The UN Ferghana Valley Development Programme
Statement of Vision, n.d.
Building a Valley of Harmony and Prosperity
Why the Ferghana Valley Development Programme is needed
The Ferghana Valley is critical region for Central Asia as a whole,
and what happens in the Ferghana Valley—for better or
worse—has widespread ramifications for the region as a whole.
The Ferghana Valley is a potential source for regional instability,
due to its ethnic diversity, the highly concentrated and growing
population including a high percentage of youth, high rates of
unemployment and widespread economic stress, complex borders in a
region occupied by parts of three newly sovereign states, and its
recent history of tensions.
Within the Ferghana Valley, three states have territories which are
closely inter-linked and the borders between them cross-cut
transportation routes, population groups and economic resources, and
so resolution of common problems requires close collaboration which
has often been absent since independence.
Why the United Nations has a special role to play in the Ferghana
In recent years, especially following such disasters as in Yugoslavia,
there has been increasing awareness that it is important that the
United Nations take actions to avert problems and strife before they
As the representative body of the countries of the world, the United
Nations is uniquely positioned to foster cooperation between the
countries of the Ferghana Valley, in that it has developed strong
relations with each country through concrete activities on the ground
and it holds a degree of authority enjoyed by no other international
The activities of the various UN agencies in these countries represent
a broad spectrum of development initiatives which, if well
coordinated, can reinforce one another in building toward the goal of
harmony and prosperity in the Ferghana Valley.
Guiding Principles of the Ferghana Valley Development Programme:
The FVDP operates solely in the interest of the several countries of
the Valley and their populations; all activities to be undertaken must
be in accordance with the common interests of these countries.
Implementation will be led through a close cooperation between the
UNDP in each country and national partners (probably the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs as the primary partner in each case), at the same time
giving prominence to role of key partners including the various UN
agencies, various governmental institutions, and others.
The FVDP employs a participatory approach, drawing on the knowledge,
expertise and initiative of the general population, and local
organizations including governments, NGOs, private enterprises, and
the community based organizations such as mahallas and ayïl ökmötüs
which have deep roots in community traditions.
The FVDP takes a regional approach, addressing those issues which
cannot effectively be addressed exclusively within the framework of a
single nation, as well as treating the diversity of resources, issues
and experience across the region as a valuable resource which offers
opportunities not had within a single country.
While working regionally, the FVDP will show the greatest respect for
the sovereignty and national interests of each country, and where
appropriate, will pursue implementation on a national basis. In such
cases, the regional dimension will be reflected in that similar
programmes may be pursued in several countries, and they will share
experience and support one another where possible and appropriate. All
activity in each country will be coordinated through a national
coordination office located in the Ferghana Valley portion of that
The development problems of the Ferghana Valley represent a wide range
of complexity, and by employing a phased approach, the FVDP will
address first relatively simple problems through pilot projects and
draw on the experience and institutional framework built in this
context to address more difficult issues as appropriate in later
phases of the Programme.
The FVDP will operate with a modular approach, drawing on the
opportunities to collaborate with various UN agencies and other
partners in particular initiatives. Collaborating agencies will
benefit from the FVDP's regional network and expertise, and gain
added impact to their initiatives by coordination with activities in
other realms. To the degree appropriate for the given initiative,
Programme Components will be financed and implemented
independently. In terms of timing, some modular elements of the
Programme will proceed outside of the framework of the general phasing
of the Programme, inasmuch as they depend on funding cycles and
project development in the framework of various UN
agencies. Furthermore, it will be possible to proceed with certain
Programme Components as conditions become suitable and the Programme
must maintain flexibility to accommodate such opportunities.
A key to the strength of the FVDP will be its ability to effectively
coordinate a spectrum of initiatives across a diverse region; for
this, the FVDP will build a strong participatory network and provide
crucial information resources to its partners.
