Second roundtable of National Dialogue for Kyrgyzstan

The Second Roundtable of the National Dialogue for Kyrgyzstan took place on 16th-17th May 2011 in Bishkek.

During the sessions participants in the National Dialogue exchanged ideas and sought solutions to issues of immediate concern which need to be addressed in order to bring Kyrgyzstan safely through 2011. The topic of the agenda of the second Roundtable of the National Dialogue was “Stabilisation of the situation in the country: Can we prevent the repetition of last year’s June events?

Responding to the request of the participants, Dr Gary Milante, Senior Economist with the World Bank, gave a key note speech that provoked a lively discussion on the topic “How other countries overcame situations of instability”. Dr Milante shared findings of the comprehensive research on conflicts, instability and peacebuilding conducted by the World Bank for the latest World Development Report (WDR) which was published in April 2011. This was the first time the WDR was presented and discussed in Kyrgyzstan.

Participants in the second Roundtable of the National Dialogue discussed a wide range of topics of pressing importance for Kyrgyzstan. On the basis of this discussion, participants agreed that they wish to put forward for wider discussion the proposition that prevention of a repetition of the events of last June is possible if the following conditions are met:

  • There should be a national plan that expresses a united political and social will for reconciliation and stability in the country. This plan should bring together the various different activities that are now being carried out by the state, the civil society and the business community at national and local levels, and attend to both short and long term needs. Existing experience in resolving inter-ethnic issues in other countries should be taken into account when developing such a plan.
  • An independent group should be formed in the country to summarize the analyses in the different assessments and reports of the events of June 2010, to try to find a common view, and to publish the conclusions.
  • Dialogue on political, economic and inter-ethnic issues in the society should be a continuous process.
  • Central government, local authorities and municipalities should cooperate closely to ensure national unity and security for all citizens.
  • The government must ensure that in all its activities at every level, full respect is shown for the rule of law and for human rights. The government and the courts must ensure that criminal prosecutions for involvement in the events of last year proceed even-handedly and fairly.
  • Parliament, the president, the government and local authorities must work together to ensure that decision-making processes are fair and transparent.
  • The forces of law and order need to be aware of the risk of renewed violence and deal with provocative acts. To ensure respect for human rights at all times, security forces should be accompanied by civil society monitors and a mechanism must be established to ensure that, if there are human rights violations, there is an impartial and prompt response.
  • All necessary steps are taken to ensure support for ethical behaviour in politics and in inter-ethnic relations. To this end:
  • It is necessary to ensure all possible government support to the representatives of traditional religions in the field of reconciliations and peace in the country;
  • For the presidential election campaign, politicians should undertake to abide by an ethical code of conduct for the presidential elections that can be developed by civil society;
  • The mass media should observe journalistic ethics, demonstrate civic and professional responsibility, avoid publication of provocative and unreliable information and also promote positive examples of inter-ethnic cooperation.

Participants in the Roundtable welcome feedback and wider discussion on these ideas.

The participants reaffirmed their commitment to the aim and the values of the National Dialogue for Kyrgyzstan. They stressed again that the political leaders of Kyrgyzstan should consider their participation in the roundtables of the National Dialogue a priority.

It was decided that the third Roundtable of the National Dialogue will take place in mid-July 2011 in Issyk-Kul.

The National Dialogue for Kyrgyzstan is a high-level, inclusive, participatory and open-ended process. The general aim of the National Dialogue, as was formulated by the participants during the first Roundtable in March 2011, is to conduct an informal high-level dialogue drawing on all sectors of society to exchange views about socio-political and other developments in Kyrgyzstan with a view to enhancing understanding and contributing to a creative and peaceful resolution of the pressing issues facing Kyrgyzstan.

The National Dialogue is jointly facilitated by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and International Alert. This communiqué was issued by Ambassador Paul Koller, the Chief Facilitator of the National Dialogue for Kyrgyzstan, on behalf of the participants.