Wednesday, October 14, 2009

EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue

On 13 October 2009 the Human Rights Dialogue between the Kyrgyz Republic and the European Union took place for the second time. The dialogue was held in an open and constructive atmosphere, with an exchange on a wide range of issues of mutual interest or concern, as well as discussions on possibilities for concrete cooperation in the field of human rights.

The Kyrgyz delegation was headed by Ms Baktygul Kalambekova, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and included Ms Aida Saolyanova, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Ms Tolkun Begbulatova, Director of the State Agency on Physical Culture, Sport, Youth and Child protection as well as representatives from the Kyrgyz Embassy. The EU delegation was headed by Mr Jan Axel Nordlander, Sweden's Ambassador for Human Rights, and included Ms Riina Kionka, the Personal Representative for Human Rights of the EU Secretary General/High Representative, Mr Rolf Timans, Head of Human Rights Unit at the European Commission and Ms Silvia Escobar, Spain's Ambassador for Human Rights as incoming Presidency of the EU.

As a follow-up to last year’s Human Rights Dialogue, the Kyrgyz delegation informed about developments on the national framework for the protection of human rights and the protection of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers; freedom of thought and religion and the death penalty. Other issues discussed included democratic elections; freedom of association and assembly, functioning of civil society; freedom of expression including freedom of information and freedom of media and rights of women.

During the human rights dialogue meeting the outcome of the EU-Kyrgyzstan civil society seminar held in March in Bishkek was discussed, including a number of recommendations in the area of the rights of children and rights of prisoners. The Kyrgyz delegation presented in detail actions that have so far been taken to implement these recommendations. It was agreed to hold a second civil society seminar in 2010.

On the day before the dialogue, the EU delegation also held a video conference to discuss human rights with representatives of civil society and international organizations active in Kyrgyzstan.

The EU delegation proposed to hold the next EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue meeting in autumn 2010.

Press Release by the Swedish Presidency of the European Union. Published on 14 October 2009

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