The Secretary-General's Remarks to Press with President of Kyrgyz Republic
It is a great pleasure to be in the Kyrgyz Republic for my second visit as Secretary-General of the United Nations.
I thank President [Almazbek] Atambaev, the Government and the people of Kyrgyzstan for their warm welcome and hospitality.
As you are well aware, I was here in April 2010 at a time of high tension. Since then, Kyrgyzstan has made great progress in transitioning to parliamentary democracy and adopting a new Constitution.
In my meetings with President Atambaev and other leaders, I highlighted the strong cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and the United Nations through the years.
The country has made headway in reducing hunger, expanding girls’ education, and promoting environmental sustainability.
I also thank the Government for hosting the Central Asia Regional Office of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
In my remarks today, I stressed the fundamental role of parliaments in ensuring human rights protection. It is crucial that all legislation – including draft laws now before parliament – respect international human rights standards.
I also stress the pivotal role of civil society, independent media and human rights defenders. Their work must be encouraged and protected.
Later today, I will travel to Osh.
The Government has strong plans to promote inter-ethnic harmony and protecting the rights of all, including minorities.
I encourage the authorities of the Kyrgyz Republic to fully investigate human rights violations that have taken place during the tragic inter-ethnic strife in June 2010. I also urge the Government to complete the ongoing judicial and law enforcement reforms.
It is important for policies to be put into practice. The United Nations pledges to do all we can to assist.
That is why I announced today a new United Nations Peacebuilding Fund initiative to promote cooperation between communities across borders in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and to involve more women and youth.
This will help further boost regional cooperation in Central Asia – a primary goal of my visit.
Thank you. Chong Rakhmat.