Expected Council Action
Council members are expecting a briefing in August from Miroslav Jenča, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), in early August. Since the centre was established in December 2007 there have been three briefings to the Council on the activities of the UNRCCA at about six-monthly intervals. The first was in December 2008, the second in June 2009 and the third in January 2010. (Please see our 7 January 2010 Update Report on the UNRCCA for more information.)
While Jenča is expected to cover the general activities of UNRCCA over the last six months, particular attention is expected to be given to the situation in Kyrgyzstan. Jenča has made four visits to Kyrgyzstan since the outbreak of violence in early April.
Recent Briefings under the UNRCCA
In June following ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan, Council members had two briefings during informal consultations on Kyrgyzstan under the agenda item UNRCCA. The first was by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe on 14 June. Following the briefing the president of the Council in his remarks to the press said that members of the Council expressed support for the efforts of the Secretary-General and regional organisations, condemned the continued violence, supported the delivery of humanitarian aid and called for calm.
On 24 June Council members received a briefing by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco. He said that ethnic tensions remained high in Kyrgyzstan and that it was important to avoid provocations that could reignite violence between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbecks. He also told the Council that aid deliveries were being disrupted by security concerns.
Recent Developments in Kyrgyzstan
On 27 July international donors pledged $1.1 billion in aid to help rebuild Kyrgyzstan. The money is expected to be used in rebuilding damaged infrastructure and resettling IDPs.
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) agreed on 22 July to send 52 unarmed police officers in an advisory capacity to southern Kyrgyzstan.
On 27 June Kyrgyzstan held a constitutional referendum. There was strong support for the new constitution which paves the way for Kyrgyzstan to become a parliamentary democracy. The UN was involved in providing technical support to the referendum process and continues to advise the government on constitutional reform, building democratic institutions and the organisation of the general election later this year.
The key issue for the Council, keeping in mind its debate on preventive diplomacy held on 16 July, is whether there are further opportunities for preventive diplomacy tools to be used to reduce the risks of further violence in Kyrgyzstan.
Another issue is how best to keep monitoring the situation, particularly leading up to the elections later this year.
One option for the Council is a press statement following the briefing reinforcing UNRCCA’s role in addressing regional issues in Central Asia and reaffirming support for the UNRCCA and encouraging the Secretary-General to play an ongoing supportive role in conjunction with the OSCE and regional states.
A further option would be to welcome the peaceful outcome of the recent constitutional referendum and stress the importance of a peaceful environment for the upcoming parliamentary election in October.
Also an option is requesting the Secretary-General to continue to provide regular briefings to the Council on the situation in Kyrgyzstan.
Most members appear to be comfortable with the process which allows it to monitor the situation in Kyrgyzstan through briefings on the UNRCCA. In June Russia argued against formal Council meetings on Kyrgyzstan, preferring a regional emphasis with the lead being taken by regional organizations.