On 17 February 2023, the OSCE Academy had its Graduation Ceremony for students of the MA Programmes in Politics & Security and Economic Governance & Development 2021-2023. Overall 25 graduates from Afghanistan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan received their degrees.
Ms. Helga Schmid, OSCE Secretary General; Ms. Adelina Marku, Deputy Head of Mission, OSCE Chairpersonship of North Macedonia; Ambassador Alexey Rogov, Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek; Mr. Azamat Naimanbaev, Head of the Department of Higher, Secondary Professional and Postgraduate Education, Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic; Dr. Roman Vakulchuk, Senior Research Fellow, Norwegian Institute of International Affair; and representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, Partners, Donors, as well as Parents and Friends of the Graduates attended the ceremony online and in person.
Dr. Indira Satarkulova, Acting Director of the OSCE Academy, delivered welcoming remarks congratulating the graduates and highlighting their accomplishments throughout their studies at the Academy. Dr. Satarkulova expressed the Academy’s sincere gratitude to the Board of Trustees, Donors and Partners for advocacy, guidance, and continuous support that allows the creation of all the necessary conditions to provide education of international standards.
Ambassador Rogov greeted guests of the ceremony and addressed graduating students: “…when ends one journey, begins another… You are graduating into an unsettled world where you will see many challenges but also great opportunities to demonstrate your leadership skills and apply knowledge gained at the OSCE Academy.”
Ms. Helga Maria Schmid addressed the graduates online and conveyed her felicitations: “The knowledge you gained and the networks you formed during your time at the Academy will be extremely valuable to enact positive change in your communities and your countries.” The Secretary General expressed pride for 16 young women graduating this year. “Making women's rights a reality is my top priority, which I promote also through the networking platform for women leaders I launched in December 2021. I am pleased to announce that soon we will inaugurate a new pillar specifically for young women and with a special focus on Central Asia,” emphasized Ms. Schmid.
Ms. Adelina Marku extended her gratitude for the opportunity to join this special day as a representative of the OSCE Chairpersonship of North Macedonia. Ms. Marku briefly spoke about the objectives and goals of North Macedonia this year and highlighted that investing in youth is one of the priorities. "I believe it does not get more exemplary than the OSCE Academy, where the main purpose is to invest in young talent. With your graduation today, you have now joined the OSCE community and the Academy's Alumni Network," noted Ms. Marku.
Mr. Azamat Naimanbaev, on behalf of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic, conveyed the assurance that the Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic will continue to provide assistance to the OSCE Academy in the further development and promotion of educational programmes and modern scientific initiatives in order to further strengthen and improve high-quality education in the Kyrgyz Republic. In addition, Mr. Naimanbaev acknowledged the recent achievements of the Academy’s MA Programmes and the successful continuation of its activities in the Central Asian region.
Dr. Vakulchuk from the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), one of the Academy's major donors and a long-time partner, sent his greetings to the graduates and welcomed them to the Alumni Community of the Academy. Dr. Vakulchuk stressed that the new graduates will have exciting opportunities and a rewarding exchange waiting for them as active members of the Alumni community.
Following the speeches, students received their Diplomas awarded by Ambassador Rogov and Dr. Satarkulova. The programme continued with greetings from the Professors represented by Dr. Anja Mihr, and the announcement of nominees for Best Thesis Awards and Top GPA Awards by Dr. Kiyalbek Akmoldoev and Dr. Elena Zhirukhina. As of February 2023, the total number of alumni has thus reached 619.