Kyrgyzstan has seen a large amount of activity in conflict prevention by civil society organizations, supported by UNDP, OSCE and SDC in particular, since serious ethnic clashes erupted in the Ferghana Valley conflict in 1990. In the border regions of the Ferghana Valley, several actors have been engaged in cross-border cooperation support since the 1990s, including support for local people to establish structures to enable such cooperation. In addition, a number of organizations have established councils and committees at various levels to implement conflict prevention-related activities. The recent violence in 2010 between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in the south has led to a renewed focus on conflict prevention, and furthermore added peacebuilding to the agenda. More than 400 people have been killed; many of them Uzbeks, and thousands of people were displaced.
The first Parliamentary democracy in Central Asia faces serious problems in terms of unemployment and criminality. The security forces have been unable to provide security, the justice sector is facing serious corruption problems, and the governments since independence have been unable to develop a comprehensive policy to address the multi-ethnic make-up of the population. Previously, the government established Crime Prevention Centers at the community level. In theory, these are headed by the first Deputy Head of a local municipality, and include representatives of traditional elders' councils, women's and youth groups, but most of these centers remain moribund in practice.
A Department for Ethnic Development and Religious Policy is working on a comprehensive concept on ethnic development. Furthermore, a State Directorate for Reconstruction and Development was established to oversee reconstruction efforts in the south.
Potentially violent tensions after the April 2010 political regime change and subsequent violence were de-escalated before and during the constitutional referendum and parliamentary polls later that year, allowing these exercises to be conducted without violence. For example, the UNDP Peace and Development Program facilitated dialogue spaces between civil society, the Central Electoral Commission and security agencies, hitherto suspicious of each other following events of April-June. The UNDP also helped establish, and then supported the confidence-building efforts of, Oblast Advisory Committees (OACs) in the seven oblasts: at the provincial, and Local Authority Advisory Committees (LAACs) at the district levels, bringing together government and civil society representatives. For example, the OAC of Issyk-Gul facilitated dialogue between law enforcement agencies and youth and conducted awareness raising campaigns on the risks of religious extremism. These Oblast Advisory Committees were as critical as regional and UN diplomacy to maintaining peace on the ground during the referendum and parliamentary elections.
A number of similar mechanisms have been established at the rayon level as well. The UN agencies in Kyrgyzstan are aiming to support a national Infrastructure for Peace at local, regional and national levels, involving government, civil society, communities and individuals in effectively preventing violent conflict and engagement in peace building.
The Foundation for Tolerance International (FTI) is a key partner of UNDP and very interested in establishing such a peace structure.