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THURSDAY, March 5, 2015

Kyrgyzstan / Economy

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Keep dictators from looting national wealth, Otunbayeva tells UN

Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva called on the UN to do more to recover wealth stolen by former rulers

Thursday, September 22, 2011 - Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva on Thursday took the podium at the United Nations General Assemby (UNGA) to draw attention to her country’s democratic progress and push for stricter punishment for autocrats who empty government coffers.

“The wealth of the people of Kyrgyzstan was stolen by corrupt and criminal rulers,” Otunbayeva said in her address in New York. “Billions of dollars were taken out of the country. Dictators must be made responsible for committing acts against their own people and not be allowed to find asylum abroad.”

Otunbayeva was referring to deposed President Kurmanbek Bakiev, who was run out of the country following a series of protests in the capital Bishkek in April 2010. He found asylum in Belarus and is believed to have siphoned substantial sums of money from Kyrgyz national funds.

“Our organization (the United Nations) must develop clear standards for ensuring justice and return the stolen assets of the Kyrgyz people,” she said. “This is not about politically motivated harassment, but it’s about injustice and an end to impunity.”

Otunbayeva also urged members of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan to ensure that Afghan troops and police are adequately prepared to ensure security in their state before the coalition leaves the country.

The Kyrgyz president took time to publicly praise women for working for peace and stability in her country and around the world.

“When peace is violated, men take up weapons. It is women who take the responsibility to put an end to violence and establish a peaceful life....Women effectively impose peace, which is precisely the case in my country.”

Otunbayeva said Kyrgyzstan has applied to be a nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2012-2013 session, and publicly gave support to Palestine’s bid to be a member of the organization.

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