2 February 2017 - The newly-constructed building for the State Forensics Centre under the Ministry of Justice, established with the assistance of UNODC, was officially inaugurated in Bishkek last week. The 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 a dilapidated building dating back to the 1940s.
According to Ashita Mittal, UNODC's 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 said at the opening ceremony.
"Modernization of forensic services is a key priority of our Government", said Oleg Pankratov, the Kyrgyz Vice Prime Minister. "Our main goal is to strengthen both the quality of expertise and management capacity at the State Forensic Service. Our constructive partnership with UNODC has enabled us to promote the application of best practice and appropriate standards for forensic science within the criminal justice system in our country," Mr. Pankratov added.
Highlighting the importance of the laboratory, Uran Akhmetov, the Kyrgyz Minister of Justice, noted that the reconstructed office and laboratory space is only the first step towards the 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 cost approximately $685,000."
With the support of the US State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the construction of the new premises - which span 1,300 square meters - is now 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.
UNODC supports strengthening of forensics services within the framework of its Programme for Central Asia 2015-2019.