Bishkek, 18 April 2022 – Members of the Swedish Parliament met with Kyrgyz Republic officials, innovators, women entrepreneurs, and civil society organizations’ representatives during their visit to Kyrgyzstan, during 9-15 April 2022. The high-level visit was organized for learning and orientation purposes and intended to provide a deeper understanding of development challenges in Central Asia with a focus on the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Delegation was hosted and supported by the UNDP Representation in Kyrgyzstan. The Swedish MPs aimed to strengthen and further develop the partnership between the Parliament of Sweden, UNDP, and Kyrgyzstan. They underlined that UNDP is a vital partner to accelerate innovation in development, enhance the rule of law, tackle climate change and natural disasters as well as empower women and girls for inclusive and democratic growth in Kyrgyzstan.
“It was interesting to learn more how UNDP works that supporting the country, building the democracy, dealing with Climate Change and adaptation. We are very glad that Sweden is supporting UNDP and its activities,” said Janine Alm Ericson, representative of the Green Party, Former State Secretary of International Development Cooperation and a Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Swedish Parliament.
The Delegation met with high-level officials and participated in study visits and field trips in Osh oblast. In Osh they met with local authorities to discuss specific development contexts in the Southern regions of Kyrgyzstan and key considerations for Osh and Batken Oblasts. The key focus was cross-border challenges and regional development priorities including conflict risks, natural resources, and management in the region. “I was glad to see that UNDP is working with other partners to address the complexities in the Fergana Valley”, said Ms Margareta Cederfeldt, Moderate Party, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and OSCE PA President.
“UNDP is helping the progress of the country on different levels to create possibilities and development solutions. Today I visited the youth center and was glad to see that young people are empowered to live an independent life despite different challenges. As a Spokesperson of my party, I believe that development cooperation is very important for self-reliance of countries. This trip gives me more arguments why we should continue provide assistance – side by side, “said Ms Gudrun Brunegård, Christian Democratic Party, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Party ODA Policy Spokesperson.
The Delegation attended a dialogue on digital transformation opportunities with representatives from the President’s Administration and participants of the Women Creative Lab in Osh. Over the past decade, UNDP has been assisting digitalization efforts of the Kyrgyz Republic through several major initiatives in citizen registration, electoral systems, public services and the education sector. Since 2019, UNDP has supported the development of digital skills in public entities and educated thousands of students on the latest trends in the digital economy.
Moreover, the Delegates met with civil society organizations and women leaders and emphasized the role of a vibrant Kyrgyz civil society in a democratic society, upholding the rule of law and reaching out to young people and vulnerable groups. During their visit to the youth center, they were able to talk with young people to understand the challenges they face and steps that youth have taken to become more resilient and achieve their goals. “It was amazing to see the confidence and capability of the young people, especially the women”, said Yasmine Posio, Left Party.
Before the visit in Osh, the delegates also met with UN system agencies and other key development partners to discuss key priority areas for the Central Asian context and integrated development solutions in the post-COVID era.
The mission also met with H.E. Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Ruslan Kazakbaev to discuss key foreign affairs matters and development cooperation for the Kyrgyz Republic, and with H.E. the Speaker of Parliament Mr Talant Mamytov to discuss UNDP support to parliamentary development and country reforms. With the Chair of the Central Elections Commission, the Swedish MPs discussed democracy context and UNDP support for elections as well as civic education and the role of youth in building a democratic and transparent country.
The MPs also met with the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Technical Supervision, Ms Dinara Kutmanova, to discuss climate change, environment, and natural resources. Moreover, the Delegation met with the President’s administration to learn about the national socio-economic situation in the country and priorities for development cooperation, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) acceleration and achievement by 2030.
Noting that one of the mission members is the President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and two are OSCE PA members, the mission also visited the OSCE Academy in Bishkek to learn about its activities in Kyrgyzstan.
On 15 April the Delegation completed their visit and departed.
The delegation of Swedish parliamentarians by coincidence consisted of four women, all members or deputies of the Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament, the Riksdag https://www.riksdagen.se/en/. Women make up 44% overall in the Swedish parliament. The unicameral Riksdag has 349 members and eight parties that have passed the 4% limit. The visiting four MPs represent different parties and are all presently in opposition to the government. The next parliamentary elections are scheduled for September, 2022.
For media inquiries
Ainagul Abdrakhmanova, UNDP Communications Officer
1) Ms Margareta Cederfeldt, Moderate Party, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and OSCE PA President
2) Ms Gudrun Brunegård, Christian Democratic Party, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Party ODA Policy Spokesperson
3) Ms. Janine Alm Ericson, Green Party, Former State Secretary of International Development Cooperation, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee
4) Ms Yasmine Posio, Left Party, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee,
5) Mr Henrik Fredborg Larsen, Head of UNDP Nordic Representation Office
6) Ms. Caroline Åberg, Head of Office, UNDP Sweden Office
7) Mr. Albert Askeljung, Policy Specialist, UNDP Sweden Office