The United Nations and the private sector in Kyrgyzstan: exploring areas for potential partnership

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Bishkek, 22 March 2017 – The International Business Council (IBC) organized a roundtable discussion to explore the ways of building effective partnerships between the UN agencies and the private sector in Kyrgyzstan. The representatives of the UN Children Fund (UNICEF), the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and mining companies, mobile operators, banks, as well as hospitality and tourism companies participated in the meeting.

Kyrgyz business largely contributes to addressing social issues, however, this effort is not coordinated and systematized but they sometimes lack coordination and act in an isolated and point-like manner,” noted Askar Sydykov, IBC Executive Director. “This round table discussion provides an opportunity to explore how the development partners, such as the UN agencies, and Kyrgyz companies can join forces to advance corporate social responsibility in the country.

Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic briefed the participants on the situation of children in the country and called to invest more in children: “Protecting children’s rights is a common responsibility that requires commitment and investment from all of us, in every sector. Many entrepreneurs and companies can do more than they do today.”

In addition, Yukie Mokuo shared information on UNICEF’s successful partnerships with business across the world. “It is important that the private sector in Kyrgyzstan steps up and realizes that they play a crucial role in children’s lives. Children are everyone’s business today,” she added.

“The private sector has the power to help shape the future by bringing its knowledge and technology to address developmental challenges, therefore we prioritize building effective partnership with Kyrgyz businesses,” said Elizabeth Zalkind, Communications Officer for the WFP Kyrgyz Republic.

WFP briefed the participants on its School Meals Optimization activities and the social and economic dividends it brings for the country. Also, WFP offered the Kyrgyz companies a variety of options to partner with WFP for improving school meals across the country.

The UNDP representatives informed about the pivotal role the private sector plays in achieving Sutainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in partnership, safe energy and inclusive development.

This initiative could become a model for corporate social responsibility partnerships that help build a brighter future for the next generation in the Kyrgyz Republic.

The IBC is a business association, established in December 2000, with a wide range of local and international businesses. As well as promoting the common interests of business investors and providing members with relevant information and advice to support their business operations, IBC’s mission is to make the Kyrgyz Republic a more attractive investment location by promoting good business legislation and efficient business practices, working in partnership with the government of the Kyrgyz Republic and other local and foreign organizations. More information on www.ibc.org.

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. UNICEF believes that all children have a right to survive, thrive and fulfill their potential – to the benefit of a better world. Established in 1946, UNICEF works with partners to address poverty, violence, diseases and discrimination that hamper children’s development. UNICEF has launched its activities in Kyrgyzstan in 1994 more information on Facebook , Instagram and Twitterwww.unicef.org/kyrgyzstan

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries. More information on www.wfp.org, www.wfp.org/ru, and Facebook.

UNDP works in nearly 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results. More on www.kg.undp.org and  FacebookInstagramTwitter