Friday, April 15, 2011

Kyrgyzstan: Further dialogue, strong institutions vital for Kyrgyz democracy

UN - Gathering in the Kyrgyz capital one year after the revolution that overthrew the country’s Government, senior United Nations and European officials emphasized the need for continued dialogue and the strengthening of state institutions as the nation works to consolidate peace and democracy.

In early April last year, demonstrations erupted against the high cost of energy in Kyrgyzstan. The protests turned into a violent uprising that ousted former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Then in June, the Central Asian nation was rocked by ethnic clashes that displaced at least 300,000 people within Kyrgyzstan and sent an estimated 100,000 others across the border to neighbouring Uzbekistan.

“The tragic events of June 2010 must be addressed through continued dialogue, tolerance and reconciliation,” said a joint statement issued by Miroslav Jenca, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA); Herbert Salber, the Special Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for Kyrgyzstan; and Pierre Morel, European Union Special Representative for Central Asia.

While in Bishkek, they met with President Rosa Otunbayeva and other senior Government officials, as well as leaders of different political parties and civil society representatives.

“The envoys underlined that the best way to overcome the hardships of the past year and the challenges ahead is to reinforce the efforts to build an inclusive, democratic and prosperous country,” the statement added.

They underscored that the forthcoming presidential elections, scheduled for October, constituted an important opportunity to further consolidate democratic institutions and practices in the country.

The envoys underlined the need to step up efforts to improve the work of state institutions, tackle organized crime and corruption, reform the law enforcement sector, and strengthen the judicial system, among other elements.

“All these challenges can only be tackled if they are backed by well-planned and solidly functioning national fiscal and economic systems,” they stated.