The Downgrade of the OSCE Status in Kyrgyzstan

According to the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna, the OSCE Centre in Kyrgyzstan has been transformed into the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek. This change was initiated by the Kyrgyz Government in September 2016 as a reaction to the speech of Kadyrzhan Batyrov, a businessman and an ethnic Uzbek community leader from Kyrgyzstan, at an annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw in September 2016. This decision has two consequences: first, the OSCE Programme Office will not monitor the political, economic, and human rights situation in the country. Second, all projects of the OSCE must be submitted to the foreign ministry for approval. The downgrade of the Status is not a Kyrgyz innovation. Kyrgyzstan has learned from the experience of its neighbour Kazakhstan, which had also transformed the OSCE Centre in the OSCE Programme Office earlier.

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