Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Message of the UN Resident Coordinator on the 24th Anniversary of Uzbekistan’s Independence

Stefan-PriesnerDear Friends, I am pleased to congratulate you all on behalf of the UN family in Uzbekistan on this important occasion – 24th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s independence! This year is equally important for the UN as we mark 22 successful years of cooperation with the government of Uzbekistan. And this gives me an opportunity to dwell on some key areas of our cooperation and the results that define its success.

At the outset

The UN has been present in Uzbekistan since 1993 and has been supporting Uzbekistan in addressing a diverse range of needs, from economic reform and improving governance to supporting the Government meet its various international obligations. We assist in healthcare and education reform and the protection of Uzbekistan’s cultural treasures. We also support efforts to counter drug trafficking, to protect the environment and to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. Up until now our collaboration mainly focused on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in support of which the UN system in Uzbekistan collaborates with a wide range of national partners, including Government ministries such as the ministries of economy, finance, health, education, labour and social protection, as well as state nature protection committee, state committee on statistics and etc.  we also collaborate with the Parliament, judiciary, research institutions, the media and non-government organizations.

As we speak

Over the last 22 years, the UN has delivered technical assistance to Uzbekistan for more than USD 434 million to support economic, governance, healthcare and education reforms and the protection of environment.  Some of the examples of joint projects and achievements include the following:

  • More than a million people living in Ferghana valley and Karakalpakstan were provided with better access to drinking water, renovation of primary health facilities and kindergartens in remote areas, improved irrigation practices provision of solar water heaters and panels through community based initiatives;
  • As 2015 was announced as the Year of the elderly the UN supported the formulation of a Government Resolution that takes holistic view of the social protection of the elderly and approves a new list of food and sanitary goods to be provided on monthly basis to the lonely elderly people free of charge
  • The UN supported the development of the Medium term Education Sector Plan which envisions further enhancing access to and improvement of the quality of education at all levels;
  • With the UN support all children between the age of 1-14 are protected from Polio and Measles/Rubella; 98% of children aged 6-59 months nationwide are protected from measles complications and micronutrient deficiencies by receiving Vitamin A supplementation;
  • With the UN’s support in 2014 the total number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment reached 10, 000
  • UN continued promoting improved access to justice through assisting in the application of “E-SUD” electronic document management system. In 2014, more than 30,000 undisputed cases were filed, reviewed, and settled electronically.

We believe that our joint achievements have contributed to the wellbeing of the people of Uzbekistan and prosperity of the country.

Looking further

This year, the UN system in Uzbekistan and the Government signed a new UNDAF for next five years, i.e. 2016-2020, that has marked a new important milestone that should further cement the close cooperation between the United Nations and the Republic of Uzbekistan. As such, UNDAF represents a joint commitment by the Government of Uzbekistan and the United Nations System to work together and a shared intention to promote progress in human development of all people living in the country, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

To this end, the new UNDAF provides a set of envisaged results agreed between the Government and the United Nations System in core areas of cooperation that include:

  • Inclusive economic development, with a focus on employment and social protection
  • Quality health and education, to fully realize human potential
  • Environmental protection, to ensure sustainable development
  • Effective governance, to enhance public service delivery and the protection of rights

On the threshold of Uzbekistan’s Independence Day

I began my assignment in Uzbekistan almost 3 years ago and have had the opportunity to travel and visit many parts of the country and meet people from all walks of life. I have been impressed by the knowledge, warmth, capacities and potential of the people of this country and struck by Uzbekistan’s rich history, culture and natural beauty.  I very much look forward to deepening and further strengthening UN collaboration with all partners in Uzbekistan.

The UN in Uzbekistan congratulates the people of Uzbekistan on the twenty-fourth year of the national independence and wishes further prosperity to all families living on this wonderful land.

Roundtable zeroes in on implementation of International Labour Standards in Uzbekistan

ILO-conference-2A roundtable focused on progress in cooperation between Uzbekistan and the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Tashkent on 5-6 August 2015. It was attended by around 70 participants representing the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population, the Federation of Trade Unions, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as other Uzbek ministries and institutions, the ILO, the World Bank, the International Trade Union Confederation, the International Organization of Employers, the U.N., UNICEF, the E.U. and embassies of the U.S., Germany, Switzerland, France, South Korea and Russia in Tashkent.

Those gathered learnt about the advancement of the Decent Work Country Programme, which was signed between the Government of Uzbekistan, trade unions and employers of Uzbekistan in April 2014. The gathering discussed preparations for the monitoring of the upcoming cotton harvest that will be carried out by the ILO and national monitors in areas where there are projects with World Bank funding. The ILO presented to the roundtable its findings of potential risks of forced labour in recruitment practices with a special focus on the cotton sector. This will serve to guide monitoring activities as well as further studies of forced labour.

ILO-conferenceThe Uzbek parties highlighted measures that are being undertaken to further promote voluntary recruitment and to prevent mobilization of teachers and healthcare workers for cotton harvest. Awareness raising and monitoring activities will continue to ensure that children under the age of 18 are not involved in picking cotton. The ILO has been discussing such measures with its partners in Uzbekistan and is providing appropriate information and support.

It was agreed that the next roundtable to examine the outcome of the cotton harvest monitoring this year will be organized in November.

The Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day of Youth

Youth-day-2015Emerging threats, violent extremism, shifting political conditions, economic turmoil and social transformations are combining to heighten the challenges facing the world’s young people. No one knows better than them the issues at stake or the best way to respond. That is why I am calling on young people to speak out – and I am urging leaders to listen.

As the world changes with unprecedented speed, young people are proving to be invaluable partners who can advance meaningful solutions. Youth movements and student groups are challenging traditional power structures and advocating a new social contract between States and societies. Young leaders have contributed fresh ideas, taken proactive measures, and mobilized through social media as never before.

I applaud the millions of young people who are protesting for rights and participation, addressing staggering levels of youth unemployment, raising their voices against injustice, and advocating global action for people and the planet.

In this landmark year, as leaders prepare to adopt a bold new vision for sustainable development, the engagement of youth is more valuable than ever. At this critical moment in history, I call on young people to demand and foster the dramatic progress so urgently needed in our world.

Volunteerism is an ideal way to improve society – and it is open to virtually everyone. Youth can also join forces with the United Nations as we move from forging the new sustainable development goals to implementing them. That spirit of action is embodied in the theme of this International Day: “Youth and Civic Engagement.”

I stand with the world’s young people in calling for measures to secure human rights, economic progress, environmental stewardship and social inclusion.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Charter and the 20th anniversary of the World Programme of Action for Youth. In support of their aims, my Youth Envoy is helping to mobilize this largest generation of young people in history. As he says, youth engagement can help turn the world we want into the world we deserve.

Let us all support young people in creating a future where our planet is protected and all people live in dignity.