Category Archives: Contests

‘Navruz Sadolari’ Festival winners announced

International festival of ensembles and orchestras 2016

On May 2-4, the State Conservatory of Uzbekistan hosted the second edition of the International Festival ‘Navruz Sadolari’ (Melodies of Nowruz), a celebration of polyphonic ensembles and orchestras of folk instruments. The three-day juried fest featured over 700 young performers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, who presented a variety of music renditions at the Conservatory.

At a press conference held prior to the start of the festival, Professor Feruza Abdurakhimova, the mind behind the project and festival coordinator, told those gathered about the goals of ‘Melodies of Nowruz”, the primary goal being to stimulate children’s professional growth as well as developing polyphonic performance on folk instruments among students of secondary and higher music education institutions. The project also seeks to enrich the repertoire, boost young musicians’ performing mastery, encourage national instrumental groups, and foster international ties and exchange of repertoire.

Abdurakhimova said that unlike last year’s festival, which featured participants aged 4 to 15, this year’s performers are 15 to 20 years of age. This choice of age categories, she said, will help cover children of all age groups. The participants of the current festival are amateur groups, children’s ensembles and orchestras of folk instruments from the music and art lyceums and colleges and higher music education institutions of the four countries.

The festival included concerts, conducting master classes, workshops for solo instruments, and a conference that focused on the tasks of the secondary music education system.

At the awards ceremony the organizers presented first-, second- and third-degree diplomas to 18 teams (six for each category) as well as participation certificates and prizes. The festival concluded with a gala concert staged by the festival participants.

UN presents awards to adolescents living with HIV for best essays themed “My Positive Life!”

UN presents awards to adolescents living with HIV  for best essays  On the eve of World AIDS Day 2015 with the purpose to support adolescents living with HIV, UN agencies in Uzbekistan launched an essay contest with the overarching theme of “My Positive Life!”. To participate in the contest, the UN invited adolescents living with HIV between the ages of 10 to 19. On 12 January 2016 the award ceremony for best essays took place at the United Nations Office in Uzbekistan. UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan Mr. Stefan Priesner emphasized these adolescents’ courage, strength of spirit and their commitment to be active members of the society. He stressed that in order to improve the support currently provided to HIV-positive youth, the United Nations and all organizations working in this area need to hear the voices of adolescents and to understand their needs  and aspirations.

After the ceremony, UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan Mr. Robert Fuderich asked the participants what career paths they would like to take. With confidence and without the slightest doubt, each one of them stated the profession of their dreams. Mr. Priesner was surprised that already at this early age, young people had a concrete plan for their future. In that case, he highlighted, each of them will definitely be able to achieve their goals. Mr. Fuderich also expressed his conviction that the evident talents and dedication of these adolescents will soon lead them to great success. Mr. Komiljon Akhmedov, a representative of the UNAIDS Country Office in Uzbekistan, reiterated the activity and leadership skills of the adolescents.

The adolescents, in their turn, expressed gratitude for this attention from the United Nations and for the opportunity to tell someone about their lives, to ponder and understand their own dreams and priorities, to chart their own path to achieve them, and most importantly – to share their thoughts with the readers and be heard.

Many of these adolescents living with HIV are members of an innovative peer education project, which is supported by UN agencies in Uzbekistan.

Below you can read the 1st place essay! Once again congratulations to our winner!

My advice to boys living with HIV!!

I am 17 years old. Since 2006 I have been living with HIV. Now I am taking antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART plays a big role in my life because this medicine assures my longevity. Since 2012 I have been a member of the adolescent support group and actively taken part in consulting and supporting my peers. In this group, I have been working on a “peer to peer” basis. Trying to use my time with benefit, the group’s curator and I give guidance and teach useful skills to children from orphanages who have HIV. People living with HIV should be engaged in meaningful and purposeful activities. The presence of true friends and loved ones is of great importance in the life of a person living with HIV. Help and support of such people gives courage and reduces the negative impact of stress on the immune system. The absence of people’s support has a negative impact on the general condition of the person and is the impetus for a rapid deterioration of health. People with HIV-positive status have the same right to live with future plans as HIV-negative people.

I would say the following to every peer and to all my unmet friends:

My unmet friends!!

I do not know who you are, how old you are and what you are up to now. I do not know how you lived before or how you live now, but I can say with confidence that happy, joyful days are on their way to you! You are going through trials of your destiny, but I believe in you, you will surely find strength for this. I also believe that you will be able to turn the difficulties encountered on your way to your benefit, to improve your life and become the best person. Because how you live your life depends on you alone. Only Allah knows how long we will live, but you should learn to enjoy life and joyfully appreciate its every moment.

Appreciate every step! Appreciate every breath! Appreciate every day, every hour!

Learn to love and to be able to forgive!

Do not regret anything, live rejoicing! Dream and try to achieve your dreams!

You are strong! Do not stray from your path, listen to your conscience! Be an individual!

Appreciate life and the most important thing: do not ever fall into despair, everything will be alright!

I am happy and follow my huge dreams, I believe that YOU CAN DO THIS TOO!


Many Languages, One World Essay Now Open

Many Languages, One World Essay contest 2016United Nations Academic Impact and ELS Educational Services Inc. have launched the 3rd annual Many Languages, One World essay contest!  The essay contest invites college and university students 18 years of age and older to write an essay in an official UN language on the theme of multilingualism and the role it can play in fostering global citizenship and cultural understanding. Sixty winners (10 for each of the official UN languages) will be selected to attend a week long Global Youth Forum in New York and speak at an event in the UN General Assembly in July.

The contest deadline is 31 March 2016 and more information, including contest rules and eligibility, can be found at

UN Agencies award outstanding Uzbek journalists ahead of World Press Freedom Day

3This 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.

2Now 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.

1The 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.

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.