The Central Asian Regional Consultation on Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Integration of Human Rights Recommendations into SDG Implementation Mechanisms in Central Asia

Posted April 27, 2022

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, 27 April - The Regional Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for Central Asia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Hub for Europe and Central Asia (based in Istanbul), as well as the UNDP Country Offices in  Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, held Central Asian Regional Consultations titled "Human Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Integration of Human Rights Recommendations into Central Asian SDG Mechanisms."

The two-day consultations were held on 25-26 April within the framework of the project "Strengthening the interaction of the UN System with international and regional human rights mechanisms to achieve the SDGs”  implemented by UNDP and OHCHR globally. The consultation provided a platform for all Central Asian participants to share experiences in linking human rights recommendations to the SDGs and their implementation practices in national monitoring, implementation, and oversight processes towards the achievement of the SDGs. The report was prepared before the Consultations by UNDP and OHCHR, which has provided insights on relevant national stakeholders and existing SDG & Human rights monitoring and reporting mechanisms in all five Central Asia states.

The event brought together over 70 representatives from various Government agencies and civil society from five Central Asian countries representing national institutions responsible for monitoring and reporting on SDGs and human rights and collecting and analyzing SDG and human rights data. In addition, the international human rights experts from UNDP, OHCHR and Danish Institute for Human Rights also participated in the event. The meeting was held in a hybrid form by connecting national partners convened in five capitals (Nur-Sultan, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Ashgabat and Tashkent) through the virtual platform.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda are transformative frameworks for development because they are based on human rights. More than 90 percent of the SDGs and targets are aligned with human rights commitments.

"The important indicator of the progress towards the SDGs is the existence of independent national human rights institutions that comply with international standards known as the Paris Principles. The National Human Rights Institution of Kyrgyzstan, known as “Akyikatchy” helps combat inequalities and discrimination by receiving and investigating complaints about human rights abuses. The NHRI also links its recommendations on human rights rights-based legal and policy frameworks to the national planning and monitoring processes of SDGs. The NHRI serves as a link between civil society and the state and aims to prevent human rights violations by developing strategies that ensure marginalized groups’ inclusion in all aspects of society.” said Ms. Atyr Abdrakhmatova, Ombudsperson/Akyikatchy of Kyrgyz Republic.

The meeting participants expressed their interest in the continued regional exchange through this platform, providing know-how and capacity building to respective institutions working on integrating human rights into national SDG mechanisms in Central Asian countries.

According to Robert Bernardo, Team Leader of Governance and Peacebulding of UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub "We need to make sure that countries ‘export’ the findings of human rights mechanisms more consistently into their SDG national processes. In this regard, we hope these consultations will assist countries in going forward. We are also proud to share that UNDP published in partnership with OHCHR a repository of UN system-wide experiences that detail how the Universal Periodic Review support and accelerates sustainable development”.

The participants were also introduced to the online tools of OHCHR and the Danish Institute for Human Rights that assist countries in establishing the links between human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and enabling rapid examination of recommendations by international human rights monitoring bodies concerning the implementation of the SDGs in specific countries.

The Akikaitchy (Ombudsman) exercises parliamentary oversight over the observance of human and civil rights and freedoms in the Kyrgyz Republic.