World Refugee Day Remarks by Mr. Jenish Razakov, Governor of Batken Province of the Kyrgyz Republic
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
Today the world is observing the World Refugee Day. I am proud to say that the Kyrgyz Republic is fulfilling its commitments in addressing refugee issues. Following the accession in 1996 to the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees, the Kyrgyz Republic was the first country in Central Asia to adopt a national law on refugees in 2002.
With the help of UNHCR, we have built a school in Batken for 140 children, half of whom used to be refugees from Tajikistan. This school, which still operates for local children, is named after Mrs. Sadako Ogata, then UN High Commissioner for Refugees who herself has visited the school in April 1997.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank UNHCR for helping Kyrgyzstan in the aftermath of the 2010 conflict. Having assisted up to 400,000 people affected by the internal conflict, UNHCR helped restore houses and documentation. In recent years, UNHCR implemented over 100 peacebuilding projects, including in seven communities in Batken province. These mixed communities now enjoy access to irrigation and drinking water as well as access to basic medical and municipal service. Through this work, I became friends with Mr. Igor Ciobanu, former head of the UNHCR Sub-Office in Osh. I wish him all the best in his current work in Greece where he is receiving thousands of refugees every day.
As part of the Year of History and Culture, this year we are commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the great flight to China, when hundreds of thousands of Kyrgyz had to flee to China. The Kyrgyz people are tolerant and support displaced people because we have a firsthand experience of being displaced.
We shall continue to work with UNHCR to address asylum at the borders, emergency preparedness in case of future displacement, as well as on eradication of statelessness.
Thank you for your attention.