Monthly Archives: April 2015

MDG national progress report presented in Uzbekistan

MDG's-reportMembers of Uzbek ministers, agencies, international organizations, diplomatic missions and civil society experts attended a presentation of the Second MDG National Progress Report for Uzbekistan on April 30, 2015 in Tashkent. The report presented an analysis and assessment of progress in achieving MDGs in 2000-2013.

The presentation kicked off with opening remarks by Uzbekistan’s Minister of Economy Ms. Galina Saidova, who said that conclusions in the report reveal that despite global economic instability the Government of Uzbekistan has succeeded in ensuring balance between key development goals (economic growth generated by structural reforms, for one) and growth in prosperity for all segments of the population. Ms. Saidova noted that the balanced economic policies enabled Uzbekistan to cut low-income rates nearly twofold from 2000 to 2014.  She also presented data that testify to marked progress in the areas of education, gender equality, healthcare and environmental protection.

UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan Stefan Priesner noted that an effective dialogue had been set up between the Government of Uzbekistan and UN agencies as part of preparations for the report. As a result, Mr. Priesner said, the report reflects key challenges and tasks to be dealt with that will help define Uzbekistan’s post-2015 development goals in line with the new Sustainable Development Goals. He added that the focus of the report on regional differences in achieving MDGs also ensures that we smoothly switch to discussions of nationalization of the post-2015 global action agenda that will, among other things, seek to ensure that “no one is left behind”, one of the principles of the agenda.

Those gathered learned that eight working groups involving national experts from 15 ministries and agencies as well as members of eight UN agencies had been set up ahead of preparations for the report. In addition, four rounds of working meetings and roundtables had been put together to discuss the logic and key ideas of the document. The process also involved international consultants.

The main conclusions of the report and progress in MDG achievement were presented by representatives of the Center of Economic Research, an institution that coordinated report preparations.

Members of the UN Office in Uzbekistan rolled out the primary principles and directions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are being developed at global level to succeed MDGs.

Concluding the presentation, Ms. Saidova highlighted the important role the UN plays in rallying countries of the world around development concepts such as the Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. Priesner thanked partners for their efforts on the report and encouraged them to continue with the effective dialogue and collaboration in the name of development.

Over 500 children strut their stuff at international music festival

Over 500 children joined the ‘Navruz Sadolari’ international festival of ensembles and orchestrasOver 500 children aged 4-15 joined the ‘Navruz Sadolari’ (Melodies of Navruz) international festival of ensembles and orchestras that started on April 23 at the Conservatory of Uzbekistan.

Organized with support from the UN Information Office, the festival kicked off with a press conference, where organizers told those gathered about the goals and participants of ‘Navruz Sadolari’ project. Now in its eighth year, the juried festival has been given international status this year and has welcomed children’s groups from Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan in addition to Uzbek pre-school children’s groups, folk instrument ensembles and orchestras from children’s music and art schools as well as amateur folk instrument orchestras.

This year the festival put the spotlight on ‘The Year of Attention and Care for the Senior Generation’ in Uzbekistan and celebrated the 105th anniversary of late Uzbek musician and conductor Ashot Petrosyants and the 90th anniversary of Anvar Leviyev, who are credited with making a massive contribution to the development of Uzbek national music.

Some of the goals organizers of the festival pursue are to help children hone their performing skills, ramp up the creative activities of national instrument groups, expand music repertoire, and cement international artistic ties.

Those gathered for the opening ceremony of the festival were treated to performances by Sogdiana chamber orchestra of national instruments featuring trainees of Glier Music Academic Lyceum and other children’s music and art schools.

The festival’s competition part was held on April 23-24 at the Conservatory of Uzbekistan. The festival concluded with conducting and musical instrument master classes as well as a conference on April 25.

Fifteen of the 42 groups that joined the festival won five first, second and third places. The rest of the participants were honored with diplomas and commemorative prizes. The closing ceremony was followed by a gala concert that presented performances by festival participants and winners and drew the curtain on this year’s ‘Navruz Sadolari’ festival.

The Secretary-General’s Message on World Health Day

banner-for-WHD2015“From farm to plate: make food safe”

Food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.  Potential new threats to food safety are emerging all the time.  Changes to the way food is produced, distributed and consumed, the emergence of resistant bacteria, and increases in travel and trade make it difficult to manage pathogens and contaminants once they are in our food supply.

Unsafe food is a largely under-reported and often overlooked global problem.  With the food supply chain stretching around the world, the need to strengthen food safety systems within and among countries is becoming more critical.  That is why, on World Health Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on countries and all actors to improve food safety from farm to plate and everywhere in between.

The production of safe food is important for economies – it fosters trade and tourism and supports food security and sustainable development.  Food safety is also important for education – sick children miss school, and it is at school that the next generation of consumers can learn basic food safety practices.

WHO and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) work together to set international standards for safe food.  They assess the safety of new food technologies, and help countries to prevent, detect and respond to outbreaks of food-borne disease.  These agencies also help countries build their own capacity to predict and manage food-borne disease risks.

All people involved in the production, distribution, and preparation of food must play their part to make food safe.  Governments must communicate the importance of food safety to their citizens.  The health, agriculture, trade, and environment sectors need to work together.

On World Health Day, let us all ask: how safe is our food?  We all have a role to play in keeping food safe – from farm to plate.

WHO urges improvement of food safety from farm to plate

World_Health_Day_2015_press_conferenceAccording to the World Health Organization (WHO), food-borne diseases annually kill an estimated 2 million people, including children. The theme of this year’s World Health Day, marked every year on April 7, is food safety. To highlight the importance of food safety, officials and members of the UN office in Uzbekistan and the Ministries of Health, Public Education, and Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan held a press conference at Poytaht Business Center in Tashkent.

In his World Health Day message, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that “food contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhoea to cancers… WHO and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) work together to set international standards for safe food.  They assess the safety of new food technologies, and help countries to prevent, detect and respond to outbreaks of food-borne disease… WHO is calling on countries and all actors to improve food safety from farm to plate and everywhere in between.”

Speakers at the press conference included Deputy Minister of Health Saidmurod Saidaliyev, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan Stefan Priesner, and WHO Representative in Uzbekistan Dr. Asmus Hammerich.

Priesner said that healthcare is one of the key areas of cooperation between the United Nations and the Government of Uzbekistan. In his turn, Dr. Hammerich noted that agriculture, food transportation companies, public catering services and the food industry play the primary role in ensuring food safety.

Saidaliyev said that the Ministry of Health is the primary body in the system of monitoring the quality and safety of food in Uzbekistan. Komiljon Muhamedov of the Ministry of Health did a presentation with detailed information on how Uzbekistan monitors food safety. In particular, he said that among the priorities in this area are improvement of the relevant legislation and the potential of laboratories as well as raising public awareness of healthy food and healthy eating.

To prevent food poisoning, WHO recommends five simple rules:

1. Keep clean
2. Separate raw and cooked
3. Cook thoroughly
4. Keep food at safe temperatures
5. Use safe water and raw materials