Partnership and Cooperation: UNDP and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Explore Sustainable Development Progress in the Kyrgyz Republic

July 13, 2023


Dear Excellencies Ministers and officials of the government of Kyrgyz Republic,

Dear Honorable Members of Jogorku Kenesh,

Dear Excellencies Ambassadors,

Dear UN Resident Coordinator and fellow Heads of UN Agencies,

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

A good evening to you all, and a warm welcome, on the occasion of the joint roundtable on partnership, cooperation, and contributions of UNDP to sustainable development in the Kyrgyz Republic, organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Thank you for overcoming the heat and other elements to be with us here this evening! We are particularly glad that so many of you, who collaborate with UNDP in different roles, could make it. I would like to thank you for the outstanding cooperation and I am personally very glad to see you all here, not least as I will soon end my assignment in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Today we have discussed how UNDP’s work in Kyrgyzstan, now in its 31st year, spans green and inclusive recovery and the importance of timely climate action and promoting nature-based solutions for protecting resources – while growing the economy and creating livelihoods. We also discussed strengthening democratic governance, human rights and equality, as well as peace building for improved social cohesion. And we heard about UNDP’s significant contribution to health system strengthening, in particular building capacity for the country’s fight against tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. And about how UNDP is putting the so-called accelerators of development to work – applying and investing in digital transformation, strategic innovation, and development finance.

We heard several national partners describe UNDP’s contribution, and discuss the country’s development progress. Importantly UNDP’s results are created in partnership with many organisations and under national leadership. We are immensely grateful for the trust and cooperation extended to UNDP. Behind these results lies the leadership and resourcefulness of many champions – in government, in civil society, and among our very important donor development partners. 

Many of you have expressed strong appreciation for the work of UNDP. It is important to note that this is a team effort, and I want to commend the dedicated, hard working, creative, and above all competent team in UNDP that have delivered these results together with our partners. We are missing tonight the Deputy Representative, Monica, who is on overseas travel but coming back shortly. I am honored to lead this team of qualified professionals, most of them nationals of the Kyrgyz Republic, all of them with a tremendous passion for the betterment of their country and advancement of their people. 

Let me take this moment to also highlight what is behind the scenes. UNDP has a global policy network of advisers, sharing their expertise built on experience in other countries. And so when we support the Jogorku Kenesh, it helps that we can build on experience from our work with 60 other parliaments, and on climate action, that we helped some 100 countries enhance their Nationally Designated Contributions, NDC. In Kyrgyzstan we also benefit from global trust funds and programs, which means that even with limited resources we can support the development of sustainable mining policies, for example.

We have a strong procurement practice in UNDP, that secures not only the best products, but also the best value for money, transparency, and integrity. We don’t compromise on ensuring that the products we provide meet all relevant global standards, we also save money so that the government can achieve a higher volume of goods.

And we provide operational services to a number of UN organisations active in Kyrgyzstan, enabling the United Nations at country level to reap efficiency benefits while expanding support to the people.

I would like to thank the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic for its support and cooperation over these past few years, in particular the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its support and facilitation of UNDP’s work. We work with many important Ministries and Agencies across the government, and this actually forms part of UNDP’s strength as a connector and as an integrator in supporting the country to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Let me also thank members of the Judiciary, the Jogorku Kenesh, the Central Electoral Commission, the Ombudsman. It is important to continue strengthening the independent work of institutions that guarantee democratic principles and human rights, and UNDP will surely continue this work onwards.

Last but not least, I want to express my admiration for the rich civil society in this country. You look after the most vulnerable people and you help make their voices heard. I believe that the nation feels the significance of your role, and will protect and expand the enabling environment for you to develop further. If I have learned one thing in Kyrgyzstan, it is the love of freedom and spirit of every man’s – and every woman’s – independence. Such national values will prevail, for the benefit of the extremely rich culture, and the diversity of this beautiful nation.

No doubt I am sad to leave Kyrgyzstan! It’s not the Beshbarmak or the Kymyz or even the mountains and Lake Issyk-Kul that I will miss the most, it is all of the amazing people that I have met on this journey, that I will be sad to leave. My personal sincere thanks for the openness, kindness and respect with which I have been met, everywhere, and that will remain in my heart forever.

Last but not least: Tonight, we have an evening of networking ahead of us – please enjoy the company and refreshments, and I hope you will have a friendly and relaxing evening in good company.

Thank you.