New Delhi, February 15, 2012: Kyrgyzstan looks up to innovative approaches from India in the fields of IT, agriculture, energy, handicrafts, etc. stated Ms Roza Otunbayeva, former President of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday. Ms Otunbayeva was speaking at the concluding day of the 14th Asian Security Conference organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).
Explaining the painful passage of Kyrgyzstan’s independence on the road to democracy and market economy over the last 20 years, Ms Otunbayeva said that the purpose of her visit was to learn from the experiences of Asian countries like India about economic revival.
The last 20 years of Kyrgyzstan’s independence, have been difficult and painful, reflected Ms Otunbayeva, adding that the privatization of goods that were hitherto public, being the main problem. The process was unjust wherein only 15 per cent of the population could access and own these privatised goods, factories and all sorts of properties, she stated.
In Kyrgyzstan, today there is a strong civil society with more than 500 NGOs conducting all sorts of activities, along with free mass media and internet access, she asserted, with the country looking for inspiration from parliamentary democracies like Central and Eastern European states, Turkey, Mongolia and also to its closest friend and neighbour, India.
Miss Otunbayeva who became the president of Kyrgyzstan through the June 2010 referendum, stepped down from power as per her promise when the new president was elected in the December 2011 elections. She urged that the Kyrgyz leaders need to be recognised by the international community, as their democracy is nascent and untested. Ms Otunbayeva proclaimed that her nation proved the world and its neighbours that power transition is possible in a peaceful manner. Today in Kyrgyzstan there are no street protests or controversies that tarnish the parliament.
Speaking about the situation in Afghanistan, She said that the reconciliation strategy in Afghanistan should be left up to 2014 exit; however one must note that there are no military solutions. The international community and the neighbouring states must help convert and turn Afghanistan over to economic survival and revival.
Chairing the final session on Financial and Economic Security, Mr NS Sisodia, former Director General, IDSA commented on the changing economic order and how the global economic institutions need to reflect these changing realities. The session touched upon the emerging trends in international financial and monetary system, some of which may hold security implications. Amongst other themes covered in this session was the concept of a supra sovereign currency emerging as an alternative to the US dollar and the importance of cooperation amongst Asian countries on economic and financial matters.
Speaking at the session, Dr Sanjaya Baru, Director for Geo-economics and Strategy, International Institute for Strategic Studies, (IISS), said that financial and economic security issues not only contribute to conflict, but also diminish the state’s military and diplomatic capabilities as demonstrated in the decline of the US and rise of China’s international profile.
Another Speaker, Dr Pradumna Bickram Rana, Associate Professor, International Political Economy (IPE) at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), spoke about the evolving of several layers of global financial safety nets, which aim to tackle the regional and global economic crises. “In the Asian context the Asian Monetary Fund could play a key role in saving the Asian countries from financial crises. In that regard, India could play a key role along with ASEAN, China and Japan,” he added.
Further, reflecting upon the East Asian perspective on global economic slowdown, Meibo Huang, economics professor and Director, China Institute for International Development, said that the current international monetary system is still the US $ dominated system, which benefits from it. East Asia, however, has been suffering due to this. To rectify the flaws of international monetary system, reforming the IMF is important, as only a reformed IMF with its restructured supervisory role and governance mechanism can effectively regulate the current internal monetary system. East Asia should be given more opportunities to have its say in such a reform.