UN Country Team met with Minister of Foreign Affairs
On 27 November, the UN Country Team, led by UN Resident Coordinator Ozonnia Ojielo, met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ruslan Kazakbaev.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs acknowledged the UN assistance, especially in the areas of electoral processes, preparation of the Voluntary National Review in 2020, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Disaster Response Cooperation Unit (DRCU). Minister of Foreign Affairs Ruslan Kazakbaev reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to honor all international treaties that the Kyrgyz Republic has signed.
UN Resident Coordinator Ozonnia Ojielo reassured of the UN’s commitment to uninterrupted development work for the Kyrgyz Republic and gave an overview of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2018-2022, with a budgetary outlay of $221 million, and how it aligns with the national priorities. He also underscored that the UN’s contributions include policy analysis and advice, research, specific projects and programs.
The UNRC added that in 2019, the UN had spent about $ 89 million as part of UNDAF, and the total budget for the implementation of DRCU COVID-19 Response and Recovery Plan equaled $67.4 million, while all the remaining DRCU activities have now been embedded into the UN’s Socio-economic Response Framework (SERF). For the SERF, the UN has mobilized $48 million, including repurposed funds by UN agencies, while $56 million is yet to be mobilized.
WHO Representative Nazira Artykova gave an overview of the situation with COVID-19 pandemic, WHO’s preparedness, as well as availability and logistical issues relating to COVID-19 vaccine.
UNDP Resident Representative Louise Chamberlain gave a brief overview of the SERF to COVID-19, elaborating on the five pillars of SERF and how they are connected by cross-cutting imperatives, e.g. environmental sustainability and gender equality to build back better. She noted that SERF is guided by the 2030 Agenda and will help in accelerating recovery of SDG gaps by steering the remaining two years of UNDAF.
The UNDP Resident Representative also discussed opportunities for the Kyrgyz Republic, as a signatory of the Paris Agreement and as it has prepared climate commitments known as Nationally Determined Contributions, to champion the cause of climate change in the lead-up to the Climate Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow in 2021. Both sides agreed to work together on building capacity for MFA and government agencies to include climate change policies and negotiations, and Kyrgyzstan’s participation in COP26.
OHCHR Representative Ryzsard Komenda reassured of the UN’s commitment to supporting the Government in implementation of the UN Conventions and Treaties on human rights that the Kyrgyzstan is signatory to, and its engagement with civil society for an open and transparent discussion, as well as the country’s participation at the Human Rights Council-Universal Period Review mechanism.
UN Women Representative Ulziisuren Jamsran briefed the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it could reverse the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s rights. The Ministry of Internal Affairs reported a 65% increase in cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in the first 8 months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. She requested the Government to increase its attention to GBV issues, by also including Ministry of Labor and Social Development, civil society organizations and activists to represent the interest of GBV actors. She reminded the meeting of the start of 16 days of activism against GBV campaign and thanked the Government and Bishkek Mayor’s office for their support.
UNRC Ozonnia Ojielo also provided a brief information about the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), through which Kyrgyzstan since 2010 received nearly $49 million to help strengthen social cohesion in conflict-prone regions and prevent violent extremism. The UNRC expressed a hope for Kyrgyzstan’s continued engagement with the PBF.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ruslan Kazakbaev reassured that the constitutional reform process will be inclusive, and that the Government strives to comply with the human rights and gender obligations. The Minister noted the Government’s intention of considerable governance reforms and expressed hope for strengthened engagement with the UN across the reform areas. The Minister agreed to have bilateral meetings with UN agencies and develop roadmaps.