11 June 2017

Opening remarks at press conference with President Almazbek Atambaev of Kyrgyzstan

António Guterres

I want to express first of all my deep gratitude to President Atambaev for his gentle invitation. It is for me an enormous pleasure and an enormous honour to be back in Kyrgyzstan.
With Kyrgyzstan, I developed as High Commissioner for Refugees an exemplary cooperation during more than ten years.
In that long period of cooperation, sometimes with very difficult moments, I have witnessed the determination of the people of Kyrgyzstan for a choice: a choice for democracy in Kyrgyzstan, a choice for a regime with the the rule of law, the protection of human rights, and the choice for a vibrant civil society active in Kyrgyzstan.
That made Kyrgyzstan the pioneer of democracy in Central Asia and I want to express my best wishes in relation to the future developments of the country: you have new elections soon and I am absolutely sure that Kyrgyzstan will remain a very important symbol of democracy and protection of human rights in the region and around the world.
I am also sure that Kyrgyzstan will play a very important role in what I hope will be future developments in Central Asia for better cooperation, better integration among the different countries and peoples of Central Asia to guarantee its prosperity and its development.
The UN will be fully supporting the Government of Kyrgyzstan in the implementation of Taza Koom, the Sustainable Development Goals and also working together with Kyrgyzstan to make sure that we are able to face climate change, that we are able to mobilize the whole international community for climate change to be tamed and for the wonderful glaciers of Kyrgyzstan to be preserved.