First of all I would like to extend my warm congratulations on behalf of the UN in Uzbekistan at the occasion of the New Year 2017!
The year of 2016 both at global and national level was a year of challenges and yet new opportunities.
2016 marked the beginning of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework, which defines the path of world development until 2030 as endorsed by all 193 UN member states. The key principle of the SDGs – “to leave nobody behind” – requires strong institutions with highest regards to minimum standards and a framework that enables rights and freedoms.
2016 was a seminal year in the fight against climate change through the ratification of the Paris Climate Change Accord. To date 191 countries have signed and 81 ratified this agreement, which is expected to accelerate action on what often is seen as the global challenge of the 21st century.
The year of 2016 also witnessed a consensual selection of the new (the ninth) UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres from Portugal. Mr. Guterres embarked on his mandate on 1 January 2017 and pledged to work at the service of all countries and to help find solutions that benefited all people.
At the country level, in 2016 the people of Uzbekistan were faced with the sudden demise of the first President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, H.E. Mr. Islam Karimov. The year also marked the victory of H.E. Mr. Mirziyoyev in the recent Presidential Elections of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Taking this opportunity, I would like to congratulate the people of Uzbekistan with the election of the incumbent President and the appointment of the Head of the Government.
In terms of our cooperation with the Government of Uzbekistan we acknowledge the Government’s comprehensive approach in taking forward the SDG localization agenda in 2016. We were pleased to be part of the process and to contribute UN expertise to the adaptation of the global SDGs to the country context.
In full alignment with the SDGs, in 2016 the UN system embarked on the implementation of a new cycle of development cooperation embedded in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for Uzbekistan for 2016-2020. The UNDAF is built around national development priorities and linked to the international normative framework, including SDGs and the ratified United Nations conventions.
We believe that the productive cooperation will be continued and further strengthened in 2017. We welcome the announcement of the year 2017 as the “Year of Dialogue and Human Interest” and as UN system in Uzbekistan stand ready to support the Government in shaping and implementing the reform agenda for 2017-2021.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to wish all people of Uzbekistan health, prosperity and happiness in the New Year of 2017. We look forward to working with the Government and other development partners to upscale our support for the sake of progress and prosperity of people of Uzbekistan.