On 11-12 June, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Uzbekistan, where he held talks with President Islam Karimov. He also visited the ancient city of Bukhara, which is home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
During the bilateral meeting between Ban Ki-moon and Islam Karimov the sides discussed a wide range of global issues across the United Nations agenda of peace, development and human rights.
The UN chief was in Uzbekistan as part of his Central Asian tour, which included visits to Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.
The visit by the UN Secretary General to Uzbekistan coincides with the signing of the new 2016-2020 United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), which is a strategic cooperation framework between the UN and Uzbekistan.
The Secretary-General highlighted Uzbekistan’s progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals – in reducing poverty and maternal mortality, ensuring universal access to primary education, and securing gender parity in primary and secondary schools. He also expressed confidence that Uzbekistan will excel in taking forward the Sustainable Development Goals expected to be adopted in the coming months.
In a brief encounter with the local press, the UN chief praised the recent adoption by Uzbekistan of a National Action Plan on follow-up to Universal Periodic Review. Its implementation will help improve Uzbekistan’s compliance with its international human rights obligations, he said.
Turning to the tragedy of the Aral Sea, the SG highlighted the UN assistance to those affected by the disaster and called for more attention and resources to address the challenge.
As part of the visit, Ban Ki-moon held a meeting with the UN staff in Uzbekistan, where he learned about the outcomes of cooperation between the UN and the Government of Uzbekistan.
On 12 June, the UN delegation led by Ban Ki-moon traveled to the ancient Uzbek city of Bukhara to visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites there.
On the evening of 12 June, the UN delegation departed for Turkmenistan, the final stop of the tour.