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At high-level forum, UN stresses importance of education in building ‘culture of peace’

Emportance of education

Education can promote ideals of non-violence, equality and mutual respect, United Nations officials said today at a high-level event on how to achieve a culture of peace amid current global challenges and threats to stability, prosperity and the planet.

“We have to teach our children the values of peace, tolerance, equality and respect. They should be under no illusions as to the self-destructiveness of the alternative,” said the President of the General Assembly, Peter Thomson, who convened the all-day event in New York with a focus on early childhood development.

“We must equip them with the skills and education they need to peacefully resolve disputes; to confront injustice and intolerance; and to reject all forms of discrimination and hate,” he added.

The event brought together representatives from UN Member States, UN system entities, civil society, media, the private sector and others with an interest in exchanging ideas and suggestions on ways to build and promote a Culture of Peace, and to highlight emerging trends that impact its implementation.

In addition to early childhood education and investment in children, Secretary-General António Guterres stressed the need to invest in youth to promote world peace.

In a speech delivered by his Senior Advisor on Policy, Ana María Menéndez, the Secretary-General also recognized women’s contributions and participation in long-term peace efforts. He said that women’s meaningful participation generates a different perspective in solving problems, and needs to be supported in all aspects of life.

Mr. Guterres also highlighted the importance of investing in inclusion and cohesion, so that diversity is seen as a benefit and not a threat.

 

‘New Urban Agenda,’ reform of UN-Habitat take spotlight at high-level General Assembly talks

New urban agendaThe United Nations deputy chief today said that the Organization is failing to deliver sufficiently in cities, and its work in and on urban areas must be reinvigorated, as the General Assembly kicked off a high-level meeting on a new UN approach to the rapidly urbanizing world.

The meeting will discuss how the New Urban Agenda” has been implemented since its adoption in October 2016 at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, known as Habitat III, while examining the recommendations put forth by an independent panel reviewing the effectiveness of UN-Habitat.

It will also address the measures contained in the Report of the Secretary General’s Independent Panel to Assess, Enhance Effectiveness of UN-Habitat after Adoption of New Urban Agenda, which was published at the beginning of August 2017.

The outcome will serve as an input to the General Assembly’s main body dealing with economic and financial issues the (Second Committee), which will consider action to be taken in the light of these recommendations during its forthcoming substantive session this fall.

While cities are hubs of promise, jobs, technology and economic development, they are also the epicentre of greenhouse gas emissions and many of the challenges of sustainability.

In his remarks, General Assembly President Peter Thomson stressed the importance of capitalizing on the enormous social and economic opportunities provided by mass urbanisation to lift people out of poverty, drive inclusive economic growth, promote equality, strengthen community resilience, and of course, effectively combat climate change.

Secondly, strategic partnerships have to be strengthened between governments at all levels, community leaders, civil society, and the business community, to foster coherent approaches to urban development.

Then there is the task of harnessing the exponential potential of science, technology and innovation to drive smart new approaches towards sustainable urbanisation and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mr. Thomson said.

And finally, the UN system must be able to effectively serve Member States in achieving these universal agendas, with UN-Habitat strongly positioned to support implementation of the New Urban Agenda, he said.

Uzbekistan working to strengthen traditional self-governance system

mahallaThe Uzbek authorities told the UN they are working to strengthen civil society. Over a hundred laws are in place regulating the participation of self-governing bodies in various fields in Uzbekistan, with mahalla being one of the unique civil society institutes in the country.

This week, the UN headquarters hosted a ceremony, where Uzbekistan passed chairmanship of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to Cote d’Ivoire. During its last session as Chairman, the Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan held a briefing titled “Mahalla: a Unique Civil Society Institute in Uzbekistan.”

Recently, the UN General Assembly circulated a report on the mahalla, an institute of citizens’ self-governing body, as an official document at its 71st session in New York.

“The mahalla’s role and significance have always been invaluable in the careful preservation of national and universal values as well as culture, lifestyle, thinking and spirituality of the Uzbek people,” the document says.

It states that Article 105 of the republic’s Constitution enshrines citizen assemblies as territorial units of self-governance.

“As part of the efforts to implement the concept ‘From a Strong State to a Strong Civil Society’, over 100 laws stipulate participation by self-governing bodies in specific social fields,” the document says. It also states that over 10,000 active citizen assemblies are currently successfully fulfilling over 30 social and economic tasks that previously were within the purview of the local authorities.

