United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Kyrgyz Government strengthen the forensic service

Yesterday in Bishkek, the Vice Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic, Oleg Pankratov cut the ribbon on a newly-constructed building for the State Forensics Centre under the Ministry of Justice.

"Modernization of forensic services is a key priority of our Government", said the Vice Prime Minister at the opening ceremony, which was attended by government officials and representatives from the international community, civil society and media. "Our main goal is to strengthen both the quality of expertise and management capacity at the State Forensic Service. Our constructive partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has enabled us to promote the application of best practice and appropriate standards for forensic science within the criminal justice system in our country", Oleg Pankratov added.

The State Forensic Centre is the main provider of forensic services in the Kyrgyz Republic, handling 80 percent of all cases requiring forensic evidence. Until today, the Centre was located in dilapidated building dating back to the 1940s. Thanks to funding provided by the US State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the construction of the new premises (1,300 square meters) has now been completed. "We hope that this new laboratory will help Kyrgyzstan to attain international accreditation for its forensic services in the future", noted Sheila Gwaltney, U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic in her remarks at the event.

Uran Akhmetov, the Kyrgyz Minister of Justice noted that the reconstructed office and laboratory space is only the first step towards enhancement of the forensic service of Kyrgyzstan. "We express our gratitude to the U.S.-funded UNODC Criminal Justice Programme for assistance in strengthening the Centre's potential that will contribute to a more effective solution of complex theoretical and practical problems for the use of expertise in establishing the truth in criminal and civil cases. The construction works were worth approximately 685,000 US Dollars (48 million Kyrgyz soms)».

Ashita Mittal, United UNODC Regional Representative in Central Asia, UNODC brings together the efforts of the Kyrgyz Government and international partners to promote the rule of law and the establishment of an effective and fair criminal justice system. "In addition to technical assistance, UNODC provides expert advice to develop skills of forensic experts and to establish a quality management system for forensic examinations. Our support is geared towards the implementation of the 2015-2018 strategic development plan for the State Forensics Centre and the plan of action to obtain international accreditation for forensic services in line with ISO 17025 standards", Ms. Mittal added.

UNODC supports strengthening of forensics services within the framework of its Programme for Central Asia 2015-2019.