On the 3rd and 4th of September 2016 the OSCE Academy hosted the 3rd alumni reunion in Bishkek. 110 graduates from Central Asian countries and Afghanistan have participated in the event. The OSCE Academy pays a lot of attention to its alumni community. As of September 2016 the overall number of Academy graduates is 331 and this number is growing steadily.
The Director of the OSCE Academy, Pal Dunay opened the conference and expressed his sincere gratitude to participants for their support and solidarity. He also thanked the OSCE Centre in Bishkek and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) as they are playing very important role in developing the alumni community and also supporting alumni activities financially. "Through your qualities we are attracting people to teach and study at the OSCE Academy. You are our ambassadors" - Dr Dunay addressed the Academy's graduates during his welcome speech.
Ms Anna Nersesyants, the Acting Head of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, filled with substance the support of the Kyrgyz Republic and other OSCE participating states to the OSCE Academy. "Never stop learning because life never stops teaching" - concluded Ms Nersesyants and wished a productive and fruitful weekend.
Dr Indra Overland, representing NUPI one of the main donors of the event, hoped that the alumni community of the OSCE Academy will play a larger than ever role in a Central Asia through mutual recognition, friendship and support of each other. "You are part of the elite because you have got excellent education, possibly the best in the region. You are in the elite because you have been working hard" - said Dr Overland to the graduates.
Deputy director, Ms Indira Satarkulova, former Academy director, Dr Maxim Ryabkov and former deputy director, Mr Shairbek Juraev gave presentations on fostering change in Central Asia and the role of intellectuals. The question was raised sharply whether the training and education of the elite contributes to change in the region sufficiently. Do most who take these opportunities at the Academy and often elsewhere benefit from high quality training and scholarships leave the region or end up in a bubble isolated from the majority without much impact on socio-economic processes? Further, Ms Zamira Sydykova, former ambassador of Kyrgyzstan in the U.S. and Canada, Mr Medet Tiulegenov from the American University in Central Asia and Mr Daniyar Amanaliev, the founder of Art Studio Ololo spoke about career development, networking, and achieving success.
During the second half of the first day, working sessions were held and participants had the opportunity to attend two of five seminars on various topics and one workshop on research collaboration. In the working sessions the alumni community discussed issues on the basis of their research and expertise.
On the second day of the reunion the alumni visit the Ala Archa National Park and conduct team-building.