The European Union and the Kyrgyz Republic held the eighth round of their annual Human Rights Dialogue on 27 June in Brussels.
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An open and constructive discussion covered a broad range of issues. The parties discussed important improvements of the legislative framework of the Kyrgyz Republic, adopted as part of the judicial reform and supported by the European Union and other international actors. The EU underlined the importance of prompt and effective implementation, with a view to advancing further towards an efficient, professional and independent judiciary. The EU welcomed the important work carried out by the national human rights institutions, in particular the Ombudsman and the National Centre for the Prevention of Torture. Progress in measures and mechanisms to prevent the use of torture and ill-treatment was reviewed.
The parties discussed the freedom of expression. The EU called on the Kyrgyz authorities to maintain and protect an open media environment as an important enabler for free, competitive and transparent presidential elections later this year. The parties addressed cooperation with civil society as well as issues of good governance, including the rights of members of minority groups and the fight against corruption.
The Kyrgyz Republic has benefitted from the Generalised Scheme of Preferences, the most generous unilateral trade preferences offered by the EU, called GSP+, since January 2016. The parties reviewed the monitoring process related to the implementation of 27 GSP+ relevant international conventions and discussed areas where EU assistance would be needed for the Kyrgyz Republic to fully benefit from the scheme.
The European Union welcomed the adoption of new legislation on domestic violence and on under-age marriage, which significantly improves the protection of the rights of women and children. To close the dialogue, the parties reviewed their cooperation in relevant multilateral fora, as well as bilateral cooperation programmes funded by the Development Cooperation Instrument of the EU and the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights.
The Kyrgyz Republic delegation was led by Ms Dinara Kemelova, First Deputy-Minister for Foreign Affairs. The EU delegation was led by Mr Toivo Klaar, Head of Division for Central Asia in the European External Action Service. The next round of the EU-Kyrgyz Republic Human Rights Dialogue will be held in Bishkek in 2018.