The Government of Uzbekistan believes that the mahalla should turn into a more effective body, “a real helper of the Uzbek people” – an institution where people could express their views, voice their concerns and come up with proposals. This self-governing institution is actively supported by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

International Conference on “Development of Organic Agriculture in Central Asia”

International Conference on development of organic agricultureThe Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN FAO) organized an International Conference on development of organic agriculture in Central Asia. Participants of the conference paid a site visit to “Siyob Shavkat Orzu” farm in Toyloq district of Samarkand region to observe (learn) the region’s potential on traditional and organic agriculture on August 24.

The conference was attended by leading scientists and experts engaged in organic agriculture from Europe and Asia. The centuries-old culture of traditional vegetable growing and gardening in Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries is initially based on the principles of biological farming and use of natural fertilizers that allows growing ecologically clean vegetables and fruits with unique taste and nutritional value. This culture provides a huge potential for development of organic production in the region.

International Conference on development of organic agricultureThe Conference showcased the development of organic agriculture in the example of Turkey and other countries, experts exchanged experiences and discussed local practices and modern technologies for further cooperation, tackling constraints and needs for the institutional and legal framework for organic production, raising awareness on organic agriculture and its impact on rural development and trade of Central Asian countries. Overview of the trends and rising opportunities in organic markets at regional and worldwide was also presented during the sessions.

International Conference on development of organic agricultureThe list of participants included the Government officials representing the field of Agriculture, Economy, Trade and internationals experts. Director of International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) in Central Asia attended the event and made a speech in the opening of conference.

At the end of the theoretical sessions of the conference in Tashkent, the participants visited one of the processing plants of rural products in the Samarkand region, where  they got acquainted with the advanced export opportunities and experience in processing fruit and vegetable products and took part in the agricultural products fair.

 

International Youth Day Celebrated in Tashkent

International Youth Day in Tashkent

International Youth Day is celebrated within the framework of the “Young families and girls” First National Forum. Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) joined hands in organizing the celebrations of this annual event.

International Youth Day is marked annually on 12 August. This observance, celebrated by thousands of young people, activists, and youth organizations worldwide, brings public attention to important issues related to youth, in particular the need for better addressing youth concerns in international development efforts.

The theme of International Youth Day 2017 is “Youth Building Peace”. Since the adoption of Security Council Resolution 2250 in 2015, there is growing recognition that as agents of change, young people are critical actors in conflict prevention and sustaining peace. International Youth Day 2017 is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace.

International Youth Day in Uzbekistan is celebrated within the framework of the “Young Families and Girls” First National Forum which will take place in all regions of Uzbekistan during 7-12 August 2017. Within this initiative, UNFPA will support a number of activities, including swimming competition among more than 130 girls and young women (15 – 30 years old) at the National Water Sports Development Centre in Tashkent city and Concluding Assembly of the Forum where the National strategy on working with Young Families and Girls will be presented as well as Memorandum with Youth Union on enhancing efficiency of the youth policy will be signed.

«Today, there is a need to help young people, who comprise a majority in most of the countries, and especially girls, to promote their preparedness for family life, participation in decision-making as well as ensure access to quality health care, education, and basic services – which in its turn promotes their role as active contributors to society and affords young people with opportunities to reach their potential and achieve their goals. Therefore, the recent Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On enhancing the effectiveness of the state youth policy and supporting the activities of the Youth Union of Uzbekistan” highlights such need for supporting the youth.» – marked UNFPA Representative, Ms. Mieko Yabuta, in her opening Statement for International Youth Day.

The events supported by UNFPA are aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles among young people, focusing not only on the activities of the most active and progressive girls, but also their achievements and the motivating factors for the youth development, stabilization of the socio-cultural environment in young families. Promoting access of young people to sports, education, healthcare, including reproductive health and family planning information and services – is a key for sustainable development and healthy future generation.

UNFPA and Women’s Committee have been working together throughout the years, on promoting healthy lifestyle among the young people in Uzbekistan. Both partners share similar visions on strengthening the rights of young people and enhancing their potential to increase their role in society.

NEW UN Resident Coordinator to Uzbekistan appointed

NEW UN Resident Coordinator to Uzbekistan appointed

Uzbekistan has welcomed the newly appointed United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Uzbekistan, Helena Fraser, who previously served as head of the Regional Office for the Syria Crisis of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

On 3 August, Fraser presented a letter from UN Chief Antonio Guterres on her appointment to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov.

As it was noted during the meeting, Uzbekistan and the United Nations cooperate in various areas, and human interests are the basis of this cooperation. It was also noted that the UN’s attention to Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries is growing as evidenced by UN Chief Guterres and High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’ visits to Uzbekistan.

Fraser received a draft plan (Roadmap) for further cooperation between Uzbekistan and the United Nations for 2017-2020 with clarifications on its key points.

The two sides exchanged viewpoints regarding global and regional issues, among them the organization of UN conferences in Uzbekistan.