Maintenance of peace and security, protection of human rights, and improvement of living conditions have been at the core of the activities of the United Nations, a global organisation founded 70 years ago for the benefit of humanity. The UN Office in Uzbekistan is staging broad celebrations of this milestone by holding a variety of events for the purpose of cementing cooperation with national partners and raising broad public awareness of the UN’s primary achievements since its inception as well as the outcomes of the UN’s cooperation with Uzbekistan and plans for the near future.
The press conference held on 23 October at the Kamolot Youth Art Palace as part of the celebrations featured representatives of UNICEF, UNFPA, ILO, UNODC, UNESCO, FAO, WHO and UNAIDS in Uzbekistan.
Speaking at the press conference, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan Stefan Priesner quoted words from General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon’s UN Day message that “seven decades after its founding, the United Nations remains a beacon for all humanity”, feeding the hungry, sheltering those driven from their homes and defending human rights for all regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender or sexual orientation.
The main part of Stefan Priesner’s speech revolved around the activities of the UN Office in Uzbekistan. More specifically, he noted that “over the last 22 years the UN has delivered technical assistance to Uzbekistan of more than $434 million, to support economic, governance, healthcare and education reforms. We also support efforts to counter drug trafficking, to protect the cultural heritage and environment and to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.”
Mr. Priesner also noted that 2015 is a very important year as it marks transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted in September by all the 193 UN member countries. SDGs are more comprehensive with additional focus on environmental sustainability and equity as well as peaceful and inclusive societies. “The implementation of SDGs is to take place at country level. Therefore, in the coming months it will be important to nationalize the global SDG to the country context. The UN system in the country is ready to support the country in this endeavor,” the UN Resident Coordinator said.
The question-and-answer session between UN agencies and local journalists focused on issues relating to the cultural legacy of Uzbekistan, illegal drug trafficking, social protection of elderly people, reproductive health and general issues regarding the UN system.