On this World No Tobacco Day, I call for boosting the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to eradicate the illicit trade in cheaper tobacco products which tend to lure younger and poorer groups into addiction while depleting the ability of States to charge taxes that could support health services. By striking at the criminal gangs and tobacco companies that engage in this reprehensible trade, we will advance public health and sustainable development.
As many as 132 students from thirteen universities came together at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy (UWED) on May 16-17 to role-play delegates at a Model UN conference. Organized with assistance from the UN Information Office, the conference marks ten years since its launch in Uzbekistan.
This is the first time a MUN conference in Uzbekistan has welcomed students from thirteen Tashkent, Urgench, Andijan, Gulistan and Navoi universities. The participants simulated sessions of the fifth committee of the General Assembly, the World Health Assembly and the UN Security Council. The UN Security Council session focused on problems related to stability and security in Afghanistan while the delegates of the UN General Assembly session discussed speedy measures to develop and reform the UN system. The World Health Assembly focused its discussions on international efforts to fight the threat of global epidemic diseases.
Following general and informal debates on the first day of the conference, each session of the committee adopted resolutions. The next day, the most active participants of the sessions were awarded certificates and presents by the UN Information Office.
The MUN conference at UWED was attended by students representing the Uzbek State World State Languages University, Tashkent Institute of Oriental Studies, Westminster International University in Tashkent, Andijan, Gulistan and Urgench State Universities, the Management Development Institute of Singapore in Tashkent, Tashkent Financial Institute, Turin Polytechnic University in Tashkent, Inha University in Tashkent, Tashkent Institute of Railway Transport Engineers and Navoi Pedagogical Institute.
This year’s winners of the Oltin Qalam (Golden Pen), an ultimate accolade for excellence in journalism in Uzbekistan, were unveiled at an awards ceremony at Tashkent’s Turkiston Palace on May 1 ahead of World Press Freedom Day. In what has become a tradition, special prizes were presented by representatives of UNESCO, the World Bank and the UN Information Office in Uzbekistan.
Now in its tenth year, the project highlights achievements in online journalism, television, radio and the press. This year, the competition drew as many as 15,000 entries from 676 journalists. The main award of the competition went to UzReport television channel for remarkable coverage of the development of science, equipment and economic ties with developed countries as well as shows dedicated to the legacy passed down by outstanding Uzbek historical figures and creative endeavors of the talented youth. Also, twelve main awards for best journalistic materials in all categories and special prizes from international and nongovernmental organizations were presented.
The UNESCO prize for “Best Environmental Story Highlighting the Aral Sea Region” went to the deputy editor of the newspaper ‘Ulug Yol’ (the Great Path), Ms. Nigora Shofayziyeva. Ms. Maryam Akhmedova, a correspondent with Qadriyat (Value) newspaper, landed a World Bank prize for the “Best Story on the Organization and Use of Alternative Energy Sources”. The UN Information Office’s prize for “Best Online Coverage of Development Issues” was presented to head of the Audiovisual Journalism Department of UzSWLU’s international journalism school, Ms. Nargis Qosimova.