Kyrgyz parliament, Switzerland, UNDP to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK (TCA) — Deputy Speaker of Jogorku Kenesh (Kyrgyzstan parliament) Altynai Omurbekova, Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic René Holenstein and Acting Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Aliona Niculita on June 30 signed a memorandum of understanding to support the consolidation of a strong and inclusive parliamentary democracy in Kyrgyzstan. The signing ceremony took place in Jogorku Kenesh with participation of members of parliament, management of the apparatus of Jogorku Kenesh as well as representatives from international donor community, the Embassy of Switzerland in the Kyrgyz Republic said on July 3.

The memorandum of understanding foresees cooperation and commitment to promote the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda and its goal 16 aiming at the creation of peaceful, just and strong institutions, to support the implementation of the Strategy of Development of the Jogorku Kenesh in line with the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic.

“Switzerland’s rich experience with democratic governance can serve as a basis for exchange and collaboration between our two countries. I am very glad to announce that Switzerland has responded favorably to the request of the Kyrgyz Parliament to assist in strengthening parliamentary democracy and improving citizens’ engagement in decision-making processes,” said Ambassador Holenstein.

With financial support of Switzerland, UNDP will implement a ten-year prospective project “Strong and Inclusive Parliamentary Democracy”, primarily aimed at further enhancing parliamentary democracy in the Kyrgyz Republic by making it more inclusive, accountable and responsive to the needs of the citizens. The first phase of the project foresees close collaboration and expert support to the activities of three parliamentary committees, namely the committee on constitutional legislation, state structure and judicial legal affairs, the committee on social affairs, education, science, culture and healthcare, and the committee on finance and budget.

In addition, the project will work actively on enhancing capacity of Public Councils and will launch a special Civic Action Fund to provide citizens with an opportunity to participate in the decision- and policy-making process, ensure effective monitoring and influencing the performance of parliamentary and state accountability institutions. This will allow citizens to hold the Parliament and government accountable and benefit from a more accessible, effective and responsive government.

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Times of Central Asia