Increasing access to professional forensic services in Kyrgyzstan

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Embassy of the United States of America marked a new milestone in their partnership to improve the rule of law at a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new forensic laboratory in the Kyrgyz capital on March 10, 2016.

Minister of Justice, Ms. Zhyldyz Mambetalieva, U.S. Chargé d'Affaires, a.i., Mr. Alan Meltzer, and UNODC's Regional Representative for Central Asia, Ms. Ashita Mittal, laid the foundation stone for the new premises of the State Forensics Center (SFC).

UNODC allocated more than 48 million Kyrgyz  Soms (630,000 U.S. Dollars) for the construction of the new office for the forensic laboratory. Main donor of these activities is the US State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).

"Impartial data provided by forensic laboratories is crucial to ensure fair trials and uphold the rule of law," said Alan Meltzer, the U.S. Chargé d'Affaires, a.i. That is why the US Government is committed to helping the people of the Kyrgyz Republic increase access to professional forensic services."

The State Forensics Centre under the Ministry of Justice is the main provider of the forensic services in the Kyrgyz Republic, handling over 80% of all cases requiring forensic evidence.  Jyldyz Mambetalieva, the Minister of Justice, noted that construction of the new office and laboratory is the first step towards enhancement of this institution's capacity: "The SFC is currently located in old building dating back to the 1940s, which is unsuitable for the forensic laboratory. Thanks to the U.S. funded UNODC project, we are better equipped with establishing a proper management system and gradually aligning forensic services with the international standards," Ms. Mambetalieva said.

UNODC provides technical assistance to  UN Member States on forensic services through training and sharing of international best practices,  thus contributing to the availability of quality forensic services.

"During the past two years the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia has been supporting professional development of forensic experts  in Kyrgyzstan as well as  in other countries of the region",- said Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia. "With the modernization of the SFC's infrastructure, we're taking another step in our joint endeavor to promote high quality expertise that will help Kyrgyzstan to attain international accreditation for its forensic services in the future," - Ms. Mittal added.

The U.S./INL funded project is implemented within the framework of the UNODC Criminal Justice Program in the Kyrgyz Republic. This Program is part of the UNODC Integrated Country Program of Assistance for Kyrgyzstan 2014-2016 and the UNODC Program for Central Asia 2015-2019.