Rebeca Grynspan: Remarks at Kyrgyzstan Development Partners Meeting

Sep 27, 2013

Remarks by
Rebeca Grynspan, UNDP Associate Administrator
Kyrgyzstan Development Partners Meeting

Your Excellency Mr. Abdyldaev,
Representatives of UN Member States,
Development Partners of Kyrgyzstan,
Members of the UN family,
Ladies and Gentlemen!

It is my pleasure to welcome you all at this meeting today organized on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.  

This is the third meeting of its kind in New York, convened by the Permanent Mission of Kyrgyzstan to the UN, together with UNDP, since the tragic events of 2010 in Kyrgyzstan. It provides an opportunity for the Development Partners of Kyrgyzstan and members of the UN family to discuss and exchange views on the situation on the ground with the Kyrgyz authorities, as well as to garner support of the international community for the country’s development while it is passing through a significant democratic and socio-economic transition.  

The first meeting took place in 2011 with the President of the transitional period, Ms. Roza Otunbayeva, while last year we welcomed the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Asilbek Jeenbekov. Today, Kyrgyzstan’s delegation is represented by Mr. Erlan Abdyldaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs. We welcome you, Minister, and your delegation.

Although we all receive information about developments taking place in Kyrgyzstan through other sources, these meetings give us a unique opportunity to discuss achievements and challenges face-to-face with the leadership of the country.  We also get a chance to learn first-hand about the vision of Kyrgyz leaders on development priorities and joint work.

UNDP, and indeed other partners present here, fully recognize the important progress the country has made since 2010: adoption of  a progressive constitution that guarantees human rights and the rule of law, carrying out important legislative reforms in a number of areas, holding of free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections, to mention only a few of the achievements.  

With the active support of the UN, the international community, and the Peacebuilding Fund, the country has made much progress in overcoming the most pressing issues related to ethnic reconciliation and the restoration of destroyed housing, social facilities and other infrastructure.

However, as recognized by the Kyrgyz authorities, the country still faces important challenges:

•    First, measures to advance ethnic reconciliation, as well as to strengthen the rule of law and make institutions more transparent and accountable are important.  

In this regard, we welcome the adoption of the Concept of Strengthening the Unity of the People and Inter-ethnic Relations in the Kyrgyz Republic approved on April 10, 2013 by a Presidential decree.  This should contribute positively to better ethnic representation in public offices.

I am also very pleased that the country is receiving further support under the Peacebuilding Fund.  The new three-year program has been developed jointly by the Office of the President and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, in close consultation with civil society representatives and with support from the UN system.  We hope that this will provide a boost in addressing the outstanding critical peace building needs of the country.

•    Second, human development challenges are a real concern. Measures to boost economic growth and make it more inclusive will be important to tackle poverty and inequality in a sustainable manner. Women and children's poverty, as well as high rates of maternal and infant mortality, are persistent.
•    Despite all the progress made, too many children still do not attend school and the quality of education is a real concern.  There is also growing incidence of HIV infection, especially among Injecting Drug Users.

•    We therefore welcome the adoption of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Kyrgyz Republic in 2013-2017, which aims at tackling these and other pressing needs. During the meeting today, Minister Abdyldaev will inform us about its main directions.

I am also very pleased that the country is making use of the MDG acceleration framework (MAF) to address the high maternal mortality rate.  Just a few days ago, Kyrgyzstan’s 3rd National MDG progress report was presented at a Special Event on the MDGs here in New York.  Kyrgyzstan’s MDG Acceleration Framework Report, which is on the topic of maternal mortality, will be presented at the CEB session in November.  

Here I would like to note that Kyrgyzstan has also been actively involved in the process of designing the post-2015 development agenda. As a part of an unprecedented UN-led consultation exercise, Kyrgyzstan conducted national consultations on what the Kyrgyz people would like the agenda to look like. Last week the Secretary General launched a report entitled “One Million Voices” which summarizes the results of 88 national consultations, 11 thematic consultations, and an online survey. We trust that the voices of people from all over the world, including from Kyrgyzstan, will make an important contribution to the discussions of Member States.

Allow me to conclude by emphasising the commitment made by the international community, including the UN system, at the Donors Conference held in July this year that we stand ready to help the Kyrgyz government as it embarks on the path to sustainable peace and development.  I look forward to visiting your beautiful country sometime soon.

Excellency Mr. Abdyldaev, we welcome your visit here to New York to attend the General Debate of the UN General Assembly and look forward to hearing your assessment of the situation in Kyrgyzstan and the strategic priorities of the country.

Thank you for your attention.

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