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The Role of the International Community

United Nations

The U.N. Resident Coordinator Office in Bishkek monitored the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in connection with the Uzbek rebel incursion in August.

Kyrgyzstan submitted several reports to United Nations treaty bodies in 1999-2000. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child concluded that the government was not making the necessary effort to comply with the treaty's provisions in May. In July, the Human Rights Committee reviewed and found lacking Kyrgyz compliance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Organization forSecurity and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

The OSCE announced at the end of January that it would send a full observer mission to the parliamentary elections in February, shortly before the Kyrgyz government disallowed the participation of several opposition candidates. The final report of that mission thoroughly summarized election abuses and issued a series of recommendations on improving the electoral process, but the OSCE did not insist that they be implemented as a condition to its observing the October presidential poll. It announced on September 14, that it would do so, while issuing several statements critical of the arrest and harassment of opposition figures. In the aftermath of the parliamentary poll, the OSCE pressed the government to hold roundtable discussions with the opposition, which was largely excluded from the new parliament, but the government has refused to do so. In April, the OSCE opened a field office in the southern city of Osh.

European Union

The European Union held the second meeting of its Cooperation Council with Kyrgyzstan in July, which, though it noted the importance of democratic reforms, "concluded that cooperation in 2000/2001 should focus in particular on the improvement of the business climate." After the August incursion, the E.U. delegation to the OSCE Permanent Council issued a statement recognizing that "the strengthening of civil societies, progress in democratization and the rule of law as well as the improvement of economic and social conditions are essential in the fight against extremism and fundamentalism."

United States

During her April visit to the region, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright criticized the Kyrgyz retreat from democracy and extracted a promise from President Akaev to follow OSCE recommendations for improvements in advance of October's presidential election; Albright then extended U.S.$3 million in supplementary counterterrorism assistance. The administration requested $37 million in assistance for Kyrgyztan in 2001, an $8 million increase over estimated 2000 expenditures, and prefaced its January 2000 request by stating that "Kyrgyzstan's commitment to democratization and economic reform stand out as an example of the successes that can be achieved in Central Asia." After first inviting Kyrgyzstan to the June conference of democratic states in Warsaw, in May the convening states, including the United States, suggested to Kyrgyzstan that it would be best if its delegation did not make an appearance.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2000

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