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UN makes special mention of efforts to combat statelessness in Russia and Kyrgyzstan

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres yesterday made special mention of efforts to respond to the problem of statelessness in Russia, Kyrgyzstan and other countries. He stated this at the session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.

 According to him, since 2011 about 50 states have joined the international conventions relating to the status and rights of stateless persons. "But it is more important that efforts to validate the citizenship of thousands of people in Côte d'Ivoire, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Thailand and the Russian Federation have led to success," he stressed.

According to him, response to this problem in the coming years will be one of the priorities of the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Antonio Guterres reminded that in 2014 UNHCR announced a global campaign to eradicate statelessness by 2024. "I hope that the states will contribute to achievement of this ambitious but accomplishable goal," he said.

Earlier, during a visit to Bishkek, the representative of UNHCR Maki Shinohara said that Kyrgyzstan took a leading position in eradication of statelessness. The project was launched together with the government of the Kyrgyz Republic in February of 2014. As of July 2015, about 7,500 people without citizenship have been registered in Kyrgyzstan. More than 3,200 of them have received passports or identity documents.