Ms. Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS, met with Kyrgyz Republic leadership and officials, innovators, women entrepreneurs, and civil society organizations’ representatives during her visit to Kyrgyzstan, 16-19 June 2021. Bilateral meetings were focused on the country and UNDP’s key priority areas, integrated development solutions in the post-COVID era and the country’s commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
On 17 June, Ms. Mirjana Spoljaric Egger met with His Excellency Sadyr Zhaparov, President of the Kyrgyz Republic. Ms. Spoljaric underlined UNDP’s support to the country through its strong global network and knowledge on rule of law, social cohesion, democratic institutions. She highlighted the organization’s work on the recovery from COVID-19 through comprehensive programmes reaching vulnerable people. She added that UNDP would remain a vital partner to accelerate development priorities of the country, including key aspects of socioeconomic recovery, green growth, digitalization, democratic governance and rule of law,, tackling climate change and natural disasters as well as empowering girls and women for inclusive and democratic growth and prosperity of the country.
On the same day, Ms. Mirjana Spoljaric also met with Mr. Ulukbek Maripov, Chairperson of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, to discuss the socio-economic situation in the country, strategic development issues and key national priorities, including the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) acceleration and achievement by 2030. She also met with Mr. Artykov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss matters of UNDP cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic.
Ms. Spoljaric co-chaired a high-level dialogue on digital transformation with the Deputy Chairperson of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister for Digital Development of the Kyrgyz Republic, Mr. Dastan Dogoev, with participation of development partners, private sector, civil society and academia.
Over the past decade, UNDP has been providing assistance to digitalization efforts of the Kyrgyz Republic through several major initiatives in citizen registration, electoral systems, public services and education sector. Since 2019, UNDP has supported the development of digital skills in public entities and educated thousands of students on the latest trends of the digital economy.
On Friday, 18 June, Ms. Spoljaric launched the Accelerator Lab – a global network committed to achieving SDGs by 2030 – in Kyrgyzstan. The Accelerator Lab Kyrgyzstan presented its agenda, team members and nature of its work in the presence of key guests from the Presidential Administration, with wide participation of national partners in remote and face-to-face formats, as well as Mr. Abdulla Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, Ambassador of the State of Qatar and Mr Torge Mathiessen, Head of Cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, representing the main global donors of this initiative.
Ms. Spoljaric further paid a visit to the Central Elections Commission (CEC) and met with the Chair, Ms Nurzhan Shaildabekova and reiterated UNDP’s commitment to providing comprehensive electoral assistance through scaling up civic education, increasing women’s political participation and ensuring a free, fair and transparent electoral process.
Moreover, Ms. Spoljaric met with prominent civil society organizations and women leaders, and emphasized that the vibrant Kyrgyz civil society plays a major role in democratic transitions, upholding the rule of law and reaching out to young people and vulnerable groups. She affirmed that UNDP would continue to support local and grassroots civil society organizations and initiatives that enable civic inclusion in the political, economic and social life of the country.
As the last part of her mission, Ms. Spoljaric visited the mountainside, witnessing the impacts of UNDP’s work on local tourism, export and food value chains. She reconfirmed UNDP’s intensions to support the country’s transformation into a modern, prosperous, peaceful and inclusive state with a strong and responsible business sector, with accelerated development towards the SDGs by 2030.
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