In this regard a new project “Shared prosperity through cooperation in border regions of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan” funded by United Nations Peacebuilding Fund is jointly implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) aimed at enhancing cross-border environmental and socio-economic cooperation between two countries. One of the important steps in integrating conflict sensitivity into the design and implementation of the project was the workshop on Conflict Sensitivity Proigramme Clinic held in Ferghana on 10-13 May, 2022.
The workshop brought together representatives of local administration of the border areas (Marhamat district of Andijan region, Yangikurgan and Kasansay districts of Namangan region), civil society and UN Agencies. The workshop was led by international experts – Phillip Priestley, Emergency and Rehabilitation Officer and Maria Norton, Conflict-sensitive Programming Consultant of the Office of Emergencies and Resilience from the FAO headquarter. The workshop provided platform to foster dialogue and cooperation among all parties involved to identify, analyse and integrate conflict sensitive strategies into the implementation of the project to lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development.
“Empowerment of rural people, mainly women and youth, introducing climate-smart agricultural practices in sustaining common resources as well as the establishment of common platforms and networks will enhance positive dialogue between communities on both sides of the border resulting in better confidence and trust between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan”, - Sherzod Umarov, Assistant FAO Representative in Uzbekistan stressed.
Kamolkhon Inomkhodjaev, UNFPA Assistant Representative in Uzbekistan, noted that “Women and youth are key drivers and stakeholders of the peacebuilding processes. Empowering and engaging them will be an important part of the project to promote good neighborhood relations and effective socio-economic collaboration across the border”.
During the workshop participants discussed the main sustaining peace drivers in the areas of governance, economic and social life, environment, natural resource management and human security and discussed potential project impacts taking into account the opinion of the local communities. As a result, they worked out the concrete conflict-sensitive recommendations to be integrated into the project implementation.
“The conflict sensitivity workshop brought together local authorities, civil societies and UN staff to ensure that our project maximises peaceful outcomes in the targeted villages in the border regions. As this is a peacebuilding project, we want to engage communities and involve them in the project to improve ownership and develop shared prosperity and understanding across borders”, - Phillip Priestley, Emergency and Rehabilitation Officer of the Office of Emergencies and Resilience from the FAO HQ noted.
The inception workshop of the project is planned for early June 2022, which will be the starting point of joint efforts aimed at fostering social, cultural and economic cross-border cooperation for better future.