an expansion of the geographic coverage of the Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, which now includes Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan, as well as the Central Asian States. At the same time, a new Bureau for Middle East and North Africa was created. It will cover, among others, the Iraq situation. The new structure should allow UNHCR to be more responsive to current and emerging needs in both regions.

Following these changes Kyrgyzstan and the other countries of the region operate under a new Director: Ms. Janet Lim. In late March and early April 2007 Ms. Lim completed her first mission to Central Asia. She visited Kyrgyzstan from 30 March to 2 April. During her visit she was introduced to senior Kyrgyz government officials, such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ednan Karabaev and the Chairperson of the State Committee for Migration and Employment Ms. Aigul Ryskulova, as well as to representatives of the international community in Bishkek. In addition, Ms. Lim had the opportunity to meet the main refugee communities present in the Kyrgyz Republic and to discuss the protection situation in the country in detail with UNHCR staff members. Last but not least, Ms. Lim visited the future refugee reception centre. The Kyrgyz State Committee for Migration and Employment is currently restructuring the building under UNHCR supervision thanks to funds provided within a regional European Commission project aimed at strengthening the asylum systems in Central Asia.

Captions for pictures:

  1. Ms. Janet Lim with Chechen and Afghan women

  2. Ms. Janet Lim meets with the Afghan, Chechen, Tajik and Uzbek refugee communities at the Women Refugee Centre “Dusti”

  3. Visit of the UNHCR delegation, the Chairperson of the SCME, Ms. Aigul Ryskulova, and the Head of Mission of the EC delegation in Bishkek, Ms. Carina Skareby, to the future Refugee Reception Centre.

  4. Ms. Aigul Ryskulova, Chairperson of the SCME, illustrates the renovation works to be done to Ms. Janet Lim, Director of the UNHCR Bureau for Asia and the Pacific.

For more information, please contact Ms. Sabrina Buechler, Assistant Protection Officer (UNV) UNHCR Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic at +996 (312) 61-12-64 or by e-mail:


UN High Commissioner for Human Rights visits Kyrgyzstan as part of the Central Asian tour

On April 24-25 the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, visited Kyrgyzstan, as a part of her journey to four countries of the region.

In Bishkek, the High Commissioner met with the President of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiev, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ednan Karabayev, the Chairperson of the Supreme Court, Kurmanbek Osmonov, the First Deputy Prosecutor General, Kurmantai Abdiev and the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Murat Sultanov. She also met with representatives of regional and international governmental organizations, civil society groups and locally based diplomatic corps.

The High Commissioner’s visit to Kyrgyzstan was aimed at increasing her Office’s engagement in the region through the establishment of the OHCHR regional office in Bishkek. The High Commissioner was pleased to receive assurances from the President as to the speedy conclusion of an agreement for the establishment of such office.

Moreover, during meetings in Bishkek the High Commissioner discussed issues of mutual concern with the Government of Kyrgyzstan and other key actors in the country. The High Commissioner was pleased to note the positive direction taken by Kyrgyzstan in developing a strong civil society. She noted the importance of fur ther improving human rights in the country, in particular with respect to the independence of the judiciary, gender equality and preservation of the democratic space.

The High Commissioner raised concerns about the low level of participation of women in public life, the incidence of domestic violence in the country and abductions of women for forced marriage, or bride kidnapping. She said that these were serious issues which the government had an obligation to address.

She regretted that incidents of ill-treatment and torture of detainees were still reported in the country. She welcomed the expected introduction of judicial review of detention according to planned amendments to the Criminal Code and hoped that this would be the first of a series of measures taken by the government to reduce torture. She suggests that the Government ratifies the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, which provides for independent monitoring of places of detention, and issue an invitation to the Special Rapporteur on Torture as a means of assisting the government in assessing the problem and finding solutions to it. She hoped that the government would give priority to resolving these issues and offered all the assistance her Office could provide in this regard.

After Kyrgyzstan the High Commissioner travelled to Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

For more information, please contact Ms. Saltanat Sadykova at +996 (312) 61-12-64 or by e-mail:

     Millennium Development Goals Progress Report - 2003

     Common Country Assessment - 2003

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