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World Refugee Day 2004: Kyrgyzstan

World Refugee Day 2004: Kyrgyzstan

20 June 2004

Guests at the UNHCR information stand during the exhibition.

On 16 June, the UNHCR Chief of Mission and other staff participated in the national TV morning programme, which was devoted to World Refugee Day. Special emphasis was put on the achievement of durable solutions for refugees in the country.

On 17 June, UNHCR staff, with the participation of government counterparts from the Department of Migration Services, held a press conference in the UN House. Tajik and Afghan refugees and new Kyrgyz citizens were also present at the event. Journalists were briefed on the general situation of the refugee population in the country, UNHCR activities, and recent positive developments in the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic for refugees. The message of the High Commissioner on World Refugee Day was also delivered to media representatives.

On 20 June, a multicultural celebration was held in Ivanovka village, where large numbers of Tajik refugees live. The day started with a football match between UNHCR/implementing partners and a refugee team. The sports activities continued with games between refugees and local football team players. Refugee children also competed against each other, drawing their vision of peace with chalks in a schoolyard. Guests enjoyed a small concert by Afghan and Tajik refugee children singing songs and performing ethnic dances. National food prepared by refugee women of different ethnicities was offered to the guests, journalists and refugees.

The sports activities continued with Joo Ulak, Gushtingiri and Kuresh games, in which refugees, local citizens and children took the most active part. The event ended with the distribution of prizes for the sports competitions.

On 23 June, UNHCR staff, together with a refugee NGO leader, participated in a live programme on national radio and answered questions related to UNHCR activities in the country and on World Refugee Day.