Building dialogue in cross-border communitiesFeb 26, 2018
Training for security officers, improving their technical equipment and carrying out joint activities in Batken oblast has improved the level of public trust in these bodies and contributes to increasing the effectiveness of work in the area of peacebuilding and strengthening good-neighborly relations with neighboring Tajik communities.
In 2017, UNDP Kyrgyz Republic carried out a number of important activities in the border villages of Batken oblast, together with border guards, police officers and the regional office of the Ombudsman institution, within the framework of the “Cross-border cooperation for sustainable peace and development” project. There were trainings, joint awareness-raising meetings with the population, and appropriate office equipment was purchased.
Trainings were aimed at promoting dialogue and communication, conducting a dialogue using conflict-sensitive approaches in border communities and exchanging information on border problems.
In addition, 12 awareness-raising meetings were held among citizens and above-mentioned bodies of human rights protection and security. About 1,800 border residents raised their awareness and legal literacy on border issues, such as the border crossing regime, the procedure for applying complaints, the cooperation of the population and government bodies, and had an opportunity to discuss current problems. “During the information sessions, citizens asked questions and received consultations. Now such meetings will be held on a periodic basis, which will have a continuing and sustained nature in the future,” said Damir Salimbayev, UNDP expert on strengthening cooperation between law enforcement agencies.
Moreover, UNDP Kyrgyz Republic transferred 34 sets of computers, 13 printers, a camera and a laptop to the local administration of the Border service, Police and office of the Ombudsman for Batken oblast to improve handling of complaints from residents.
Also within the framework of mentioned goals, a complex of office equipment was transferred to the Secretariat of the Special Representation of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic on border issues.
In addition, it is planned to equip the Border service with portable video recorders, which will be equipped with foot patrols for fixing possible incidents along the border line. Video recorders will provide reliable information on possible border incidents, including materials for further possible objective investigation.
The above-mentioned activities are part of measures implemented within the framework of the “Cross-border cooperation for sustainable peace and development” project, in cooperation with five UN agencies, such as UNDP, WFP, UNICEF, FAO and UN Women. The project is aimed at strengthening trust between the residents of the border areas of the Batken and Sughd regions of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan, respectively.
Arthur Bukalaev, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic.