Dr. Janet Colvin, Interim Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciencesat Utah Valley University (UVU) made a presentation at the Center of political and legal research in Bishkek on the topic “Utah-Kyrgyzstan Cooperation”.
Dr. Colvin highlighted major initiatives in cooperation between the state of Utah and the Kyrgyz Republic facilitated on the grass-roots level by UVU and the International University of Kyrgyzstan (IUK) with a focus on joint promotion of the sustainable mountain development (SMD) agenda of the UN since 2006. At that time, UVU joined the United Nations Mountain Partnership (UNMP) which coordinated SMD agendas globally. It provided for faculty and students at UVU to contribute both to the SMD advocacy globally and in the Kyrgyz Republic in particular: the mountainous state of Utah has one of the most successful economic models in the USA and was recognized by Forbes among the top leading in the US in doing business during the last 6 years.
In her presentation, Dr. Colvin mentioned as a highlight in joint activities in SMD through educational initiatives that UVU and IUK successfully hosted four international Women of the Mountains Conferences under the umbrella of the MP and transformed them in a major grass-roots forum in North America to advocate gender and SMD agendas of the UN.
This year also commemorates 10th anniversary since the two sides hosted the first WOMC in 2007 in Orem, Utah. The UVU delegation raised awareness about the importance of the cause of SMD and the mountain women, including WOMCs results during the 61st session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women on March 21-23, 2017.
Partnership between two sides was developed also in the areas of legislatives exchanges, when Utah State Legislatures led by the Honorable John Valentine, the President of the Utah State Senate, were able both to host several delegations of the deputies of the Kyrgyz Parliament representing and visit the Kyrgyz Republic.
In the area of cultural exchanges, UVU successfully hosted the Kyrgyz folk group “Kut” in 2008 in addition to reprinting a limited edition of the 11th century manuscript “Wisdom of the Royal Glory,” written by the Yusuf Balasagun during the time of Karakhanid empire as an advisory guide for local ruler at that time. UVU then hosted conferences with presentations of the book and discussed the principles of good governance in the region in Utah, at Johns Hopkins University, Washington, D.C., and the Kyrgyz-Turkish (Manas) University in Bishkek in 2012.
On the presentation took part representatives of different media located in Bishkek. After presentation Dr. Colvin answered to the questions of journalists and told them about media in the USA and educational process in UVU related to the mass-media and communication.
Dr. Colvin is visiting the Kyrgyz Republic as a participant of the 2017 Conference of the World Communication Association titled “World conflicts and disasters: communication, culture, and resolution.” (see: http://wcaweb.org/conference/2017-wca-conference/). The Conference hosted by the American University of Central Asia. As part of the program, she also will be able to visit a site with the famous Burana tower near the city of Tokmok which was a part of the headquarters of the Karakhanid dynasties.
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