How the Ferghana Valley Development Programme will build Harmony and
Prosperity in the Valley:
The key to harmony in the Ferghana Valley is alleviating the
conditions which could lead—and indeed have led in the
past—to tensions. The most important such conditions relate to
key problems that detract from the well-being of the population:
: Economic well-being and civil harmony are closely
inter-linked. The single most important source of tension is economic
hardship and associated issues such as perceptions of inequitable
distribution of resources and opportunities, obstacles to economic
activity, and disputed access to key resources.
The FVDP will work to improve economic conditions in the
region—especially in areas where conditions are comparatively
difficult—through such initiatives as support to small and
medium enterprises through business support services and credit
assistance, and grants to infrastructure development projects
initiated at the local level.
The FVDP will facilitate the establishment or improvement
of mechanisms to resolve issues of access to resources and overcoming
obstacles to private economic initiatives.
Culture and Education
: A key to harmony is mutual understanding. During Soviet times,
insufficient attention was given to the culture and history of this
region, and the FVDP will work to help rectify this problem.
The FVDP will promote the consciousness of both the
historical and cultural commonalties and the diversity of the
population in the region through programs which reach a very broad
population. This may take the form of support for the development and
production of history and social studies textbooks on the history of
the three countries and their peoples for use in schools.
The FVDP may also support training of teachers in
curriculum for fostering secular civic consciousness and social
The FVDP will support the creation of information resource
centers and cultural activities which promote the dissemination of
knowledge and understanding of the commonalties and diversity of the
region, including such initiatives as regional cultural festivals,
exchanges between universities in the region, and establishment of a
center for the study and promotion of oral traditional culture.
: The fates of the people of the Ferghana Valley are intertwined
in an environment which knows no boundaries. Effective approaches to
the environmental issues, which undermine prosperity and social
wellbeing, require cooperation.
The FVDP will seek to address the high-profile problems
such as the deteriorating nuclear waste dumps in Kyrgyzstan and
Tajikistan, which threaten catastrophic contamination of the water
supply of the entire region.
The FVDP will work to address environmental issues of
everyday urgency, such as the supply of healthy drinking water,
erosion resulting from over-grazing which leads to soil deterioration,
mud-slides and flooding, and rationalization of irrigation practices
to avoid rising water tables and the salinization of soils.
The FVDP may promote cooperation in the development of
systems to avoid natural disasters and to cope with them when they
: The boundaries between sovereign states play an important role
in regulating the economic and administrative life of a
region. Harmony and prosperity in the region require that such
boundaries constitute as little impediment as possible for appropriate
and legal activities in the economic and social life of the region
while performing their necessary regulatory function.
The FVDP will work to make border controls as
comprehensible as possible for those who have legitimate needs to
cross the borders and transport goods across them.
The FVDP will work to alleviate difficulties which have
arisen in the lives of the Valley's population in connection with the
new roles that borders play following independence, and to facilitate
exchanges which support social and economic well-being in the Valley.
How the Ferghana Valley Development Programme will coordinate
The FVDP will adopt an Area Development Framework approach. The
organization of the programme will accommodate the diversity of tasks,
the diversity of conditions in the several countries, and the variety
of organizations which will be engaged in project implementation.
The FVDP will have a Programme Office in each of the countries which
will share the responsibility for coordination of the Programme
overall. No country will have a comprehensive lead role in Programme
coordination, though for certain programme tasks, a given Programme
Office may serve a coordinating role.
Associated with these Programme Offices will be certain activities,
such as the information centers, business resource centers, curriculum
development programmes, and other activities which are aimed to impact
the region broadly in a range of sectors.
Within each national unit, many of the activities of the Programme
will be organized through national implementation, though project
design, experience, resources, and consultants will be shared. For
example, in the implementation of support to small and medium
enterprises, a general project design will be employed in each
national framework, though it will be adjusted to accommodate the
needs and conditions of each country.
Other FVDP activities of a more problem-specific nature will be
organized on a modular basis, based in separate implementation units
under the aegis of particular UN agencies. For example, a separate
unit will be devoted to the problem of nuclear waste, operating
independently, though with support from the coordination units.